• Skiing in Utah - resorts

    Utah native chiming in here....

    If you want on-mountain or slopeside, the Park City area is definitely the one with the most upside and selection. Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR), Deer Valley (DV), and The Canyons all have excellent selection. All three mountains have a wealth of good intermediate terrain, with challenges for those who wish to hit the steeps. The town of Park City is a gem, as well, with plenty of great food and entertainment. And the public bus system connecting the three resorts is free and frequent.

    The drawback of Park City: they get far less snow than the resorts in the Cottonwood Canyons - Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, and Solitude - and they can often be far more crowded. DV is top-notch, and the prices for amenities reflects this. The Canyons can be pricey (though it's seldom ever crowded - it's a big place), and is a 5-10 minute ride from central Park City. PCMR is a big mountain, with less ski-in/ski-out lodging, and a bit of a bottleneck effect at the end of the day.

    Alta is a bit old-school, with few, if any, true ski-in/ski-out places to stay, though the lodges at the base of the mountain are fun in a retro way. Snowbird has some slopeside, ski-in/ski-out lodging, both directly in the resort and via private owners. Both resorts are far more scenic than the Park City areas, with big vertical. Snowbird's intermediate offerings are more black than blue, if you catch my drift, while Alta has some lovely, long, rolling blue cruisers. Snowbird has good dining opportunities, a top-rate spa at the Cliff Lodge, and some limited nightlife options.

    Brighton has some lodging slopeside, but it is primarily a day area.... unless you count the base area of Solitude as a good loding base. Both areas have a bit of everything, without the crowds that Alta/Snowbird and the Park City resorts tend to attract (read: they're locals-focused resorts). Solitude was my home resort for over 10 years, and the mountain is an under-appreciated gem: lots of terrain for all, great snow, and an excellent base area that has lovely lodging, great food, etc., though nightlife is less abundant than in Park City or nearby Salt Lake City. Near the base area of Solitude, there are plenty of VRBO rental properties that offer great value, and it's easy to catch UTA (free one you are in the canyon) to shuttle to either Solitude or Brighton.

    However: the Cottonwood Canyon resorts are best accessed by staying in Salt Lake City (plentiful, less-expensive lodging, and all the dining and cultural trappings of a large city). The UTA (public bus) runs a convenient shuttle to both Little Cottonwood (Alta/Snowbird) and Big Cottonwood (Brighton/Solitude) that's inexpensive and beats driving a private car most of the time (note that UTA does not service Park City, though there are inexpensive shuttles available). Granted, it's not the ski-in/ski-out experience, but it's the best for budget-minded folks who want some flexibility.

    All things being equal, I think Park City will be a great place to base a group trip. No, it won't be the quintessential Utah experience, but it will have some fine skiing, with great snow.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Park City/Deer Valley Question started by JDH View original post
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. philososki's Avatar
      philososki -
      This is a spot on assessment!
  • Categories Widget (top-down)