Story by: Shona from AMPED The Ski Adventure Travel Specialists & Ski Utah
Published: Ski & Snow Magazine, New Zealand – July 2015
From Mountains to Metro, Reserve Your Place to The Greatest Snow on Earth®
Salt Lake City teeters on the edge of the Wasatch Mountains, one of the most iconic skiing destinations in the world. It’s truly a unique juxtaposition, a dance of big city amenities and the wildness of the mountains. A quick 35 minutes separates the bright lights of Salt Lake City from Park City and the Cottonwood Canyons where Alta, Brighton, Snowbird, and Solitude are located. A little further north and you’ll be in over your head with more big POW resorts like Powder Mountain, Snowbasin, and Nordic Valley. To top that, and if you time it right, you can tackle all these amazing resorts by day, and delight your way through the hype and glam of Robert Redford’s Sundance Film festival held annually at the end of January throughout this region.
Without a doubt, Utah under promise’s and over delivers on its claim of ‘less travel time, and more skiing’ with 11 Ski Resorts located less than an hour’s drive of Salt Lake City, and 500+ inches of snow on average, per season. Imagine: 52 minutes from baggage claim to lift line; 35 minutes to over 100 bars and restaurants in Park City; and a chance to ski 6 resorts on any given ski day (via a local guide). Utah’s a definite listing on your ‘must hit’ skiers and snowboarders bucket list!
AMPED’s Guide to Skiing Salt Lake City, the fun starts here:
Ogden Area | Powder Mountain, Snowbasin, Nordic Valley
For crazy amounts of untracked powder and non-existent lift lines, try the Ogden region. Both can be easily found off the beaten path at Powder Mountain, Snowbasin and Nordic Valley. For a more beaten path, the town of Ogden and its historic 25th street are just 30 minutes away.
Salt Lake Area | Alta, Brighton, Solitude, Snowbird
Big city life and deep powder together in one package. Be downtown one minute, and up top on Solitude, Brighton, Alta or Snowbird before you know it. All of these resorts feature incredible terrain and over 500 annual inches of The Greatest Snow on Earth®.
One City, 4 Resorts: Purchase your Super Pass through AMPED & Ski all 4 Salt Lake Area Resorts.
Park City Area | Canyons, Deer Valley, Park City
The envy of every other ski town, Park City is a mere 35 minutes from Salt Lake City Airport. Once there, choose between Park City, Canyons, and Der Valley ski resorts. Either way, there’s après ski wandering Park City’s Main Street with over 100 bars and restaurants.
3 Resort Pass: Purchase your International pass through AMPED and Ski all 3 Park City Area Resorts
Provo Area | Sundance
Fun to say and as breath-taking as they come, Mt. Timpanogos is home to the famed Sundance Mountain Resort (founded by Robert Redford). For a romantic getaway or for incredible dining options, stay on the mountain or make the short journey 20 minutes to Provo – fast becoming famous in its own right as the Silicon Valley of the Rockies.
10 Things you need to know about Skiing Utah:
- Utah’s Cottonwood Canyons are one of the snowiest places in the world, with Alta averaging 551 inches of snow annually.
- From December to March, more than a foot of snow falls every FIVE days.
- Snow density is 8.5 percent. This creates the perfect “body” to float your skis through powder.
- Monster Dumps! If you live for the snorkel-deep days, Utah receives on average, 18 Monster Dumps (12 inches of snow or more within a 24-hour period) throughout winter.
- Eight driving miles is the difference between 40 feet of snow per year in the Cottonwood Canyons. Enjoy deep powder by day and city fun by night.
- Spring Fever. On average, 6.7 feet of snow falls each April. Spring skiing is a locals’ secret, so now you know.
- January 13. According to historical data, this is the golden winter day. In other words, this day has the highest likelihood of receiving snowfall over any other winter day.
- Lake Effect. The Great Salt Lake does not freeze, so lake effect is a possibility all ski season long. Resorts within proximity to the lake enjoy lake-effect periods which produce about five percent of the average precipitation from September to May.
- Bluebird Pow Days. It’s very likely you’ll see both new snow and bluebird skies. Do the math, you’ll find nearly 300 days of sunshine a year and a foot of snow every five days.
- No GORE-TEX needed! At 8,750 feet in Utah, 99% of the precipitation during the ski season falls in the form of snow.