or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Park City vs. The Canyons

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

My group of intermediates and experts are staying in Park City next week.  We've got three of our six ski days planned (1st day Park City cuz we're there, 2nd day Alta, 3rd day Snowbasin), then the last three days are open to choose from based on how everyone liked those three. 

 

This is the first trip to UT for everyone in my group but me -- I've skied Alta and Snowbasin before, but never Park City itself.  We're staying in Park City because we have a non-skiing wife in our group of two families. 

 

21 years ago I skied Park West (before it was renamed The Canyons) and thought it was just okay (we also skied Deer Valley that week, by the way, just not Park City).  On that trip, maybe on the last day, we drove to Alta and wound up wishing we'd spent the whole week there (and I've done so since). 

 

But someone was just telling me The Canyons has been massively changed/expanded/improved since then.  After driving to Alta and Snowbasin on the 2nd and 3rd days, respectively, we'll see if everyone wants to return there on one or all of the remaining unclaimed days, but I'm thinking the convenience of our rental property in Park CIty is going to have my crowd grading on a curve to stay local. 

 

And that begs the question, how does The Canyons compare to Park City ski resort?

post #2 of 27

I was just at PC a week and a half ago.  3rd trip there but first time I've been to Canyons.  I'm an intermediate skiier who likes long groomed steeps with the occaisonal  bump/tree runs.

 

I found Canyons to be very underwhelming.  The new areas of Canyons seemed to be built around high end housing.  The whole Dreamscape/Day Break area had about 3-4 minutes of run and then everything funneled into a road back to the lifts.  Lifts in that area where also pretty slow.  Seriously felt like 15 minutes going up and 3 going down.  It felt more crowded that it was.

 

Even in the older areas the runs seemd narrower. 

 

I'm guessing the expert skiiers may have a different opinion but for what I like to ski it doesn't hold a candle to Deer Valley.

post #3 of 27

A lot of people don't like the layout of Canyons.  It's a big resort, with lots of lifts and varied terrain.  I think your group, or anyone for that matter, would enjoy it for a day or two, esp if you are staying in PC.  To me the 3 PC resorts are similar and certainly good for a day for skiing and exploring. 

post #4 of 27

i agree with this. (im an intermediate)

id go to DV over Canyons unless id skied a few days at DV and wanted a change. I actually preferred the "older" right side of the Canyons vs the Dreamscape, or resort left area. It did seem to have a lot of short runs, and cat tracks. I suppose 9990 might be different.

 

Actually, if i were to go to PC tomorrow, id ski PCMR, just because its been a decade since ive been there, so i cant compare to the other two, which ive been to both in the last 12 months.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Huddleston View Post

I was just at PC a week and a half ago.  3rd trip there but first time I've been to Canyons.  I'm an intermediate skiier who likes long groomed steeps with the occaisonal  bump/tree runs.

 

I found Canyons to be very underwhelming.  The new areas of Canyons seemed to be built around high end housing.  The whole Dreamscape/Day Break area had about 3-4 minutes of run and then everything funneled into a road back to the lifts.  Lifts in that area where also pretty slow.  Seriously felt like 15 minutes going up and 3 going down.  It felt more crowded that it was.

 

Even in the older areas the runs seemd narrower. 

 

I'm guessing the expert skiiers may have a different opinion but for what I like to ski it doesn't hold a candle to Deer Valley.

post #5 of 27

Snowbird should be on your list of places to visit.
 

post #6 of 27

Personally, I'd make the trek to BCC instead of the Canyons.  My intermediate friends love the tree skiing at Brighton.  Most other places are too intimidating for them in the trees.  The advanced guys in the group like it too.  The snow stays good in the trees for days after a storm as the canopy doesn't let the sun through, and there's little traffic.

post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone. My curiosity about The Canyons is ebbing -- ironic about the comments on the awkward layout -- I'm recalling those were my own impressions of Park West 20 years ago!    The downside for Snowbird is the intermediates I alluded to in my group are the kids, 14, 13, 9, and 7 -- solid intermediates all, but I think they'd find more skiing to their liking at Alta or Snowbasin (than Snowbird).  

 

It'll be interesting to observe, after everyone's skied Park City, then Alta, then Snowbasin, which one (or which ones) everyone wants to return to on the second half of the trip.  My money's on Alta, but the house we're renting backs right up to PCMR.  I'll keep the Brighton suggestion in mind -- it's been years since I was there but it was a real sleeper as I recall.

post #8 of 27
Yeah, I should have added that if I had the opportunity to go anywhere, it would be the cottonwoods over PC area, I've not had the chance to do so.
post #9 of 27

Can't help on Canyons. Brighton is nice....but I'm not sure given all your options that I would drive over there. Especially if you're skiing during the week and most areas are quiet anyway. Sounds like it'll be a great trip though. Honestly, you can't go wrong.

 

Please report back and let us know what you all thought when comparing, I love to hear peoples opinions!

post #10 of 27

I'd also like  to hear your opinions.  We stayed just off of Main street in PC and the bus system to DV/Canyons was very convenient.  We were short on time otherwise we were seriously considering the drives to the Cottonwoods.

post #11 of 27

I have been to Utah the last three years, have skied all the major resorts except Powder Mountain. This year we did the Park city, deer valley, and the canyons with one day at snowbasin. I can tell you that of the four people in our group, none of us would go back to Park City or the Canyons again. At least not when you have Alta, Snowbasin, Solitude, and Deer Valley within a short drive.

 

Our group consists of mainly advanced intermediate skiers, and these are the 4 resorts we liked best. I know throwing deer valley into the mix sounds weird, but there was no groomed runs to be found when we were there because it snowed nonstop.

 

If you havent been to Solitude, it is worth a visit, we went back there two years in a row for at least one day. No crowds, decent lift system, easy to get around, Kids would probably enjoy it alot.

 

Brian

post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Huddleston View Post

I'd also like  to hear your opinions.  We stayed just off of Main street in PC and the bus system to DV/Canyons was very convenient.  We were short on time otherwise we were seriously considering the drives to the Cottonwoods.

It's worth it. I'm not sure if you have any boarders in your party, but Alta is a special place. Believe the hype.

post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by szokr1 View Post

I have been to Utah the last three years, have skied all the major resorts except Powder Mountain. This year we did the Park city, deer valley, and the canyons with one day at snowbasin. I can tell you that of the four people in our group, none of us would go back to Park City or the Canyons again. At least not when you have Alta, Snowbasin, Solitude, and Deer Valley within a short drive.

 

 

Great feedback -- thanks Brian.  Can't wait to see what everyone in my group thinks after we've skied PC, then Alta, then Snowbasin, back-to-back.  Based on my having skied most of the major Utah resorts at one time or another (except Park City, hence my starting this thread), everyone is content to follow my lead, but I know there's some apprehensive curiosity as to why I didn't just book a week-long ski pass to Park City, since that's where we're staying.  But I much prefer the if-you-can-see-it-you-can-ski-it feel of Alta and Snowbasin.  I've skied up and down the Rockies in the last 20 years, and Alta remains my favorite.  I did a quick in-and-out, buddies-only (no families) 2-day trip to Snowbasin about three years ago, and it felt similar.  I'm looking forward this trip comparing the two after a back-to-back visit.  I actually haven't skied Alta since 2001, and as I mentioned in an earlier post, that was a weeklong trip after coming to the same conclusion as your's on an earlier trip where we'd focused on Deer Valley and (then) Park West, and it hadn't been til the end that we'd hit Little Cottonwood, where we'd realized as you did that we should have just skied there the whole time, lol. 

 

We do have one (uncompromising) snowboarder in our group -- my 23-year old nephew.  There's no telling him anything, lol (we'd suggested he rent skis that day, just to stick with the group...).  We're going to drop him off at Snowbird on our Alta day, so he'll still get the LCC experience, but he'll have to do it alone. 

 

As an aside, for folks with children following this thread, Snowbasin has a pretty sweet deal we're going to wish all the other resorts had.  For $129, they have an all-day lessons/ski camp sort of thing, technically with other kids their age (but no more than 5 kids) that includes lessons, lunch, and the lift ticket itself (which would have been $50 alone).  So the 7 and 9 year olds (cousins) will be happily ensconced for the day exploring the mountain and improving their skiing while the dear old dads have at it!  We're hitting Snowbasin next Wednesday, so I wouldn't be surprised if it winds up being our two and the instructor to themselves for the entire day!  That benefit alone might call for a return trip to Snowbasin over Alta (or anywhere else) in the second half of our week.

post #14 of 27

Just got back from a weeks trip with our kids.  I wouldnt call us intermediates, but we do ski more Blue than Blacks.   Our kids are 9 and 12.

 

We skied, Canyons, Deer Valley, Powder Mountain, Solitude and Alta.

 

Some feedback.   

 

Out of the PCMR resorts, Deer Valley was brilliant.  Lots of nice cruiser Blues to ski and the kids LOVED the trees to the side.  I managed to get some steeper, bumped up stuff done and thoroughly enjoyed the lay out.  The food was great (and cheaper than I expected) and we even got to demo some great skis from the demo area (those S3's from Rossignol are AWESOME)  I cant highlight enough, the difference that skiing somewhere without Snowboarders makes (and I dont want this to become an Anti snowboarder post) but the groomed runs didnt have one area of scraped off hardpack in the whole day we skied there.

 

Alta was great, but there are LONG traverses.   You will find yourself polling a lot, especially on the intermediate sections.  Still, we loved it.  The trees were fun for the kids and there is lots for the intermediate to do.  Its also ALTA, so that counts for lots!

 

Solitude is another fun resort and I can thoroghly reccomend it.  Lots of good intermediate terrain and very quiet.

 

Snowbasin was gorgeous and laid out fantastically.  The kids loved the off the side groomer stuff and we enjoyed the option of high speed runs down well groomed blues or off-trail bumped up steeps  that were presented all over the mountain.

 

Powder mountain was my best ever days skiing.   We had a lot of snow over the weekend, yet it was the quietest resort we went to.  Its huge and there is a LOT for the intermediate.  IF you want your  first introduction to powder skiing, I would definitely go to PowMow.

post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 

Powder Mountain -- I hadn't really thought about Powder Mountain for this trip, but since I've never been there, there's that.   Question -- had there not been a fresh snowstorm you were able to take advantage of, how would it have compared to Snowbasin or Alta? 

post #16 of 27

I'm going to Powder  Saturday or Sunday to check it out.   There are  some great posts on it.  I've been there years ago,  and the only problem was slow lifts.  I wonder if that has changed.  Anyone out there?

post #17 of 27

Years  ago the lift  at Pow Mo  was pretty slow.  Any problems in that regard?

 

Thanks for the good reports--I'm headed there this weekend

post #18 of 27

Maybe I'll see you  at Snobbasin Wednesday.

 

I even skied Sundance  once.... I  love Utah snow .

post #19 of 27

Of  course,  I meant  Snowbasin,     Nothing  snobby about it!

post #20 of 27

LOL at Snobbasin!!!!

post #21 of 27

From what I've read about PowMow, taking a group with several kids is probably not worth it.  Not with Snowbasin as the obvious alternative in that area.  Kids will love the gondolas.  Everyone will like the views.

 

A big difference for Alta compared to 2001 is that the Collins lift replaced the two lifts (Germania & ?).  So can ride from the Wildcat base all the way to the top in one shot.  Pretty sure the Sugarloaf lift is faster than before but don't know when that happened.

 

Definitely should go find the Supreme lift at Alta with a bunch of intermediates.  Easy to split up and meet at the lift.  Several fun short blacks that meet back up with the blue groomers.  If conditions are good, Challenger is fun with adventurous intermediate kids.  That where the Level 6/7 ski school groups go.  They added conveyor loading for Supreme a couple seasons ago.  Makes it much easier for intermediates once you get used to the idea that you come to a stop as soon as your skis hit the rubber.

post #22 of 27
Thread Starter 

Great tips, Marznc.  To tell the truth, I never realized, looking at the trail maps, that Alta had updated the lifts (it's been a while!) -- looking forward to the changes.  I'll definitely point the kids toward Challenger.  Heh, all these little raptors have ever known are the Poconos in Pennsylvania -- they'll be catching flies with their gaping mouths when we drive up Little Cottonwood.

 

Snowalker, we're a definite for Snowbasin on Wednesday -- already have the lift tix.  Keep an eye out for a strikingly handsome dude in a green Marmot jacket with a walkie talkie hand mic on his lapel.  That'll be me (except for the strikingly handsome part -- I'm more like old and in the way).  If a 7-year old burns past you without any poles (also sporting a walkie hand mic on his lapel), you'll know you've found a representative from my crowd.


Edited by kitchener - 2/27/13 at 7:58pm
post #23 of 27

If you want to go exploring at Alta without kids, one option is to put them in the afternoon ski school while you do the Mountain Workshop for advanced adults.  The workshop is essentially a guided tour off-piste, with a few tips.  Not really a lesson.  They split into 2-3 groups by ability.

 

I first took my daughter out to Alta at age 7.  She learned in the southeast at Massanutten starting at age 4.  After a day of ski school she was bouncing in the the trees next to the blue trails looking for "baby powder."  Even though it was an late season trip, we arrived during a storm that dumped 14 inches of powder.  One reason she stayed off a snowboard is because we've done an annual spring break stay at Alta Lodge for the last several years.  She is totally spoiled when it comes to skiing.  biggrin.gif

post #24 of 27
Thread Starter 

Checking it out now -- is that the Alta "Off-Trail Workshop" for $65? 

 

"...totally spoiled when it comes to skiing..."   -- don't you know it!!   These ungrateful ingrates, lol.  I remember in 2004 (my 13 year old was 4) we were cued up at the Philadelphia airport check-in with a mountain of luggage and a stuffed ski bag, getting ready to fly out for a week at Fernie (via the airport in Calgary), and an old fellow walked up to me chuckling reverently, "I love to see it, young man, I love to see it!  But I have a saying...  'The family that skis together.... goes BROKE together!!'"  


Edited by kitchener - 2/28/13 at 9:55am
post #25 of 27

The Canyons keeps getting a bad rap, but it is well worth a day.  The hard part there is finding what you are after.  If you go use their mountain guides that are parked by the big maps around the mountains; finding the terrain you are looking for is a big part of the challenge there.  That place is so big there really is something for everybody, if you know where to find it; PCMR has the same kind of issue.  It does take a lot of snow for some of the stuff to open up at the Canyons though. 

 

If you are looking for something different to try in the evening, or your non skiers for an afternoon look at The Homestead over in Midway, Utah. Never been anywhere quite like it!  If you do, can also highly recommend the Spin Cafe in Heber City (highway 40 maybe 20 miles East of PC) it can help stretch the budget.    www.homesteadresort.com/utah-resort-activities/the-crater  

post #26 of 27
Thread Starter 

That's a great tip (the Crater)!   Something tells you two moms will  be headed that way some afternoon, and we might all head for it some evening.  Thanks.

post #27 of 27

Yep, that's the adult workshop I meant.  Quite a deal for 2.5 hours.  I learned about all sorts of little powder and tree runs in the lowest level group.  Think there were five of us.  We skied off Sugarloaf and Collins.  My ski buddy was in the middle group of 4-5 and skied off the High T.  There were only two guys in the expert group.  There wasn't much visibility that day, so without being with a guided group my ski buddy wouldn't have had a chance to check out that area.  It was his first day ever at Alta.  We did it the day after arrival.

 

My daughter also liked horseback riding early on.  I decided to spend money on ski school instead of weekly riding lessons.  wink.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchener View Post

Checking it out now -- is that the Alta "Off-Trail Workshop" for $65? 

 

"...totally spoiled when it comes to skiing..."   -- don't you know it!!   These ungrateful ingrates, lol.  I remember in 2004 (my 13 year old was 4) we were cued up at the Philadelphia airport check-in with a mountain of luggage and a stuffed ski bag, getting ready to fly out for a week at Fernie (via the airport in Calgary), and an old fellow walked up to me chuckling reverently, "I love to see it, young man, I love to see it!  But I have a saying...  'The family that skis together.... goes BROKE together!!'"  

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Resorts, Conditions & Travel