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Snowbasin vs. Snowbird Crowds

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hola again! We will ski both Snowbasin and Snowbird 3 days each during 12/28-1/2.

In what time-frame should we do each one to encounter the LEAST amount of crowds, considering that it is the holidays. That is, which one on 12/28-30, and which one on 12/31-1/2??

I know it may be a gamble, but some of you experienced kids may offer some insights.


PS Is the drive from Sandy or Murray to Snowbasin tough enough to warrant staying in Ogden?

If so, how's the Best Western High Country in Ogden? Other suggestions?
post #2 of 12
I've never skiied during the Holiday period, but would think you'd be better off hitting Snowbird in your first three days and hitting Snowbasin your last three (my reasoning is that Snowbasin almost never has crowds so you'd want to hit that on the weekends - Snowbird will be more crowded on the weekends, so you'd probably want to hit that during the week). A better strategy might be to just grab a hotel in downtown Salt Lake and just go to whichever one has the best snow.

The drive to Snowbasin from pretty much anywhere is pretty much a cakewalk. Snowbasin has a very low elevation base and has four-lane highway for all but the last little stretch.

Why just the two resorts, though? It seems like with six days, you'd want to sample some of the other goods (how could you resist not doing at least a day at Alta?). I've not tried Powder Mountain yet, but it seems that might be worth a day as long as you're venturing up that direction.
post #3 of 12
That's a simple one. Snowbasin will not have 25% of the crowds that Snowbird has on any given day....
post #4 of 12
What about Snowbird for the segment that includes New Years day? I bet if you get out early you'll have a much less crowded day than New Years Eve. I also think you might want to think about a day at Alta - new lift and all.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Tks y'all! It seems Snowbird will be more crowded at any time- is this basically true?

Now on to skiing:
1. Which mountain grooms more blue and black trails?
2. Which has longer runs, overall?
3. For strong intermediates, which one "feels" better?
4. We will ski in SLC area for 14 days; should we cut these 2 resorts down to 2 days each and spend more time at the 3 Park City mountains, considering our penchant for groomed, long runs? By the way, 5 yrs. ago we found Deer Valley to be "too easy", and really enjoyed The Canyons....

post #6 of 12
I think Snowbasin has the longer runs. I know it has the best lift in Utah, taking you from the bottom/main area all the way to the top of the mountain. You can get tons of vertical in here.

Snowbird is great, too. I'd hit both. Four days at one resort is too much in my opinion.
post #7 of 12


I am a high intermediate eastern skiier. I can go on blacks if they are wide enough. Last year was our first western ski trip. We LOVED Alta, but hated
Snowbird. It seemed like we kept having to go on the same trail because most ways down were black diamonds. Snowbird was also very crowded.We tried Solitude and liked that.
I would skip Snowbird and just go to Alta, or get the ticket that combines Alta & Snowbird together (they are right next to each other.) I have not tried Snowbasin yet but plan to in the future.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Yes, Snowbasin seems to have nice, long runs, so we'll give it 1-2 days.

Snowbird has always been one of my favorites, especially the runs off Little Cloud chair, and Mineral Basin.

Does Alta groom enough for us intermediates?
Does anyone know how much Snowbasin grooms?
post #9 of 12
Alta grooms plenty of terrain for upper intermediates and Snowbasin has TONS of groomed runs... lot's of wide and loooong runs off the Strawberry Express Gondola. You can do laps over there all day long and not get bored. Plus the SE Gond is warm and fast. Love that place!
post #10 of 12
Alta does groom most blue runs.
But only grooms a few blacks.
I think Alta is great for an intermediate skier.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Snowbasin is ahead in the race so far.... I first saw it, but could not ski due to lack of snow in January 2000, and had no idea it would turn out as nicely as everyone states.

Any high-wind drawbacks?

Is 45 minute drive from SLC doable with good weather?
post #12 of 12
The drive can be done in 45 minutes easily in good weather. High wind wasn't a problem when I was there. Top of Strawberry Peak can be windy but once you drop in you'll forget there was wind at all. Not much in the way of windiness in the Middle Bowl but top of Allen's Peak if you go up there seems to get a lot of high wind.
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