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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Utah in January: what would you choose, Powder Mountain/Snowbasin, or Solitude/Brighton?
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Utah in January: what would you choose, Powder Mountain/Snowbasin, or Solitude/Brighton?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Any considered insights gratefully received.

 

We're starting with a week in Jackson Hole and finishing with a week at Alta/Snowbird, but we have to make a decision on the middle week. Last time we visited Utah (Jan 2012) we skied at Snowbasin and Solitude, but not Powder Mountain (not enough snow to bother) and barely at Brighton, due to our child having lessons at Solitude. We're really keen to ski Pow Mow in better conditions (I doubt they could be worse than mid-January last year) and like the idea of exploring there, maybe with some catskiing as well, but also really liked Solitude (can definitely see the potential eg in places like Honeycomb Canyon etc, when there's new snow). We're not planning to fly all the way from NZ to ski only groomers, though if that's all there is, so be it.

 

Because of the Jackson Hole component this year, we only want to pick one in-between area -- not really big fans of just a day here and there at different places. We like to dig in for a bit and get to know an area. We'd stay on-mountain at Solitude, but somewhere in Eden, most likely, if we picked the other two. So far, points in favour of Eden: getting to ski at Powder Mountain and cheaper accommodation. And we enjoyed Snowbasin despite its limited terrain due to lack of snow. Against Eden: having to drive and cost of car rental. For Big Cottonwood Canyon: ski-in, ski-out/doing away with rental car. Loved Solitude, wouldn't mind revisiting Brighton too. Against: accommodation more expensive.

 

January is non-negotiable: that's the only time of year we can take a long holiday; as is Jackson Hole, because we haven't been before. Alta is also a certainty because we stayed at the Peruvian last time and loved it so much we can't not do it again, even if it means living on instant noodles for the preceding fortnight to be able to afford it. We have kids, one grown-up and one not so much, but they'll be happy with anything (as they should be!).

post #2 of 10

Completely understand wanting to stay at a lodge in Alta.  Been doing that at Alta Lodge in April for several years.  Completely spoiled. smile.gif

 

As for a week between JH and Alta, exactly which week in Jan?  Jan. 18-20 is a national holiday weekend.  In that case, being away from SLC makes more sense.

 

The ownership of PowMow changed in early 2013.  Hard to say exactly what will change in the coming years.  So if you want to do the cat and experience PowMow as it's been for while, then pick Eden.  The Moose Hollow condos are the nicest.  Lots of options on VRBO.  PM me if you want specific suggestions.  I'm meeting up with friends in Eden the last week of Jan so did research on lodging options recently. 

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Yes, was looking at VRBO/Moose Hollow. We're now considering doing the Jackson Hole part of the trip second, so the Eden vs BCC option would be our first ski/stay, probably around Jan 5-10. Is Jan 18-20 MLK weekend? We were in either Solitude or Alta for that weekend last time we were there -- can't say I noticed any increase in numbers on the skifield. 

post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtle View Post

Yes, was looking at VRBO/Moose Hollow. We're now considering doing the Jackson Hole part of the trip second, so the Eden vs BCC option would be our first ski/stay, probably around Jan 5-10. Is Jan 18-20 MLK weekend? We were in either Solitude or Alta for that weekend last time we were there -- can't say I noticed any increase in numbers on the skifield. 

Yes, that's MLK weekend.  Solitude never gets too crowded.  For Alta, I think it may depend on snow conditions.  Many locals don't bother to drive up the mountain if there isn't fresh powder.  The holiday weekend in Feb tends to be more popular.  Fewer people are ready for a ski vacation in Jan so soon after the Christmas holidays.

 

Personally, I think I would prefer Eden over BCC as a place to get over jet lag and getting ready for JH.  Definitely more scenic, assuming there is good visibility.  If no visibility, that's means it's snowing so that's good in another way.

post #5 of 10

Eden is about an hour closer to JH than BCC.

post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post

Eden is about an hour closer to JH than BCC.

Which route is better?  I'll be with friends driving to Eden from JH in late Jan.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post

Eden is about an hour closer to JH than BCC.
That's certainly something to consider.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

Which route is better?  I'll be with friends driving to Eden from JH in late Jan.
Was going to ask that too. The most direct route is probably best, but it's always nice to have scenic/historical/cultural options when you're a tourist in someone else's country.
post #9 of 10

Won't you already have a car either way?

 

Last year, UTA ran shuttles from Ogden to Powder and to Snowbasin. It was because of road work in Ogden Canyon that seems like it will never be done, so I'm not sure if they plan on doing it this winter, but it could be an option. I'm not sure of all the stops, but I'd imagine that it stopped in Eden/Huntsville at some of the lodging. Or you could stay in Ogden. 

 

Snowbasin/Powder >>>> Solitude/Brighton. It's not even really close, imo, but I guess I'm a little biased having been to SB/Pow Mow way more (including a lot of great powder days). Just compare the mountain stats if you have any question. 

 

That early in the season, though, it's hard to say because it doesn't always snow very much. You might be better off staying down in the CCs., which have a better chance of early snow and deeper snowpack.

 

So the moral of that very conflicting advice - It might not be possible, but I'd wait until last minute and see what the conditions are like. Your trip is well-timed because it's right after the holidays when business drops off, so it shouldn't be hard to find a room somewhere. 

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Snowbasin/Powder >>>> Solitude/Brighton.

True for terrain quality, but certainly not for snowfall or snow preservation if it's been dry for awhile.  Thus this is the correct advice:

Quote:
So the moral of that very conflicting advice - It might not be possible, but I'd wait until last minute and see what the conditions are like. Your trip is well-timed because it's right after the holidays when business drops off, so it shouldn't be hard to find a room somewhere.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Utah in January: what would you choose, Powder Mountain/Snowbasin, or Solitude/Brighton?