Utah is a legendary ski destination renowned for its abundance of snow and recognized as a powder paradise. The most popular ski resorts in this part of the Midwest unmistakably include Snowbasin, Park City and Brighton, not to mention Snowbird and Alta!
During my trip there last February, I stayed in the heart of Salt Lake City, less than 15 minutes from the airport. With everything located in close proximity, I was able to explore a number of restaurants and tourist areas, including the Mormon Temple, one of the city’s main attractions. Public transportation is easy to access and free with your ski package, making it a breeze to get to the regions of Big and Little Cottonwood Canyon; the resorts are all located between 45 minutes and an hour from the city, tops. Needless to say, I could talk to you for hours on end about the five mountains I had the chance to tear up, but let me focus on my two favourites instead—Alta and Snowbird.
Alta and Snowbird are both nearby and actually located side by side. That means you can hop over from one to the other during your stay. Although these two are neighbours, each resort is quite different and has its own unique charm. And, let me tell you, I had never seen as much snow as I did until I went to these resorts!
At Snowbird, while on the tram, you’ll be treated to the most spectacular views of the valley—from high peaks with vertical drops extreme enough to scare even the biggest adrenaline junkies, to thick glades that are sure to satisfy your wild side. Of course, Snowbird also has perfectly groomed wide runs where you can carve some huge turns to your heart’s content. The resort also has a tunnel that goes right through the mountain, allowing easy access to Mineral Basin on the south side. Just hop aboard the magic carpet and you’ll be there in minutes flat! The tunnel also offers a quick glimpse into the world of the pioneers through a collection of antique objects and period photographs.
Neighbouring Alta is a different place altogether. The base of the resort has two ski lodges—Wildcat Base and Albion Base. The two are connected using a transfer cable which allows you to get from one to the other without having to take off your skis. The Wildcat side features steep glades with a few technical traverses that give you a chance to challenge yourself without having to go outside the boundaries of the mountain. Albion, on the other hand, has several beginner-intermediate runs accessible from the highest point of the resort. From the top of the Sugarloaf Lift, you’ll find the famous Devil’s Castle Area black diamond run.
And, at the end of the day, you can finish things off with a satisfying meal at the Goldminer’s Daughter while enjoying the magnificent view of the mountain—but, don’t forget you have a bus to catch to get back to your hotel, so don’t linger too long. Then again, there are always accommodations right at Snowbird!
10 500 ' / 3 200 m
1 745 ' / 532 m
21% 40% 39%
500 " / 1 270 cm