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Park City and BCC [early Feb, mixed abilities]

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

Considering heading to Park City area in early February for a Father/Son trip for 4 days.  The Dads are intermediate and lower advanced skiers and teenagers are mainly snowboard intermediate to lower advanced.  Been reading on many threads here and I'm leaning towards Park City with possible day trip to Solitude and/or Snowbasin.  Any recommendations on number of days at each place and what area to stay in?  Want to be near some après action - laid back bar and grill places mostly.  Probably won't want to use a car, seems like there are shuttles out of Park City we could use.  Park City costs more than staying down in Sandy but we're leaning towards Park City area if we find something reasonable.  Would love to explore some powder areas that are not crowded.  Only know what I've read here and on Powderhounds so fire away.  Thanks!

post #2 of 26

Welcome to EpicSki!  Where are you coming from?  If you don't want to mess with a car, then staying in Park City makes sense.  Do you mean 4 ski days, plus a couple travel days before and after?  Any particular reason you aren't interested in Brighton?

 

Might find some useful info here, although you won't have to worry about holiday crowds.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/122947/another-utah-thread-east-coast-intermediates

post #3 of 26

This advice has been given before, but for how much it will cost you to take a shuttle from SLC airport to PC, you can easily rent a car. Then you can stay anywhere in PC and drive to slopes whether in PC, Snowbasin or Cottonwoods. Not to mention driving to apres ski, grocery stores etc. As far as where to stay, my preference is Kimball Junction as it's cheaper and still close to everything if you have a car.  

post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 

Yes, we have 4 full days of skiing with a day before and after for travel. I am open to any of the LCC or BCC.  One guy that will be with us seems like he would be challenged at Snowbird.  He hasn't done alot of steeps. Seems lile Alta and Snowbird are fantastic from everything I've read, just wonder if Snowbird is out of our league.  He only skis small hills in Wisconsin.  On the 4th day he'll be gone so we can use that day to hit some steeper runs.  I thought that staying at PCMR would work for him.  I heard that the vertical is broken up into shorter segments.  If I'm on a blue or blue/black I'd rather have it be a nice long run.  And we have two teenagers who are on Snowboards.  All advice is welcome.

post #5 of 26

My gut reaction is to stick with PCMR as your base.  If you want to explore Solitude or Brighton and/or Snowbasin then get a AWD SUV big enough for everyone.  Do the teens like park?  Brighton has two and both may be open at night.  PCMR has one near the base that is lit at night.  A qualifying test is required to be allowed access.  Basic safety knowledge I think.

 

The thing about Snowbird blues is that the ones from the top of the tram are essentially narrow cat walks.  When I was an intermediate years ago, I got bored with the trails I was comfortable doing at Snowbird.  Solitude or Brighton would be more fun for an intermediate.  Personally I like Brighton better.  The reason you hear about Solitude from advanced/experts is that they like finding powder in Honeycomb Valley days after a storm.  Some people like the steep groomers at Solitude.

 

Have you found the Resorts or Unofficial Guides on EpicSki?  Can start from the menu bar near the top of the webpage.  The guide for Snowbird is very good.

 

http://www.epicski.com/a/snowbird-unofficial-guide

 

Perhaps @SnowbirdDevotee will pop in with his advice.  He is the EpicSki Ambassador for Snowbird.

post #6 of 26

In terms of off-hill entertainment, Park City offers much more than Sandy, so good choice there.

 

What kind of budget are you working with for lodging?  As suggested, Kimball Junction is a good value-minded area, however you'll be a few miles from Park City proper and the Park City ski areas. That's not to say Kimball doesn't offer some things to do, it's just not quite as fun as Park City. There are free buses that run between Kimball and all three Park City ski areas, however I find they usually run less frequently than I like. If it's in your budget, I would make an effort to stay in Park City. Otherwise, check out the Newpark Resort.

 

At the bottom end of the budget you'll find dorm beds at Chateau Apres. It's super close to PCMR, however it may feel like you're reliving your European backpacking days.

 

One step up is Peaks / Yarrow / Prospector hotels. A couple years ago I stayed at Prospector for $139/nt. They aren't within reasonable walking distance to any of the mountains, but they are a quick bus ride. Access to Old Town and all the restaurants in the area is easy.

 

One step up from that is a new hotel / bed and breakfast at the Deer Valley roundabout called the Torchlight Inn. The owners are good friends of mine. The rates are higher than the above mentioned options, however given the proximity to Main Street, the value is fantastic. It's across the street from the main transit center and about 400 yards from the town lift on Main Street. We (Park City Four Wheel Drive Rental) keep an SUV on site for their guests to use, should you decide to check out BCC or Snowbasin. Their rooms (and accompanying breakfast) cost about $350/nt.

 

As far as where to ski, I agree with marznc. PCMR sounds like it will fit your needs nicely. One of the best features of skiing in Utah is the ability to easily chase a storm to the West or North. If you base yourself at PCMR and a storm hits Park City, you are all set. If a storm dumps on Snowbasin, you can call a late night audible and head an hour north. If BCC or LCC gets a good lake effect dump, head over there to get the goods. Even if a bunch of snow falls in Jackson, you are only 4.5 hours away.

 

Considering everyone seems to be intermediate level skiers, any of the resorts in the area will offer a good balance of challenge and fun, so I would focus on snow quantity and quality first. If you do decide to explore areas outside Park City, shuttles are available for about $50-75 a seat (Canyon Hop and Canyon Transport come to mind). If there are 5 or less of you, consider getting an SUV from us for the day. The cost will be far less than the cost of a shuttle for a group, and you'll be free to ski on your own schedule. We are offering a deal to Epic users, so if you are interested give us a call and mention you found us here.

 

Have fun

post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 

Great info, thanks.  Been reading a bunch of threads on Park City and I'm 99% convinced to stay there as my base.  Recommendations on lifts and runs to find fun blue and blue/black runs without lift lines or crowds on the runs would be helpful.  We'll be there Feb 20 leaving on Feb 24.  Not sure of the crowds that weekend.  I read that Motherlode lift is not crowded.  I read Crescent lift has some of the longest vertical.  I heard King Con is good but crowded usually.  Comstock off of Pioneer is supposed to be a good run.  How is Sunrise off of McConkey's six pack?  Like the idea of longer runs so we'd like to know where the best vertical areas are.  A few people said that the vertical maxes out around 1000 feet from top of lift to bottom of a run.  And the best places for stashes of powder if we are lucky enough to have some storms.

 

Also, would love to get to Snowbasin or Solitude/Brighton the last day or two.  Is it better to relocate our base out of Park City the last night or two or is it easy to drive back to Park City? Can't wait to get out there. 


Edited by DMal - 11/26/13 at 3:02pm
post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMal View Post
 

Great info, thanks.  Been reading a bunch of threads on Park City and I'm 99% convinced to stay there as my base.  Recommendations on lifts and runs to find fun blue and blue/black runs without lift lines or crowds on the runs would be helpful.  We'll be there Feb 20 leaving on Feb 24.  Not sure of the crowds that weekend.  I read that Motherlode lift is not crowded.  I read Crescent lift has some of the longest vertical.  I heard King Con is good but crowded usually.  Comstock off of Pioneer is supposed to be a good run.  How is Sunrise off of McConkey's six pack?  Like the idea of longer runs so we'd like to know where the best vertical areas are.  A few people said that the vertical maxes out around 1000 feet from top of lift to bottom of a run.  And the best places for stashes of powder if we are lucky enough to have some storms.

 

Also, would love to get to Snowbasin or Solitude/Brighton the last day or two.  Is it better to relocate our base out of Park City the last night or two or is it easy to drive back to Park City? Can't wait to get out there. 

Keep it simple.  Stay in Park City the entire time and drive to other places if your interests and weather make it worth going elsewhere.

post #9 of 26

IMO, PC and Sandy/Midvale have a completely different feel. PC feels like a ski resort town. Downtown PC is lined with Victorian buildings with various shops and restaurants. Sandy/Midvale is probably the best value ski trip you can find but it's surburbia with lots of strip malls chain restaurants, car dealerships, etc. It's not a bad place to stay and there are lots of dining options, especially with a car, but it has no resort charm. And it can be pouring rain in the valley, though that means it's probably dumping snow at the ski areas. I've only been at Snowbird 1 day and it was probably not a fair assessment. It was a total white out day and while I couldn't see what I was skiing I knew it was pretty darn steep. I'm a considerably better skier now but IMO opinion it's a place for strong, adventurous intermediates and up. Alta and Solitude have good intermediate terrain but with boarders Alta is out. I've not skied there but I'd give Brighton a close look. I think it might be a good match. It's probably an hour drive from PC to the Cottonwoods Canyons if the roads are good. The boarders take Deer Valley out of play but we really like The Canyons. It's huge, and has lots of intermediate terrain. I know it gets mixed reviews but we've had a great time there whenever we've skied there. We've done the free tour there which we found both fun and very useful. It would keep you busy for 4+ days, but you should at least do a day or two at someplace in the Cottonwoods Canyons. We love the buffalo burgers at the No Name Saloon on main street. If you're staying down in the Valey and like Mexican I'd recommend trying to get to the Red Iguana. I also think if you're going to do this without a car I'd probably just focus on PCMR and The Canyons. 

post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMal View Post
 

Yes, we have 4 full days of skiing with a day before and after for travel. I am open to any of the LCC or BCC.  One guy that will be with us seems like he would be challenged at Snowbird.  He hasn't done alot of steeps. Seems lile Alta and Snowbird are fantastic from everything I've read, just wonder if Snowbird is out of our league.  He only skis small hills in Wisconsin.  On the 4th day he'll be gone so we can use that day to hit some steeper runs.  I thought that staying at PCMR would work for him.  I heard that the vertical is broken up into shorter segments.  If I'm on a blue or blue/black I'd rather have it be a nice long run.  And we have two teenagers who are on Snowboards.  All advice is welcome.

 What, like Rib Mountain? I'm an old cheesehead... Stay in PC, no doubt. Condos can be had for a bargain, do a search, I've scoped out several in years past and posted links, others have too. Maui Steve has good advice, although I prefer Old Town because it's all walkable and so quaint. PCMR has many long, gentle blues that are very wide- like 40 yards wide- that can be skied by a range of abilities. Stronger skiers just go faster... There are steeps too, as Jupiter Bowl is a mini Cottonwood. Bird is not really so good for Blues, they tend to be narrow and congested in my experience... it's really for the steeps and the wide open bowls.Alta's better that way, with an excellent beginner area and more choice in groomers, but still somewhat limited- but, coming from Dairyland, it'll blow your mind with the vastness.... I always thought the beauty of LCC was second to none except perhaps Sundance. I pretty much learned to ski on Solitude's blues- that's worth a try. Others have written extensively about Solitude- again, the scenery in both Big & Little Cottonwood will blow your head off. We havn't even touched on SnowBasin. Easy drive from Park City to the Cottonwoods and you have three resorts there at your door step. You need a week. Man up. Extend.

post #11 of 26

If long runs are a preference, definitely go to Snowbasin. There are 2 gondolas and 1 high speed quad which go about 2500 vert feet, Runs from top to bottom. Very nice. 

post #12 of 26

Here's my experience on both PC and LCC..

 

We stay in PC at the base of PCMR now and travel around to Snowbird a couple of times per stay. At the base of PCMR you can walk to the lifts, or take a bus if your out of walking distance, and ski there until 9pm on some runs. Even during the holiday season theres barely anyone one the slopes after 4pm. PC offers everything a small town does from a Walmart, grocery store, shopping outlets and etc. Snowbird is a beautiful place and worth the money just to be on the mountain. Your low-intermediate skier will struggle there and will need some direct guidance on runs to take and NOT to take. The trails criss-cross a lot at the lower part of the front side and if he's not careful he can drop off into a black run without expecting it. Ive helped people stuck on these runs and basically say "F.. this place, this sucks" just because they didn't expect to end up in that position.  If you don't know where the flat traverses are at Snowbird he will be walking on some of the runs to. Snowbird is best suited for intermediate+ skier with at least a little knowledge on how to navigate the mountain. At PCMR you don't have the drop-offs and the long runs have a beautiful view of Park City.

 

If you want the cottonwoods area and a good all around resort with terrain for everyone, Brighton is a good pick.  Snowbird is the best...if you know what your doing there.

post #13 of 26
Quote:

Originally Posted by ParkCity4WD View Post
 

At the bottom end of the budget you'll find dorm beds at Chateau Apres. It's super close to PCMR, however it may feel like you're reliving your European backpacking days.

 

 

$40 dorm rooms including continental breakfast--very tempting.

post #14 of 26

Not sure anyone asked this, but where have you skied before? It's good to have that knowledge in hand (especially when accessing if you'll want to go to Snowbird on that 4th day).

post #15 of 26

1) You can't go wrong using Park City as your base.  The only question now is the details.  Will you save money by staying in Kimball Junction and driving to the resorts?  Sure.  Is staying in Park City convenient and more expensive?  Sure.  Is a ski in-out property at the Canyons or Deer Valley the ultimate in luxury and convenience?  Sure. Will renting a timeshare be more expensive, but save you money when eating meals in it?  Sure.  So now it is a question of budget and preference.

 

2) If you are intermediates, you will have enough terrain between Canyons (4,000 skiable acres), Deer Valley (2,800 acres) and PCMR (3,700 acres) to last several weeks.  Don't forget, you are probably skiing resorts with around 200 skiable acres in Wisconsin.  It will take an intermediate several days to ski everything at Canyons...or PCMR. 

 

3) Don't forget to see the Olympic Park and Alf Engen Museum (they are in the same place).  Both are well worth a visit.  If you have the $, take a bobsled run.

 

4) Going to BCC or LCC would be fun for a day or two.  Will the skiing be any better?  Probably not.  It does snow more there due to the lake effect, but you guys (as intermediates) aren't going for every extra inch of extra powder you can find.  The scenery is wonderful.  Snowbird would be my choice, but others will obviously disagree.

 

5) I would ski all three PC resorts, giving you claim to skiing 3 "Top Ten" resorts in a single trip.  Wow.

 

6) Give us a "trip report" of your experience...with photos.  What goes around comes around, and you will be helping others.

 

7)  I may see you there!


Edited by quant2325 - 12/5/13 at 8:09am
post #16 of 26

Given stated ability level, yes you should stay in Park City.  I would not worry much about crowd levels.  These areas have the same acreage as Summit County Colorado and half the skier visits.

 

Quote:
Is it better to relocate our base out of Park City the last night or two or is it easy to drive back to Park City? Can't wait to get out there.   

No.  This is just one more reason you should rent a car.  Shuttles to/from the airport may be OK, but to other ski areas much more tedious than driving yourself.

Quote:
 It does snow more there due to the lake effect 

Lake effect is estimated by meteorologists to account for about 5% of Cottonwood Canyon snow.  Those areas are on the front side of the Wasatch vs. the back, at higher altitude and in box canyons that trap storms.  The difference in snowfall is massive vs. the Park City group, but not particularly relevant to intermediate skiers coming during the prime part of the season.

 

Snowbird is my favorite mountain but it's a poor choice for low intermediates.

Quote:
2) If you are intermediates, you will have enough terrain between Canyons (4,000 skiable acres), Deer Valley (2,800 acres) and PCMR (3,700 acres) to last several weeks.  Don't forget, you are probably skiing resorts with around 200 skiable acres in Wisconsin.  It will take an intermediate several days to ski everything at Canyons...or PCMR.  

Very true.  I agree with Maui Steve that if you want to go somewhere else, Snowbasin is your most attractive choice. Long runs, definitely some steep challenge for those wanting to push themselves, but many long groomers that will be within everyone's comfort zone.

 

If you get unlucky with a long dry spell and have a lot of melt/frozen snow at the Park City areas, that is the situation where you should try the Cottonwoods.  For your group that means Solitude first choice or Brighton second choice.  Alta is out with 2 snowboarders and Snowbird as noted is not terrain friendly for your group.  Having the car allows flexibility in situations like this.

post #17 of 26

There is some very good advice in the last couple of posts. I particularly agree with the first point of using Park City as your base. Everything is a give and take concerning budget and convenience. Tony Crocker's advice on where to ski and/or travel to ski is pretty spot on - Snowbasin is a good choice, especially if the snow isn't thrilling in Park City. Likewise with the situation that should send you over to the Cottonwoods.

 

Since you are coming all the way out here, I would splurge and enjoy the convenience and fun of staying in Park City proper. However, don't rent a car at the airport. Ideally you'll see a good snowstorm while you are here and you'll be able to use the bus to enjoy the 3 local resorts with plenty of terrain and variety. If for some reason the snow isn't up to par, or you just feel like taking a field trip, rent a car for only the day(s) you need it. That way you won't be paying for a rental car that just sits in the garage of your hotel.

post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 

You guys have helped a ton, now let's pray for great snow.  We are booked for 4 days in Park City at the end of February.  Govnor asked where we skied before.  Out west we have been to Winter Park/Mary Jane a bunch of times (extended family loves it there so we go often).  When we are there my favorite is the Parsenn Bowl (when its open which is not always the case); also I like the long runs Mary Jane and Sleeper.  My son and I went to Beaver Creek for a day a few years ago and went down the Birds of Prey run, it was scary fun but a day that we will never forget.  It seemed like the other main runs were very wide and kind of crowded, some of the smaller, steep runs were more isolated.  Don't remember much more than the Birds of Prey run from that day.  Saying all this , the guys coming with me are Wisconsin/U.P. skiers.  I've been with them from Alpine Valley to Tyrol Basin to Brule and Powderhorn.  I'd like to ease them into some excitement without freaking them out.  They have never experienced the scenery and long runs that are out west.  Anyway, I'd say I'm an advanced intermediate with a screw loose once in awhile - just don't want to get on a run where I'm looking down a cliff with no way out.  Thanks again for the advice!  We found a condo in South old Park City so it should be a blast.  When we are done with the trip we'll have some pictures and stories to tell.

post #19 of 26

You'll have a great time! Enjoy!

post #20 of 26

I am sure you will have good snow as I am going there in the beginning of the month and it never snows whenever I go on a ski trip!  It always dumps afterwards.

post #21 of 26

Old Town South is a great location. You'll be right in the mix and likely within walking distance to Main Street. 

 

Have fun!

post #22 of 26
Quote:
That way you won't be paying for a rental car that just sits in the garage of your hotel. 

4 round trip shuttles from SLC airport will cost the same as 3-4 days of the car rental.

post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtebor View Post

I am sure you will have good snow as I am going there in the beginning of the month and it never snows whenever I go on a ski trip!  It always dumps afterwards.

 



In that case, can you do me a favor and take a red eye tonight, and then leave on Friday? Much appreciated! smile.gif It looks like while I'm out there next week, my home state could get hammered! So, the state of WA can thank me for that...
post #24 of 26
Thread Starter 

I'm back.  Thanks again for the tips, its been a huge help.  We are finalizing a few details on our trip, 2/21-2/25.  Will stay in Park City (Old Town South).  We heard Utah Ski and Golf is a good option for rental.  Also, looks like they have good discounts on lift tickets if we buy them  at the store in Salt Lake City.  Any feedback would be appreciated on those two thoughts.  Also, if any of the locals want to steer us towards some good, down to earth places to grab some good grub and/or a few beers in the Old Town South area or anywhere in town that's convenient to walking or the bus that would be great.  Thanks again.

post #25 of 26

In terms of eats and drinks in Park City proper, try some of these places if you want to avoid breaking the bank:

 

Reasonable Eats:

 

Prospector Neighborhood (Easy bus ride, 20 min walk)

  • Sammy's Bistro
  • Grub Steak (only the all you can eat salad bar + mushroom soup - $11)
  • El Chubasco

 

Main Street

  • Backdoor Deli (Technically Swede Alley)
  • Flannigans Irish Pub
  • Blue Iguana (nowhere near as good as Red Iguana in SLC)
  • Eating Establishment (Best breakfast on Main Street, hands down)

 

Reasonable Drink:

 

Main Street

  • Bistro 412 Upstairs

  • No Name Saloon

  • Flannigans

 

Prospector

  • The Boneyard (new spot behind Blind Dog. Owned by the same guy as No Name Saloon)

  • Sammy's Bistro

post #26 of 26

We just ate at Fuego Bistro in the prospector square area, and a Thai place right next to Sports Authority.  

 

Anyone try Chumayo in old town? Ive been meaning to eat there the last two years but haven't yet. I heard its good too.

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