The 7 Best Ski Resorts in Utah
Utah is the place to be if you're after both quality and quantity when it comes to stellar ski resorts.
Each year, Mother Nature blesses the state with an average of 500 inches of snow, some 40 snowstorms, and what Ski Utah describes as "18 monster dumps." With plenty of challenging mountain terrain for experts and easy slopes for beginners, Utah has rightly earned its spot as one of the top ski destinations in the country.
Utah also happens to be home to two of the three skiers-only resorts in the country, with Alta and Deer Valley (the third is Mad River Glen in Vermont). But not to worry, snowboarders have their place here as well, especially in its park scene and backcountry trails.
As a bonus, many of these Utah ski resorts are located within about an hour of the Salt Lake City airport, making them easy to access from just about anywhere in the country.
Beyond hitting the slopes, these resorts offer everything from walks through the snowy woods to flying through the trees on a crisp winter zip line.
Ready to plan a visit? Here are seven of the best ski resorts in Utah for your next trip out west.
Related: 10 Best Ski Resorts in the U.S.
Park City Mountain Resort
With more than 330 trails and more than 7,300 acres to ski and ride, Park City is a place where everyone can feel welcome and find space to take their turns. Ski right to Main Street when you're ready to swap out your boots for après-ski shoes and go for a stroll along the picturesque streets filled with shops, bars, and restaurants. Later, take in the town's mining past with a free tour on skis during which you'll explore historic mining buildings sprinkled around the resort.
Deer Valley Resort
This resort is a skiers-only paradise. Sorry riders, but no snowboarding allowed. The resort offers 103 runs over more than 2,000 acres of woodland terrain. Perfect your skills by heading out with an Olympic athlete for a lesson, or go on a complimentary ski tour to acquaint yourself with the mountain and learn about its history. Later, drop off your skis with the resort's complimentary ski storage so you can go straight to dinner or a drink without having to worry about where to put your gear.
Sundance Mountain Resort
In 1969, Robert Redford purchased a plot of land south of Salt Lake City that would soon become the legendary Sundance Mountain Resort. The resort is smaller than some of its nearby counterparts, with just 44 runs over 450 acres, but what it lacks in acreage, it makes up for with quality green, blue, and black runs for all skill levels. After a day on the slopes, enjoy dinner in the Tree Room, where you'll eat surrounded by Native American art from Redford's private collection, or head out on a winter ZipTour, speeding over Mount Timpanogos at 65 miles per hour for an unmatched thrill. Sign up for a free mountain tour to learn the ins and outs of the slopes, or try some night skiing before hitting the hay (a good part of the mountain is open for skiing several nights each week).
Looking for a real challenge? Head to Snowbird, get off the manicured runs, and try a backcountry ski tour. The tour will test your limits —and turning ability — as you bob and weave through the trees. After you've made it out of the woods, make your way to the top once again with a ride on the resort's 1.6-mile aerial tram and watch the sunset with a beer or hot chocolate in hand. Or, if you somehow still have some gas left in the tank, snap on a pair of snowshoes and traverse the mountain on foot for a unique perspective.
Ski 1,875 vertical feet down 66 trails across more than 1,000 acres, all on one mountain. While Brighton may not have the plethora of activities (like tubing or snowmobiling) that other area resorts offer, it's one of Utah's best for families, especially those who are looking to get their kids on the hill for the first time. That's because up to two kids (10 and under) can ski for free with a pass-holding or paying adult. The varied terrain has trails for skiers with a range of experience levels, which means there's a run for all ages and abilities.
Alta Ski Area
This mountain calls itself a ski area, rather than a resort, because the ethos is all about the slopes themselves. Snowboarding is not allowed at this mountain, which sees an average of 547 inches of snow each year, blanketing more than 116 runs across 2,614 acres. If you're open to an epic ski adventure, explore the mountain's extensive backcountry opportunities, including snowcat skiing and heli-skiing.
Solitude Mountain Resort
Ski or snowboard across 1,200 acres and 80 different runs at this mountain resort, first founded by a uranium mining tycoon in the 1950s. While there are some beginner trails, this mountain is geared toward skiers and snowboarders with experience (90% of the trails are designated intermediate or advanced/expert level). Guests looking for a break from the mountain can explore more than 12 miles of Nordic trails, all of which offer seclusion and a chance to connect with nature.