The First Timer’s Guide to Skiing Utah
Utah. If you know anything about skiing and snowboarding overseas, it’s probably already on your destination bucket list.
This U.S. state boasts some of the world’s best big-name resorts (Park City anyone?) huge amounts of fresh powder snow so desert dry you can’t make a snowball (that’s a good thing) and terrain to suit everyone, from nervous beginners to those looking to try some leg-shaking, heart-racing kind of double black diamond runs.
Plus 10 of Utah’s ski resorts are located less than an hour from Salt Lake City International Airport, which is an easy flight from Los Angeles. No road trip necessary!
Getting to Utah
Fly direct from Sydney to Los Angeles with Virgin Australia and Delta Air Lines, who fly twice daily; you can also fly direct from Melbourne or Brisbane. Then it’s just a quick two hour layover in Los Angeles before carrying through to Salt Lake City. The ski town of Park City is just a thirty minute UberSKI ride from the airport.
The major benefits of flying with Virgin Australia and Delta Air Lines is that you get a generous checked baggage allowance of two checked bags. Bring a ski bag AND a boot bag and it’ll count for just one of your checked bags, as long as they have a combined weight of under 23kg.
Skiing and snowboarding in Utah
Utah has no less than 13 resorts across the state, including ‘Ski City’, which includes Alta, Snowbird, Brighton and Solitude. Add the big names of Park City Mountain and Deer Valley Resort and the hidden gems of Snowbasin and Powder Mountain. These resorts are all world-class, offering a high level of accommodation, amenities and – most importantly – terrain.
Love skiing? Head to skier’s only Alta, which gets more snow than any other Utah resort thanks to its high altitude – its average yearly snowfall is a seriously impressive 13m, with over 2m of snow falling each month. Snowboarders can hit up the wicked steeps of Snowbird which shares a boundary with Alta.
Travelling with little ones? You can’t go past the aptly-named Solitude, which has minimal lift lines, a huge range of ski-in, ski-out accommodation, gentle slopes and a kids play academy for when they need a time-out from ski school.
Want to ski and snowboard as much terrain as you possibly can? Buy your lift tickets for Park City Mountain. At 7,300 acres, it is the biggest resort in the United States and offers up everything from beautifully groomed intermediate runs to bowls that the experts love to play in – plus a really, really fun après scene.
If you’re a skier, and love the lux life then check out Deer Valley Resort. The ski-in ski-out resort limits the number of day passes which means no lift lines, even on a powder day.
You’re going to need a lot of time to eat your way across Utah’s ski resort restaurants. There are over 2000 of them, plus 180 bars for après-ski fun and 10 different breweries and distilleries. Our best tip? Go via the world’s only ski-in, whiskey distillery, High West Distillery & Saloon in Park City and make sure you check out Freshie’s for the ‘best lobster rolls’ in the USA.
Photo: High West Distillery & Saloon in Park City
Coffee like you like it
Australians will love Utah for the coffee. Try Public in Salt Lake City for brews like home or Australia’s own Campos at Park City Mountain and downtown SLC, plus Harvest and Five 5eeds (both Aussie owned) also in the town of Park City.
Photo: Public, Salt Lake City
When you’re keen to try something other than skiing and boarding, there are plenty of options. Dog sledding, snowmobiling, snow biking and snowshoeing are all popular activities across the resorts of Utah. Park City is also home to the Utah Olympic Park where you can soar through the sky on the new adventure Zip Line Tour or take the ride of your life on the Comet Bobsled which reaches speeds of up to 120 kilometres per hour.
Shopping for days
Boutiques, bookstores and brand names. Get your wallets out. You’ll be in shopping heaven in Utah. From Salt Lake City’s City Creek shopping mall to Park City’s Tanger Outlets and everything in between; there is something for everyone!
Photo: Tanger Outlets
The best snow of your life
Even with all the fantastic things to do in Utah, it always comes back to the snow. And with the Greatest Snow on Earth® to be found here, it’s the ultimate pick for your next skiing and snowboarding holiday. Enjoy the dry, fresh, fluffy powder – we’ll see you on the slopes.