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Utah Ski Resorts Review

Written by Dugald Morrow   
Saturday, 14 February 2009
  
When one thinks of skiing in the U.S., thoughts invariably spring to the famous Colorado resorts such as Vail and Aspen. Whilst these are world class ski resorts, so too are many of their cousins further west in Utah. There are no less than seven fabulous ski resorts that are all within an easy 45 minute drive from Salt Lake International airport making them more convenient for the international traveler to get to than the Colorado resorts.  If they are good enough to host the 2002 Winter Olympics they should be good enough to host you.

The resorts are located in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains which attract some of the most reliable and bountiful annual snowfalls in the world. When the lift queues of the Colorado resorts are choked with capacity crowds, resorts in Utah are often quiet by comparison and it is quite possible to avoid lift queues for weeks at a time. Even if crowds are threatening, two of Utah’s resorts, Deer Valley and Alta turn skiers away once a certain number of passes have been sold to guarantee minimal queues and congestion on the slopes.

Three of the Wasatch Mountain resorts are located near Park City where courtesy bus services run throughout the region. If you would prefer the independence of a rental car, you could stay at Salt Lake City and experience different resorts each day. All of the resorts have some lodging if you prefer slope side accommodation.

The resorts near Park City are Deer Valley, Park City Mountain Resort and The Canyons. These resorts are characterized by their massive terrain – each is in excess of 820 hectares / 2026 acres.

The remaining resorts are located in Big Cottonwood Canyon (Solitude Mountain and Brighton) and Little Cottonwood Canyon (Snowbird and Alta) where the annual snowfall is in excess of 500 inches of dry powder. Whilst these ski areas are smaller, they each offer something unique to the area whether it be a traditional alpine ski experience, extensive and varied terrain parks or some of the most challenging chutes in the Rockies. The ski villages here are also much smaller than in the Park City area and tend to provide a more intimate ski resort environment.

If you don’t have time to dedicate a day of skiing at each of these resorts, advanced skiers can ski up to six of them in one day by taking a guided back country tour. This is an excellent way to get a taste of each resort and the terrain in between. Ski Utah has a couple of variations of their Interconnect Tour, starting at either Deer Valley or Snowbird.

The map below shows the ski resorts in the Wasatch Mountains, Utah. The yellow lines are roads to each of the resorts whilst the purple line is an approximation of Ski Utah Interconnect Tour.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 17 February 2009 )
 

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