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Deciding on an itinerary... in utah

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
now that I have my flight tix booked I can go on to deciding where to ski during my 7 night stay in Utah. We havnet booked the hotel yet but we are leaning towards Extended stay America because of the kitchens and what people have wrote on this website. We will most likely rent a car, btw what options for car do we have for 6 ppl ??? lol i guess only a minivan... the only reason we want a car is because we want to ski snobasin and pwdr mountain one or two days and we heard that the ski buses are crowded

ok so here's the itinerary i'm thinking about.

Feb 15 thrusday- Arrive @ around 2pm, get to hotel, chill, maybe buy next days lift tickets (can u do that?? at the ski shops)

Feb 16 Friday- Snowbird

Feb 17 Saturday - Snowbasin or Pwdr Mountain

Feb 18 Sunday - Solitude

Feb 19 Mon- Alta

Feb 20 Tuesday - Snowbird

Feb 21 Wendsday- Snowbird

Feb 22 Thursday- depart in the morning

couple of questions:

-should i avoid snowbird/alta on weekends, is it crowded?

-should i ski both pwdr mountain and snowbasin? at sacrifice of another day somewhere else...

-if i were to use te ski bus system, are they crowded and do they work during powder days?

-will solitude be crowded on sunday?

-is minivan the best rental car for febuaryish road conditions?? will it do fine with chains or should we opt for an SUV



thnx for help and suggestions
post #2 of 24
I'd be more flexible as far as planning where to ski each day. The Ogden areas can get quite a bit more/less snow than the BCC/LCC areas. Alta and Snowbird are usually more crowded on weekends, as are the other places. Solitude can be crowded, but usually less so than the LCC areas. I like Powder Mountain better than Snowbasin, but I have a thing for slow lifts. The UTA buses will run regardless of conditions unless the roads are shut down.
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
ye i guess i'll be a bit flexible but i want to have like down on paper where i will go not necessarily when, is there anyhting i've missed, and i will definatly avoid LCC, correction not go to LCC during the weekend of my stay... thnx
post #4 of 24
Sounds like a good plan, but it's President's Day weekend, which means the areas will be crowded (I've sworn off skiing on that Monday because of the crowds). Some areas like Alta limit the tickets they sell. Plenty of places around here like Ski n See have deals for next day lift tickets at below mountain prices [http://www.skinsee.com/lift-tickets.htm]. Snowbird also has multi-day ticket deals. Then there is the Ski Salt Lake super pass [http://www.visitsaltlake.com/] good at all of the Cottonwood Canyon resorts, but I never have gotten one since you have to stay at certain hotels to qualify and I live here.
post #5 of 24
I forgot one thing about the vehicle. LCC often limits vehicles to 4WD or those with chains. I saw what you said about avoiding LCC during the weekends, I'm not sure I agree with that. Yes, the Ogden resorts should be less crowded than LCC and BCC, but I wouldn't choose BCC over LCC on that weekend due to kids being out of school.
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by staffpro View Post
-should i avoid snowbird/alta on weekends, is it crowded?
In my very limited experience there, I would say the LCC is more crowded than BCC, however this is probably only seen in lift lines as the LCC resorts are much larger than the BCC ones. Last year my wife and I skied sol, sb, and alta in march and the only lines we had were at alta on sunday. We spent our one saturday at solitude and there was barely anyone there. Snowbird was great on a weekday and we found ourselves doing mostly tram laps all day
Quote:
-should i ski both pwdr mountain and snowbasin? at sacrifice of another day somewhere else...
I haven't been to either, but this year we are planning to stay in eden for three nights and ski both. From what I've read/heard/seen they are quite different. Snowbasin is more of a park city resort (grooming, fast lifts, good layout, upscale, etc..). Powder mountain seems like a great resort, just different. Slow lifts and traversing to get to the goods. But it seems as if no one goes there.
Quote:
-if i were to use te ski bus system, are they crowded and do they work during powder days?
If you get a car, your best bet is to drive up the canyons as often as possible (without getting stuck in a storm so watch the weather report). The busses are good but can get crowded. We usually have a car when we stay in SLC so we do this and when it's storming up the canyon we park at the bcc and lcc park & rides and take the bus. They come much more frequently than if you took one from the hotel and run consistently throughout the day.
Quote:
-will solitude be crowded on sunday?
I don't think solitude will ever get crowded. If it does do some exploring in the woods and stay away from the hs quad.
Quote:
-is minivan the best rental car for febuaryish road conditions?? will it do fine with chains or should we opt for an SUV
Rental companies will not allow chains on any of there vehicles. They also do not put snow tires on any of them. In addition, watch out for what they call 4WD/SUV vehicles. They could be an SUV with 2WD and then your really in trouble. I think the only vehicles with 4WD standard are the jeep liberty's and subie's (AWD).

We are heading to SLC on dec 28-jan 7 and staying at the extended stay midvale for a week then heading to the red moose lodge in eden for three nights. The ES midvale does sell the salt lake pass so I would suggest getting that as it is a very good deal. Last year when I planned our SLC trip I had every day planned at a particular resort, but we ended up trashing that idea and tried each slc resort for one day and heading back to the ones we liked, avoiding weekends at the LCC resorts.

good luck
Matt
post #7 of 24
Are the 6 of you serious (hardcore powderhound type) skiers? If so rent the biggest 4WD you can and decide in the morning where to go (follow the snow)

If you are not hardcore, get a minivan and wait for the road to be clear for regular traffic. Or drive to an area where the road isn't restricted.

All other things being equal, go to Snowbasin and Powder Mt on the weekend and Prez day. They will be less crowded.
post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
hertz does offer a "winter package" which includes winter tires and chains. But we are thinking of using the park n ride thing that both canyons have instead. AND WTF!??!?! i'm from Canada lol and i never knew you guys have monday off, does everyone have it of? like university kids + adults?? where to ski that monday???? In canada reading week starts on that monday so all the canadian resorts will probably be crowded with univeristy kids too.. lol. oh and the person who asked what our lvl is... well we have been out west to BC mainly 6 times (whistler twice, fernie twice, sunshine village, and kicking horse) so i would call ourselves fairly advanced. We were originally planning on going to JAckson Hole but this option ended up being alot cheaper... BTW ALTA IS GETTING NUKED BY SNOW RITE NOWWWWWWWWWW SICKKKKK HOPE ITS LIKE THAT IN FEBUARY

ty
post #9 of 24
I've been to Whistler during president's day weekend and it was awful, way too many people. If you know what Family Day weekend is here in Alberta, it's similar (free monday off in Feb for EVERYONE, stat holiday). I don't ski Sunshine/Lake Louise that weekend because it's too painful.
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
so out of the pwdr mountian, snobasin,BCC and LCC resorts which do you thing will be least crowded on the monday of Presidents week.
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by staffpro View Post
so out of the pwdr mountian, snobasin,BCC and LCC resorts which do you thing will be least crowded on the monday of Presidents week.
"Crowded" is a relative term. I would think that 5-10 min (max) lift lines would be about average on that Monday. Don't stress your plan, it's solid....
post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 
on my plan i have monday as alta but i could easily change it to something else, although i do want to go to alta during my trip real bad, I'd go there as many times as snowbird but unfortunatly two people in our group are snowboarders and we don't want to "abandon" them lol.. i guess i will just keep my plan flexible...
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by staffpro View Post
...although i do want to go to alta during my trip real bad, I'd go there as many times as snowbird but unfortunatly two people in our group are snowboarders and we don't want to "abandon" them lol....
Psst. Ditch 'em. You won't regret it.
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
No i can assure you i will go there at least one day regardless whether i am ditching them or not... and another question is there traffic at around 7-8am and 4-5pm in SLC????
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jer View Post
The UTA buses will run regardless of conditions unless the roads are shut down.
several people in this thread and others have mentioned that the ski buses get crowded on powder days. :
How crowded?
Standing room only or not everyone gets on the bus and those that do not make it on are screwed from skiing that day?
post #16 of 24
Don't even worry about traffic in SLC. It's not that bad. Also, Solitude sucks. Especially on Sunday's. Don't go there.
post #17 of 24
On a Powder day getting up The Canyons can bea pain in the a$$. By Bus or in a Car. The Bus will be packed by the way they do run more then one bus. The road up may not open untill late morning 10am or later. Chains or 4wd only will be allow up the Canyon. On Powder morning it can bea long slow ride in Traffic up LCC Keep an eye on the UHP road reports as well as the weather reports. You will have more problems with LCC Then BCC. On days like that. If the roads are closed due to Avalanche work Head to The Park City side. why wait in line when you can be getting some turns in at The Canyons, Park City or even Deer Valley.
To aviod crowds you may want to think about a drive up to Grand Targee It is an easy 4 to 5 hour drive and well worth the effort on Pres day weekend.
post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 
if I were to use the PArk n Ride thing could my last run at snowbird be down M t Baldy to Alta then catch the bus from there and have better seats???? is this possible???? also does the bus travel when road are "4wd or chain only" restrcited?? and has anyone stayed at the Candlewood Suites in midvale?? opinions, thnx in advance. Ohh and my skiis are 85mm waist is that good enough or should i sell them and get fatter???:

thnx
post #19 of 24
staffpro, looking over your posts you are thinking way too much about all this. no i wouldn't fool with worrying about how to ski from snowbird to alta just to have a better bus seat. this is a very big hill and don't be fooling around until you understand the layout, there is so much typical inbound advanced skiing, no reason to wonder and come up with a master plan. also, thinking about the hills can't be stopped, but why make a set plan, we finalize next day of skiing at dinnertime.
ski and enjoy your day, ski to the end wherever that might take you. yes, the bus travels when 4wd or chain only, that is the point. realize that there is a better than average chance that you won't even have to deal with that. sell your skis for fatties?, again, if it doesn't snow during your trip you won't be skiing much powder except for patches off the beaten track you could find. the skis that you are comfortable with now are the ones you should use, i suggest that you ski powder on them, they will work fine if you know how to use them, don't be a gumby tourist just to ski fatties for a few hours before it's tracked out.

i don't even know how wide my boards are and i rip it just fine and i ripped it fine when i had the longer skinner skis. ski with your legs, not your skis. first thing that might happen with the fatties in a big dump is everything gets tracked out in a few hours and you have big but soft, sloppy moguls and now you are all mixed up with those skis.
post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
thx...ye i guess i'll stop thinking about it till some time in Janaury but i will still think about where to ski Presidents day...

thnx
post #21 of 24
Least crowded will be Powder Mountain, then probably Snowbasin, then probably Solitude and Brighton. Go Powder Mountain.
post #22 of 24

More Input....

All I can say is this site is the bomb!

I got on to post all my great wisdom on the Utah Area .... and by the time I finished reading all the other great informative posts I figured there was no need for my blabbering, But I'm going to anyway...

To Generalize:

Snowbird & Alta have great terrain at the expense of crowds on the weekends and powder days - the later being the main drawback.

Brighton and Solitude will give up the goods all day when it is snowing just not as big - but you can find your own stashes.

Powder and Snowbasin are the "still" undiscovered Jewels in Utah. Being complete opposites as noted above. When it snows at these areas (still way more than other North American Ski Areas not in Utah) You have a much better chance of fresh tracks (usually all day - not just the first two lift rides).

Get your butt out to these areas you won't be disappointed.

Oh ...... what about Park City - Deer Valley - Canyons - don't waste your time & money. They still beat out many other areas out West but you have way to much to cover in a week already.
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by staffpro View Post
if I were to use the PArk n Ride thing could my last run at snowbird be down M t Baldy to Alta then catch the bus from there and have better seats???? is this possible????
It's possible, but I not worthwhile since they close the access to baldy early at like 3:00 pm or something. If you did it, you'd have a really good seat. I'm pretty sure there are a couple of bus stops along the bypass road where the bus can pick you up. If you're worried about a seat, try for those.

Also the buses do travel when the road is restricted to chains/4wd. They have these really cool automatic chains that they can deploy.
post #24 of 24
In regards to the rental car:
My friends and I just booked our trip to SLC last week. I used priceline to get a minivan at $35 a day, the quoted rates on expedia were around 70+, also regarding 4wd, the Avis rep told me last season they only closed the roads twice to cars with 4wd/snow chains, so a minivan is fine, if you do get unlucky, avis will rent you a pair of chains for $45 or just buy a pair at HD for $20 on your way up to the mtns. I would try priceline and bid no more than $35 a day for a minvan.
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