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Christmas Crowds

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
My family is planning a trip to Utah the week after Christmas. I've skied in Utah before, but this will be the first time we ski there during a major holiday. What resorts are generally the least crowded at this time? How bad are the major resorts, like Alta, Snowbird, DV, and Canyons?
post #2 of 8
Look - this question keeps coming up time and time again. ALL resorts are
crowded - some a little more than others. I say - pick a resort based
on other characteristics and go with it.

I have been to some of most crowded resorts during christmas time - Heavenly, Vail, Whistler. did we have to wait in line - yes. did we still have a great time - YESSSSSS!!!!
post #3 of 8
where are you thinking of staying?

least crowded?

Deer Valley only allows so many skiers on the mountain and that place is huge now, it does have some bottlenecks, but many dont ski a whole day there.
ticket prices are reeediculous hoiday time

Snowbasin will start with a line at the main gondola, but it wont last long, and you can get around it w/ John Paull.

I wouldnt touch snowbird 12/20-1/3

Alta will be crowded, but the lines move fast now. a lot of locals will stay away during that week unless it snows a lot. You can get "stuck " in lines at sugarloaf if you dont know how to move around the mountain.

We always complain about the "lines" at Solitude during the Holidays, but the guests we have all laugh and say we are spoiled rotten.
Lines arent bad at Solitude, and the new day lodge will alleviate the longest lines which were for lunch.

Brighton is zooed with local kids on break from school.

Canyons can handle a lot of crowds because of their layout, except the first gondola ride.

PCMR has bottlenecks in places. and will be wicked crowded. There is a huge bed base in Park City and almost all of them will be full.
post #4 of 8
I would recommend DV and the canyons.

DV because they limit the number of people that can be on the mountain.

Canyons because the place is massive. By the time you get to Peak 5/Dreamscape, there will be barely any lines at all from my personnal experiences.
post #5 of 8
We had friends out from CA. last Xmas and they skied at snowbasin for the week. No lines! They stayed in Layton at the In Town Suites for a very good price.
post #6 of 8
If you can swing it, go the week after New Years. You can get dirt cheap deals and no one will be there (comparitively). I skied Ajax/Snowmass last year that week and there was NO ONE there. Got a sweet deal too on lift tix and lodging.
post #7 of 8
I agree with poster #2, but there are some strategies that can make a HUGE difference in you xmas week:

Based on bookings, here are potentially the busiest days that week. Note that weather plays a role, as inclement weather tends to suppress crowds (somewhat)

- 24th, 26th, 27th, 29th, 30th, 31st & 1st.

So now use that info with a few more tidbits and you can end up with a pretty pleasant experience.

- Save Deer Valley for the busiest days of all, as they limit tickets sales (you will pay for the privilege, tough). It is also excellent for a powder day, as the fur crowd doesn't like ungroomed terrain (head for Ontario and Empire Canyon areas).
- Avoid Alta & Snowbird on a powder day (leave to those of us who know what we are doing ). They will be crowded and skied out before you figure out where to go. Instead, go to Solitude or Brighton. They get the same good snow, but have a far less amped out vibe and you will actually get untracked far later into the day.
- The Canyons can be a good alternative to Solitude or Brighton on a powder day, if its a cold storm (lower elevation snow can get sloppy during warm storms).
- PCMR can be good even on the most crowded days if you know how to get around the crowds, as it is a huge mountain with tons of high capacity lifts. Avoid Payday/Bonanza in the AM to get up the mountain. Go to Eagle/Con instead. Head back down to the lower part of the mountain after the AM crowd has gone up. Head to Jupiter & McConkeys at any time, since they never get crowded.
- Go to Snowbasin and Powder Mt. Although they get more discovered every year, they are still far less crowded than the LCC/PC resorts.
- Go to Sundance. You have to enjoy funky small, but well done resorts to like it there, but it can be a fun diversion for a day. The weather has to be cold since Sundance sits at the lowest elevation of all the Utah resorts.
- Save Snowbird for a day with traditionally less crowding (Xmas day or Sunday).
- Do the same with Alta.

Have fun!

post #8 of 8
We skied Utah 12/27-1/10 last year. 12/27 Alta, not bad. 12/28 Snowbird, bad lines. 12/29,30 PCMR, tough. After that no major hassles. Canyons moves people very well, and Snowbasin is pretty empty most of the times. I guess my worst experiences were at PCMR and Snowbird, but not unbearable.

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