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Snowbasin: Could this be the biggest and baddest resort to fly under your radar?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

So we all know the 2002 Olympic speed events were held here, but have you heard of it since?  Have you been there?  Likely not.  Since it’s a god-awful full hour’s drive north of SLC, instead of just 30 minutes like the Park City and Little Cottonwood areas, nobody seems to go.  Big mistake for them.  But hey, for now let’s just encourage their expeditious ways.

strawberry

My last visit to Snowbasin was in the early 80s, long before the Olympics when it was just a tiny little mom & pop ski area.   To say the place has changed a bit would be the ultimate understatement.  The absolute size of this place feels somewhere in the neighborhood of Jackson Hole or Snowmass.  The Strawberry area actually has the feel of Jackson’s Hobacks.  And much like the Hobacks, there’s nobody there and it is probably bigger in acreage than many western resorts.  And even more conveniently than Jackson’s famed tram, all this terrain is served by one nearly 2500’ vertical gondola.

 

trail map

Where am I going with this? Well, having just skied at Jackson Hole in January, I found this place to have many parallels.  Both are east facing ridges and the terrain opens up as you go from the north to south.  Snowbasin actually has more skiable acreage at about 3000, but comes up about thousand feet short on the vertical, which still leaves an impressive 3000′.  I would guess that if you took Jackson and just tilted it down a notch you would come up with something much like Snowbasin and the runs would be about the same length.

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post #2 of 5

I just spent three days there using my free passes from the Powder Alliance (AZ Snowbowl). Needless to say, they could use a little snow. The groomers are extensive and well maintained, but the off trail options are somewhat limited. Many of the popular black runs, like John Paul, are strewn with exposed rocks and roots. Right now hiking is required to find the better conditions. Even the bumps have flattened out. There were so many runs I want to come back to when the conditions are better. My highlights were bombing the Wildflower (Olympic) Downhill, and dropping down the open steeps to Grizzly. Eating lunch at the lodge at the top of the John Paul Express reminded me of Blofeld's lair in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Just amazing setting and views.

 

Worth a visit, or many if it ever snows again.

post #3 of 5

Having good snow I'd rate it in my top 5 for sure.  Great placeThumbs Up

post #4 of 5

That mountain rock! They may not get the snow like the Cottonwoods but having that mountain as a daily playground would be a very fair trade.

post #5 of 5
Skied there again this Jan. All is true with consistent snow. Base area seems a little lower than other UT hills. Only caveat is - Strawberry can get a little "difficult" in a storm since it's so wide open. Oh and the carved turkey is great
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › EpicSki Community › Trip Reports  › Snowbasin: Could this be the biggest and baddest resort to fly under your radar?