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Utah Locals ... need your knowledge

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
hey,

In two weeks we're making our maiden voyage to Utah (I know, I know why were we wasting our time skiing other states??) and we're looking for some input from people with local knowledge.

We know that big and little cottonwood canyon are amazing places to ski but the cost of lodging (multi-bedroom condo) was considerably more expensive, so we opted to make The Canyons our home base.

Where should we ski? We're at the base of The Canyons which makes us close to PCR and DV. Day trips over to cottonwood canyons seem reasonable ... any tips?

Where's the fun at night? We love apres ski and also nice meals. The occaisional fun bar at night is also welcome. Which places should we see, which should we avoid?

Anything else?

Thanks in advance!!
kiersten
post #2 of 22
not a local, i've only been here a week, but basically, park city has all the nightlife and the cottonwood canyons have all the snow. alta is great for skiing, but not apres. snowbird is great for skiing if you are a lunatic, and pretty good for apres. brighton and solitude are almost as great for skiing and both pretty bad for apres, and are less crowded than alta and snowbird. downtown slc is pretty nice and has some restaurants and bars, the suburbs seem to be one continuous strip mall for miles in every direction. if you are going to be driving to the cottonwood canyons you will need a 4x4 or you will need to have tire chains in your car. otherwise you can park at the base of the canyon and take the bus up. when it snows, road closures are frequent and you will need to be on the road up the canyon early, like 6 am to beat them.
post #3 of 22
Not a local, but consider a trip to Snowbasin. Drop dead gorgeous views and wonderful skiing with no lines. We traveled from PC to Snowbasin and it takes about 90 minutes that I remember and it was well worth the day trip.


Don't know much about the apres.
post #4 of 22
Kiersten,

Fairly easy drive over to the cottonwoods and should take 45 min to an hour. It's also an easy 1:15 to Snowbasin and it's DEFINITELY worth a look.

As for PC nightlife it's a short free bus ride from the Canyons to main street PC. Once on main street you can stroll around anywhere you like with many dining choices and bars/nightlife. Try No Name Saloon or O'shucks for pub food and cheap(relatively) drinks especially early.
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone, good tips.

I'd really love to hear about skiing ... more than just which hills to hit ... what parts of the hill to ski and when. A mountain game plan.

Hiring guides gets expensive and I don't know if I feel like playing "pimp my friend" (she might pimp me back!) to the locals at the bars. haha

kiersten
post #6 of 22
How long are you staying? Look here http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=57168
post #7 of 22
The Canyons has a good lift ticket/lunch deal going on right now:

http://www.thecanyons.com/shopping_specials.html
post #8 of 22
>Day trips over to cottonwood canyons seem reasonable ... any tips?
i always enjoy skiing a different mtn each day. mix it up, ski 2 of the park city mtns and 1 in each cottonwood, my recommendation is solitude snowbird. make sure you get up to the "top" of each one. there is a ton of terrain, it depends on what your level of skiing is. study the maps now, and when you arrive, let gravity be your guide.

Where's the fun at night? We love apres ski and also nice meals. The occaisional fun bar at night is also welcome. Which places should we see, which should we avoid?
park city has nightlife and places to go.
post #9 of 22
Another option (not exactly sure when you are going), is that we have Canyons lift tickets for $56 and Park City tickets for $58 (on liftopia.com).

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions...
post #10 of 22
well, at alta, pretty much just take a chair to the top and ski down whatever looks good to you, it's pretty wide open, and there is good stuff for all abilities off of every chair. and there is always powder left somewhere if you're willing to hike a little for it. (you don't need a guide, you can see where it is)
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by klkaye View Post
Thanks everyone, good tips.

I'd really love to hear about skiing ... more than just which hills to hit ... what parts of the hill to ski and when. A mountain game plan.

Hiring guides gets expensive and I don't know if I feel like playing "pimp my friend" (she might pimp me back!) to the locals at the bars. haha

kiersten

Wait, so are you two single women? I'll guide.
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
uh oh. :

well, we're a group of 4 (3 of us ski together and the forth peels off when we get to stuff that's over her head). two of us are single chicks. but we're east coast girls and "the goods are odd" is usually enough to keep us from picking up locals.

ha-ha
post #13 of 22
I'm local out here but from Boston as well. I'm here for the winter skiing the Canyons and Snowbird, living in Park City. This place is amazing. You will have such a good time.

- Ben
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bszekely View Post
I'm local out here but from Boston as well. I'm here for the winter skiing the Canyons and Snowbird, living in Park City. This place is amazing. You will have such a good time.

- Ben
Ben that's all you got for me??? Secrets, tips, offers?

kiersten
post #15 of 22

beware the film festival

You'll have a wonderful time where ever you go we've been getting dumped on since Christmas. Here's a couple thoughts If you get a storm the cottonwood resorts (alta, snowbird, brighton, solitude) will be swamped with locals. Alta is the gold standard if you don't mind crowds. If you're not renting a 4-wheeler or chains take the shuttle the local sherrif has no sense of humor when it comes to people disregarding road condition signs.
Regarding Park city, deer valley and the canyons you are going to be right in the middle of the Sundance film festival. Night life should be awsome but the resorts will be a corduroy zoo.
If skiing is your thing and you don't mind the trip Snowbasin is an awsome mountain with world class amenities. If you want to ski where the locals ski try Powder Mountian. More skiable acres than any of the above resorts, hell it has more skiable acres than any other resort in the US. It is however decidely low key. Food stinks, lodge is old and stinky but if you want to find fresh Pow when it's all tracked out the other resorts Powder Mountain is the place (it's a step back in time).
post #16 of 22
Not a local but a Mass person who's been going out there for years

You will be in PC, so go there. I think the busses even run into the night. Only thing is if you're around during Sundance good luck finding a restaurant.

The Canyons is OK ... everything you ski is from midmountain up. There are BC access points but ... I don't know how good a skier you are or how adventurous (or knowledgeable about avvie danger).

DV is a nice luxury (groomed) experience but gets hammered with crowds at times. The lunch/lodges/service are great. Ski Ontario Bowl and Daly if you're an expert.

PCMR - the interesting stuff for an expert is Jupiter bowl also off McConkeys. At the bottom it's a pinball alley of dodging kids and boarders etc. There are many intermediate groomers there too.

Oh yea forgot to say DV is skier only so if you have boarders forget it.

For food I usually hit the Wasatch brewpub in PC. THere's higher end stuff as well as pizza type places but others can probably say more there.

Other places I've been in PC for dinner: Grub Steak and Ciseros (Italian)
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by klkaye View Post
hey,


Where's the fun at night? We love apres ski and also nice meals. The occasional fun bar at night is also welcome. Which places should we see, which should we avoid?

Anything else?

Thanks in advance!!
kiersten
A friend of mine (Jim) just opened up a place called Irie (Caribbean & Cajun). He loves to party so the atmosphere should be fun. I haven't been out yet, so if you make it, post a review...

Trent
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
thanks everyone for the on-going ski tips

thankfully we're arriving on the 27th, so we're just after sundance. we will be staying at the base of the canyons so we'll ski there a few days. we'll also get to other resorts (we rented a SUV) as the weather and our interest in driving permits.

how easy/hard is it to navigate these resorts (wide open areas where nothing is marked, or easy to figure out)?

kiersten
post #19 of 22
Most of the resorts are pretty easy to navigate, just study the online trail maps. Check out Canyon Sports for discounted lift tickets. Like most I really love LCC. Alta is an amazing place and is very easy to get around. Snowbird is a little more difficult to get around (huge place), if you can't find some locals to show you then hire a guide if you want to learn where and what time to ski certain areas of the resort. A friend did this a few years ago (he has been to Snowbird about 6 years in a row) and said he learned a great deal about the mountain and where to find the best snow. The Canyons, once your at mid mountain, will remind you have kton or Sunday River as it is really spread out. My friends and I really like 9990 chair and 7 sisters area, a must there is Deschutz (sp). The runs there are shorter then most resorts and cross cuts are the main way around. PCMR, the comments said early sum it up. Jupiter is the place to hit there, do the 5 minute hike up to do Scotts bowl. If you are a group of very good skiierx and have a few bucks to spend and want a great experience try the interconnect, you ski 6 or so resorts as well as BC (that is how you get from one resort to the other, then use the lifts to access the BC). It has great terrain and scenery.

Night life is Park City, nothing else needs to be said. There are some very good restaurants. Since you are a group of women you should have no issues but in each bar you walk into seek out a sponsor as you need to be a member to enter. Memberships are not expensive (like a cover charge) and usually last 2 weeks, so keep the paperwork if you have to join. Cisero's has some way of getting around it and normally charge a nightly cover charge (at least they did last time I was there).

Enjoy your trip, I only wish I could make it out there this year but at this point timing is not on my side.
post #20 of 22
Just echoing what others have said - BCC and LCC are something special and you should check at least one of them out. Snowbird is a large resort, almost European in style. Solitude is nice also, a bit smaller and less crowded if you get there at some point.

If you've never been out west before you will find these places are enormous. To give an idea I think Killington is around 1200 acres or so? The average place out there is around 2000 and it's more open so it seems even bigger. Alta many trails are NOT directly lift served ... but there is plenty that is and plenty for intermediates to ski also.

PCMR and DV are next to eachother, both with many groomed trails for intermediates. PCMR is kind of a ridge layout with Thaynes on one side and McConkeys (forget the name of the basin) on the other. DV there are several areas, most of which are intermediate, although Empire (far right and adjacent to PCMR) has a bit more challenge. PCMR has a couple of lifts which you can take from downtown area. The Canyons (where you're staying) is probably the least easy to figure out (to me anyway) as most of the trails are midmountain up and it's kind of a spread out weird layout. Even at the bottom you can tell they planned big and ran out of money or something.
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by klkaye View Post
thanks everyone for the on-going ski tips

thankfully we're arriving on the 27th, so we're just after sundance. we will be staying at the base of the canyons so we'll ski there a few days. we'll also get to other resorts (we rented a SUV) as the weather and our interest in driving permits.

how easy/hard is it to navigate these resorts (wide open areas where nothing is marked, or easy to figure out)?

kiersten
alta is pretty easy to figure out unless your first day there is in a white out and you're afraid there might be a cliff around every turn . most of the trails that are not lift served are relatively easy to get to. check their website, they will tell you which areas are open and which have routes planned for the next morning. every lift has at least one easy way, and plenty of hard ways down. powder lasts longer off the wildcat lift, i think because it is a fixed double instead of a detachable and most of the trails require a traverse. areas like ballroom and the backside will be tracked out within minutes of opening. vail ridge, under the sunnyside lift might have powder all day, because it's in the beginner's area (it's a black diamond, not a beginner trail, with lots of rocks and trees) and not too many people think of it. catherine's area lasts longer too, because it requires some hiking.

and just to reiterate, if there is a big dump, especially if it is still nuking in the morning, get on the road up the canyon by 6 am, because they usually close it by 7:30, and it can be closed until after noon, so if you get up before, you may have the place practically to yourself for a while. you'll have to wait around at the top for a while, but it beats waiting at the bottom while the pow is being tracked out.
post #22 of 22
please remember you can buy lift tkts at discount for park city resorts ONLY IN SLC, not Park City. skinsee, utah skingolf are just 2 of several ski shops w/many locations throughout slc that sell them. They have web sites that list their prices vs lift tkt window prices. They also have the discounted tkts for the cottonwoods resorts. Apres ski- because of utah laws, u will have to pay a membership/entrance fee in order to drink- get in bars-I think it is $5. I don't think this applies to a brew-pub say during the day, more so for a bar selling majority liquor after certain hrs. Or you can use your womanly charms to get a local to sponsor u in for free. The 10 yrs or so that we have been out there(condo wk 6 prkcity), we have yet to change our plans because of road closure due to snow up either the canyons roads. If they are getting that much snow chances are PCMR/DV will be getting some also. Remember, you have to drive down to SLC and rush hr traffic just to get to those resorts and if it's snowing like crazy, just enjoy PCMR/Canyons, even though I'm not a fan of canyons due to what other posters have said about it. Besides, I can't see myself getting up at 5 am on vacation just to beat a road closure, especially after a nite of apres-ski. If any in your group are boarders-be advised: Alta and Deer Valley are skis only resorts.
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