Utah has 10 resorts less than one hour from Salt Lake City Airport

It is no secret that Utah is one of the best places to ski in the world. An average of 13 metres of snow falls on the state’s 15 ski resorts each year. Utah’s ski season is long. Many of the resorts have had fresh snow into May this year and over 23 metres total at the end of last winter. The dry, white snow is so highly regarded that it has been trademarked as The Greatest Snow on Earth®. The state caters so well to skiers and snowboarders that Salt Lake City is also the favoured choice for the 2030 Winter Olympics. It’s not all snow fun either, you can tie in your snow holiday with a visit to one of the five pristine national parks – Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion – for the ultimate adventure holiday.

Where to ski in Utah

Utah has 10 ski resorts within an hour’s drive from Salt Lake City International Airport. You can choose to stay and ski one resort, or base yourself in Salt Lake CIty and road trip between them all. The resorts fit into four distinct regions: Cottonwood Canyon, Park City, Ogden and Provo’s.

Park City, Utah Ski Resorts

Park City Mountain

Park City is perhaps the most famous of Utah’s ski resorts. It is the largest lift-served ski resort in the United States and has excellent ski schools and terrain parks. The stats are impressive at the colossal resort. 17 mountain peaks, seven terrain parks, 14 bowls, six natural half pipes, one super pipe and one mini pipe. Mountaintop restaurant Cloud Dine makes the most incredible homemade doughnuts.

Distance from airport: 40 minutes
Skiable area: 2,954 hectares of terrain
Lifts: 43
Grading of runs: Beginner 8%, Intermediate 42%, Advanced/Expert 50%
Number of runs: 330

Deer Valley

If you like five-star service, immaculate grooming and the sound of a resort that only allows skiers, you’ll love Deer Valley. It was the first ski resort designed to have the same level of service as a five-star hotel, with free ski storage, mountain ambassadors and helpful staff positioned at every lift and every signboard. The groomed runs are spectacular but so are the runs through the aspen groves and from the top of Empire Lodge. The resort has fantastic dining, make sure you try the Turkey Chilli.

Distance from airport: 45 minutes
Skiable area: 809 hectares of terrain
Lifts: 21
Grading of runs: Beginner 27%, Intermediate 41%, Advanced/Expert 32%
Number of runs: 101 ski trails

Deer Valley Resort, Utah
Deer Valley Resort

Cottonwood Canyon Resorts

Alta Ski Area

Alta Ski Area has a reputation for powder, snowfall (10m average) and its skiers-only policy.

Distance from airport: 35 minutes
Skiable area: 1,058 hectares of terrain
Lifts: 9
Vertical: 774 metres
Grading of runs: 15% beginner, 30% intermediate, 55% expert
Number of runs: 119 ski trails

Brighton Resort

Brighton Resort draws crowds for its thrilling terrain park, accessible backcountry, masses of snow and family deals. It is known, along with Deer Valley, as one of the best mountains for tree skiing. It is a mountain loved by snowboarders for its tree runs, chutes and terrain parks.

Distance from airport: 45 minutes
Skiable area: 425 hectares of terrain
Lifts: 4
Grading of runs: 21% beginner, 40% intermediate, 39% Advanced/Expert
Number of runs: 66

Snowbird

With an average of 13 metres per season, Snowbird is one of the best resorts for deep powder snow, steep terrain and one of the longest seasons in Utah. The resort is also home to Powderbird Heliski, the only heliski company in Utah. For a luxe stay, check out Cliff Lodge.

Distance from airport: 33 minutes
Skiable area: 1,012 hectares of terrain
Lifts: 11
Grading of runs: 27% beginner, 38% intermediate, 35% advanced/expert
Number of runs: 169 ski trails

Ski Utah at Snowbird Resort
Snowbird Ski Resort © Scott Markewitz
Solitude Mountain

Solitude Mountain is one of the least crowded of the Cottonwood ski resorts and a local favourite for chutes and groomers.

Distance from airport: 40 minutes
Skiable area: 486 hectares of terrain
Lifts: 9
Grading of runs: Beginner 10%, Intermediate 40%, Advanced/Expert 50
Number of runs: 82 ski trails

Ogden Ski Resorts

Powder Mountain

Powder Mountain is a huge resort with uncrowded slopes, Cat skiing and a seriously chilled apres attitude.

Distance from airport: 65 minutes
Skiable area: 3,425 hectares of terrain
Lifts: 9
Grading of runs: 25% beginner, 40% intermediate, 35% advanced/expert
Number of runs: 154 ski trails

Nordic Valley

Nordic Valley is a small resort in Ogden offering night skiing, affordablility and great terrain for beginners.

Distance from airport: 45 minutes
Skiable area: 202 hectares of terrain
Lifts: 4
Number of runs: 23 ski trails

Snowbasin

Snowbasin is the place to go for luxury lodges, Olympic-quality downhill runs and high-end dining.

Distance from airport: 60 minutes
Skiable area: 1,214 hectares of terrain
Lifts: 11
Grading of runs: Beginner 25%, Intermediate 50%, Advanced/Expert 30%
Number of runs: 106 ski trails

Sundance Mountain Resort

Sundance Mountain Resort is a rustic ski resort built by actor Robert Redford. It has 50 runs across 500 acres and a new high-speed quad lift the toe Mandan Summit. Many of the trails at Sundance have names drawn from famous Redford films, but it’s also popular for wide backcountry trails and snowshoeing.

Distance from airport: 55 minutes
Skiable area: 182 hectares
Lifts: 5
Grading of runs: Beginner 35%, Intermediate 45%, Advanced/Expert 20%
Number of runs: 50+

Resort’s close to Nevada

Another fun way to access Utah’s slopes is to fly into Las Vegas and drive a car over the border to access Brian Head and Eagle Point.

Brian Head

Distance from Salt Lake City: 3.5 hours
Skiable area: 263 hectares of terrain
Lifts: 10
Number of runs: 71 ski trails

Eagle Point

Distance from Salt Lake City: 3 hours
Skiable area: 263 hectares of terrain
Lifts: 5
Number of runs: 40 ski trails

Utah’s best resorts for families

Utah’s slopes offer terrain for everyone, from beginners to advanced, but some stand out as tops for kids. Park City is terrific in terms of its size and variety. The resort has 2,954 hectares of terrain and 43 lifts, as well as a roller coaster and zip line. Deer Valley caters well because most of the runs funnel into the lift, so family members can do different graded runs and meet at the bottom. Brighton is known as the ‘resort where Utah learns to ski’ because its slopes are terrain and lessons are slightly cheaper. Another big bonus is that kids under 10 can ski for free.

The Ski Utah App

All you need is one app to track your stats across all the mountains. The Ski Utah App also has powder alerts, bus timetables, lift status and your day count.

The best snow on earth

Utah have backed that claim of the The Greatest Snow on Earth® with science. University of Utah atmospheric scientist Jim Steenburgh studied the consistency of Utah’s snow and found it was the best in the world for deep-powder skiing and riding. It comes down to a quality called “flotation”.

Flotation happens when light snow has enough body to keep skis and snowboards on the upper layer of snow without scraping the base. That makes it feel like you are floating across the powder. In most resorts, that happens on some days. In Utah, it’s the rule rather than the exception.

Ski Passes

Utah offers several lift pass options. Six resorts are on the Ikon Pass, and two are on the Epic Pass.

Flying to Salt Lake City

Currently, Australians can get to Salt Lake City via Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas or the recently launched Hawaiian Airlines Sydney > Honolulu > Salt Lake City flight. Beach stopover anyone?

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