TOP SKIING DESTINATIONS IN UTAH
Where to Ski in Utah: Alta, Brighton, Park City, Sundance, Snowbird
Best Ski Resorts In Utah
Utah is home to at least 17 world-class ski areas, where you will find great ski conditions and breath-taking Rocky Mountain scenery for your skiing pleasure and adventure, as well as great places to stay and things to do while not on the ski slopes.
Alta celebrates 70 years of skiing this winter (2008). Known for its classic powder skiing, challenging terrain and spectacular views, Alta also offers great beginning and intermediate ski runs. Alta is also one of three ski resorts in the country which does not allow snowboarding. There are 115 ski runs, and 25% of the skiing terrain is dedicated to the beginning skiier, 40% to the intermediates, and 35% to advanced skiiers. Enjoy dual-resort lift ticket priviledges with its nearest neighbor, Snowbird, which opens up 4,700 acres of skiable terrain.
Snowbird is Alta's closest neighbor as far as ski resorts go. It receives an average of 500 inches of powder snow a year, making the average ski season at Snowbird last from mid-November through Memorial Day. There are 85 ski runs, with 27% of the ski terrain for beginners, 38% for intermediate skiiers, and 35% for expert skiiers. It's also known for having the first ski area tunnel in North America, and also features a 125-passenger aerial tram. You can also enjoy snowmobiling, ice skating, shopping, and the resort's Cliff Spa when you're not on the ski slopes.
Brighton has been in operation for more than 70 years, and recently underwent a $6 million renovation project to Mt. Millicent. Other features include a state of the art high-speed lift system, the new Milly Day Lodge (opening November 2008), and a good ski school, where you and your children can learn skiing and snowboarding from the experts. There are 66+ ski runs and 1,050 skiable acres at Brighton. You'll find this to be a family-friendly ski resort.
- Park City
Another family-friendly ski resort, Park City is among the top 10 family-friendly ski resorts in North America each year. Located about 35 miles from Salt Lake City, this resort also went through about $10 million worth of improvements in the off-season. Included in the upgrades are a new high-speed lift and complete renovation of the Mid-Mountain lodge. There's a great ski school here, too, along with more than 2,000 acres of skiable terrain.
Sundance is one of the smaller ski resorts, with only 450 skiable acres, but its fame is due to its founder, Robert Redford, and its commitment to a balance between nature, art and recreation. There are 42 runs, and you'll enjoy the skiing and snowboarding, as well as relaxing at Sundance's spa, dining in one of the award-winning restaurants, or exploring the Art Shack.
Getting There Is Easy
The beauty of travelling to a ski resort in Utah is that most of them are in pretty close proximity, and for the skiers who opt to fly in, many of them are no more than an hour or so away from the Salt Lake City International Airport. And most offer shuttle service from the airport to their resort, so you don't need to worry about renting a car to get there. If you're flying, you can get here from most anywhere in the country on airlines such as American, Delta, Continental, Southwest, and lots more. Driving? Easily accessed from the north or south via I-15, or from the east or west via I-70, depending on which ski resort you're headed to. They're so easy to get to, that you can ski the same day you arrive, in most cases.
Lodging, Dining, Other Attractions
If you elect to stay at a ski lodge, you may be able to get a package deal with some of the meals thrown in, so you won't have to worry about where to eat each day. For example, the Alta Lodge includes a full breakfast and four-course dinner with your night's lodging. Other amenities include an afternoon tea, a bar, saunas and hot tubs. It's also adjacent to the ski shop, and with their shuttle service, there's no need for a rental car if you've flown in.
Homes, Condos, Apartments
Available in sizes up to studio (for two people) to six bedroom or larger units for your large ski group. The advantages are the privacy you'll enjoy, and if you'd rather fix your own meals than eat out--full kitchens are always available here. The prices may be about the same as a lodge or hotel, too, for some units.
Hotels and Motels
There are motels nearby to the ski resorts, and many of them offer shuttle service to the ski areas so that you don't have to worry about driving, or renting a car if you've flown in.
For dining, as mentioned before, many lodges will include meals with your night's lodging, or there are usually plenty of good restaurants nearby. If you are staying in a condo or home, of course you'll have kitchen privileges and can save money by preparing your own food. The ski resorts have restaurants in the area which include many cuisine types as well as catering to your pocketbook. And keep in mind that with your close proximity to Salt Lake City for most ski resorts, if you have a car you can easily go there for a change of pace, and a good meal.
When you're not skiing, perhaps there are some other activities you'd enjoy. Still want something snow-related? Snowmobiling, tubing, ice skating, snowshoe tours--all are available to you. And if you'd like to get away from the snow for a day or so, you can take advantage of the spas in the areas, go in to Salt Lake City for sightseeing, tours, theater events, shopping, and more.
You'll enjoy your ski trip to Utah if you plan it out beforehand. A good online site to help you is skiutah.com. We found them to be very informative when researching this article. You'll find more information than we can present here, on everything from the resorts themselves, to dining, lodging and other activities. Have fun!