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Pre-Planning Utah Trip - Some Q's

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I'm strongly considering booking a trip to Utah during the first week in March. I have a couple of questions before I do.

I plan to rent a car and stay in Sandy, however, the day I want to travel, all flights get in late (around 11pm). Do the rental car companies at the airport stay open late? I would hate to get there and not be able to get the car.

Also, ideally I plan to ski Alta for 2 days and Snowbird for 2 days but based on my research it seems like LCC may not be a good idea right after a storm because 1) can't compete with the locals for powder and 2) the area may be closed off to cars without chains. I'm open to altering my plans if need be. That said, if I can ski Alta/Snowbird I would like to not pay full price for lift tix and want to get them online through the resorts or Liftopia. Snowbird has a pretty good deal that includes lunch as well. How do I take advantage of cheaper lift tix to Alta/Bird and not box myself into those resorts if for some reason I have to change plans?

Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by hespeler View Post

I'm strongly considering booking a trip to Utah during the first week in March. I have a couple of questions before I do.

I plan to rent a car and stay in Sandy, however, the day I want to travel, all flights get in late (around 11pm). Do the rental car companies at the airport stay open late? I would hate to get there and not be able to get the car.

Also, ideally I plan to ski Alta for 2 days and Snowbird for 2 days but based on my research it seems like LCC may not be a good idea right after a storm because 1) can't compete with the locals for powder and 2) the area may be closed off to cars without chains. I'm open to altering my plans if need be. That said, if I can ski Alta/Snowbird I would like to not pay full price for lift tix and want to get them online through the resorts or Liftopia. Snowbird has a pretty good deal that includes lunch as well. How do I take advantage of cheaper lift tix to Alta/Bird and not box myself into those resorts if for some reason I have to change plans?

Thanks in advance.

1) not sure about that, but my experience is that rental car in airports are open as long as there are flights and the airport is operating. 11PM is not that late like in the middle of the night at 2AM. But don't late to find the care when you get there. Get the car rental ahead and let them know the time you are arriving so you can have a specific car that won't get you stopped at LCC road.

 

2) it's not hard to find a 4x4 with snow tires to rent, look at parkcity4x4 which is a partner here at epicski, all the cars have 4x4 and snow tires, you would be good to go on LCC road. No need for chains.

 

3) Take a look at http://www.visitsaltlake.com/ski/superpass/ for lift tickets. You can use it on LCC and BCC resorts (alta, bird, solitude and brigthon)

post #3 of 27

Ski shops in SLC have discounted tickets. Rent car places mostly stay open until midnight. There are a couple who stay open later. I've had to research that before as I've gotten in around midnight before.

post #4 of 27

There is a ski shop at the bottom of the LCC road that sells discounted lift tickets? I do not remember the name of the shop.

post #5 of 27
The most flexible option for the Cottonwood Canyons is to buy your ticket the day of at The Lift House ski shop at the bottom of BCC. You may pay a dollar or two more than Liftopia's best tiered price, but you don't have to pull the trigger until you want to. There can be up to a 5 min line and I have encountered a sold out situation for Snowbird a couple of times, but never both Snowbird and Alta. I've never stayed in Sandy, but I understand that some of the hotels/motels also have discounted tickets.
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by NSskier View Post
 

There is a ski shop at the bottom of the LCC road that sells discounted lift tickets? I do not remember the name of the shop.


If you are talking about the Lift House, it is at the entrance to BCC. They do sell discount tickets.

 

There is a Ski 'N See shop on 9400 close to the entrance to LCC that does rentals and discount passes. It is in the Smiths Supermarket shopping center about 2000 East.

post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbgarrett View Post
 


If you are talking about the Lift House, it is at the entrance to BCC. They do sell discount tickets.

 

There is a Ski 'N See shop on 9400 close to the entrance to LCC that does rentals and discount passes. It is in the Smiths Supermarket shopping center about 2000 East.

 

Lift House sounds right. My mistake on the incorrect Canyon Road. We found it to be pretty convenient especially when we were deciding where we were going to ski that day.

post #8 of 27
Good to know about Ski n See in Smith's. I'll make note of that. I go up to PC each year with some friends with a timeshare and we usually try to plan our week ahead of time and buy tickets at the Ski n See at 102 West 500 South on our way up from the airport.
post #9 of 27
For the car. The online booking should be smart enough to give you an error as long as you enter your pickup time correctly. Call to confirm if you are concerned.

Dont worry about powder. There is so much terrain and powder days that they are spoiled. There is enough to go around, and even the scraps that the locals dont bother skiing, are still really good for a guest
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post

For the car. The online booking should be smart enough to give you an error as long as you enter your pickup time correctly. Call to confirm if you are concerned.

Dont worry about powder. There is so much terrain and powder days that they are spoiled. There is enough to go around, and even the scraps that the locals dont bother skiing, are still really good for a guest

I have to agree.  We have been finding some nice powder in the trees days after the storm.  

post #11 of 27
Quote:
based on my research it seems like LCC may not be a good idea right after a storm because

Good God NO!

It might be a bad idea if you have to wait at the bottom in a lineup until the road opens up at 10am, but that is not likely, how likely, i'm not the one to guess, but  I'll say 1 in 20, 1.5 days per month?

Solitude & Brighton are good mountains, and well worth a visit, but they don't have the terrain that AB have.  You might find a few nice powder line shots, but you could find the same or better at AB if you looked.  (hint: follow the tracks off the beaten path)

Park City resorts are worth skiing, but they will get less snow and again, it just isn't the same if you want to maximize your time on steep, challenging and varied terrain.

post #12 of 27

We stayed here.  They had a very reasonable ski package with lift tickets, free breakfast, it was NEXT to TRAX for cheap easy downtown train runs for restaurants. 

Most important it was next to first bus station where the bus to Snowbird and Alta start.  We were guaranteed a seat on the bus in the morning as opposed to standing up on the bus.

We rented a car from Hertz when we arrived at the airport and then returned it the next day an easy walk from this Days Inn hotel.  From their we took the bus to the ski areas. 

To get back to the airport we took the TRAX train downtown and then transferred to a bus to the airport.

Days Inn Salt Lake City South

7251 Cottonwood Street
Midvale, UT 84047

(801) 566-6677

 

Oh yeah next to the Days Inn is this HUGE store http://www.sportsmanswarehouse.com/ .  Check it out.  I found the ELK jerky here was very good.

post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 

Great info everyone, thanks.  I suspected that the scraps of powder at Alta/Bird would be like heaven for this Noo Yawker.  I've been dreaming about skiing Alta/Bird for a long time now and figured I'd give myself a 40th bday present in March.  I have no problem going in the trees to find powder and since I have 4 days of skiing I'm sure I'll find some.

 

Well then I guess the best option is to book the flight and hotel and get the lift tix somewhere local at the foot of LCC.  Hopefully, there will only be a line for tix on Sunday because the rest of the time I'll be there during the week.

 

I planned on renting an economy car to keep costs down but I think I'll go with the 4X4 just in case.

post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hespeler View Post
 

Great info everyone, thanks.  I suspected that the scraps of powder at Alta/Bird would be like heaven for this Noo Yawker.  I've been dreaming about skiing Alta/Bird for a long time now and figured I'd give myself a 40th bday present in March.  I have no problem going in the trees to find powder and since I have 4 days of skiing I'm sure I'll find some.

 

Well then I guess the best option is to book the flight and hotel and get the lift tix somewhere local at the foot of LCC.  Hopefully, there will only be a line for tix on Sunday because the rest of the time I'll be there during the week.

 

I planned on renting an economy car to keep costs down but I think I'll go with the 4X4 just in case.

 

Or maybe the Superpass...

post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by hespeler View Post
 

Great info everyone, thanks.  I suspected that the scraps of powder at Alta/Bird would be like heaven for this Noo Yawker.  I've been dreaming about skiing Alta/Bird for a long time now and figured I'd give myself a 40th bday present in March.  I have no problem going in the trees to find powder and since I have 4 days of skiing I'm sure I'll find some.

 

Well then I guess the best option is to book the flight and hotel and get the lift tix somewhere local at the foot of LCC.  Hopefully, there will only be a line for tix on Sunday because the rest of the time I'll be there during the week.

 

I planned on renting an economy car to keep costs down but I think I'll go with the 4X4 just in case.

Consider reserving a 4x4 that you can cancel without penalty.  Then make a decision a couple days before you arrive.  Remember you can always park in a Park&Ride lot and ride the ski bus if you don't want to drive up the canyon due to snow.  The bus get priority when there are road closures.  Best to park in a lot farther away if you want to be sure to get on.

post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowbirdDevotee View Post
 

Good God NO!

It might be a bad idea if you have to wait at the bottom in a lineup until the road opens up at 10am, but that is not likely, how likely, i'm not the one to guess, but  I'll say 1 in 20, 1.5 days per month?

Solitude & Brighton are good mountains, and well worth a visit, but they don't have the terrain that AB have.  You might find a few nice powder line shots, but you could find the same or better at AB if you looked.  (hint: follow the tracks off the beaten path)

Park City resorts are worth skiing, but they will get less snow and again, it just isn't the same if you want to maximize your time on steep, challenging and varied terrain.

Very dubious advice unless you already know AltaBird very well - which I guess you don't.  First, I've skied fresh lines at Solitude for days after a dump and while AB is completely tracked out (still great snow, just not untracked).  Secondly, be VERY careful just following tracks unless you are a seriously badass, ski-anything skier and can handle whatever it leads to.  There are lots of tracks off into the woods.  Guess what?  Many of the lead to cliff drops that people want to huck, or crazy no-fall traverses into couloirs, yada yada.  Many don't, but many do. Last winter I was skiing with a kind of "advanced" skier buddy who insisted on going after every track he saw into the woods. I told him it was a pretty stupid move unless he knew where it went.  I'm a much stronger skier than he was, so I wasn't very troubled.  But he kept getting his ass kicked and was lucky he didn't get hurt.
 

post #17 of 27
Airport rental car is 24/7 open I think
post #18 of 27

I have skied 2 mid week days at Snowbird, the first being a knee deep day and I had no trouble finding untracked turns until I made the mistake of going to the tram around 10:30. By the time I got through the 3 or 4 car wait and off loaded on the mountain top most of the runs were pretty much cut up. But I did get 1.5 hours and it could have been more, of great powder skiing.

 

While I did find some friendly locals at Snowbird, I also have never been cut off by other skiers as often as at SB, especially when approaching the tram.

post #19 of 27

slc has really good public transportation. At the base of both little and big cottonwood canyons there are park and ride lots and a bus comes about every 30 minutes right on schedule . I skied alta, sb, deer valley and solitude. It was strange but snowbird and solitude were scraped off quick and sb was crowded. Alta was amazing and i just picked deer valley out of a hat for something different and it was really good all the way to 4 oclock.

post #20 of 27

I am visiting SLC for the second time and will just hire a conventional 2 wd car. If it is a chain day in LCC/BCC then I will park it and take the bus up.

 

N.B. It is not clear to me if you have to pay if you have already purchased a day ticket. I did not pay but it was a busy day and the driver was harassed! I do think that the free ride up only applies on multiday passes.

post #21 of 27
Can't beat DV. I would rather ski perfect groomers with the chance of having some accumulation on top, than a tracked out resort. Of course you can't beat skiing. You will have fun where ever.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jbird1991 View Post

Can't beat DV. I would rather ski perfect groomers with the chance of having some accumulation on top, than a tracked out resort. Of course you can't beat skiing. You will have fun where ever.

Do not forget that DV has the Daly Bowl/Chutes. 

Fairly serious pucker factor for those who are are so inclined when staring down 40 degree-plus terrain that funnels to very narrow passages right at the bottom, like a parting gift.

D1

post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by deliberate1 View Post
 

Do not forget that DV has the Daly Bowl/Chutes.

 that place is cool, it was not crowded on a powder day :)

post #24 of 27
Deer Valley is my favorite UT resort. Some of the best days I've ever had there. Although I'm not an expert skier by any means so it works well. I only ski blacks at the most.
post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 

Good info everyone thanks.  I'll look into reserving a 4X4 I can cancel and also consider an economy car and park and ride if necessary.  Also, I'll be by myself so I'll be more reserved than usual and will only look for short gladed areas that I can see an end to.  I would love but don't need knee deep powder.  Tracked out Alta/Bird is going to be sooo much better than the scraped off hardpack I'm used to.  I'll just ski the chop created by the tracked out and be smiling from ear to ear.

post #26 of 27

always be friendly on the chair lifts, you never know if you'll find a local single or someone else who won't mind the company can show you around, or you can at least join together for a run or two  :)

post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 
That happened to me at Killington last year. Lol. We never uhh you know but she still keeps in touch to let me know when she'll be at Killington.
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