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Suggestions for Utah skiing next March

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Looking at a family vacation in Utah for March 2011.  Yeah, I gotta plant the seeds well ahead of time.  I'm smack in the middle age meltdown -while I'm comfortable skiing most places steep and deep - this is about my family and keeping them happy.  (Frankly I'm not so strong anymore myself, but still love the adventure.     I'm looking for something reasonably priced, but willing to spend more if need be.  Spent time at various resorts in Co -Vail, Steamboat, and Tahoe, etc., interested in some place more different - I like to constantly try new places.  My family's skiing skill set:  very under-confident spouse, a very timid skier daughter, a very athletic daughter who does well on the blacks.  The other two prefer east coast greenies, though they could do blues.  They all like to sleep late(I'll sneak in a few runs early), but they don't like to work too hard.   None of them have powder experience but me.   

I liked the setups of the village-based, walk-to the lifts, walk to dinner convenience - or should I say, my family would like that too.  Ski-in/out is a non-starter, both for price and interest.  We eat out when skiing - that's our rule, nice places, but not to break the bank.  So you see, this has to be a "step up" from the ski bummin' I've been used to.  If they want to sleep late or quit early , it would be no problem.  I liked some of the places like Vail and Squaw that had their beginners up top - they could enjoy the scenery, get a little loungin in and we could still meet for lunch.  A little evening entertainment that would be OK with teens might be a possibility.  No interest in a Disney-experience if you catch my drift.  They also don't like a long trip - so closer to the airport the better. Again, this isn't for me!

Any places come to mind?  I'm afraid you'll say "most anywhere" as I know you can make this work anywhere - looking for places people have been to, and some specifics, rather than reading through web pages of marketing collateral.

post #2 of 12
Alta !   I love it. Plenty good trails for your mixed experienced family. Easy to get to.

post #3 of 12
Park City.  I'm not going to shill for them, but it seems to have what you're looking for.  No hassle with the roads up the Cottonwood canyons (Alta, Snowbird, Solitude, and Brighton) for one, more nightlife, and plenty of good blacks for Dad.  Big hill, so you can spend the week there without getting bored.

Bill, your family must be a clone of mine.  I deal with pretty much the same issues on the ski hill.
post #4 of 12
For all of the variables, you have mentioned, Park City is a no brainer. Alta is great, but defimitely light on restaurant/night life. Also, PC has more trails suited to most of your family. Plenty of choices for lodging in area. Keep in mind that there are 3 different ski areas. There is also a free bus system that goes around town and between the 3 resorts. The 3 areas are probably similar in terrain to the Colorado areas you've visited. One nice thing is only 30 minutes from airport.
post #5 of 12
 IN all honesty if I was your son and you didnt go to Snowbird/Alta I wouldnt be happy. your kids will be so beat from skiing LCC that night life wont really be needed. There are places to eat for week if you know where to looks and some REALLY good places like "The Shallow Shaft" 

IF you go to Park City, you might as well as go to Colorado. 
post #6 of 12
He can still go to Alta/Bird with the son if he stays in Park City and the family will have much more to do in town apres ski.

Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

 IN all honesty if I was your son and you didnt go to Snowbird/Alta I wouldnt be happy. your kids will be so beat from skiing LCC that night life wont really be needed. There are places to eat for week if you know where to looks and some REALLY good places like "The Shallow Shaft" 

IF you go to Park City, you might as well as go to Colorado. 
post #7 of 12

Look for link below (they got scrambled when I posted) with a report on a trip I took to Keystone with similar intentions:

Heavenly has a beginner trail pod high on the mtn, report from a visit there also below.

Getting a condo/motel near Mont Ste Anne might also fit the bill with added attraction of visiting nearby historic Quebec City with the airfare you save by driving, report from there below too.

Couple of other suggestions for crowd avoidance: Big Sky, MT and Solitude, UT




Edit:  oops, sorry missed that you wanted to focus on Utah.
post #8 of 12
First I love Utah skiing - Cottonwood Canyons really don't have the glitz of Colorado and, to my way of thinking, is a "skiers" destination.
PC, as Bushwacker says, is extended Colorado.
Snowbasin and Powder Mountain are quite abit lower in elevation than than the Cottonwood Canyons about the same as PC.
All areas in Utah are close enough together and can be driven to on a day trip from SLC.
But from what you describe your family would like, I will recommend "Solitude" (in Big Cotton Canyon) next door to Brighton.
Has the trails you describe your family would like.
Has the amenites at the base of the lifts, plus ski in/out lodging.
Can easily access Brighton - car, or ski - for more extreme area.
The Cottonwoods "will have" snow in late march. 
You can easily drive to Alta/Snowbird for a day trip (probably 40 min drive) Alta for your group. These 2 areas are interconnected for skiing between the two.
If I had your family issues to keep all happy - Solitude is the one, I don't think you will be unhappy and your family will think you are great. But do take a day trip to Alta.
All this  40 min from SLC airport.
post #9 of 12
My family is almost the exact same skill wise. We went to Utah and stayed in the Park City town. We went to a different resort each day. We skiied Alta, Snowbird, Solitude, Deer Valley, and Park City. The mountains we didn't ski where Brighton, and The Canyons. Deer Valley was not as challenging, but had alot long cruisers. It's very pricey though. (92 for a lift ticket. It seems many people are suggesting Alta and Snowbird to you. It seems like a mountain you would like if you like steep and deep, but the rest of your family could very easily scare themselves at Snowbird or Alta. Some of my family ended up only being able to ski 1 or 2 runs the whole day because of they're limited skills. Which where blue skiiers. Solitude is in Big Cottonwood Canyon, the next canyon over from Alta and Snowbird's Little Cottonwood Canyon. They both get the "best snow on earth". So you will still have tons of powder. Everryone could ski at Solitude when we went. The blue skiiers have tons of runs for them and if you like steep and deep HoneyComb Canyon is for you! (its at Solitude). I think your family would love to ski and stay at Solitude and some at Brighton since they are next to eachother. Its a great mountain that has a lack of crowds, great value, variety of terrain, and never gets tracked out!
post #10 of 12
I still say PC. He said they eat out every night, teens would like a little teen nightlife, and most of group are not serious skiers. Want to sleep late and have some fun in evening. I love all of the Utah ski areas, but the only true resort experience is PC. Solitude village is cute and charming, but brings quiet to a new level. Maybe 2-3 places to eat and no nightlife. Would be great for a couple with small kids or a couple wanting a romantic getaway(quiet). I think for a lot of people on this board, skiing is the by far top priority. But it sounds like  most of the group want some good sking with a bunch of other factors thrown in. I have teenagers. While they would and do love the sking in Cottonwood Canyons, I could hear them whining about the evening options at Solitude.Also, while the PC areas are not as "gnar" as the Cottonwood Canyons, for most people they have ample challenge. I agree they're sort of like Colorado in that regard, but for most people that's not so bad. they all have some areas that qualify as pretty challenging, at least for most people. Anyways, that's my 2 cents coming from a geezer, not awesome skier with more teenagers than I need.   
post #11 of 12
Definitely Park City area.  I was there in Feb and did the three resorts which were fine.  Then we just did snowbird 2 weeks ago and what a difference. I am a solid intermediate and I had some problems (but then again it is late season).  From what you wrote about the family the pc would be best.   You can always take a paid shuttle over to Alta/Snowbird.

PC has the free bus system so even if you don't stay slopeside you have access to the resorts.  I stayed at Marriott Park City which was awesome, just make sure you stay on the concierge level for the included breakfast.  The bus system picks up right outside the door.  You can always check out www.tripadvisor.com for other reviews.

I am currently working on next years vacation as well...It looks like Tahoe (probably Heavenly and Kirkwood)

Good luck
post #12 of 12
Some skiers have a difficult time the first time skiing at Snowbird. But if you ski multiple days and push your self at Snowbird, it's difficult to not improve your overall skiing ability.
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