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Salt Lake City? Steamboat? Jackson Hole?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I've found tickets from the DC area (for the first week in March) to Salt Lake City, Jackson Hole and Steamboat that are within 60 dollars of each other, round trip (oddly, Steamboat is the cheapest, while SLC and Jackson Hole are about $15 apart). Which destination is the best choice for a pair of advancing intermediates (meaning: ski blues with no issues, learning to ski moguls, like to dabble in trees, and may ski a black run here and there if the conditions are friendly... no need for steeps, but scenic views are always welcome)? Bonus points for being cheap/value-conscious. My gut inclination is to go to SLC, but I want to be sure I'm not making a mistake.

Assuming that our lodging requirements boil down to, "shower, bed, and stove (so we can cook our own meals 90% of the time)", which destination is the best value for us after we figure in lodging, airfare, and lift tickets?

aaron
post #2 of 15
Steamboat great place for intermediates, primo conditions in early March, nice town, no car needed. Jackson will have best scenery and there are Super 8 type motels in town, more famed for black diamond terrain, no car needed. SLC could offer good lodging bargains by staying in Sandy to access Alta/Bird and other fine skiing options requiring car. If you can find a deal at Steamboat on lifts and lodging (Rabbit Ears motel?) that might be a nice option for you, but they should all be winners in early March.
post #3 of 15
yes yes and yes

Depends on what you want and how long. SLC has the most to choose from. Jackson has one kickass expert mountain (plus Targhee), Steamboat is higher up but great snow by all accounts. Actually they all should have great snow. March though so spring conditions in some cases maybe not godlike powder but good coverage.
post #4 of 15
I've been to all 3 and plan on going to Steamboat (with the kids)and SLC (sans kids) this year. Steamboat and SLC (Alta, Snow Basin, DV, PCMR) would be better for intermediate skiers. Stay away from Snowbird and JH as you'll be restricted on what you can ski. Scenery on the ones above are best at Alta and Snow Basin. However, Steamboat is a big, fun mountain that will keep an intermediate happy for a week easy. Cheapest digs at Steamboat would be in town and you take the free town shuttle to the lift. In SLC, stay downtown and rent a car. Then pick one of 9 resorts each day based on conditions etc. All about 30-40 min drive. If you stay downtown get discounted tickets at Canyon Mountain Sports. A cheap place to stay is the Garden Inn right next to Canyon Sports. From there you can wallk to all the restaurants like Squatters and Red Rock Brewery etc. Sandy is good place to stay as well but only if you plan to ski the Cottonwood resorts exclusively.
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaff View Post
I've been to all 3 and plan on going to Steamboat (with the kids)and SLC (sans kids) this year. Steamboat and SLC (Alta, Snow Basin, DV, PCMR) would be better for intermediate skiers. Stay away from Snowbird and JH as you'll be restricted on what you can ski. Scenery on the ones above are best at Alta and Snow Basin. However, Steamboat is a big, fun mountain that will keep an intermediate happy for a week easy. Cheapest digs at Steamboat would be in town and you take the free town shuttle to the lift. In SLC, stay downtown and rent a car. Then pick one of 9 resorts each day based on conditions etc. All about 30-40 min drive. If you stay downtown get discounted tickets at Canyon Mountain Sports. A cheap place to stay is the Garden Inn right next to Canyon Sports. From there you can wallk to all the restaurants like Squatters and Red Rock Brewery etc. Sandy is good place to stay as well but only if you plan to ski the Cottonwood resorts exclusively.

Excellent advice and details

Of course he can't really go wrong with any of the 3 he mentioned
post #6 of 15
All three are great, but I'd say Jackson is a bit out of contention for what you're looking for, as it's a pretty gnar.

SLC has tremendous variety, and for lodging try VRBO and some of the agencies that book vacations as you want a condo vs. a hotel (ie stove). You'll need a car to get to the different places, but it'll be worth it. Highly recommended for the terrain you mention are Solitude, Park City area, and Snowbasin (a bit north, but worth the effort to get to).

I love Steamboat, and for what you describe, it could be a one-fit mountain. The fantastic tree runs are well documented, and the groomers are excellent, with enough variety that you shouldn't get bored. A cool little town too.

With what you described as your preference, I'd suggest Steamboat.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all (and the PM's) for their thoughts/advice. I decided to go for SLC, because I found a great price on a hotel with a kitchenette (a stove, at least) and for $400-ish for the week, it was too good a price to pass up. It looks like we'll get airfare, lodging, and lift tickets for 6 days of skiing for less than $800/week, which is pretty darn good, in my estimation.

The lodging in Steamboat with kitchen options was all over $1000/week, so we saved a good bit there, and the Steamboat lift tickets were more expensive than the Super Pass. I think the Cottonwood resorts will be enough to keep us overwhelmed for a week, anyway!

Now, the hard part is going to be waiting until the first week in March!


aaron
post #8 of 15
If you are on the super pass... then Alta and solitude are your sweet spot for intermediate skiing. Snowbasin is good too.
post #9 of 15
For what you're after, Steamboat. However it can be pricey so 2nd choice would be SLC, but give Snowbird a miss. The remaining three SLC resorts are better value for money, more mellow skiing of the type you're after with challenges if you want them.

Edit; just saw you'd plumped for SLC! One of those hotels around Fort Union? place with a kitchenette is a great idea.
post #10 of 15
400/week with a kitchenette...where did you find that at?
post #11 of 15
Agree with much of the above.

Jackson is not the best choice at the stated ability level, and early March is risky for surface conditions with the SE exposure if it hasn't snowed recently. And this is a bigger risk factor for intermediates than for Bob Peters & co who can ski anything.

Steamboat also has sunny exposure and thus may have spring conditions. But it's a more intermediate mountain so grooming will compensate if there's no fresh snow.

Some of the good intermediate places in Utah (Park City, Canyons, Snowbasin) have similar sun/spring conditions issues as Steamboat. Deer Valley has more north exposure.

Utah Cottonwood Canyons are the best bet for winter snow, but I agree Snowbird may be limiting for some intermediates. Alta, Brighton and Solitude should be good most of the time.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolvesr1 View Post
400/week with a kitchenette...where did you find that at?
Extended Stay America in Midvale. I still haven't figured out if I'm going to do a rental car or the bus. It looks like (if I'm reading the UTA site correctly) the ride on the bus is ~2 hours each way. That's more time than I'm willing to invest in sitting...


aaron
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by scootertig View Post
Extended Stay America in Midvale. I still haven't figured out if I'm going to do a rental car or the bus. It looks like (if I'm reading the UTA site correctly) the ride on the bus is ~2 hours each way. That's more time than I'm willing to invest in sitting...


aaron
there's a place in midvale called Intown Suites that's around $250 per week for a room with a kitchenette.
post #14 of 15
The thing with JH is that 75% of the blues would be blacks at 75% of other places.
post #15 of 15
I don't think the ski bus is 2 hours. I caught it most days, and I'm pretty sure it didn't take that long. It's comparable with driving up, except the bus takes a bit of a milk run rather than going straight up. And it does get horribly crowded, especially teh first buses which are packed with resort staff.

I'm trying to remember where the Extended Stay america is, I think that's around 900e/1300e section just off Fort Union? The bus was often full by then, as housekeeping for snowbird took Trax and got on the early bus at the first stop.

However if you're going up later, the bus is good as it's not full at all. and you don't have to futz around trying to find a park (quite an issue up the Canyon although Alta has quite a bit of parking). the bus drops you right at the door of the building at Snowbird where you get the tram from.
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