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Thanksgiving Trip...Park City vs. Alta...

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I will be traveling to the Salt Lake City area during the Thanksgiving holidays.  I plan to stay in either Park City or Alta.  I hope to do some skiing; however, I realize the early-season conditions may be iffy (I would love to be able to push the trip back a few weeks, but that is a different story).  Anyway, what is everyone’s opinion on Park City vs. Alta during this time?  From my research, it appears that Alta has a much better chance of having a suitable amount of terrain open.  But, if the weather does not cooperate, I don’t want to be stuck at Alta with nothing to do.  In other words, it seems that there are many more attractions in Park City if skiing is not possible.

 

I appreciate any help/advice that anyone can provide.

 

Thanks

post #2 of 15
The only time PC skis better is if your stuck with man made.  Park City does have night life though and Alta is pretty quiet, especially that early in the season.   I am 100% sure you could wait to book until the last minute. 
post #3 of 15
Try to go to targhee if you can. Its much more of a lock for good snow that early IMO.
post #4 of 15
Definitely nor crowded at that time. I would wait until the last minute to see how snow shapes up.
post #5 of 15
Most who ski Alta stay down in the Salt Lake City valley which is about 30 minutes away.  For Thanksgiving Day there isn't even a debate about where to go.  Alta gets much more snow and it holds up much better because the mountain faces north and is higher.  huge difference.  I wouldn't trust Alta/Bird until at least December 10th.  I know the last three years things have been dicey until about then, I was there mid-Dec 07/08.  Also, staying in Park City is much more expensive than staying down in the valley.  If you stay in the valley you can easily ski Park City with about a 1 hr drive or Alta/Bird about 30 minute drive.  Look for a hotel in Sandy/Midvale.  I stay at La Quinta, Midvale.
post #6 of 15

SnowbirdDevotee is spot on with his advice.  I've been mountain biking up in PC the last two Tdays whereas you can actually ski at Alta.  If The Canyons and Park City Resort are open at that time it will most likely be the WROD.  Deer Valley doesn't open up until mid December no matter what.  I would warn you to be careful at Alta/Snowbird during that time of year because even if it looks covered it's very rocky there.  There are spots that will look great but are still thinly covered until the base gets up to good levels.  I'd stay on trail at that time of year unless you can hook up with someone there who knows the terrain pretty well. 

The one thing I'd say about SD's post is that he must drive pretty slow. It's more like 35-45 minutes to Park City and 20 minutes up to Alta if you stay in Sandy/Midvale. 

post #7 of 15
However, there are years where the skiing is great in PC and Cottonwoods that time of year. Granted, it may be only 1 year out of 5, but if you catch that year, you're in luck. Hence my advice re waiting to see what happens before booking. No matter what happens, you shouldn't have any problem finding a place at the last minute.
post #8 of 15
Didn't freeze last inight up high and its 55 degrees at the snowdird 9600' right now. Whats on the ground is melting quick.... but so far this fall has been alot of storms and another big storm coming in next week. Its not even halloween yet.

Keeping things flexible is the best plan. If your dates are firm then don't book hotel or car just yet. Wait and then check conditions at the last minute. Its most likely that if you are at Alta at that time there will be something to ski... however its about 50/50 that the lifts will be running.  Also, it seems that the BCC resorts open up a WROD a bit earlier than anyone else.

If you absolutely must book car / room now then the most likely plan for good skiing is to reserve a 4wd and drive 4 hours to driggs and ski targhee. They are open thanksgiving more consistently than anything in UT.
Edited by tromano - 10/17/09 at 11:48am
post #9 of 15
honestly worst time of year to take a ski vacation. do you have time in april or may?

alo tromano does speak the truth about targhee almost always has better coverage than anything in utah that time of year.
post #10 of 15
You never know about the snow, but I always think of the year when Alta had 10 inches of base 6 days before Thanksgiving, and then opened the day before Thanksgiving with 10 feet. They got 10 feet in 5 days!  I use this exceptional storm as a reason to never give up hope on Alta/Snowbird. When it comes to storms, that place always amazes me.
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post

You never know about the snow, but I always think of the year when Alta had 10 inches of base 6 days before Thanksgiving, and then opened the day before Thanksgiving with 10 feet. They got 10 feet in 5 days!  I use this exceptional storm as a reason to never give up hope on Alta/Snowbird. When it comes to storms, that place always amazes me.

yeah they can get alot of snow in short period of time, but it also may not snow as well.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'm still planning on being in SLC during Thanksgiving; does anyone have an update on conditions at the SLC resorts following the recent snow?  Can I assume that the resorts which are already open/operating (Solitude & Brighton) will have the most terrain open?  Is anyone familiar with the current conditions at Alta?  Any idea how much terrain they may have open over the next couple of weeks? 

Thanks again for any insight that anyone can provide.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by awluter View Post
 Can I assume that the resorts which are already open/operating (Solitude & Brighton) will have the most terrain open? 

No, I wouldn't assume that.  Alta is much bigger than either one and it doesn't even open until Friday.

I would just stay at Alta.  Try this deal at the Snowpine, it includes your meals.  

http://www.thesnowpine.com/0910Specail.htm
post #14 of 15
The wasatch got about 10" up high this week. We have goten dribs and drabs the last couple weeks. The storm tracks don't seem to be the strong north west wind that really favors the cottonwoods. the cams look white, and its starting to build up a little but no where near 50" base that alta needs. We need more snow.
Edited by tromano - 11/16/09 at 1:09pm
post #15 of 15
Right now, there is very little snow. Skiing is ALWAYS better in LCC than Park City. RIght now, you can skin up to Baldy; it would be very difficult to access the goods near Park City. Even on Square top and Easter, there is very little snow. Skiingwise, things are not much better in LCC/BCC. although Bright-On and Sillytude are open.
Park City is dirt cheap over the Thanksgiving holiday. Meals and apres ski are more active in P.C. than LCC.
Right now, it's not worth coming to UT. for the snow. We need a few more weeks for that. 
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