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SLC March 5-9 (first time in Utah) Need recommendations! [have Epic pass for Canyons & PCMR]

post #1 of 86
Thread Starter 

Hey folks!

 

I'm a long time lurker and occasional poster on Epic. I have been going to Colorado 2-3 times per season, which I am also going to do this winter, but additionally I am planning a trip with a buddy to SLC March 5-9 and flying in from Metro Detroit on Southwest. We will be arriving Thursday the 5th on the last flight, so probably around 8pm or so. We leave on Monday the 9th on the last flight out, to allow for skiing the last day.

 

Neither of us have ever been to Utah. I have the Epic Local pass, so with that in mind we will be skiing Canyons and Park City. If time/budget allows, we would also like to hit up Snowbird one day. 

 

Can you all offer some insight on the area? I'm used to the Denver gig where you're pretty much required to get a rental car and drive 2 hours. Do we need a rental car or will there be free/cheap/affordable transportation to Park City and Canyons (and Snowbird for that matter)? If we do have some form of transportation from the airport, will we need it once we reach our destination, or can we get around town on some form of public transport?

 

How about lodging? What's the skinny on affordable lodging for two dudes? Obviously ski-in/out would be cool, but it's really not a deal breaker since we're not skiing the same place every day. We are used to using AirBNB and staying in Frisco or Silverthorne when we go to CO--is that the best option in SLC? Or should we even stay in SLC? I'm totally clueless here...

 

Thanks in advance for any advice!

post #2 of 86
Thread Starter 

To add to my prior post, after looking around AirBNB it seems very cheap (nightly rate). Am I missing something, or is it common to find a condo/apt on AirBNB during prime ski season for less than $100 a night!?

post #3 of 86

Stay in somewhere like Studio/Motel 6 and use the savings to rent a car. That is what I do. I will be there in Feb 2015 [ again! ]

 

However it is quite feasible to use the buses inside Park City which are free with a pass. Resort shuttle service gets you there see http://www.allresort.com/van.aspx

 

In  SLC you can  get about on buses and get to the BCC LCC resorts.

post #4 of 86

First time trip to SLC?  Four days?  I'd recommend a day each in Little Cottonwood Canyon (Alta or Snowbird) and Big Cottonwood Canyon (Solitude or Brighton).  A day in Park City. And a day at Snowbasin.This will give you the lay of the land and allow you to plan your next trip.  Because you will almost certainly want to come back.

 

This itinerary means renting a car, but cars are not all that expensive.  You don't need an SUV - the roads to Snowbasin and PC stay pretty clear, and if it dumps you can park at the bottom of LCC or BCC and take the bus up to the lifts.

 

I suppose you could just take an airport shuttle to PC and  once there get by on the local buses, but it would be a real shame to go to all that way and only ski the Park City resorts. I suppose if you like the touristy ski resort vibe this might be for you (think Vail) but the better skiing is at Snowbasin and the Cottonwood canyons.

 

For accommodations, I rent a condo from Wasatch Front Ski Accomodations   - not too pricy and since they are located near the entrances to BCC/LCC it's a 20-30 minute drive to any of those four resorts, about 45 minutes to PC, and an hour and change to Snowbasin. 

 

If you are looking for cheaper, they way overbuilt for the Olympics about ten years ago so there's a glut of motel rooms around the city. The Sandy/Midvale area is most convenient to LCC/BCC, but anywhere near any of the beltways will mean you are 30-40 minutes from the lifts.  Then there's this place - stay in the dorm for $45/night, walk to the lift, ski PCMR and the Crayons on your Epic pass, and save loads of $$$.

post #5 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by TQA View Post
In  SLC you can  get about on buses and get to the BCC LCC resorts.

In theory, yes.  In practice it means spending well over an hour on the bus, depending on where you stay.  Unless your idea of a great ski vacation is spending three hours a day on a bus, I'd either rent a car or park yourself at one of the resorts on a shuttle route.

 

Quick overview of how the ski shuttles & slopeside rooms work at the various resorts:

 

  • Alta/Snowbird - stay slopeside at either and the other is an easy shuttle ride.  Solitude/Brighton can be reached via bus, but it takes an hour or so.
     
  • Solitude/Brighton - same deal as Alta/bird.  Not much going on in either canyon once the lifts close, so if you're looking for resorty apres-ski, stay in town or in PC
     
  • Park City - PC has an extensive shuttle system that allows you to hit PCMR, The Crayons, or Deer Valet.  I've heard of excursion shuttles to Alta/Bird from PC, but not sure of the status. As I said above, it would be a shame to go to Utah and spend all your time in PC.
     
  • Snowbasin  has no slopeside lodging.  Great ski area and day lodge, but you have to go home at the end of the day.
     
  • Sundance - quaint, small, out of the way resort with slopeside accommodations.  I like Sundance, but wouldn't recommend it to a Utah 1st timer.  If you stay there, you're a long way from any of the other resorts.
     
  • Powder mountain - don't know, haven't been yet.
     
  • Wolf Mountain/Wolf Creek or whatever they are calling it - nothing slopeside that I recall, and one of the most eminently skippable ski areas around.
     
  • Beaver Mountain - don't know, haven't been.  I think this is one of those hills you hit on your tenth trip to SLC to say you've been there. Maybe in a couple years.
post #6 of 86
Thread Starter 

This is perfect! I appreciate all the comments so far! I'm now determined to make sure we don't just stay in PC the whole time. It sounds like a rental car is the way to go, too. I don't like sitting on buses and dragging my skis everywhere around town.

post #7 of 86
Stay in a motel in SLC and rent a car.

If the weather is decent to good, drive to snow basin. Long runs and sweet gondolas.

Alta would be #2 on my list. Then snowbird or solitude

If it happens to be warm , stick to alta and snowbird and maybe solitude. Your free ticket resorts won't fare as well if it's warm.
post #8 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by macvangelist View Post
 

Hey folks!

 

I'm a long time lurker and occasional poster on Epic. I have been going to Colorado 2-3 times per season, which I am also going to do this winter, but additionally I am planning a trip with a buddy to SLC March 5-9 and flying in from Metro Detroit on Southwest. We will be arriving Thursday the 5th on the last flight, so probably around 8pm or so. We leave on Monday the 9th on the last flight out, to allow for skiing the last day.

 

Neither of us have ever been to Utah. I have the Epic Local pass, so with that in mind we will be skiing Canyons and Park City. If time/budget allows, we would also like to hit up Snowbird one day. 

 

Can you all offer some insight on the area? I'm used to the Denver gig where you're pretty much required to get a rental car and drive 2 hours. Do we need a rental car or will there be free/cheap/affordable transportation to Park City and Canyons (and Snowbird for that matter)? If we do have some form of transportation from the airport, will we need it once we reach our destination, or can we get around town on some form of public transport?

 

How about lodging? What's the skinny on affordable lodging for two dudes? Obviously ski-in/out would be cool, but it's really not a deal breaker since we're not skiing the same place every day. We are used to using AirBNB and staying in Frisco or Silverthorne when we go to CO--is that the best option in SLC? Or should we even stay in SLC? I'm totally clueless here...

 

Thanks in advance for any advice!


Use the link for SLC Travel to see a list of relevant threads (on right hand column under Topics Discussed).  Then come back with more specific questions for your trip.  Getting to slopes from Denver is very different than SLC.  When flying out of SLC, quite possible with a rental car to ski until 2:30 in LCC, BCC, or around Park City and then head to the airport for a late afternoon flight.  Cheapest approach for a trip to LCC is to use public transport (TRAX, bus) and stay in a cheap motel in Sandy/Midvale near a bus stop like the La Quinta.  But if you are determined to make use of the Epic Pass, that's another story.

post #9 of 86
Lots of fun scenarios and Walt's posts are loaded with good info, but...if you want to capitalize on your Epic pass I'd consider three or four days at Canyons/PC. Early March should still be very prime conditions there. That way you could stay in/near nice town of PC for après ski. Lots of affordable condos on free bus line once there. Since there are two of you an economy car rental would be cost effective over bus/shuttle to get from airport to PC and elsewhere. Snowbird is awesome with an alpine feel and since you're curious and have rental car you could splurge and easily day-trip it from PC when roads look clear.
post #10 of 86

I have heeded the advice given in this thread as I am planning my first trip to SLC in January.  I am staying downtown and am currently planning to ski 5 days at 5 different places to get a feel for everything that the SLC resorts have to offer: (1) Alta/Bird, (2) Snowbasin, (3) Deer Valley, (4) Solitude and (5) ???? (either Park City or a return to one of the others).  I am also holding out hope that I may get a half-day in on day of arrival which I think would best be spent at Brighton.  I've skied all over Colorado and am thrilled to finally be making a trip to Utah.

post #11 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post

Lots of fun scenarios and Walt's posts are loaded with good info, but...if you want to capitalize on your Epic pass I'd consider three or four days at Canyons/PC. Early March should still be very prime conditions there. That way you could stay in/near nice town of PC for après ski. Lots of affordable condos on free bus line once there. Since there are two of you an economy car rental would be cost effective over bus/shuttle to get from airport to PC and elsewhere. Snowbird is awesome with an alpine feel and since you're curious and have rental car you could splurge and easily day-trip it from PC when roads look clear.

 

This is what I was initially thinking. I like the idea of a rental car, but maybe stay in PC since we'll primarily be skiing there. I realize some are very anti-Epic Pass, but for those of us from the Midwest, especially Michigan, it's hard to pass up. I can ski locally at Mt. Brighton in metro Detroit, and then go out west and not have to worry about lift tickets. The cost to fun ratio is very favorable! Like you said, it's not that difficult to splurge one day at Snowbird, either. 

 

Thanks for the tips!!

post #12 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post

Lots of fun scenarios and Walt's posts are loaded with good info, but...if you want to capitalize on your Epic pass I'd consider three or four days at Canyons/PC. Early March should still be very prime conditions there. That way you could stay in/near nice town of PC for après ski. Lots of affordable condos on free bus line once there. Since there are two of you an economy car rental would be cost effective over bus/shuttle to get from airport to PC and elsewhere. Snowbird is awesome with an alpine feel and since you're curious and have rental car you could splurge and easily day-trip it from PC when roads look clear.


After skiing whatever of the three resorts in Park City, be sure to check out the Olympic Park and Alf Engen Museum on the way out of town.  The dining options are many after a day of skiing in Park City.


Edited by quant2325 - 11/6/14 at 1:50pm
post #13 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpskier View Post

Stay in a motel in SLC and rent a car.

If the weather is decent to good, drive to snow basin. Long runs and sweet gondolas.

Alta would be #2 on my list. Then snowbird or solitude

If it happens to be warm , stick to alta and snowbird and maybe solitude. Your free ticket resorts won't fare as well if it's warm.

Alta is skiers only, correct? I'm kind of curious to experience that, since I started skiing after snowboarding became widely accepted. My buddy rides primarily, but he also skis. I may try to convince him to bring both this time. Due to cost, I'm thinking 3 days at some combo of PC and Canyons, and then the remaining day at Snowbird or maybe Alta. It's encouraging to hear how many of the mountains everyone gives props to! It sounds like there aren't many poor choices...

post #14 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by macvangelist View Post
 
Alta is skiers only, correct? I'm kind of curious to experience that, since I started skiing after snowboarding became widely accepted. My buddy rides primarily, but he also skis. I may try to convince him to bring both this time. Due to cost, I'm thinking 3 days at some combo of PC and Canyons, and then the remaining day at Snowbird or maybe Alta. It's encouraging to hear how many of the mountains everyone gives props to! It sounds like there aren't many poor choices...

If you haven't looked at them yet, there are EpicSki Unofficial Guides for Snowbird and Alta.  Links are on the Ambassador roster:

 

http://www.epicski.com/a/ambassador-roster

post #15 of 86
Quote:

First time trip to SLC?  Four days?  I'd recommend a day each in Little Cottonwood Canyon (Alta or Snowbird) and Big Cottonwood Canyon (Solitude or Brighton).  A day in Park City. And a day at Snowbasin.This will give you the lay of the land and allow you to plan your next trip.  Because you will almost certainly want to come back.

 

This itinerary means renting a car, but cars are not all that expensive.  You don't need an SUV - the roads to Snowbasin and PC stay pretty clear, and if it dumps you can park at the bottom of LCC or BCC and take the bus up to the lifts.

 

I suppose you could just take an airport shuttle to PC and  once there get by on the local buses, but it would be a real shame to go to all that way and only ski the Park City resorts. I suppose if you like the touristy ski resort vibe this might be for you (think Vail) but the better skiing is at Snowbasin and the Cottonwood canyons.

I couldn't have summed it up better myself

Quote:
If it happens to be warm , stick to alta and snowbird and maybe solitude. Your free ticket resorts won't fare as well if it's warm.

This is true also, and as this is timeframe of my timeshare week since 1996, it CAN be warm.

 

Quote:
I realize some are very anti-Epic Pass,

It has nothing to do with being anti-Epic Pass.  The Cottonwood Canyons probably have the greatest lift-served snow in the world, so why settle for the average at best (for the Rocky Mountains) snow of the Park City areas on a first ski trip to Utah?  The OP has not stated his desired ski terrain, but if he's advanced to expert Alta/Snowbird stand head and shoulders above the rest of Utah in that department too.

 

The $$$ you save by sleeping in Salt Lake vs. Park City will more than offset having to pay for lift tickets.  And you'll get discounts on the lift tickets at Salt Lake ski shops, even early in the morning before you head up the hill so you can make day-by-day decisions.

post #16 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

If you haven't looked at them yet, there are EpicSki Unofficial Guides for Snowbird and Alta.  Links are on the Ambassador roster:

 

http://www.epicski.com/a/ambassador-roster

 

Unfortunately, the links at the Ambassador roster are bad.

post #17 of 86
Thread Starter 

I guess I didn't think about staying in SLC itself...

 

In the winter, worst case, what is the commute time to the farthest resort we've been talking about? If we're only talking about an hour or so, no big deal--especially when you compare it to DEN --> Summit County in CO! I can deal with 30-60 min each morning if that allows us to explore more. 

 

Ultimately, for me, the Epic Pass is the sole reason we are even trying Utah this season. If I had to pay for lift tickets for each and every day, I would probably just be going to Colorado in March instead. While I understand the appeal of the other resorts, I'll probably be limited to one day at somewhere off the Epic Pass. I have no doubt I'll visit Utah again after this trip, just maybe not this season. This trip will be my third trip out west in one season, so I'm trying to do each trip as cheaply as possible to allow as many trips as possible. :)

post #18 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lofcaudio View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

If you haven't looked at them yet, there are EpicSki Unofficial Guides for Snowbird and Alta.  Links are on the Ambassador roster:

 

http://www.epicski.com/a/ambassador-roster

 

Unfortunately, the links at the Ambassador roster are bad.


Fixed.  You can always look for an Unofficial Guide by clicking on the link in the menu bar at the top.

post #19 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by macvangelist View Post
 

I guess I didn't think about staying in SLC itself...

 

In the winter, worst case, what is the commute time to the farthest resort we've been talking about? If we're only talking about an hour or so, no big deal--especially when you compare it to DEN --> Summit County in CO! I can deal with 30-60 min each morning if that allows us to explore more. 

 

Ultimately, for me, the Epic Pass is the sole reason we are even trying Utah this season. If I had to pay for lift tickets for each and every day, I would probably just be going to Colorado in March instead. While I understand the appeal of the other resorts, I'll probably be limited to one day at somewhere off the Epic Pass. I have no doubt I'll visit Utah again after this trip, just maybe not this season. This trip will be my third trip out west in one season, so I'm trying to do each trip as cheaply as possible to allow as many trips as possible. :)


1) The drive isn't bad from SLC, but on a powder day there could be major delays. 

2) Staying in Park City is so much more convenient on so many levels.  You have no long drive to the resorts (none if you stay slopeside), all the restaurants and bars you want are nearby, etc.

3) Is the lake effect real?  Sure it is.  Is that the reason to only ski in the Cottonwoods?  No.  Not even close.  There are reasons why tourists rank the three Park City resorts so high, well above the other four.  It may snow 12" at Alta and "only" 8-9" at Canyons or PCMR, but you are still skiing on powder and have more acreage (not skied out as fast) to boot.   It just depends upon what you want.

post #20 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by macvangelist View Post
 

I guess I didn't think about staying in SLC itself...

 

In the winter, worst case, what is the commute time to the farthest resort we've been talking about? If we're only talking about an hour or so, no big deal--especially when you compare it to DEN --> Summit County in CO! I can deal with 30-60 min each morning if that allows us to explore more. 

 

Ultimately, for me, the Epic Pass is the sole reason we are even trying Utah this season. If I had to pay for lift tickets for each and every day, I would probably just be going to Colorado in March instead. While I understand the appeal of the other resorts, I'll probably be limited to one day at somewhere off the Epic Pass. I have no doubt I'll visit Utah again after this trip, just maybe not this season. This trip will be my third trip out west in one season, so I'm trying to do each trip as cheaply as possible to allow as many trips as possible. :)


With a car, general guideline from staying in the city is 30 min to LCC or BCC, or 45 min to Park City.  Rush hour traffic is not really much of a concern.  Warning, once you've experienced the advantages of travel to SLC, may be harder to justify always flying to Denver. :)

post #21 of 86
Quote:
It just depends upon what you want.

I agree.  I'm taking the educated guess that two dudes willing to stay in cheap lodging would be putting first priority on the quality of skiing.   And the ski shop ticket prices in the ~$75 range are a lot less than day tickets in Colorado, where you really do need to be on some kind of pass program for multiple days of skiing.  So maybe you start with one day each at Park City and Canyons (not connected until next season) and one in the Cottonwood Canyons. After that I predict where you'll be going for the 4th day.;)

Quote:
It may snow 12" in Alta and only 8" in Canyons or PCMR, but you are still skiing on powder and have more acreage to boot. 

It's really the more frequent days when it hasn't snowed in awhile that you'll appreciate the better preserved snow surfaces in the Cottonwood areas.


Edited by Tony Crocker - 11/6/14 at 2:16pm
post #22 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by macvangelist View Post
 

Hey folks!

 

I'm a long time lurker and occasional poster on Epic. I have been going to Colorado 2-3 times per season, which I am also going to do this winter, but additionally I am planning a trip with a buddy to SLC March 5-9 and flying in from Metro Detroit on Southwest. We will be arriving Thursday the 5th on the last flight, so probably around 8pm or so. We leave on Monday the 9th on the last flight out, to allow for skiing the last day.

 

Neither of us have ever been to Utah. I have the Epic Local pass, so with that in mind we will be skiing Canyons and Park City. If time/budget allows, we would also like to hit up Snowbird one day. 

 

Can you all offer some insight on the area? I'm used to the Denver gig where you're pretty much required to get a rental car and drive 2 hours. Do we need a rental car or will there be free/cheap/affordable transportation to Park City and Canyons (and Snowbird for that matter)? If we do have some form of transportation from the airport, will we need it once we reach our destination, or can we get around town on some form of public transport?

 

How about lodging? What's the skinny on affordable lodging for two dudes? Obviously ski-in/out would be cool, but it's really not a deal breaker since we're not skiing the same place every day. We are used to using AirBNB and staying in Frisco or Silverthorne when we go to CO--is that the best option in SLC? Or should we even stay in SLC? I'm totally clueless here...

 

Thanks in advance for any advice!

 

 

As a Coloradoan who travels to Ut to ski.... can't help you with the lodging or travel suggestions but if you are an advanced skier looking for advanced terrain with great snow....just skip PC/Canyons and go straight to LCC or BCC.  At best hit PC one day and Wasatch front the other days......any advanced skiers who skip LCC/BCC to ski PC are doing themselves a major disservice.  The terrain is much better and the snow is much better.  

 

If you think Vail's terrain kicks axe then you'll be happy in PC as they are basically the same mountain/snow with PC having a much better town.

post #23 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by macvangelist View Post
 

I guess I didn't think about staying in SLC itself...

 

In the winter, worst case, what is the commute time to the farthest resort we've been talking about? If we're only talking about an hour or so, no big deal--especially when you compare it to DEN --> Summit County in CO! I can deal with 30-60 min each morning if that allows us to explore more. 

 

Ultimately, for me, the Epic Pass is the sole reason we are even trying Utah this season. If I had to pay for lift tickets for each and every day, I would probably just be going to Colorado in March instead. While I understand the appeal of the other resorts, I'll probably be limited to one day at somewhere off the Epic Pass. I have no doubt I'll visit Utah again after this trip, just maybe not this season. This trip will be my third trip out west in one season, so I'm trying to do each trip as cheaply as possible to allow as many trips as possible. :)

 

Ok. I understand the need to keep expenses down so you can take more trips.  I took three trips East to ski last season, in addition to a week at Beaver Creek, so I'm used to doing it on the cheap.

 

If you are going to do three days on the Epic Pass, then it makes the most sense to stay in Park City.  Affordable accommodations exist there, just not slopeside.   Then it's about an hours drive around to any of the Cottonwood Canyons resorts and about 1:15 to Snowbasin.  Definitely easier driving than the DEN pita.

 

Alta would be my first choice if you only have one day away from PC.  Every skier should go to Alta at least once, and there is truly something for everyone there.  Second choice would be Snowbasin.  Snowbird is all about the steep and gnarly so if that's your bag there are few places with such convenient lift-served high-pucker-factor terrain right off the lifts - most places you have to work to get to the terrain that can kill you.

post #24 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

Warning, once you've experienced the advantages of travel to SLC, may be harder to justify always ever flying to Denver. :)

 

Fixed it for you. 

 

You're welcome. (c:

post #25 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

Warning, once you've experienced the advantages of travel to SLC, may be harder to justify always ever flying to Denver. :)

 

Fixed it for you. 

 

You're welcome. (c:

:D

 

I'm going to ski in Colorado this March for the first time in decades.  But only because I have another reason to fly to Denver before heading out to Aspen with a ski buddy.  We are going to take advantage of the MCP to check the place out for the first time.  Just before heading to Alta for our usual get together there in April.

 

In January . . . I'm flying to SLC.

post #26 of 86
Yes alta is skiing only.

I can see how you'd wanna use your passes for canyons and pcmr. And if the weather is good, you'll have a fine time.

Maybe you'll wanna stay in pc since you'll be skiing there lots. Staying in slc is better for the cottonwood canyon resorts. And park city is kinda nice. But u could still stay in slc.
post #27 of 86

I have a place in PC. But I generally ski all of the areas nearby. If you're going to ski 3 out of 4 days in PC area, it definitely makes more sense to stay there. I would try to stay in Kimball Junction area which is closest to I-80. My place is in that area. It's less than 30 minutes from airport. Exactly 1 hour to Snowbasin parking lot. Probably 45 minutes to any of the Cottonwood Canyon places presuming no bad weather. The drive from Kimball Junction to Canyons or PCMR is 3-8 minutes. And, I think it's crazy not to get a car.Some times people are obsessed with not driving on their ski trip. But unless you're slope side, there's plenty of waiting for shuttles and buses.A car gves you way more flexibility, including getting to grocery and liquor store. And you never have to wait for it. Total no-brainer IMHO.   R/T shuttle service from airport for 2 is at least $160. Get the cheapest mid size rental car for 4 days you can and it probably won't be anymore. You can probably find a 1 BR condo in Kimball Junction area for a reasonable price. There are also a couple of cheaper hotels near the freeway. But definitely not as cheap as areas in SLC like Sandy and Midvale. But on other hand, with a condo, you can eat in which is cheaper than going out.    

post #28 of 86
The company we rent from has some one bedroom condos within walking distance to the parking lot lift at the canyons. And it looks like $200 or less per night. I not sure if u havetobook for a week or not in march.
post #29 of 86

I'm working on an Unofficial Guide to PCMR, I should just link here!

 

All good info so far but...

 

What do you like to ski?  Most of the advise assumes you like steeps and powder, I can go along with that but the parks at Canyons and PCMR are supposedly really good for example (not my thing).  If it has not snowed for a week or so and you guys are going to have a "groomer day" it is hard to beat Deer Valley.   Their grooming is the gold standard.  The PC resorts offer a pretty decent experience, especially if you have an Epic pass.   If you have 3 days, you can stay in PC and walk to PCMR one day, take the free bus to Canyons the next and take the bus to Deer Valley the last and experience a snowboard free resort.  Skiers only is probably the thing Alta and Deer Valley have MOST in common.  Very different scenes.

 

If you want to go to the Cottonwoods, you will want a ride or a car.  There is an Enterprise in town so you can rent one for the day.  You might even try hooking up with Greg at http://www.ultimateutahexperience.com/ and see if he is skiing somewhere you want to go, he might give you a lift.  He is fun to ski with.

 

The storms usually come from the west and drop more snow in the Cottonwoods but not always.  Sometimes they come in from the north and hit the Ogden Valley, sometimes the come in from the east and bless Park City.  Sometimes it is snowing all day on the Jupiter lift at PCMR and it is sunny at the rest of the resort!  Since you have one day not on the pass, why not just play it by ear and follow the snow.  There are 6 big resorts that all offer a top notch experience with a 45-90 minute drive from Park City.  There is usually one that is looking like the best on a particular day. 

 

If you are skiing Friday, Saturday and Sunday, it will be busy anywhere you go on Saturday.  Park City/Canyons has the most % of tourist traffic so I'd be there on Saturday.  Do your out of area resorts that cater to locals on Friday or Sunday (church day for many).

 

As far as staying in PC or SLC...Park City makes the most sense if you are doing two days of Epic Pass.  The nightlife is good too, more of a ski-town experience.  Don't get me wrong, SLC can be a fun small city and the lodging, food & drink will be cheaper.  It is just a different experience.

post #30 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utagonian View Post

 

 

If you are skiing Friday, Saturday and Sunday, it will be busy anywhere you go on Saturday.  Park City/Canyons has the most % of tourist traffic so I'd be there on Saturday.  Do your out of area resorts that cater to locals on Friday or Sunday (church day for many).

 

Solitude won't be crowded on Saturday, or any other day unless there's a big powder dump and LCC is closed.  Then it's a madhouse.

 

Seriously, I've been at Solitude on a Saturday and the only people there are me, my ski partner, and the lift operators.  It truly is truth in advertizing. Not sure how they stay open. 

 

The thing about the LCC/BCC resorts is that they abut a 1M+ major city where most people seem to be there for the skiing, or should I say the powder.  If there's a dump, half the city takes the morning off and swarms the resorts.  If there's no freshies, you're going to have the BCC/LCC resorts to yourself, with the exception of Brighton on a Saturday.  Brighton is the one SLC resort where kids ski free and the families show up in force, and SLC has a lot of really large families.

 

HTH.

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › SLC March 5-9 (first time in Utah) Need recommendations! [have Epic pass for Canyons & PCMR]