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post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well, my name is Matt Adams and I'm from Texas (as you probably noticed from my name) and I am hotter that 900 burning hells, so i try to keep my mind wondering in cooler places. Therefore, I have been planning my ski trip for some time now. (and have decided to go to Alta/snowbird)

I will not be able to travel from January through April.. So i must go in December.

I have been to Taos, Heavenly, Squaw, and many more areas, but have never had the pleasure to ski in Utah.

So, for anyone who has been to Alta, Snowbird, Deer Valley, ect., what are the conditions like (as far as pow goes) in late December
(Dec. 23 - Dec. 30)?

Also, I was wondering about lodging. Should i just stay in Salt Lake and take the shuttles back and fourth to the slopes to save money?

Thanks alot,
and it's nice to meet you all.
post #2 of 15

Welcome TM

Utah has some of the best early season coverage so pow will not be an issue. What will be however is the time of year you have chosen to go. It will cost you much more to go Christmas week if you decide to stay on mountain. Staying in the valley at Midvale or Sandy is a great choice with cheap hotel rates and also along the bus routes. If staying in the valley consider a rental car to come and go as you please, book the car early and you'll save.

If your schedule is flexible consider the 1st or 2nd weeks of December. Snow is almost always great with most places close to 100% open, plus incredible early season on mountain deals can be had at either Bird or Alta. I stayed 2 years ago early season, on Alta, at The Snowpine ( for $115 per night. That included lodging, lift ticket, and breakfast and 4 course dinner.
post #3 of 15
That's also one of the busiest weeks of the year. I stayed in SLC last year from 12-14 to 12-21. No crowds and great snow. Hard to beat.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Alright, Thanks alot guys

I just thought i should go later for better snow coverage, but ill take your word for it, and ill catch a flight out on December 16th and stay through the 23rd (thats the earliest i can go)

I also looked in to the snowpine lodge and it is the best deal i have seen so far!
post #5 of 15
One reason to look at SLC is snow coverage. Altho many years, it's not an issue, Snowbird takes more snow than Alta or Big Cottonwood Canyon areas to have good coverage, especially for steeper runs. In SLC, it's easier to go anywhere.
post #6 of 15
We were in Deer Valley the first week of January and it had been dumping there for days. My friend was there the day after Xmas & she said the same thing. I think you will be fine anywhere in Utah.

As for lodging, check out I'm such a huge fan of the website because you can find huge discounts on condo's, due to the fact that you rent directly from the owner. I always save like $200/night renting from VRBO vs renting via a management company.

Anyways, stay cool and have fun in December!
post #7 of 15

I love ootah

when friends and I go, we rent condos too, usually in SLC. You save a lot. You can rent a car and you're within an hours drive of like a dozen world class resorts.

Only thing is you're not getting the "on mountain" experience where you just ski out your door. I've had that and it's nice but I'd rather spend the extra $$ staying a few extra days

I think the past few years they have had some major dumps in the Cottonwood canyons by early-mid December. You should be fine going at that time.
post #8 of 15
Where do you guys you usually book your lodging? Do you guys usually just go through the hotel themselves? I had first checked through expedia and the other travel sites but they didn't said nothing was available.

I was thinking about the Alta Peruvian. It looks beautiful and rustic and everything. Do they even have TVs?
post #9 of 15
Bad snow years can happen. I have seen some less then steller early season conditions here in Utah. You can still ski but the covrage isn't all that great. But if I were a betting man I would wager that you will find excellent conditions for yor trip. Staying in the Sandy Midvalle area is an inexpensive option. It wouldn't be my first choice. Most of Sandy looks like the worse of what suburban America has to offer. It has all the charm of the endless strip malls MickyDs and KFC and used car dealers.
post #10 of 15
I've stayed in Sandy and I've stayed in PC. It depends on what kind of person you are. If you want the ambiance of a ski resort in the evening, SLC and/or Sandy is definitely not your place. I go with a buddy and stay in Sandy with no problem as all we do in evenings is watch TV, eat and drink wine. But if I brought my wife to the same place, she would find it depressing. Depends on your priorities. One other advantage to being slope side in Little Cottonwood Canyon is if they get a big dump(not that unusual) you're there ready to catch fresh powder before they open road. The Cottonwood canyons can get serious dumps.
post #11 of 15
I've used in the past, like for staying in Park City, but I also happened to find a guy (forget how - through a friend I think) who manages a bunch of properties.

I stayed in Cottonwood Heights area before, which is suburban feeling, but close enough so you wake up to the mountains outside. It's nice in the sense of being convenient to groceries etc too if you want to cook breakfast or whatever. You can even take a bus to the resorts. It depends on what you want - a mountain getaway, then stay in the canyons or on the hill. Something a little more economical then you can stay in the valley.

Send me a private message if you want more info on condos.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Ok. this sucks...i have been reading everywhere that Grand Targhee gets dumped on more than anywhere else, and now I dont know if i should go to Targhee, or Salt lake.It'll just be my luck that which ever place I go to will be dry as a bone and the other gets dumped on. So, which would be better for deep powder(in december) and expert terrain? Alta or Targhee?? Help!
post #13 of 15
Stay in Salt Lake and if conditions are significantly better at Targhee(not likely but possible) just drive on up and your not out any money.
post #14 of 15
Much more variety out of Salt Lake mid-December. Your odds are very good at Alta and Brighton, decent at Solitude and Snowbird (and Powder Mt if you really want to get away from the crowds). Do not expect steep terrain at the Park City areas to be skiable that early, thus I advise against lodging there despite the nicer resort ambience.

And if you're that unlucky with weather, Targhee is a 5-hour drive.
post #15 of 15
Originally Posted by dubdub57
Where do you guys you usually book your lodging? Do you guys usually just go through the hotel themselves? I had first checked through expedia and the other travel sites but they didn't said nothing was available.

I was thinking about the Alta Peruvian. It looks beautiful and rustic and everything. Do they even have TVs?
I am a fan of the Peruvian. No they don't have TVs. My first impression of the place was it was a little dumpy... But, it grew on me.

The accomodations are spartan, but the staff is friendly and the food is good. You pretty much end up with a vacation where you don't have a darn thing to worry about. You don't have to decide where to eat, etc. After a long day of hard skiing I like to float around in the pool with a cold beer for a bit - maybe spend some time in the jucuzzi... Then it's off to dinner where you sit at tables of 8 people. The food is decent and there is plenty. I have met some interesting folks over dinner there. After dinner I just crash.

In the morning it's best to get in the breakfast line a bit early - the bufffet can move a little slow. You can snag your lift tickets in the gift shop. Getting to the lifts is a no brainer via short shuttle or just skiing across the the parking lot.

All of the lodges at Alta work the same way, basically, and they all have die hard regulars. It really comes down to how much it's worth to you to not have to deal with driving up and down canyon, deciding on where to eat, loading and unloading gear from the car... You can save a fair chunk of change by staying down in Sandy.

Between Alta and Snowbird there is tons of terrain to ski for a four or five day stay. The Peruvian is VERY low stress. I'm more than happy to pony up the extra cash to stay there any time I head out that way.
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