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Counsel on Park City, Solitude vs Alta

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Maybe this is the right thread to ask: We ( my boy and Dad) are planning to be in the area for skiing, and only skiing at the end of March through Easter for about 7 to 10 days.
1. We are definitely going back to Alta, for the first four days in April, have been there and know what to expect.

2. Seriously considering spending a 3- days in Solitude, sounds like a good place to experience too. Any insights on slopes and lodging - on-mountain in that base village invited and appreciated.

3. Park City : Thinking of skiing for at least two days, have heard of legendary Park City and Deer Valley grooming, just want to know what that is like, and Park City's signature runs sound interesting. Again looking for advice on staying on mountain, or ski-in/ski-out or real close i.e. very, very short walk to lifts. Our focus is skiing, and relaxing thereafter, no interest in night life and all that. So any advice on the mountains and lodging would be appreciated. Note we will choose between Park City and Deer Valley, though costs seem pretty serious at both places.

Thx
post #2 of 24
post #3 of 24
 

So true! I'd love to have a couple of those decals on my skis...

We stay in the condos at Solitude every year, and they are great - go to www.skisolitude.com/accommodations/index.php for a choice of place to stay. Be warned - once you go you will forget Little Cottonwood canyon exists...

9 more days... 9 more days!
post #4 of 24
To spread a little less hate on Park City -- as a multigenerational group, it's a fun town with more to do that you'll see in the cottonwood canyons. If you've stayed in little cottonwood, you know that there ain't much to do at night. Same thing with Big cottonwood... good for day trips in and out, but if you're staying there, better bring your own entertainment.

Park City has other stuff above and beyond skiing to do... the town has good restaurants, there are art stores to check out, etc. You'll have a good time there are night. Dunno how your old man and boy like to roll, but if you want to get some posh time out, it's fun.

There's more tougher terrain in the canyons, but it ain't hard to have fun at Park City.

(Of course, just spent more than a week in SLC and skied Solitude 2x and Park City 0, so ymmv... all depends on what you want)
post #5 of 24
I just finished an "Epic" week skiing Park City, Deer Valley, The Canyons, Snowbasin and Snowbird. Aleph Null is on the money in that Park City has a great variety of apres ski offerings including restaurants, shopping and night life. As to skiing, if only choosing one in Park City, I would recommend The Canyons which I believe has the best variety of the three resorts there. Deer Valley has a nighlty seafood buffet, which although pricy, is well worth the cost. Also check out Flanagans and the Wasatch Brew Pub both on Main St. With so many days at at Atla, you should give Snowbird a taste as also an excellent ski experience.

Wishing you GREAT snow - Falcon_O aka Charlie
post #6 of 24
Everybody complains about the sking at Park City, but although it doesn't generally have the challenges of Snowbird/Alta, I think it's pretty nice. If you want to check out some high speed groomers, it's great. However, there is also some pretty good off piste stuff as well. If you've been to the big resorts in Colorado, it feels more like them than Cottonwood Canyons. And Colorado resorts aren't bad. I think people can get a little picky sometimes. I mean snow, generally good weather, mountains, trees, how bad can it be?
post #7 of 24
 One thing to consider is that base elevations in the LCC and BCC are about 1000 ft higher than Park City and the exposures of a lot of the slopes around Park City make them more prone to spring conditions. Depending on the weather you might find a lot of variability in snow conditions between the Park City Areas and LCC/BCC. If you go to Tony Crocker's web site you can get lots of useful info on typical snowfall patterns and exposures. Here's a link http://webpages.charter.net/tcrocker818/.
post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks folks.
1. Yes spring conditions could be an issue but am hopeful Utah delivers the snow base for our dates, i.e. Mar 27 to April 5 or so.
2. Park City, the biggest issue is accommodation, each hotel seems to get a crappier review than the other. Only places in Deer Valley and this apparent gem of small family inn in park city, Chateau Apres gets good reviews. So on this subject, advice is really invited and welcome. I will be with my 6 year old, and what suits us, is easy transit to/from the slopes, with gear or ski-in/ski-out naturally, clean, attentive lodging since am with my boy, some company other than Dad in the evenings for him, in-house food since am no gourmet chef, and we are set. We ski, we eat, he plays a bit with new friends, we read, and we crash.
Amazing after the class of, Alta Lodge, Park city seems so, how should I say it pedestrian and just reported poor and uncaring service. So please folks, do advise and guide - thanks
3. Deer Valley seems to get a huge endorsement from understanding skiiers like Bob Peters and I am curious to see what serious grooming is like, same for Park City.
4. Inn at Solitude: anyone stayed there, if so, how is it for families?

Please continue with the counsel.
post #9 of 24
 For late March and early April, I would definitely cross Park City off the list unless you specifically want to ski spring snow.  There's a high probability you'll be skiing mashed potatoes there.
post #10 of 24
Park City Lodging:

From 1/30-2/6 I stayed at the Park City Peaks Hotel (http://parkcitypeaks.com/) with a group of 25 from Rochester, NY. A town bus stop is directly in front of the hotel, the rooms are comfortable and well kept, there are indoor/outdoor hotubs and pool, an on premises restaurant and bar, buffet breakfast included. In the evening a "cookie/hot chocolat" man makes the rounds - unlimited freebies.You can request a fridge for your room and there is a market within a 10 minute walk. Maxine Jensen is the marketing manager and was outstanding for providing information and help with everything/anything while our group was there. On our last day of stay, her day off, she took part of our group on a guided tour of Deer Valley. The price is reasonable and I would not hesitate to stay there again.

Falcon_O aka Charlie
post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks Charlie, and all of you on your love for the different places. My boy has been to Alta once and he was treated so well by all, we are definitely going back but we also want to experience the other Cottonwood Canyon and Park city slopes.

One question, some local residents feel snow is not great in the PC locales last week of March, if at all possible, given history of course, would an NE skiier family like us really be able to tell the difference, i.e. generally is there good snow cover, just not a lot of powder or are the slopes becoming devoid of snow by then, just curious.

Thanks
post #12 of 24
If you can tell slush apart from other types of snow, then you'll likely notice a difference (it would be hard not to notice).  It's not about the snow cover, per se, though that can factor in farther into April some years.  It's mainly about the type and quality of the snow you'll be skiing on.  All of this is weather dependent, so who knows, but statistically you would want to put your bets on LCC/BCC that late in the season and not PC.

The only other thing I would caution is that most of the mountains start closing terrain/lifts at that point.  Alta will have shut down Supreme area (not for lack of snow).  Park City will have shut down the Town Lift and associated trails.  Not sure about the BCC resorts.
post #13 of 24
Deer Valley usually skis the best in spring of the three Park CIty areas due to more north facing terrain and more shade on a lot of the runs.  The Canyons is probably #2 and would be close to Deer Valley except that the numerous run outs and trails to get from one part of the mountain to the other seem to be wet snow magnets. 

The whole area is full of great condo rentals so finding a decent place to stay should not be a problem.
post #14 of 24
So far this winter we are having lower than usual snow pack in N. UT. 80" when it should be 120" etc... There is also the possibility that in April skiing may be shut due to lack of snow. It really depends on the weather.
post #15 of 24
 Caution- I love the Chateau Apris, but it's' cheap and basic= funky. Great for a college ski club or boy scout troop...unless they've done a lot of upgrading since I was there last. Snowflower condos in Park City have the best ski-in ski out location. Anything ski in ski out at Deer Valley is going to be nice. April gets pretty warm. I like what was said about north facing slopes... if I was coming in April though, I'd look for late season deals at the Cliff Lodge at Snowbird. Higher Altitude, dude.

Oh, and by the way, PCMR really was awful today. We only had 4 inches of new snow and I had to hike pretty far off the beaten track to get my face shots. Mostly had to settle for a little pow on top of perfect corduroy. Beautiful day too... snowing in the morning and sunny by lunchtime.
post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 
Lack of snow would be a killer, all my son and I do is ski, grab a meal here and there, he plays with some other kids, crash and ski. While Thor might control the weather, it would be a shocker (but not impossible) for the snow to literally be gone when we plan to be there Mar 27 to April 4. Deer Valley is at 75000 to 8000' and Alta is at 8600' (the bases) and Snowbird base in between, and most folks claim - one can easily ski at will at Snowbird, Alta and Solitude all the way into end of May or June, But because of agreements with US Forest Service since Alta and Solitude lease their land, the slopes close around April 18.

If this is a real problem, am in a big quandary, should I pick Big White for that period ? Or Sunshine Village (we have been there) or Austria again (which will not be bad). You guys with your genuine good intentions have mind now working overtime on this.

Then again, this is February and the downhill was postponed in Vancouver for the day! Funny,climate change is here, we see it, or do we?
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by falcon_o View Post

I just finished an "Epic" week skiing Park City, Deer Valley, The Canyons, Snowbasin and Snowbird. Aleph Null is on the money in that Park City has a great variety of apres ski offerings including restaurants, shopping and night life. As to skiing, if only choosing one in Park City, I would recommend The Canyons which I believe has the best variety of the three resorts there. Deer Valley has a nighlty seafood buffet, which although pricy, is well worth the cost. Also check out Flanagans and the Wasatch Brew Pub both on Main St. With so many days at at Atla, you should give Snowbird a taste as also an excellent ski experience.

Wishing you GREAT snow - Falcon_O aka Charlie

I just got back from a similar vacation!  I'd recommend The Canyons, too, but it doesn't matter for his purpose because any of the three Park City resorts gives him more educational options for his son.  For example, they can visit the Olympic Park and the Alf Engen Ski Museum.  They can watch grade school kids, some future Olympians for sure, practice there are night.  They can watch luge, ski jumping, etc.  Not to mention all the other things they can do around PC...
post #18 of 24
With a six year old and no interest in nightlife, definitely Solitude,  We've skied there since our daughters were 4 and 8 (now 10 and 13).  It's SO family friendly - very low hassle with kid stuff as village is right there, lifts right there, great outdoor heated pool as well as usual hottubs etc, skating if you still have energy, pedestrian village is also great for kids.  Every year we talk about going somewhere else and end up back there and never regret it.  Other Solitude things also nice with kids - especially no wait at liftlines.  We go to Brighton for a day (5 minutes in car or ski bus) and the kids love that too for a change of scenery and some different kinds of skiing.
Cannot recommend highly enough for someone with your family logistics!
We did go to Park City once and none of us liked it as much - espcially the crowds which drove us all crazy. BCC spoils you in that regard...
We are thinking of trying Alta, however...
We always stay in the condos so can't comment on the Inn, but the Inn shares all the above advantages with the condos obviously.
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by dustyfog View Post

Lack of snow would be a killer, all my son and I do is ski, grab a meal here and there, he plays with some other kids, crash and ski. While Thor might control the weather, it would be a shocker (but not impossible) for the snow to literally be gone when we plan to be there Mar 27 to April 4. Deer Valley is at 75000 to 8000' and Alta is at 8600' (the bases) and Snowbird base in between, and most folks claim - one can easily ski at will at Snowbird, Alta and Solitude all the way into end of May or June, But because of agreements with US Forest Service since Alta and Solitude lease their land, the slopes close around April 18.

If this is a real problem, am in a big quandary, should I pick Big White for that period ? Or Sunshine Village (we have been there) or Austria again (which will not be bad). You guys with your genuine good intentions have mind now working overtime on this.

Then again, this is February and the downhill was postponed in Vancouver for the day! Funny,climate change is here, we see it, or do we?


 There's tons of snow left in Park City at the end of March. The resorts always close with 100"+ bases. It's just that getting into April it can get slushy at the PC resorts and the Cottonwoods are 1000' higher so the snow stays fresher longer. It's a microclimate. Snowbird usually stays open 'till Memorial Day and I've skied it in July. That being said, it doesn't suck anywhere in  Utah in late March, so you really can't go wrong. If I was a visiter, and all I was doing was skiing, I'd stick with the Cottonwoods.
post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
 Folks, appreciate the wise and experienced advice. Thanks all, as T-trips has emphasized Solitude as has everyone else, along with LCC, here is plan as it crystallizes, still fluid situation but will lockdown by mid next week; Mar 26-28 nights at DV, Mar 29-31 nights Solitude and April 1-3 nights Alta. Have let out a sigh of relief with general idea that there is enough snow, and with the data input on snow quality at the time; here is where I think we will end up: DV is just to check out this experience of such great service and grooming, Solitude is BCC and the "solitude", and the slopes and the village, well, my boy will skate for sure if its open, in the evenings, he keeps going till he drops which is usually 9pm-ish give or take 30 mins, and Alta, well, we were there in Jan, back to get better and hoping for more powder.
post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
 One last question: This arose since Flights out of NYC (non-stop) suddenly escalated in price from Fri 1am when I checked to yesterday : NYC-SLC RT, so another option came to mind (and I have already booked rooms at the Inn@Solitude and Alta Lodge, but cancellation still possible without losing major body parts) - what about MAMMOTH in California? 
If any of you or others can offer opinion/experience of skiing in Mammoth - its high (base is 9000' is what I read) vs skiing both the cottonwood canyons, I would certainly appreciate that too. 
Right now cost of NYC-MMH vs NYC-SLC RT is basically identical.
post #22 of 24
I may be able to help with a discount on lodging in Solitude.  PM me if you are interested.
post #23 of 24

As others have already said, early April depends on snow coverage and what is still open. Snowbird it typically best in spring, IMO.

post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vince F View Post

As others have already said, early April depends on snow coverage and what is still open. Snowbird it typically best in spring, IMO.


Yes, Snowbird is the best in Spring, and in the Fall, Winter and Summer too.  Park City sucks compared to Snowbird.  It would be very unusual for coverage to be a concern early april at snowbird.
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