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utah recommendations

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'm an east skiier and am cashing in a FF ticket to fly solo into Salt Lake City for the first time in early March. Where to go and stay? I've decided to rent since my skiis are for eastern skiing. I consider myself an expert but have no experience with the powder I could encounter out west.

Not sure if I should stay at one resort for 4 days, move each night and ski other mountains or try and chase the best conditions. Would like a moutain with great views, esp lakes to add to my photo collection. Would it be worth it to take a private lesson for powder skiing?

Newbie to the site and would appreciate any feedback from da bears!:
post #2 of 15
Go to Altabird and rent a pair of Gotamas and take a lesson and have fun.
Did I forget anything?

Oh well, you might also want to ask The Bushwacker for the local guidance....
post #3 of 15
I've been doing some research myself (using my miles as well!) and we are going to stay in SLC and shuttle it up to a resort every day and taking full advantage of this:

From what I have heard Snowbird and Alta are the places to go. We snowboard *dodge* so Alta is out of our jurisdiction but I have heard and read very good things about both.

We are from Wisconsin so I think our conditions are very similar to yours. We are each bringing a powder board and a mid / flexible board and hoping we'll never use the later of the two!

We are going Easter weekend. Should be fun. Post or PM your experience please!

*Edit* The shuttle bus to the Mountain even has WiFi on it. The pass also allows you to use the Mass Transit system for free during your stay as well.
post #4 of 15
If you want a great overall experience, consider staying at one of the Alta lodges. It's a real down to earth skiing experience that is about as good as it gets. If the snow is good, you'll never get bored there in 4 days, especially if you spend a day or two at Snowbird next door. This is not the budget option, but I think it is a good way to optimize a short 4-day trip and minimize the possible hassles of driving/eating/etc.

Lesson can't hurt, especially if you've never skied powder. On the other hand, if you keep your skis working together as a unit, that might be all you need to get the hang of it (in other words, try to keep even weight on both skis most of the time).

There are a couple good shops at Alta where you can rent/demo, several right in the lodges.
post #5 of 15
I'd spend a day each at Snowbird and Alta. They are the essence of western skiing with great terrain and great snow. They are both uniquely beautiful with Alta as one big Bowl and Mineral Basin at Snowbird is stunning. You may also want to send a day at Park City, just to experience it. Snowbasin is also very nice with grewat views.
post #6 of 15
Deervalley has some nice views of jordanelle res. Other than that most of the views are of mountain landscape and are all pretty sweet.

The cheap path is to stay in sandy or midvale and take the bus to LCC (alta/bird) or BCC (soli / brighton).

The cheap plus is do that but rent a car and then drive where ever you want.

A better option is to say in park city or up in LCC at alta or snowbird, both are more spendy. PC will have good skiing, and lots of walk to (or shuttle bus to) eating, nightlife, etc. Alta / Bird resort accommodations will offer better skiing but much less nightlife.
post #7 of 15
For a short trip four day trip, I would look at any of three options.

Budget conscious, more driving: Stay in Sandy and hit Alta/Snowbird or Brighten/Solitude. Different each day or stick with one and learn the mountain. Can't go wrong either way.

More $s Less driving: Stay up LCC and ski Alta/Snowbird or Stay in the Park City area and ski PC, Deer Valley and/or The Canyons.

But really, if you had a three headed coin, you could flip it and it would be WIN, WIN, WIN

Have fun
post #8 of 15
Take your pick. ALL of the Utah resorts are simply put......Out of Sight!!!!

post #9 of 15
When I used to visit Utah from NY, I'd stay at the Cliff Lodge at the Bird for the spa and restaurants. (not to mention the best skiing in Utah) Also it's a killer joint, a ten story concrete and glass bunker, having been built next to Mt. Surperior's slide path. People love it or hate it. I've a friend that swears by the Rustler, very "rustic" with upgrades but the $ is steep. In Park City the best budget joint IMO is Chateau Apris. Best cost-no object- place I can recommend is Stein Erickson Lodge at Deer Valley. I've stayed at both, and each has it's charms.
I think, with four days, I'd stay up in Little Cottonwood and arrange a day trip over to Park City to ski Deer Valley.
And, if it dumps, reserve some fatties the night before and do ski school- expert level group classes are usually just one or two other skiers, and you cut the lines all day and have a guide.
post #10 of 15
I've been out to Utah 10 times or so over the years. Each time I've stayed outside downtown Salt Lake City and drove to the mountains with a rental car. This saves much money and gives you the option to ski different areas. Only twice did I have any significant delays getting up one of the canyons due to avalanche work. Renting an AWD vehicle is probably a good bet though parking at the bottom and taking the bus is a viable option. Also, if the canyons are closed, you can always drive to Park City.
post #11 of 15
Second JimH. I've been to Utah many times I lost count. There're ways to get up canyon on powder days without 4x4.

I don't feel the need to track all the way over to Park City just to ski a day. Especially not when you only got 4 days. Maybe if you have a whole week, it might worth a day of distraction. I do, on the other hand, see the point of skiing PC, exclusively, on a seperate trip.
post #12 of 15
We found getting around, to the 5 different Utah resorts we skied, was not a problem.

Park City to Alta was under an hour, no biggie. I recommend a 4x4. If it storms you can get to a mountain without a fuss.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much to everyone for the great feedback. How concerned should I be that a big dump would prevent me from getting to the mountain if I stayed off mountain? Or is it just a matter of hours before they clear it? I guess the only lucky ones are those that stay on mountain but I know it's more $$$.

Thanks Bears!
post #14 of 15
I think since u have had little experience in powder DrVly would be a good start- well-groomed for midwesterners/east coast, but if there is a dump, there will be places to ski in powder & the pow will probably be around longer thatn Alta/'Bird. Yes it is pricey(get Lift tkts in SLC), but staying in SLC would cut $$. I drove from the a/prt last Wed 13 to Prk city late in midst of wild snowstorm-made it in about 50 minutes. Normally, u would see Jordanvelle rsvr and blue lake as mentioned but dang it they've had so much snow out there it's all white. And Alta is a must-see. The lift-house ski-shop at BCC intersection sells discount tkts and rentals-just east of convenence store-7-11 I think.
post #15 of 15
Since you are saving $ on your airfare spend the extra dough and stay at the Rustler Lodge, the views are worth the price, watching the twilight play on the peaks is surreal. You can ski two of the best areas and best of all at the end of the day you have a chairlift to take you home.
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