If I wasn’t in Dubai, I’d probably be doing this…

I got an email today asking for advice on resorts in Utah since not too long ago I called myself a bonafide local. Below is my response.  I love Utah.  Even more, I love spreading the love.  Utah puts the U in USA.


Park City as a resort sucks, but that’s only the local opinion.  Locals leave Park City for the tourists…I think it’s flat and crowded (especially with kids and people that don’t know how to ski).  It’s the most accessible to a town though so that’s something to take into consideration.  Canyons is one of my favorites by far.  It’s HUGE and has great trees, groomers, powder stashes for days…it’s a total win.  You could get a ski-in-ski-out there and then drive the 5 minutes to Park City when you get sick of Canyon’s ity-bity resort.
I would not stay in the Cottonwoods (Alta, Snowbird, Brighton and Solitude) since they barely have a buildings let alone resorts and there is NOTHING (other than some mountain goats) around to occupy you.  Everything is at least a drive down the canyon road and most things are a hike into town (SLC) too.
My suggestion is to find somewhere to stay at Canyons.  Ski Canyons for two days, Deer Valley for one (I can’t attest to it since it’s skier-only, but I hear its amazing – especially the groomers) and then do two different Cottonwood resorts for the other two days.  Here’s the breakdown:

1. Alta I, again, can’t attest to since it’s skier only, but, again, I hear it is incredible (but challenging) – I do know it has a great lodge since the only thing Alta let’s us ‘boarders do is drink.  Snowbird is next to Alta and is challenging as well (my favorite for backcountry, cliffs, etc.) and you can actually get a Snowbird/Alta pass to try them both out in one day.

2. Snowbird has a tram and a conveyor-belt tunnel that goes THROUGH the mountain – both very cool if you haven’t experienced them before (and why would you have experienced a conveyor-belt through the mountain already?)

What happens when Dustin stops paying attention.

3. Solitude is just that – empty.  Great terrain.  No one there.  Nothing terribly challenging or note-worthy about it (that’s a Utah local talking – I’m sure you ice-coast guys would be damn happy with that terrain).
4. Brighton is full of snowboarders and great terrain (my second pick in the Cottonwoods behind the ‘bird).

If I were you, I would choose the Alta-Snowbird pass for one day and then Brighton for the other.  Get all your passes at Canyon Sports in SLC before you head out to the Canyons (just stop on your way from the airport).  A two day pass for Canyons from there will save you almost $50 each.  The rest will be $5-10 cheaper than at the resorts.

And…back to the reality of the desert for me…maybe I’ll check out the indoor ski slope again this year…(click here for a slightly intoxicated video of said indoor “ski slope” – in quotes because it is the length of a yardstick)


1 Comment

  1. February 8, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Great blog, I really like it, yea too bad you are not enjoying the Slopes here in utah. I agree with you analysis, bottom line the Cottonwood Canyons have better resorts, Terrain, Snow, the feel of it all.. S

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