You can stay on the "left" side and have a blast for a day. But it really isn't difficult to ski eight of the nine mountains in one day. I am assuming you prefer intermediate to advanced terrain, and don't want much tree skiing or expert-only runs.
Currently there are 164 trails open and all natural half pipes (hard to find on the maps...look closely). As an "above average" intermediate you can probably handle the half pipes if you can get through a few bumps OK and handle some tight turns. Yeah, I know you want wide open groomers but it would be a shame if you didn't ski at least one half pipe through the woods. They are a blast. Also, you won't have a problem skiing all the lifts in one day since lift lines are unlikely. If you want to start on the Dreamscape & Daybreak side here are some ideas that will get you on all the mountains except 9900 (expert only):
1) Take the gondola to Red Pine, put on your skis and head over to Saddleback lift for a warm-up run going from Kokopelli into Pine Draw. If you want to have fun duck into the half pipe you will see on the right (half pipe #5 on the map). It is one of the easier ones at the resort. The alternative (if you are comfortable on black diamonds) is to look at the trees to your right when you get off the lift. The trees are just a facade! Go 10 yards through the trees and it opens up to some great runs (Ecstasy or The Pines just down the lift). These runs are missed by almost all the tourists on Saddleback, and are the nuts on powder days when 9990 is temporarily closed for blasting. When you ski out to the bottom keep skiing straight past the lifts over the bridge into Chicane, a long cruiser that will take you to Tombstone Express.
2) You have two choices, taking Tombstone for a couple of runs or jumping on Timberline for a quick ride to Iron Mountain. If you want to ski the whole resort in a day, I'd take the Tombstone Lift and then head over to the Peak 5 lift via Another World into Ripsaw (If you want black diamond runs or a bowl on a powder day, just look at the map). Ski past 9900 (expert terrain only) and hit the Peak 5 lift.
3) I love Mystic Pines, but if you want to stick to the intermediate runs just ski over to Dreamscape/Daybreak via Harmony (mostly an "access road" kind of trail), or by skiing Upper Crowning Glory to Royal to the Daybreak lift (right next to Dreamscape). I find the runs off Daybreak to be undulating intermediate cruisers, but it is fun to see what is going on there. Some of my friends who are of your ability love the runs because they never see anyone on them.
4) You will have no lift lines on Dreamscape. The runs are listed as blues but if there are moguls several runs can ski like east coast black diamonds. When you skied a few runs there head over to Dreamcatcher.
5) Phantasm will give you the experience you are looking for, although you may miss it on your first run. When the powder is good, Dreamcatcher takes a long time to ski out. Anyhow, when you have had enough head over to Iron Mountain.
6) Iron Mountain has more intermediate terrain than Dreamcatcher. You have a choice between cruisers and trees. Assuming you are hungry and want to ski two more mountains, head over to the Tombstone Grill via the Timberline Lift. Wolf down a burger or BBQ brisket outside and head back up the Tombstone Express.
7) The idea now is to get back to Red Pine, and there are two ways to do it. The first is more direct, taking Sidewinder. The second is by taking Red Pine Road, which is boring except for a natural half pipe on the right called Pinball Alley. If you have the time, ski the half pipe because it is really fun.
8) OK, only a few more mountains to go. Red Pine Road flattens out and eventually runs into the Red Pine Lodge. Go past the Lodge, ski to your right (under the gondola) to the Short Cut lift. Take the lift and ski Sun Peak for a while (my favorite is Mine Shaft). You have lots of options, with and without moguls. Then ski past the bottom of the lift until it runs into the Super Condor Express. If you take BOA, a long cruiser, look for another natural half pipe to your right called Canis Lupis. It is more difficult than the other half pipes if you have issues controlling speed (see the Canis Lupis Challange videos on YouTube). When you are almost ready to call it a day, ski to the base.
9) For good measure, take the Orange Bubble chair to the first spot you can unload, and ski a great cruiser called Doc's Run to the ski beach giving you bragging rights about how many mountains you skied in one day.
The Canyons used to be a pain to get around until Talisker came in, moved some dirt and added a few lifts. Good signs are everywhere pointing you to the lifts you want. There are even maps on the chairlift safety bars. Follow my advice and as a "strong intermediate" skier you will cover 8 mountains in one day while experiencing some trails (e.g., the half pipes) most tourists never see. All of the runs will be wide enough for you to ski comfortably except for the half pipes. If you see moguls on Dreamscape or on Sun Peak and don't want to ski them, just ski past the bumps to another run.
All the Park CIty resorts are a paradise for "strong intermediate" skiers like you. The Canyons is unique because each mountain has a different personality, and what visitors usually don't see (like the half pipes) often times holds the opportunity for the most fun.
Here is a promo video off YouTube for the resort: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Q8A_svg_W4&feature=related
and another one for Iron Mountain: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaauaQ1OrnM
and another: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFrG1OO7kM8&list=UUyegHZbv-TMcQdmxJATPgDQ&index=9&feature=plcp
Edited by quant2325 - 2/26/12 at 12:22pm