Skiing, snowboarding and extreme skiing in Utah

This region fairly bristles with high-quality ski resorts and world class off-piste skiing – 14 to be exact with 7 being less than an hour from Salt Lake International Airport. This ease of access combined with consistent powder snow adds to the overall attraction of Utah.

Salt Lake resorts include:
  • Alta Ski Resort: known for deep powder and superb terrain Alta has 2,200 skiable acres, 116+ trails and 6 lifts.
  • Brighton Ski Resort: one of the oldest skiing resorts in the country but also one of the most diverse with virtually unlimited access to backcountry. It has 1,050 acres, 66+ trails and 7 lifts.
  • Snowbird: it’s claim to fame is its125-passenger Aerial Tram that zooms from an elevation of 8,100 feet to 11,000 feet in about 8 minutes, taking skiers to Hidden Peak and the infamous 21/2 mile Chip’s Run. Altogether there are 2,500 acres, 89+ trails and 11 lifts.
  • Solitude: averages 500″ of the best snow on earth which means conditions are always at their prime: whether it be powder or groomed slopes that you are after. There are1,200 acres, 65 trails and 8 lifts.

The following daily tour is one for extreme skiers only – you must be an advanced and aggressive skier otherwise you will hate this and ruin the expedition for everyone else…

The Ski Utah Interconnect Adventure Tour has come up with a novel idea – piste and off-piste skiing across one of North America’s most beautiful ski regions. A tour which connects up to 6 ski resorts with back country skiing in the Wasatch mountains. Tours depart daily from Deer Valley Resort or Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort and are led through Park City Mountain Resort, Solitude Mountain Resort, Brighton Resort and Alta Ski Area.

The Wasatch Range offers easy lift and trailhead access to deep, light snow in wide-open bowls, protected glades, and steep chutes. Lifts are accessible from Alta, Brighton, The Canyons and Snowbird whilst trails can be accessed from Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons and Millcreek, amongst others.

But that’s not all you can do in this winter wonderland.

Side-by-side with the Salt Lake Resorts are the Park City Resorts. Here you will find Deer Valley, Park City Mountain, The Canyons and Sundance.

Deer Valley Resort

Deer Valley: rated one of the top 3 ski resorts in North America with 300 annual inches of powder snow backed up by state-of-the-art snowmaking. It has 2,026 acres, 100+ trails and 21 lifts.

Park City Mountain: averages 360 inches of snow and is named one of the top 10 family resorts in America. there are 3,300 skiable acres, 114 trails and 16 lifts.

The Canyons: here you’ll find 3,700 acres of widely-varied terrain, 163 trails, 17 lifts and 2 cutting-edge terrain parks that combine to make this resort one of North Americas’ largest.

Sundance (provo Canyon): Founded by Robert Redford in 1969, Sundance Resort is located on 5,000 acres of wilderness at the base of Utah’s picturesque Mt. Timpanogos. It is ranked Second in the Country by Conde Nast Traveler’s 2007 Readers’ Poll for the Top 50 U.S. Mainland Resorts. There are 450 skiable acres, 41 trails and 4 lifts.

Then there are the Northern and Southern Resorts – slightly further away from the airport and city… but not much.

The Northern Resorts include Beaver Mountain, Powder Mountain, Snowbasin and Wolf Creek.

Beaver Mountain: maybe Utah’s best kept secret with its excellent runs, friendly atmosphere and low prices. Beav’s has 664 skiable acres with 30+ trails and 4 lifts.

Powder Mountain Resort

Powder Mountain: Ski Magazine readers’ ranked Powder Mountain #1 in value and # 3 for snow quality for the 2009 season. Only genuine, fallen-from-the-sky Utah powder graces its steep slopes. Known for its gold medal terrain and excellent natural snow, Powder Mountain is a prime winter destination with its 5,500 acres of skiable terrain, 124+ trails and 7 lifts. Ogden is its nearby town.

Snowbasin: has high alpine bowls, steep chutes, perfectly groomed cruisers, deep-powder glades and two of the most challenging downhill race courses ever traced on a mountain – the Grizzly and Wildflower Downhill courses made famous in the Winter Games of 2002. There are 3,000 skiable acres, 113 trails and 10 lifts.

Wolf Creek: is considered to be one of the best learn-to-ski & ride mountain in the Rockies. Plus its cheap – skiers and riders can ski from as little as $10 per person! It has 110 skiable acres and 4 lifts.

Finally the resorts in the Southern region:

Brian Head: only 3 hours from Las Vegas, Brian is the the premier alpine destination in the southwestern United States. It is Utah’s highest-elevation resort receiving over 400 annual inches of light, Utah powder. The resort has 50+ runs for all ability levels, including an entire mountain dedicated to beginners and children. There are 650 skiable acres, 65 trails and 8 lifts.

Eagle Point: is new this season. Located in the Tushar Mountains, one of Utah’s tallest ranges, it has an average snowfall of 400 inches per year and its 36 trails are a mix of beginner, intermediate, and expert terrain, with a halfpipe and great backcountry opportunities. There are 400 skiable acres, 40 trails and 5 lifts.

Utah ski resorts  has several specialised guide companies who cater for your every need. If you don’t wish to ski the piste-ed slopes and are looking for that little something extra, then Utah is the place to go. As with the Ski Utah Interconnect Adventure Tour, Utah Mountain Adventures has a similar package although they accommodate all levels of skier, and their speciality is traveling out-of-bounds, using climbing skins and alpine touring (AT) or telemark binding, or split-boards – all equipment can be hired directly from themselves (UMA) or local shops.

Some off-piste areas are strictly regulated and it is necessary to be with an accredited guide to gain access as they are permit regulated. UMA’s permit area includes the Mt. Olympus, Twin Peaks, and Lone Peak Wilderness areas, and features Mt. Superior, the Pfeifferhorn, Cardiff, Silver, Days and Mineral Forks, Stairway to Heaven and Bridal Veil Falls, Gobbler’s Knob, Coalpit, the Y-Couloir, Red and White Pine, Maybird and Hogum Gulches, Porter Fork, Reynolds Peak, Willow Fork, Kessler, the Gate Buttress, Storm Mountain Island, Hellgate, the Sundial, Peak 10,420, Bear Trap, Grizzly Gulch, Broads Fork, Bells Canyon … to name but a few!

The choice is endless. One ski vacation in Utah is unlikely to be enough…

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