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6 Days in Utah

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Which resorts would you SKI (as opposed to board) and why? We're heading from the UK and looking for some challenging runs (up to 45-50 degrees), long fields of perfectly pitched powder, entertaining glades and a great spot for beer and nachos to wind down in at the end of a perfect day.

Anyone skied Powder Maountain? How does it rate?

What's the drive down from Jackson Hole to Park City like in bad weather -let's assume you can get over the Teton pass out of Jackson?
post #2 of 26
I did 2 weeks in Utah last year. To summarise:
Only go to Dear Valley to experience it.

Go to Alta. You'll love it.
It's a bit of a drive from JH. (like about 5 hours)
When were you thinking of going?

post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
Had planned Park City as a base as the accom seems better value and there's a bit to do in the evening, but interested in your comment about forget Park City. Why?
post #4 of 26
I felt it was overrated.
Stay at the Extended Stay in Midvale (outskirts of SLC) and get a resort bus for $5 return to Alta. There's plenty to do for nightlife in SLC, for apres ski, you've got Goldminer's Daughter at the ski area, and you've got somewhere with no boarders.

post #5 of 26
Originally posted by freshtracks:
Had planned Park City as a base as the accom seems better value and there's a bit to do in the evening, but interested in your comment about forget Park City. Why?
Salt Lake City (Sandy)is closer than Park City to Alta and the other Cottonwood Canyon areas. If you are sensitive to altitude, downtown SLC is less than 5000,'almost as close to Alta as Park City is, and way underrated as a party town. For me, the best way to ski Utah is to stay up in the Canyon near Alta. You won't be shut out when the road is closed, but it is definitely pricier and quieter in the evenings.

I'm looking to ski Utah this year, maybe we can get together.


[ August 11, 2003, 08:28 AM: Message edited by: John Dowling ]
post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 
OK Alta is on the list. Now... where else to ski and importantly why?

Thanks for all the recommendations on lodgings, but I think were reasonably fixed on that one due to the way we are putting the trip together.
post #7 of 26
Meant to say earlier, welcome!
OK, as well as Alta, my second choice would be Snowbird.


P.S. I sent you a Private Message.
post #8 of 26

You were spot-on about Park City for things to do. Its a lot of fun, good eats and some good bars (at least by Utah standards). We stayed there a few years back and skied PC once and went to Alta the rest of the time (30-40 minutes away) That can get pricey if you don't have transportation, there are several bus lines that go to Little Cottonwood Canyon every day. Back then it was $50-$60 for a lift ticket and bus fare to & from. So rent a car.

The next year we stayed at the Best Western in Sandy and again skied Big & Little Cottonwood Canyons. We were pretty bored there and had to rely on the bars & restaurants at Alta which were limited.

We didn't ski Deer Valley or the Canyons, but have heard that they are much superior to PCMR and a lot closer than Alta.

Have fun

ps, I would avoid Alta-bird during any holiday period.

[ August 11, 2003, 09:20 AM: Message edited by: snowflier ]
post #9 of 26
If you are looking for powder, your best bet is Alta. Just be prepared to work for it. The best areas, and the longest runs, require some effort (hiking, side stepping, etc) to get to.

SLC is much closer to the Cottonwood Canyon resorts then Park City is. PCMR and The Canyons have some excellent areas, most of which are off the beaten path. Try to pick out a local and follow them. At both resorts, if one lift is crowded, another one will probably have no line at all. From PC to Alta, the drive, in good weather, is about 45 minutes to an hour. From downtown SLC to PC is about 30 minutes, to Brighton is about 30 minutes and Alta is about 30 minutes. While driving up the cottonwoods, be prepared to get stuck behind slow moving buses. Ifthe road is snowpacked, the drive gets considerably longer and the roads may be closed for hours, or even all day. Also consider Snowbasin, which is still one of the best "unknown" resorts around.

The fastest way to get to PC from Jackson (especially if teton pass is closed) is to take Highway 89 to I-80. The key is the weather. It can be anywhere from snow packed, white out conditions (in this case, don't make the drive) to clear sailing.

Maybe I misread the post, but Alta has never had ticket prices in the $50-60 range (I think that may be refering to the PC areas)

As far having beer and nachos at the end of teh day, all of the resorts have great little bars where the locals hang out. SLC actually has a decent, "underground" (term used loosely)night life. Plenty of bars, offering everything from high end martinis to fishbowls of coors light. For nightlife outside of PC, downtown SLC is your best bet.
post #10 of 26
$50-$60 for ticket & bus fare

(which translates into $40 for the ticket and $10-$20 for bus fare)

[ August 12, 2003, 09:25 AM: Message edited by: snowflier ]
post #11 of 26
UTA ski bus is $5 round trip. They go up both Big and Little Cottonwood.
post #12 of 26
Yes, stay away from PCMR. More mountain for me. You might want to consider Snowbasin, and Powder Mountain. Great local spot.
post #13 of 26
As usual, I guess I'll go against the grain here. While I do agree that with the terrain you're looking for, Snowbird and Alta are your best bets. However, PCMR and Deer Valley are worth a trip as well. Snowbasin is a great place to get way from the crowds and offers some nice terrain.

As far as where to stay though, PARK CITY is definitely the place to go. If you're somebody that doesn't get to go to Utah very often, I couldn't imagine going anywhere else. The downtown area has tons of great restaurants and some pretty cool architecture. We go at least every other year and always stay in the Prospector Square area in Park City. The kids love all the areas. Each one has it's own bright spots but you won't run into any boarders at Alta or Deer Valley.
post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 
Just a general thanks for your help to date, but please keep your opinions coming.
I'm intrigued to hear more about Snowbasin and Powder Mountain. Tell me more!
Where is Snowbasin in relation o the others? How many days is Solitude worth?
post #15 of 26

I've been a passholder at Snowbasin for several years, and while it's second on my list to Alta, the lack of crowds and convenience (less then 15 miles from my house) make it my choice. It's about 35 miles from SLC, but add another 10 if you're staying further south to be close to the Cottonwoods. I don't ski Powder Mtn as much as I did when I didn't have a Snowbasin pass, but it always seems to have tons of untracked and a backcountry feel. Not a lot of steeps thought.
Ogden to Jackson is about 4 to 5 hours, and going over teton pass is actually one of the longer routes. I tend to go via Soda Springs.
post #16 of 26
Somebody else mentioned that if you stay near Alta - you can get to the slopes quicker on a powder day when compared to driving in from SLC. NOT TRUE.

last winter we drove in from SLC on a heavy powder day and reached Alta by 10am. We met a couple later in the day who were staying in one of the lodges between alta and snowbird. the road
in front of their lodge did not get cleared up until 2pm. So - there you go - for whatever its worth.
post #17 of 26
Alta sucks. Ignore my screen name.

Best underrated resort, with even pitch down the entire mtn is Solitude in Big Cottonwood. Not as steep as the Little Cottonwood Resorts but also not as crowded as ANY of the other SLC areas. Decent ticket prices as well.

If you want steeps, Snowbird is your huckleberry. Steep, long shots dominate the trail map there.

Jackson to Park City, don't bother with Teton Pass, better way is through Evanston, as was stated earlier. Plus you can pick up tons of contraband for those of us who live here (porn, booze and fireworks). Nothing says powder day like a Saturn Missile.

Have a great trip! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #18 of 26
Yous should definitely go to Jackson, but only if combined with Sun Valley and Grand Targhee for your 6 days. Don't try Utah unless ONLY Utah (too many mountains!).

In Utah: Snowbird, The Canyons, Park City, in that order. Alta lacks lift speed, Deer Valley is too easy (not steep), and all others are either too small or way-short on Lifts.

My choice: Jackson/Grand T./Sun Valley (3 days JH, 1 GT, 2 SV).

post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 
For those of you are interested I have found some further reviews writen by skiers on all of the Utah resorts.

Utah Reviews
post #20 of 26
My wife and I are thinking about a long weekend in Utah. What is the best part of the season to ski around SLC?
post #21 of 26
Hi SkiSpampy's,

Nice to see you on the board!!!

The smart-alec response would be, whenever there is an 'epic' snowfall; but of course that isn't the question you asked. I would think very early March would be a pretty safe bet, but we all know that Mother Nature might not agree during any given year.

You might try "posting" a new thread with a bit more detailed request. There are quite a few Utah locals here and I am sure they would be willing to pass on their experiences of the past few years.

Thanks for jumping in!!

post #22 of 26
Coming from the UK, huh?

The BEST mountains in North America are Jackson Hole, Snowbird/Alta, and Whistler/Blackcomb. IF you are expert. Most of the rest are too small if they are challenging or they simply cater to intermediate groomer skiers for the most part.

Jackson will challenge you no matter how tough you are. It is the hardest mtn in North America if you ask me. If someone wants to challenge that statement, have they ever done the mtn from Rendezvous Bowl all the way down through the Hobacks? That will definitely work your quads, my friend. Fun apres ski at the Mangy Moose or a short drive into Jackson.

Snowbird/Alta also has plenty of challenge and is big, but it isn't quite as impressive as Jackson in my opinion. Their biggest advantage is the best powder on the planet. The moisture content is incredibly low in little cottonwood canyon. Utah apres ski is relatively weak.

Whistler/Blackcomb is the largest resort in North America and has every conceivable type of terrain. The disadvantage is you can get socked in creating flat light b/c it is so close to the coast - but hey, weather can be a problem anywhere. Awesome apres ski - the best of the three in that dept.

Have a GREAT time!
post #23 of 26

Nice post, but you left out Kicking Horse. ...Nothing on your list has an edge on it, and the journey is just beginning!
post #24 of 26
Originally posted by Steep_Skier:
The BEST mountains in North America are Jackson Hole, Snowbird/Alta, and Whistler/Blackcomb.
Just curious, are these the Only mountains you've skied out West?


Edit: PS, Altaskier, shut the hell up about Solitude, the place sucks.

[ September 24, 2003, 09:00 PM: Message edited by: BobMc ]
post #25 of 26
BobMc - No they are not the only places I've skied out west - or otherwise - but I also try not to waste my time on certain mountains that don't have superlative terrain and challenge. I think my prior post speaks for itself. If you'd like to add a mountain to that list, or feel one of them doesn't belong, feel free.

PS: I will grant you that Vail might belong in there, but I haven't had as good an experience there as on these others, but I know there are people who swear by Vail.
post #26 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the comments Steep.
Although I'd love to prove you wrong someday, I must admit that so far I've not found anywhere to bump Whistler and JH from my all round world No1&2 spots.

Though as the Utah plan now firmly includes Alta/Snowbird and a few other recommendations from this posting things may change. I'm also returning to Cham and sampling Verbier for the first time before heading off on the JH/Grand T/Utah/JH trip. Lets see how those rankings shake out!

PS I HAVE skied Rendevous/Hobacks top to bottom and done it more than once in the same day, though that, combined with hiking the headwall second run off the plane perhaps explains why I spent the next few days skiing on pain killers!

With regard to Bob's note about overall experience of N.America, I must admit I'm still a novice, though I have skied a good few ofthe BC/Alberta resorts. Fernie though remains on my hit list for '04 -'05.....Unless anyone wants to sponsor me there this winter that is...
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