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Snowbird or Alta

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
My family has a trip to park city planned for feb 18-25. One of those days we plan to go to alta or snowbird. But which one?

which has the best conditions
most grooming
variety of terrain
better for a day trip
less crowded
no need for nightlife, we'll just be spending the day and going back to pc

thanks, and if you have any other comments please post.
post #2 of 8
Why not do both?

From Alta.com:

The votes are in, and SKIING magazine’s annual top 25 resort rankings, have placed Alta and Snowbird at the TOP of U.S. ski resorts!
Alta Ski Area and Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort are pleased to offer the AltaSnowbird Pass which enables skiers to access both resorts' terrain. A connection gate at the saddle separating Alta's Albion Basin and Snowbird's Mineral Basin is used to move between the two resorts. Day Passes are available at any Alta or selected Snowbird ticket window for $69.00. A limited number of season passes are available for $1200. Alta and Snowbird continue to maintain separate ownership and operation, preserving the unique skiing experience and resort atmosphere each offers. Guests can continue to purchase individual resort passes.
Skiers now have access to the following on ONE TICKET:
      • 4,700 acres of skiable terrain (1902 hectares)
      • 1,175 acres of beginner terrain (476 hectares)
      • 1,755 acres of intermediate terrain (710 hectares)
      • 1,770 acres of advanced/expert terrain (716 hectares)
      • 500 inches of annual snowfall (1270 centimeters)
      • 1 tram
      • 5 detachable quad lifts
      • 1 detachable triple lift
      • 2 triple lifts
      • 10 double lifts
      • 8 surface tows
      • 9 base area lodges
      • 22 restaurants
post #3 of 8
The resorts are quite different and both have a distinct following. Alta is more laid back, I think it's prettier, and Snowbird is more type A. A lot depends on your families skiing ability- both ski schools are top notch, (Childcare for wee-uns not up to par, sadly) Alta has the best beginner terrain in the SLC area with the Albion basin- a gladed beginner area that is safe with no runout from higher up, and really big. Blue cruisers at Alta are limited but breathtakingly beautiful- Mambo and Mainstreet are usually uncrowded on the Collins side, but the Sugerloaf side can crowd up in the afternoon. And Ballroom is a nice open Blue Bowl to practice on. Supreme rarely gets crowded but the groomers can be slick.

Most of Snowbirds blues are off Gadzoom and Gad 2 and are gladed, pretty, not too evenly pitched and full of boarders, kids, etc. Big Emma is a giant green hill. The tram is efficient but like a subway at rushhour-I usually just take Littlecloud chair. That brings us to expert terrain- it really rocks at both places, you can't go wrong. I guess the best statement I can make is that people at Snowbird seem most proud of racking up the highest possible verticle by lapping the Tram as fast as possible. At Alta we hike up to some sick ridgeline, sit and enjoy the view a spell (unless some eager beaver is right behind us) and drop in at leisure....
post #4 of 8
While Alta is probably my favorite place, I think you should consider going to Snowbasin given the criteria you laid out. It's an equally easy, if not easier, drive from Park City. The crowds will guaranteed be less. The grooming is better than any resort outside of Park City. There's all sorts of variety in terrain. Granted, the snow quality generally isn't as good and the scenery not quite as spectacular, but I do think that's where I would head if I were looking for the same things you're after.
post #5 of 8
If you have never skied Alta then you most do a day there. Alta isa skiing legend and when you go back home you have some bragging rights,that you skied Alta. Now on the other hand just to stir things up. I agree 100%with rquick. Snowbasin is my favorite Utah mountain. It's like skiing one big play ground. It skis twice as big as it looks. There are some very long relaxing cruisers, From just about any named run you can find something to drop into. there are ridge lines to drop off. Well spaced trees to play in, some easy chutes and some true pucker factor terrain. Every skier in your group will find something to ski and enjoy. A day at Snowbasin is well worth the 45 min drive from Park City. The day lodges are over the top and have the feel of a 5 star hotel. The Food is good but not yet Deer Valley quality.
post #6 of 8
don't know much about your family, kids, age, skiing ability. Alta lifts do not
have safety bars - if that is an issue for you.
post #7 of 8
You will hit a home run at either resort. Try to hit them mid week instead of a weekend. If you only plan on skiing one day you have to hit Alta. If you are nostalgic and make friends easily give one of the Lodges at Alta a try for a night. We like the Alta Lodge and The Peruvian. They are right on the mountain and the dinners are a lot of fun. Together they are a throwback to another era in America. You will converse with skiers of all ages and abilities. Everyone compares notes and shares their little treasure spots at will.

Have fun

post #8 of 8
Cost may not be your overriding factor, but what the heck it may help you make a decision.

I know in the past that Snowbird provided a free kid lift ticket with each adult ticket purchased. I don't remember the age limit (I suspect is was under twelve) but it actually made it cheaper for my family (two adults, two kids) to ski at the Bird than Alta. If you have young kids it may be worth checking on.
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