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Day itinerary for various Utah resorts (or, a gameplan to get the most out of the mountain)

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

So I recently moved to Utah, and a friend is coming out next week to ski for four days. We plan on hitting Snowbird, Snowbasin, Solitude, and one of the Park City resorts (likely Canyons). I have been to Snowbasin a few times, and Solitude once years ago, but haven't been to Snowbird or any of the PC resorts. I want to maximize our time on the mountains. I recently read an article about an itinerary for spending a weekend in New York City; an article where it says see this area of the city first, have lunch in this area, spend the afternoon at this tourist area, etc. It got me thinking about something similar for spending a day at a ski resort. It doesn't have to be too in depth, just something along the lines of start your day in this area of the mountain, move to this area next, try lunch here, spend early afternoon in this area, finish the day here. 


I know that Snowbasin and Snowbird have unofficial guides; I have read them and they are excellent. I think I can make a rough itinerary from these guides, but I would love some local knowledge as well. You don't have to share your secret stashes, just point me in the right direction to have a fun and efficient day on the mountain. Also, I know that it is impossible to see every part of these mountains in a week, much less a day. Finally, my buddy and I are advanced, but not experts. We can ski blacks, including most double blacks, but we aren't looking to huck any cliffs, or hit a narrow chute.


Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 3
Look at the unofficial guides on this site and also the Powderhounds website. I've found good tips on Yelp as well for food/drink reviews.
post #3 of 3

I penned the guide to Snowbasin so I guess I am inclined to believe everything you need for skiing is in the guide,  However, here are a few tips of the nature you requested:


(1) While Snowbasin used to be "undiscovered" and "uncrowded" most of the time that is no longer the case.  Weekends and especially Saturdays bring quite a few people to the slopes.  Snowbasin has been selling cheap season passes and a lot of locals have responded. I think Snowbasin deserves kudos for bringing more people and especially kids to the sport, but it does have an impact on weekend crowds.  The Needles gondola will often develop a pretty good line from about 10-2:30 on a Saturday.  It is least crowded early and late.  Strawberry generally only has much or any line from about 10:30 -12:30.  John Paul and the other chairs rarely have much of a line.  If the snow is crappy near the base, consider a few laps on the Middle Bowl chair. 


(2)  Even when the Strawberry Gondola has a line the runs are not crowded because it is a huge area.  I like to piece together runs with a steep start, followed by a cruise in the middle and one of the steeper pitches at the bottom (i.e. the Carnehans area has been moguled most of the year). 


(3) The runs on Needles that tend to be crowded are Bear Hollow, Sweet Revenge, and the terrain park line (roughly Sweet Revenge to Boardwalk to Blue Grouse to Orson's).  This is also the area that has been prone to developing slick spots.


(4) I tend to ski John Paul more than any other lift.  However, the crappy snowpack and an unprecedented amount of rain near the base this year has prevented a significant portion of that terrain from being worthwhile most of the time,.  Except for the upper part (designated Snow King on the trail map) anything to skiers left of Hollywood has been pretty dicey most of the time.


(4)  I usually eat at the John Paul Lodge (late) since I like that lodge and the views the best.  I would recommend the Greek Salad (with lemon dressing), the Stromboli and the Chicken Parm sandwich (which is big enough to share).  The Basin Burger at Earl's Lodge is also big enough to share  (burger topped with cheese, pulled pork and fried onions) and pretty darn good.  There are plenty of things I haven't tried at al the lodges.  I liked everything I have had at the Cinnabar.


(5) Perhaps the best tip currently is to focus on the Cottonwoods until we get more snow. 

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Day itinerary for various Utah resorts (or, a gameplan to get the most out of the mountain)