Utah ski resorts are where it's at. You’ve dreamt about it for many years. In your mind’s eye, you have visualized the dry, deep, campaign powder that graces the slopes for a seemingly endless season. Now, it is finally happening. You get off the plane and kiss the ground. Welcome to your snow Mecca. Seven of the thirteen Utah ski resorts are only hour away. You are about to experience what is known as the “Greatest Snow on Earth!” If you don’t believe us, just ask the athletes of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.
Better yet, why not experience the Utah ski resorts for yourself? The Salt Lake Airport is easily accessible from most major cities, which makes for a hassle-free Utah ski vacation. The great mountains, high elevation and storms that gather strength over the warm Salt Lake make for a fantastic experience at the Utah ski resorts. The hardest part of your Utah ski vacation will be deciding which resorts to visit. To help you make that decision, we’ve decided to let you explore them vicariously in cyber-space.
Mormons from all over the world may make an annual pilgrimage to the Temple in Salt Lake City. However, for skiing “purists,” a Utah ski vacation in Alta may well be considered a religious experience. Alta is one of the few remaining skiers-only resorts in North America. Many skiers believe that skiers and snowboarders use the mountain in an entirely different way. Thus, the resorts that are exclusive to skiers are extremely popular.
The town of Alta was established in 1871 as an offshoot of the silver mining operations in Little Cottonwood Canyon. In 1935, the U.S. Forest Service asked the famous skier Elf Engen to determine the area’s potential as a Utah ski vacation area. Since his findings were positive, Engen, along with some local businessmen formed the Utah Winter Sports Association in order to oversee the development of Alta Ski Area.
Today, Alta retains its personal, laid-back old fashioned ski area ambience. You should be warned in advance that none of the chairs have safety bars. However, if you visit Alta for its breathtaking powder and amazing steeps, the lack of safety bars should not faze you. Alta’s extreme skiers enjoy the Baldy Shoots and Catherine’s Area. However, the best kept secret about Alta is its fabulous beginner area at Albion Basin. If you are taking a Utah Ski Vacation with snowboarders, Alta shares a joint-pass with the neighboring Snowbird, which allows snowboarders.
The only similarity between Alta and Deer Valley is that they both do not allow snowboarders. However, you should experience upscale resort at least once, if only for the most delicious food you will ever eat at a ski-area cafeteria. The Stein Eriksen Lodge offers the most luxurious Utah ski lodging in the state. Deer Valley is a great mountain for your ego. Trails that may be marked “blue” or “black” at this mountain would be considered green at Snowbird.
With the exception of Jackson
Hole Wyoming, Snowbird is probably the most challenging
mountain in the U.S. With its easier terrain consisting
mostly of cat tracks, it is probably not suitable for
beginners. However, if you are looking for excitement
and challenge, “The Bird” does not disappoint.
Brighton and Solitude offer a variety of terrain choices for skiers and riders of all abilities. If you are looking for a Utah ski vacation package that will provide you with some great social action, consider the Park City area, which includes Park City and the Canyons, for your Utah ski lodging. While a Utah ski vacation package may be the most convenient way to plan your trip, keep in mind that there are less expensive types of Utah ski lodging. Extended Stay has branches in Sandy, which is near Snowbird/Alta, Midvale which is in close proximity to Brighton solitude and Ogden which is in driving distance to the elegant Snowbasin Resort.