Best Ski Resorts in Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City was the host of the 2002 Winter Olympics which put the area on the bucket list of every powder-junkie in North Amerika. Located in Northern Utah and surrounded by the mind-blowing Wasatch Mountain ranges, Salt Lake City resorts offer an outstanding experience to skiers and snowboarders, both beginners and experts.

If you are looking for challenging terrains which also give you the chance to enjoy the view of snowy peaks while pouring your morning coffee, then you should definitely visit some of the ski resorts in Salt Lake City. They all differ in their offer, but have one thing in common – large volumes of high-quality powder. What’s more, the ski areas in Salt Lake City are widely known to have “the greatest snow on Earth”.

Daredevils looking for exciting mogul runs? Advanced skiers looking for some groomers and alpine bowles, or beginners ready to spend their winter vacation in some of the best ski schools in the country? Anyone can find enjoyment in some of the ski resorts in Salt Lake City. Aside from that, Salt Lake City boasts itself with high-quality service, amazing ski-in/ski-out accommodation, and outstanding ski lift infrastructure that satisfies the tastes even of the upscale clientele.

Obviously, Salt Lake City is a great spot for powder-enthusiasts to spend their vacation, but what are the best ski resorts in Salt Lake City?

Stay tuned, because you’re about to learn all about the best ski resorts in Salt Lake City,including information about accommodation, diversity of the terrains, and the city atmosphere.

Let’s start.

Snowbird

Often called the favourite spot of savvy powder hounds, Snowbird is a great ski resort for anyone looking for an abundance of light dry powder. With an average annual snowfall of 500 inches, the Snowbird Ski Resort is a must for any enthusiastic skier or snowboarder.

Aside from having impressive ski terrains, Snowbird is also famous for the scenic views it offers to its visitors. The sharp mountain peaks can truly take your breath as you enjoy the fresh and light powder.

Pros

  • Large volumes of snow
  • High-quality powder
  • A vast and well-planned ski lift network
  • Long seasons that last from November to May
  • Great connection to Alta
  • Great terrain variety

Cons

  • Pricey accommodation
  • Suitable for advanced skiers and snowboarders
  • Can get a bit overcrowded
  • Limited when it comes to nightlife and shopping

Famous for: Impressive volumes of snow, known as having the “Greatest Snow on Earth”.

Town Area

Snowbird UT might be a disappointment for those looking for the thrill of nightlife. The small village of Snowbird IT consists of a small number of restaurants, bars, and shops. One particularly interesting detail about this village is that all buildings are avalanche-proof, which makes it a much safer choice for accommodation compared to the building in other nearby places which are usually made of wood.

The buildings may not look particularly interesting on the outside, but on the inside there are some funky retro interiors that can make your stay more enjoyable.The combination of these striking buildings and the sharp mounting peaks all around make a view to remember.

The village of Snowbird UT may be limited in nightlife, but when it comes to adrenaline activities, it has a lot to offer. Thеre’s a conveyor that goes through a tunnel located at the top of the mountain, and if you decide to take the ride, you can go to the backside of the mountain. Pretty exciting! Besides that, Snowbirds is the well-known host of many international freeskiing and free riding competitions, which can be a lot of fun as well!

Ski Terrain

One of the best things about Snowbird is that it offers a long season, so it’s open for visitors as long as there is snow. Unlike other ski resorts, this one isn’t constrained by the Forest Service, so sometimes enthusiastic ski riders may wind up enjoying the Snowbirds terrains deep into the summer.

The Snowbird ski resort has 3,240 feet of vertical and 2500 acres of skiing terrain which also includes 169 runs all connected with 13 lifts. The ski terrains pride themselves with an efficient lift network as well as  the visitors’ favourite – the Snowbird tram. 

All terrains are accessible from Salt Lake City and visitors can even take a bus to get to the Snowbird village.

Crowd Density And Ski Lifts

Popular for its long seasons and large volumes of snow, Snowbird is crowded from November till May. The place is a sheer nirvana for expert skiers that can find their way around any terrain. Snowbird offers all the excitement they can imagine, from steeps and chutes to black diamonds. 

While perfect for the advanced skiers and powderhounds, Snowbird’s beginner terrains can be confusing for newbies as it’s not very easy to reach the terrains from the lodging. When it comes to ski lifts, Snowbird terrains are equipped with 13 lifts that are pretty efficient and well connected.

Accommodation

Snowbird accommodation is mostly focused around the four main hotel condo buildings. The hotels at Snowbird are all high-end luxurious hotels that offer visitors hot tubs, spa pools, yoga studies, and fitness centres. Located on the mountain top, the views from the hotel rooms are majestic – facing either the Snowbird’s ski slopes or the canyons spilling into the Salt Lake City valley below. The most popular spot at Snowbird is the Cliff Lodge hotel that offers a luxurious resort experience and is conveniently ski-in ski-out connected with the beginners’ runs.

For those who want to experience a more retro hotel, they can check the rooms at The Lodge at Snowbird. Prices can vary from lodging to lodging, but expect to pay upwards of $550 for one night. The cheapest option is to stay in Salt Lake City or Alta lodging and drive or get a public bus to Snowbird’s ski terrains.

Verdict

An exciting resort that has a lot to offer, Snowbirds is definitely a pricey option, one that is perfect for adventurers and experienced skiiers looking for variety both on and off the slopes. Fans of extreme tracks and terrains will have a lot of fun here as well, but if you are a beginner, you might want to consider some other options. Those ready to spend some cash in order to get majestic views and a thrilling skiing experience should definitely consider Snowbird.

Alta Ski Resort

Experienced skiers should immediately recognise the name as Alta Ski Resort is not only recognised as one of the top ski resorts in the US, but worldwide as well. So, if it’s not already on your bucket list, you know what to do! Opened in 1939, this is one of the oldest ski resorts with an established community of enthusiastic skiers that can’t seem to stop visiting this place blessed with an abundance of snow.

Alta is well known for the hard-core ski culture that sticks to some old-fashioned traditions – and as you might have already guessed – yes, snowboarding is prohibited. However, there’s a friendly and welcoming atmosphere for newbies. Alta’s ski resort season begins in December and lasts till the middle of April. Around Christmas the place can get very crowded and festive with skiers and families occupying every available room.

Pros

  • A long history of ski-culture and an established ski community
  • Large volumes of snow
  • High-quality powder
  • Awesome terrains for advanced skiers
  • Great connection to Snowbird
  • One of the best and the oldest ski schools in the US
  • Amazing beginner and intermediate slopes

Cons 

  • Skiers only
  • Limited when it comes to nightlife and shopping
  • Can get very crowded

Famous for: powder of outstanding quality and long ski culture.

Town Area

Alta is well-known among powder hounds as the ski spot with more snow than any other resort in North America. The incredible quality of Alta’s powder has largely contributed to this ski resort’s popularity as it’s crowded with experienced and advanced skiers throughout the whole season. 

When it comes to lodging, Alta has a lot to offer. There’s an array of exclusive accommodation that offers a luxurious ski resort experience, but also cheap dining and lodging packages. However, aside from the overnight accommodation options and a few restaurants, there’s not a lot to see in Alta’s village. 

Those looking to combine their skiing thrills with shopping might be disappointed, as Alta doesn’t offer anything aside from exciting slopes. The nightlife is also limited, but visitors can also take a ride down to Salt Lake City where they can find an array of drinking and dining options.

Ski Terrain

Alta is not known as the skiers paradise for nothing. This ski resort is blessed with 2,220 acres of slopes and has 116 runs with plenty of excitement for beginners, intermediate, and advanced skiers. Groomers, alpine bowls, progressives, whatever the challenge you’re looking for – you’ll find it on Alta.

The best part? Alta has a reliable snowfall, which means that the terrains are in a prime condition throughout the whole season. 

Crowd Density & Ski Lifts

The combination of challenging terrain, high-quality powder, and great atmosphere makes Alta one of the busiest ski resorts in North America. However, the wide tracks and the extreme nature in the surrounding gives this spot a serenity that can’t be ruined even during the holidays when usually every room is booked. One thing to remember if you decide to visit Alta’s ski resorts this season is to book your room on time.

As we already mentioned, Alta has 116 trails and a large number of off-piste powder lines, 7 chair lifts and 2 express squads. Visitors need to remember that in order to reach the best off-piste areas, they may need to move back and forth through the ski lifts – however, the most exciting off-piste areas on Alta are certainly worth the effort. 

What makes Alta a truly world-class ski resort is that it is not isolated from other nearby ski resorts, so if you stay at Alta, you’ll be able to explore other exciting slopes too. In fact, Alta is inter-connected with Snowbird via lifts and slopes. If you buy a combined Alta Snowbird ticket, you’ll get every bang for your buck as the two resorts together combine 5,1000 acres of terrain and 26 lifts.

Accommodation

Alta’s overnight accommodation may not consist of 5-star hotels, however, the rustic lodgings combined with inclusive dining packages offer a thrilling experience. These lodgings have a traditional charm that gives visitors the needed serenity they’ll need to focus all their energies on skiing. Alta has also some condos and vacation rentals usually crowded with young families.

Those looking for cheaper lodging options may consider staying down at Salt Lake City Hotels. However, sometimes the roads can be closed due to avalanche control. Staying on top of the hill is always the safest option and there are some rental vacations that are not very pricey if booked earlier in the season.

Verdict

Alta is right up there with some of the best ski resorts in the world. Considering its rich offer – the challenging terrain , constant and superb snowfall, and the atmosphere of this place, it’s no wonder this is one of the top destinations for hard-core skiers around the world. 

The terrain might be hard for beginners, but advanced skiers will find it exciting. Alta is indeed pricey, but there are more expensive ski resorts in North America that don’t offer such an amazing skiing experience. Alta connection with Snowbird is also a huge bonus as it gives enthusiasts an enormous terrain to explore.

Deep Valley Resort

Located in Park City Utah, the Deep Valley ski resort is widely renowned for its amazing customer service. The place became trully fashionable among hard-core skiers after being the host of the 2002 Winter Olympics. The resort hosted the freestyle moguls, aerial ski events, and the alpine slalom and provided visitors with outstanding service and enjoyment during the show. 

However, the Deep Valley ski resort didn’t host any snowboarding events because snowboarding is prohibited on the terrains. Skiers can always expect challenging terrains, breathtaking views, and excellent customer service here, so if that’s something you’re after, put this place on your list.

Pros

  • Skiers only
  • Luxurious service and amenities
  • Wide variety of tracks, from finely groomed to wild untouched powder
  • Amazing scenery
  • World-class ski school
  • Effective lift-system

Cons

  • High prices, especially for accommodation
  • Exposed terrain, can get extremely windy
  • Lack of entertainment

Famous for: exceptional customer service, challenging terrain.

Town Area

The Deep Valley Resort is one of the most exquisite and luxurious terrains in Utah and it really makes no sense to visit it, if you are not ready to pay a little bit more for an outstanding resort experience. However, the place offers world-class grooming and is the home of one the best ski schools in the US. The olympic gold medalist, Stein Eriksen, was managing the school for 35 years so it’s one of the first picks of aspiring skiers ready to pay for the price tag.

Deep Valley offers top-notch dining service, lodgings, and ski-in/ski-out accommodation. The place has a relaxed vibe and is usually visited by upscale clientele. However, when it comes to nightlife, the Deep Valley doesn’t have a lot to offer. Visitors usually take a ride down to Park City if they are up for some partying.

Ski Terrain

Deep Valley tracks are usually in prime condition and the terrain has a lot to offer to intermediate and beginner skiers. There’s an abundance of groomed runs, glades, moguls, and bowls that will be thrilling for all newbies. However, expert skiers may not find the terrain very exciting as the off-piste areas are rather limited.

It’s important to note that the Deep Valley terrains are exposed, so on a stormy day it can get extremely windy. However, adrenaline-junkies visiting Deep Valley can always get a ride to the nearby Park City Mountain Resort where the terrain is much more diverse. The ski terrains have an exceptional ski lift infrastructure that will satisfy the tastes of even the most picky clientele.

Crowd Density & Ski Lifts

Deep Valley rarely gets overrun by skiers, as it’s mostly visited by the elite. The atmosphere is very relaxed as there are plenty of young families enjoying their stay while appreciating the convenience of having ski-in/ski-out accommodation options. Intermediate skiers ready to put all their energy into some thrilling skiing experience will find it helpful that Deep Valley’s exceptional high-end service goes as far as having a valet to bring your skis to your car. 

When it comes to ski lift infrastructure, Deep Valley has an outstanding and effective ski lift connection and a variety of high-speed quad chairs.

Accommodation

Deep Valley’s exceptional service is always in demand, so make sure to book in advance. Everything at the resort is charged as a premium service including ski lift tickets and dining. Visitors looking for the ultimate in luxury combined with some ski-in/ski-out accommodation should definitely consider visiting Deep Valley, as this is one of the most affluent ski resorts in Utah.

Verdict

The Deep Valley resort offers thrillings skiing experience on groomed cruisers and pro slopes. While a bit pricey, it delivers in almost every aspect. Luxury, attention to detail, and amazing infrastructure are Deep Valley’s main strengths.The place also has a long tradition and offers amazing ski education delivered by world-class skiers.

You can check out more on our USA Ski Resorts page.

Article by:
Abby Ward
Senior Content Writer at Bluehouse
Last Updated

May 2020