New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

First time to Utah

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hey all,


I'm going to be in SLC for two days in January and will be skiing Snowbird one day and Alta the other. I plan on staying in Sandy and either driving or taking the Ski Bus.  I will have 4WD on my rental car but I'm wondering if it's better to take the Ski Bus on days where road conditions are less than favorable. I've seen mixed reviews on the Ski Bus so i'm looking for your opinion on whether waiting for the Ski Bus is worth it or whether driving myself is the better option.  


Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think there's limited parking at Snowbird, although I plan on getting there early so I don't think that will be an issue...


And finally, if any locals are willing to ski with me/show me around/make a new friend, then there will be beer in your future :)



Edited by ATLhound - 12/3/12 at 12:09pm
post #2 of 12

Depends on how comfortable you are driving in the snow. Like any public transportation, the bus has its disadvantages. It can get overcrowded, which is kind of a bummer if you're trying to get up to the mountain early and can't find a spot. It can also take a while to get back down the mountain if you're waiting around with dozens of others. And, of course, it only runs at specific times. That said, it can be nice knowing that you don't have to drive down a slushy mess after a long day on the mountain.


My rule of thumb is if it snowed overnight/early morning and stopped, the road should be clear and driving will be fine. If it's supposed to snow all day, I might consider avoiding the drive and taking the bus. I don't typically get there for first lift, though, so by later in the morning, the road is usually totally clear if it's stopped snowing. It might be more of a mess earlier in the morning.


I've never had an issue finding a parking spot at Snowbird, but I suppose they could run out since there is a finite number of spots (I've seen that happen in BCC and gotten a ticket for parking on the road).

post #3 of 12

Dont take the bus if you have a 4WD. Thats silly. If the road is too dangerous it will be closed.

One year I took the ski bus to Snowbird while I stayed in Sandy, and it was a nightmare. 

It was so slow compared to getting in your car right outside your hotel room.

post #4 of 12

If the road is bad they will either close it (usually only for avalanche control) or post chains on or 4WD with snows, which your rental unlikely to have (M&S tires are legal as snows). Then take the bus or go to the Park City areas. There is a stop with parking right at the bottom of LCC, but I understand it can be a madhouse in this situation. As for parking, I like to get there early and use the Gad Valley parking at entrance one. If you are lucky, you can park only a few steps from where you put your skis on, and don't have to lug your skis through Snowbird Center or fight the line for first tram.

post #5 of 12

The drive to Snowbird is the easiest of the cottonwood canyon resorts. If the road is open use your vehicle. Just be sure to get in front of the moron garbage truck drivers that do 10 mph up the canyon and dont let people pass.


Any of those roads can go bad quickly. Brighton is a nightmare to get down from in a major storm. JoeUT is right, watch the weather DURING that day. We skied all day and night at Brighton in heavy snow(Dec 08). The trip down at 930pm was a nightmare. About every half mile there was a car slid off the shoulder. We gave a few peeps a ride down too.

post #6 of 12

We dd the bus this year. It was OK and not crowded at all (not big power days though), but I would have loved to have had a car, because the road was totally clear and it's not that bad for a mountain road.

post #7 of 12

i am a person who never takes public transport... 


my only experience of the bus in SLC was last year... 


i drove up in 2wd car is nice weather... drove to bottom of canyon and bussed if snowing... easy...


will do the same again this year!!!

post #8 of 12

Remember if it happens to snow a lot overnight the LCC road will delayed with a couple mile lineup waiting for the gate to open.  If you get in line by car or by bus you could sit for a 1-2 hrs and not start skiing until late morning.  It's a crap shoot when they will open the gate, but on those days skiing Brighton or Solitude in the BCC next door is a good option.

post #9 of 12

Avoid the bus like the plague.  Did that once and will never do it again.

post #10 of 12

Agree with the advice to drive if the roads are clear (and expected to remain clear for the return trip) and to take the bus if it's snowing.


The trick to using the bus on a busy day is to get on it a stop before the one at the base of the canyon.  Otherwise you may be standing there watching a full bus go by without stopping.


On powder days, the bus will be crowded - get there early. 


I also agree that if LCC is closed in the morning you should just go somewhere else rather than sitting in traffic for several hours.  Brighton or Solitude aren't more than a few minutes farther, or you could drive around to PC or Snowbasin. 

Edited by Walt - 12/5/12 at 9:19am
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for your input. Fortunately the stop I would use for the bus is the first stop on that particular route.  I'll definitely catch the very first bus of the day if I choose the bus.

post #12 of 12
Twice last season I got to the bottom of LCC on a powder day to find the road closed and a looong line waiting for a looong time. Both times it turned out the road hadn't been closed (for avy control, I thnk) until around 9:00 or 9:30, which meant that the smart and disciplined skiers who got there early enough had Alta and Snowbird to themselves. Not that I'll learn my lesson and get my ass in gear early this year, but you might want to.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Resorts, Conditions & Travel