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Utah Trip

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I am planning to spend 11 days in Salt Lake City area in early March. My idea was to stay in a hotel that would be in the middle of a cluster of resorts and ski a new mountain every other day (so about 2 days per mountain – one to explore and one to enjoy “favorite runs”). What mountains would you recommend? Also, are there any multi-mountain ski pass options? I found a pass for Alta, Brighton Snowbird and Solitude at a reasonable price, and mountains appear to be close enough to each other. Is it a good option? I am afraid it may be to “powder-oriented” for me, as I like doing long-turn fast runs on long groomed trails once in a while. But I’m not looking for 100% groomed, in fact, I’ve been to Breck earlier this year and found it a bit more groomed than I’d prefer (maybe that was because it was early season).
post #2 of 17
Do a search. People like the Extended stay in Midvale a lot, cheap and a kitchenette. The Treasure Mountain in Park City is fairly reasonable and has a kitchen too. With 11 days, ski anywhere. You'll have a blast.
post #3 of 17
Don't be concerned that there won't be groomed trails. You will find plenty at all four of the Little Cottonwood and Big Cottonwood resorts. Brighton in particular caters to the novice and intermediate skier and boarder while still having plenty of terrain for the better skier.
post #4 of 17
i find the La Quinta a nice clean hotel, 50% skiers, good enough breakfast(included). I am there right now in fact. Skied Alta today. Don't worry about too much grooming in Utah. I would ski all the Cottonwood resorts and at least Park City Resort. Driving up and down the Cottonwood Canyons can be a pain. It might be 25 minutes when "all clear", yesterday there was freezing rain on the Little Cottonwood road, solid Ice(you could skate!), and it took some poor souls 3 hrs to get down from Alta, it only took us about 1.5 hrs from Snowbird, but don't let that scare you off, there are pluses and minuses to everything, and if you come to ski Alta/Bird you are probably skiing the best lift served snow on planet earth(on average).

There is no "middle of the clusters". That would be Salt Lake City downtown, which will make you a little closer to the PC resorts, but you are probably going to focus on the Cottonwoods, so google Midvale/Sandy, that's where you'll stay.

my pal stayed at the Days Inn Midvale and he said it was the same price as La Quinta, but not nearly as nice.

Get a Hertz Subaru Outback. You'll probably need a four wheel drive.

Powder come and goes. It gets skied out fairly quick,(except for nooks and crannies) so you will only have Powder if it snows. If you are coming to Utah, learn to ski the powder, chopped up powder, powder covered moguls, etc.

I've been lucky, but this is my third trip in a ROW where I've had good Utah powder to ski in.
post #5 of 17
Last year we stayed at the Crystal Inn in Murray. It had a full breakfast and dinner included everyday, that was very nice and convinent. It was mostly skiiers there. All of the usual ammenities also. Worth the money.
post #6 of 17
I've only been to Utah once (2 years ago) and we stayed at a condo right in between Big & Little Cottonwood canyons. It was about 20-30 minutes to the resorts depending on traffic and snow (we had an avalanche close Little Cottonwood canyon one day). If you are looking to stay at a hotel, I believe the town of Sandy has alot of options. Try to find one that has a hot tub, if you're going for 11 days it will help. The pass for Alta, Snowbird, Solitude & Brighton is worth it. We skied each one (Solitude twice) as well as The Canyons and Powder Mountain.
My favorites were Alta and Powder Mountain. I would have liked to ski Alta 2 or 3 times. We skied Powder Mountain on a Saturday, and the place was empty. The drive was somewhere between 1 and 1-1/2 hours. Definetly worth it. The place is huge, but not that many lifts (one is a bus ).
Don't worry about the powder, it won't take you long to get the hang of it. SnowbirdDevotee is right, it gets tracked out fast. The hardest thing for me was skiing the tracked out powder. I don't know what size skis you have, but go wide (rent if you have to). After that trip I bought new skis that are 83mm wide. I live in Ohio and all the ski shops tried to talk me out of them. They ski great here, but I can't wait to try them out there.
The next trip I take to Utah, I plan on staying at or near Alta's base. Don't want to take the chance on not making it up the canyon road on a powder day. Although I only skied there once, there's just something about it I can't quite describe. Good luck and have a great trip.
post #7 of 17
I was surprised how many trails were groomed at Alta. There will always be at least one groomed run off each lift, often several. Thing is, if you really really like groomed trails, head to Deer Valley. You'll love it there.
post #8 of 17

Homewood Suites Midvale

Just stayed there for a reasonable price that included both breakfast and dinner. Convenient to Park City resorts as well as both Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons. We skied both Deer Valley and Alta - liked Alta better, and hope to get around to posting a trip report. Enjoy, rickp
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info. I'll probably stay at Country Inn Midvale or Ramada Inn - both have nice ski deals and kitchenetes, and the prices are bout the same. I wonder how important is to have 4x4 in a rental - they seem to be in really short supply, and the cheapest I can find is 3x the price of non-AWD alternative. Are rental companies at least putting proper winter tyres on FWD/RWD (or one-wheel-drive, as I call them) cars?
post #10 of 17
Hampton Inn in Sandy. Bus stop right in front that will take you right to Brighton/Solitude. It also makes a stop at the transit hub where you can transfer to the Little Cottonwood bus (Alta/Snowbird). Free hot breakfast.
post #11 of 17
Headign to Utah early March. maybe see you out there.
post #12 of 17
I've survived in Utah many times with a FWD car. If there is heavy snow in LCC or BCC, and they are checking for chains or 4WD, you have two choices - park at the bottom of the canyon and take the bus, or drive out I-80 to the Park City areas.
post #13 of 17
I flew into SLC late Friday night without a reservation. I started calling places in the Utah Travel Guide and found a lot were full. Ended up at America's Best Suite's on Main Street. Place is pretty much a dump.

Stayed in the Dorm at the Peruvian Saturday night. Rooms are kind of tight for four. I love the vibe at the Peruvian, but it too is starting to show a little wear.
No breakfast till 7:30 is a little late if your trying to make first chair.
post #14 of 17
our hotel was full too, la quinta midvale, and I am starting to realize you got to be a little careful in slc about both hotels and food. years ago we stayed at the comfort inn sandy and that became a "dump" too.
post #15 of 17
Does one even need a car when staying in Sandy or Midvale? Looks like the ski bus stops at many hotels before heading up the canyons.
post #16 of 17
11 days, lucky you. The length of stay increases the chances of good snow conditions. In the mountains conditions can change day to day (or even hour to hour.
If you have a car, I would suggest trying out Snowbasin early on in your trip. You might like the lack of crowds and the long wide blueish runs. (Especially worth considering on the weekends when Alta/Bird can get crowded)
post #17 of 17
you dont' neeed a ride, but my pals had car troubles once and ended up it being at least an hour drive on a slow bus. there can be driving problems out there. i always recommend to get at least a cheapo $30/day, 50/50 you'll be okay with that, at least you can drive closer to the bottom of the canyon, most guy are taking off time form work, spending airfair, spend just a little more so you are not riding buses all day, that's for locals or experienced regulars, who Don't have to ask here how to do it!
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