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Utah in February with family...confused where to go!?!?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi,

We are a Swedish family with 2 boys, 9 and 11, living in NC.

The kids have skied for about 5 years and last year we spent a week in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, which we loved.

We all prefer groomed slopes but my husband wants some powder.

We all ski black and blue slopes but the kids are more prone to blue.

We love to stay ski in/ski out and skiing is the focus of the week. We don't need much other entertainment, some decent food now and then but we prefer to get something in the condo and just rest in the evening. We can do without shopping etc.

 

We we're looking at Alta but did not find any resonably priced accomodation. We are now looking at the Canyoons/Park City but the reviews of the skiing itself seems so and so. Have also been looking at Solitude and/or Brighton but they seems kind of small for a week of skiing. Or is it ok to stay and ski one of them for a whole week?

How far is the drive from Solitude to Alta if we would like to check that out for a day? We do prefer not to use the car all the time.

 

Any other suggestions whenwe are planning a February get away in Utah. We are heading back to Sweden so this might be the only time we get to ski in Utah.

 

Thanks!!

post #2 of 8

The lodges in Alta include your meals.   It's a little more expensive, but it's a very unique experience, with a "European Vibe."

Might want to check out the Mountain Collective while you still can.   It won't necessarily save on you and your husband tickets, but it will save on the kids.

 

https://mountaincollective.com/

post #3 of 8

I would say that Park City is the place to go if you can find some reasonably priced accommodation. The town has a resort feel to it and there is lots to see and do of an evening. N.B. Some accommodation  that comes up as Park City is actually in Canyons which does not have anything like the evening attractions of PC. 

 

Park City / Canyons has a lot more runs and lifts and while not having the off piste that Alta has there is enough to keep a dabbler happy and it will not get tracked out as fast as Altas. 

 

But as you say that the resort side is unimportant then any of the LCC resorts will do. 

 

BTW If you see a fat old fart in a bright green jacket wave, I will be in SLC for Feb and ski Alta a fair bit as well as PC/Canyons.

 

Solitude to Alta 45 mins about. Maybe a little less outside peak times. 

post #4 of 8

Park City or Deer Valley are great choices for people who primarily ski groomers and who loved Steamboat Springs.  For a little variety, you could take a day or two and go north to Snowbasin or south to Alta/Snowbird.  I think you will find that the effort will be worth it as they offer distinct experiences from those in the Deer Valley/Park City area.  Each will take 45-50 minutes in decent weather.

 

I prefer Deer Valley to Park City personally but have not skied the combined Park City/Canyons since they were connected last year.  I have spent plenty of time skiing both individually.  Of course they are only separated by a few minutes if you want to try them both.  Lodging at Deer Valley is going to pricey but nice--particularly for ski in/ski out.  Park City will have a wider range of options. 

post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrSweTV View Post
 

Hi,

We are a Swedish family with 2 boys, 9 and 11, living in NC.

The kids have skied for about 5 years and last year we spent a week in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, which we loved.

We all prefer groomed slopes but my husband wants some powder.

We all ski black and blue slopes but the kids are more prone to blue.

We love to stay ski in/ski out and skiing is the focus of the week. We don't need much other entertainment, some decent food now and then but we prefer to get something in the condo and just rest in the evening. We can do without shopping etc.

 

We we're looking at Alta but did not find any resonably priced accomodation. We are now looking at the Canyoons/Park City but the reviews of the skiing itself seems so and so. Have also been looking at Solitude and/or Brighton but they seems kind of small for a week of skiing. Or is it ok to stay and ski one of them for a whole week?

How far is the drive from Solitude to Alta if we would like to check that out for a day? We do prefer not to use the car all the time.

 

Any other suggestions whenwe are planning a February get away in Utah. We are heading back to Sweden so this might be the only time we get to ski in Utah.

 

Thanks!!


Welcome to EpicSki!  Where in NC?  I'm in the Triangle area near Raleigh.

 

While I can understand not wanting to deal with a car during a ski vacation, the best way to make the most out of a ski week in Utah is to have a car.  The different areas, Little Cottonwood Canyon for Alta and Snowbird, Big Cottonwood Canyon with Solitude and Brighton, Parley's Canyon with Park City and Deer Valley, and the Ogden Valley with Snowbasin and Powder Mountain all have unique reasons for visiting.

 

I spoiled my daughter early by taking her to Alta Lodge during spring break annually to meet up with friends from age 7 to 12.  Helped that kids are free in April.  The free children's program makes for a very relaxing time for parents.  Especially if they appreciate really good food for dinner without children.  But even so, I'll be taking her back during her spring break this March for a few nights midweek.  Then we are going to move to a condo in Eden for a long weekend to introduce her to Snowbasin and/or PowMow.

 

While staying at Solitude without a car for a week would probably not be worth the flight, combining Solitude with a few nights up at Alta could make for a fun vacation.  At the same time, skiing at Solitude and Brighton for 2-3 days each can be plenty of fun, even if only skiing groomers.  Note that the snow is very good, more similar to Alta/Snowbird than Park City because of the location and elevation.

 

For more about the lodges at Alta:

http://www.epicski.com/t/125833/alta-lodges

 

Having a car if not staying in Park City makes it easy to go over for a day to explore and check out the Olympic Museum.  Can take a tour of the ski jumps and luge track.

post #6 of 8

A few trip reports about families who stay at Solitude during the 2015-16 season.  Every family's situation is a little different but may give the OP some ideas of other questions to ask.

 

SLC, Huntsville, and Solitude

http://www.epicski.com/t/146419/first-ski-trip-to-utah-march-19-24

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/144854/solitude-loved-it

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrSweTV View Post
 

Hi,

We are a Swedish family with 2 boys, 9 and 11, living in NC.

The kids have skied for about 5 years and last year we spent a week in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, which we loved.

We all prefer groomed slopes but my husband wants some powder.

We all ski black and blue slopes but the kids are more prone to blue.

We love to stay ski in/ski out and skiing is the focus of the week. We don't need much other entertainment, some decent food now and then but we prefer to get something in the condo and just rest in the evening. We can do without shopping etc.

 

I also prefer blue and black groomers, but occasionally like a little powder. I wrote up summaries of my first season exploring around Utah, and you might potentially find some of the reports relevant: http://www.epicski.com/t/131595/finding-a-new-home-mountain-near-salt-lake-intermediate-trip-reports

 

One thing worth considering is how you prefer your grooming...

Deer Valley and Brighton groom so that the runs can be pretty firm/slightly icy in the morning, but they soften with time and nice surfaces last through the day (and into the evening at Brighton).

Snowbasin, Solitude, and Park City groom so that the runs are usually great in the morning and tend to get cut up/slushy/piled up as the day goes by.

Alta, Snowbird, and Powder Mountain seem to take a more blended approach, with some groomers pretty slick and some softer/getting messy in the afternoon. That can be awesome if you know where to ski when... but a week isn't very much time to learn the nuances of big mountains like these. All of them are fun.

 

Quote:

We we're looking at Alta but did not find any resonably priced accomodation. We are now looking at the Canyoons/Park City but the reviews of the skiing itself seems so and so. Have also been looking at Solitude and/or Brighton but they seems kind of small for a week of skiing. Or is it ok to stay and ski one of them for a whole week?

How far is the drive from Solitude to Alta if we would like to check that out for a day? We do prefer not to use the car all the time.

 

Park City and Deer Valley certainly have plenty to keep you entertained. Many reviewers on sites like this are hardcore skiers, looking for very challenging terrain and skipping groomed runs. If the snow is good (this can be iffy, even in February) you'd have a blast in Park City.

 

Solitude and Brighton are smaller than the others, and it really depends on your family whether they're too small. Given a choice between a week at either of them or a week not skiing, I'd choose to ski one of them in a heartbeat. But there's no need to make a decision like that... if you stay in Solitude or Brighton, get Ski City USA multi-day passes. Each day you can use them at Solitude AND Brighton (the Sol-Bright trail connects them, or it's a very short easy bus ride or drive). Or you can drive and use them at Alta or Snowbird... gives you the flexibility to choose each day, and to make sure you won't get bored in Big Cottonwood Canyon.

 

Quote:

Any other suggestions whenwe are planning a February get away in Utah. We are heading back to Sweden so this might be the only time we get to ski in Utah.

 

Thanks!!

If you end up staying in Park City, pick a clear day to quit an hour early or so, and drive to Sundance for dinner and night skiing (check their schedule ahead of time to make sure it's an evening they have night skiing). The drive is spectacular, the scenery is amazing, the food is very good, and you'll get a different ski experience. Take your time and enjoy the drive, but keep the speed down and watch for wildlife so you don't crash!

 

If you stay in Big or Little Cottonwood Canyons, the drive to Sundance is not nearly as scenic and has a lot more traffic. Sundance is still a cool place, but not as worth the trip as from Park City.

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for taking time to answer my questions! It was really helpful.

We decided to stay at Canyons for most of the days but we also decided to rent a car for the whole week and have 1-2 days skiing somewhere else, like Alta or Solitude.

We're really excited to ski Utah for the first time!!

Last time I did off piste, in France 15 years ago, I twisted my knee and had physical therapy for 6 months, but now it's time to go for it again.....

See you in the slopes.

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