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awesomeo3000 01-15-2012 08:40 PM

Snowboarding recommendations for Utah?
 
Anybody have any recommendations for a good resort in Utah for snowboarding? I'm an intermediate boarder, so not looking for any blacks or moguls or crazy jumps. Just some blues with nice snow and maybe a couple spaced out trees here and there for excitement. Been to Mont Tremblant, Stratton, Winter Park CO, and now heading out to Utah. I've been doing the research online, and it's basically down to either Park City, Canyons, or Powder Mountain. It sounds like it's a pretty crappy winter for snow so far, even out west, but hopefully it won't be too bad. I'm going for 4 days, so variety of terrain, and number of blue trails is important.

johnc_22 01-16-2012 08:38 AM

Brighton and Solitude. Snowbird is very steep. Park City is huge. Powder Mountain is a smaller family run resort but not nearly as crowded as Park City - Snow Basin is not far away. We used to stay in SLC and go somewhere different every day.

awesomeo3000 01-16-2012 02:13 PM

Powder mountain and park city seem to have a similar amount of blue trails. We're gonna be there during the week so crowds aren't a big concern. Since powder mountain is way up north we figured there maybe better snow there then in park city. Do you know if there is a park hopper for the 3 parks in park city including the park city resort, canyons, and the other one? How was the snow in park city? We also considered canyons instead, but even though they have like 30 more blue trails, I read a preview that said they are mostly flat and not that great for boarding .

zachiepie 01-16-2012 09:07 PM

Park City and Canyons are both in Park City, and are at the same elevation. They usually don't get the best snow, and don't go to Park City on a Saturday. That place gets packed. I was a season pass holder at Canyons for 3 years, and I loved it. My favorite run I've ever been on is at The Canyons, and it's called Canis Lupid. It's an old dried up river bed that serves as a natural halfpipe. Don't get stuck! Canyons has great terrain, and the place is HUGE. Way bigger than Park City, I believe. Both resorts (and skier-only Deer Valley) are incredibly expensive, I don't like spending $98 for a day pass.
Brighton and Solitude are in the same canyon, Brighton having a bit more elevation than Solitude. Brighton is a great place for snowboarders, there's tons of "kickers" all over the resort, and it's generally where all the snowboarders go. I learned there. Great snow and great terrain for a great price.
Next canyon over is Snowbird and Alta, which are always earning awards from ski magazines. Both are beautiful resorts and are higher in elevation than anyone else in Utah. Snowbird has great runs and the snow is INCREDIBLE on powder days. And the tram is really cool, too. But if you live at sea level (or close to), be prepared for a minor headache, Hidden Peak is a pretty high 11,000 feet up. But the area behind it, called Mineral Basin, is very well worth it.

Those are the resorts in the SLC area, and they are all within 45 minutes or so from downtown. If you factor in another 20-30 minutes to that time, you can go up to the Ogden area resorts, which lie just north of SLC. Powder Mountain is a great value, and the place is huge. Lots of good terrain, but I would suggest making sure you get a powder day. It tends to get icy in some spots.
Someone already said Snowbasin, and as much as I hate to say this, Snowbasin is my favorite place to go. Why? The terrain is fantastic, the Super G and the Downhill events were all held there during the 2002 Olympics. The snow is great up there, and for some reason, no one goes there. That's why I don't normally tell people about it, because I like to keep the lines short! :) I also like that the resort was first started from a guy who served in the 10th Mountain Division during WW2, the regiment that my grandpa served in. There's a cool little plague dedicated to the regiment up there, by the John Paul area. The only thing I don't like at Snowbasin is that it gets windy up at the peaks sometimes, but Snowbird gets that as well.

When are you coming? The resorts finally got some snow today, but we have been pretty dry lately. In fact, Park City Resort just had members of the Ute Native American tribe go to the resort and do a "snow dance", I hope it helps! But FYI, Febrile and March are usually our biggest snow months.

Hope that helps.

awesomeo3000 01-16-2012 09:46 PM

We're trying to book everything now, so it's kinda hard trying to predict whether it will snow or not. Last year we went to Colorado, and it was 50s the whole week. The day we left...blizzard! Same thing happened in Canada several years ago. i think I've just got bad luck with snow. We will be in Utah Feb 5-10, so the snow's got a couple of weeks to start showing up. The boarding would be Monday-Thursday, so the crowds would be minimal regardless of where we go. For Park City Resort, liftopia had lift special for 255 for 4 days, which works out to 63/day. That's not too bad.

Does snowbasin also get icy as Powder Mountain? I've seen some people say it gets icy at Powder on some review sites as well. I was just looking at the trail maps between Park City and Snowbasin, and the Basin looks to be a much better map. I couldn't find the stats on the Snowbasin website to see exactly how many total trails they have, and how many of those are blue.

zachiepie 01-16-2012 10:20 PM

Hmmm, I don't see a list of their blue vs black runs anywhere on Snowbasin's site either. Try this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowbasin#Trails

That deal for Park City isn't bad at all. Another option, if you do want to try other resorts, is to get the lift tickets at the little ski shops scattered around SLC. One example: http://www.skinsee.com/tickets.html

I don't know what resorts offer in multi day passes, but I know they all offer them.

Park City was icy the last time I went, and it's how the sun hits it. The resort mostly faces north, so it gets a lot of face time from the sun. The Canyons is the same way, and because our temperatures have been so warm lately, there's ice pretty much all over. Snowbasin and Powder Mountain both face east, so although they get a good blast of sun each morning, I think they get less hours of it during the day. The Ogden mountains behind are pretty big, and block out a lot. It may be worth mentioning that Powder Mountain is another 15-20 minutes past Snowbasin, and I'll confess, I don't know their weather patterns as well as other resorts.

I know that you know this, but the conditions are always so dynamic, especially here in Utah. I'd check out both Google Earth (look at the terrain of the resorts, and any pictures people put up that aren't official from the resort) and Youtube videos, and just see which one looks more fun. The city of Park City is a wonderful city, and you'll be there right after the Sundance Film Festival ends. In fact, I think you'll miss it by a week!

awesomeo3000 01-16-2012 10:42 PM

Wow, the skinsee deal is an excellent idea! Thanks for that! And that would make my job of trying to decide a resort easier. This way we'd probably hit park city, canyons, snowbird, and snowbasin. Though driving from park city to snowbird and snowbasin (a little over an hour to each, one way) would really suck. Especially if we get lucky with some snow. Maybe we'd just do park city and canyons then. Any additional suggestions on lodging? We'll have a rental car, but looking for something close to park city and also must have a kitchen. I found carriage house condos in park city for 105/night. That's the best deal i've seen.

awesomeo3000 01-16-2012 10:56 PM

Also, would you say Canyons has flat run-outs or can you get to the lifts from most trails without unbuckling?

zachiepie 01-16-2012 11:18 PM

If you really want to hit all those resorts, I'd find a place in SLC. Driving from SLC to Park City is only about 15-20 minutes, and from SLC to Snowbird is probably 25. Going to Snowbasin, it's a bit more, maybe 50 minutes or so. That said, I can't really think of any good lodging off the top of my head, I only live here! :) Park City would likely have the best option though.
I just thought of a possible issue with that Ski n See thing...... You might have to pick up the pass the DAY you plan on skiing, that means in the mornings before you hit Canyons or Snowbird, or wherever. I maybe wrong, but double check with whatever ski shop you deal with. Other companies are: http://www.canyonsports.com/discountlifttickets/ http://www.lifthousesports.com/lift-tickets.html , just to name a few.

Canyons, from what I remember, didn't have many issues with flat spots. They seem to have planned it well enough to avoid it, ie placing one lift as going horizontally across one entire area to another to avoid flats, and to get across one specific canyon much easier. I actually had bigger problems with flats at Brighton! But flats happen, just like no snow does.

zachiepie 01-16-2012 11:25 PM

Oh, and check out Super Day passes too. This is simply skiing from 9 am to 9 pm, as some resorts feature night skiing on some of their lifts. Brighton and Powder Mountain do this, and I can't remember who else. Night skiing at Brighton is actually way fun, and getting the Super Day pass is just a few bucks more. Might be fun to do on your last day here.

awesomeo3000 01-16-2012 11:53 PM

Thanks for the heads up. It seems like all those places have the same prices for the lift tickets anyways. I wonder if somebody will give me a better deal if i get my rentals from there too. I don't know about Canyons, but I know Park City def has night skiing, and the 4/7 day pass deal from liftopia includes the day and night skiing as well. I'm pretty excited trying night boarding, since I've never done it yet. You're welcome to come out and join us on the slopes if you're bored.

On a side note, is there anything "must see" in SLC itself? Or pretty close to it? Any good places to go out for nightlife? I'd love to go out to see Zion National Park, but it's way too far and the rental corolla is probably not conducive to driving through the snow in the mountains.

cruise_bone 01-17-2012 08:28 AM

Brighton is snowboarding central USA. It is the mecca for boarders. It is cheap. The conditions will consistently beat out all Utah resorts except for Alta and Snowbird.

Deer Valley/Park City/The Canyons are having one of the worst snow years on record. Avoid these mountains this year.
Snowbird is steep, as mentioned above.
Solitude has slow lifts but little crowds and generally has similar conditions to Brighton due to it's location in the same Canyon.
Snowbasin is not great. It's far away, the conditions (and visibility) are suspect compared to Big Cottonwood and Little Cottonwood canyons and it's expensive.
Powder Mountain is seriously old school and fun. Go for a day if the weather cooperates.

I ski in Utah every year or every other year and have been to every mountain many times. Let me know if you have specific questions.

wyb 01-17-2012 08:38 AM

and be aware - DOWNTOWN SLC is not 15-25 minutes from Park City - more like 40-45 in my experience (more if conditions are snowy).

Be aware - the locals drive like idiots in snow in my experience... :D

Spiderm0n 01-17-2012 08:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cruise_bone (Post 6567889)
Deer Valley/Park City/The Canyons are having one of the worst snow years on record. Avoid these mountains this year.
Snowbird is steep, as mentioned above.
Solitude has slow lifts but little crowds and generally has similar conditions to Brighton due to it's location in the same Canyon.
Snowbasin is not great. It's far away, the conditions (and visibility) are suspect compared to Big Cottonwood and Little Cottonwood canyons and it's expensive.
Powder Mountain is seriously old school and fun. Go for a day if the weather cooperates.

I ski in Utah every year or every other year and have been to every mountain many times. Let me know if you have specific questions.

I was/am planning a group trip to Utah this year to ski/snowboard. Is the season really blown for Deer Valley/Park City? I was looking at average monthly snow totals and it seems like they could still get some decent snow. (unless there is a great weather force still at work)

Any ideas on where else to go this year? :)

wyb 01-17-2012 09:20 AM

I hear it snowed a LOT yesterday in Utah - you might get this little snow app:

http://www.skiutah.com/winter/snow_report/mobile

I know my son-in-law told us he had 5 inches by around 2PM, when I clocked out for the day - but he's in the valley - it would indicate the snowfall potential in the resorts could be much more... but until this recent dump, Utah snowfall had been relatively light in comparison to previous seasons... :dunno:

hth

wyb 01-17-2012 09:22 AM

That said... Silverton got hammered yesterday in Colorado... :D

awesomeo3000 01-17-2012 09:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cruise_bone (Post 6567889)
Brighton is snowboarding central USA. It is the mecca for boarders. It is cheap. The conditions will consistently beat out all Utah resorts except for Alta and Snowbird.

Deer Valley/Park City/The Canyons are having one of the worst snow years on record. Avoid these mountains this year.
Snowbird is steep, as mentioned above.
Solitude has slow lifts but little crowds and generally has similar conditions to Brighton due to it's location in the same Canyon.
Snowbasin is not great. It's far away, the conditions (and visibility) are suspect compared to Big Cottonwood and Little Cottonwood canyons and it's expensive.
Powder Mountain is seriously old school and fun. Go for a day if the weather cooperates.

I ski in Utah every year or every other year and have been to every mountain many times. Let me know if you have specific questions.

Brighton and Solitude both only have 65-66 total runs, 50% of those blues (not there yet for blacks)! I think only 30 runs is really small if i'm going to be there for 4 days.

I just checked weather.com snow forecast for Park City, Brighton, and Powder Mountain and they all have the same forecast for 1-2 in of snow tomorrow. Maybe with the snow conditions this year, it doesn't really matter all that much which mountain to go to.

awesomeo3000 01-17-2012 09:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wyb (Post 6568021)
I hear it snowed a LOT yesterday in Utah - you might get this little snow app:

http://www.skiutah.com/winter/snow_report/mobile

I know my son-in-law told us he had 5 inches by around 2PM, when I clocked out for the day - but he's in the valley - it would indicate the snowfall potential in the resorts could be much more... but until this recent dump, Utah snowfall had been relatively light in comparison to previous seasons... :dunno:

hth

Hmm...not sure where the valley is, but Park City's snow report says they got 1" in the past 24 hours, as of this morning.

johnc_22 01-17-2012 10:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by awesomeo3000 (Post 6568066)
Brighton and Solitude both only have 65-66 total runs, 50% of those blues (not there yet for blacks)! I think only 30 runs is really small if i'm going to be there for 4 days.

I just checked weather.com snow forecast for Park City, Brighton, and Powder Mountain and they all have the same forecast for 1-2 in of snow tomorrow. Maybe with the snow conditions this year, it doesn't really matter all that much which mountain to go to.

That's why you stay in SLC and rent a snow capable vehicle to take you to different places each day. There have been times where the Ogden resorts get dumped on but not the others and vice versa, so it pays to be flexible.

zachiepie 01-17-2012 10:22 AM

Ohhhh lets see. Zions NP is beautiful, I actually work out there as a paramedic. But yes, it's a 4 hour drive, as are all the other national parks in Utah.

Lots of people go see some of the Mormon places, like Temple Square and such. And I promise, it's actually pretty cool. But there's stuff you won't find in tourist brochures, like hot springs that are scattered around. Google "hot springs SLC" and you'll find some. Something else that's cool is the Hill AFB Museum, if you're in to old jets and props. They have a B29, a B17, B52, SR71, tons of cool airplanes. I'll keep thinking of other stuff though.
And I'll totally come hit the slopes, just let me know where you'll be.

zachiepie 01-17-2012 10:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wyb (Post 6568021)
I hear it snowed a LOT yesterday in Utah - you might get this little snow app:

http://www.skiutah.com/winter/snow_report/mobile

I know my son-in-law told us he had 5 inches by around 2PM, when I clocked out for the day - but he's in the valley - it would indicate the snowfall potential in the resorts could be much more... but until this recent dump, Utah snowfall had been relatively light in comparison to previous seasons... :dunno:

hth



SLC valleys got an inch or two in most places, and the resorts got missed completely. Lots of people are freaked out about that, me included!

zachiepie 01-17-2012 10:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by johnc_22 (Post 6568186)
That's why you stay in SLC and rent a snow capable vehicle to take you to different places each day. There have been times where the Ogden resorts get dumped on but not the others and vice versa, so it pays to be flexible.

+1.

ALL the resorts suck sometimes. Even Snowbasin, my favorite. Just depends.

photohunts 01-17-2012 11:29 AM

I snowboarded 5 days at Park City and 1 day at Canyons in Feb of last year (wish it was the other way around). If you stay in PC or Canyons, then it doesn't matter. They are a free 5-10 min (realistic) bus ride from each other. I definitely enjoyed the terrain more at Canyons than PC, but I think you will get bored at any resort if you are sticking to blues for 4 days. Either plan to hit up at least two resorts or hit some double blues or blacks once in a while.

Costco used to sell multi-day passes for PC at a great discount (almost 40% off I think when I bought it last year), not sure if they still do that.

It's still a La Nina year...hope.

awesomeo3000 01-19-2012 10:41 AM

2ft of snow at Powder Mountain! Only 5" at Park City and Canyon! I wonder why Powder Mountain still only has less than half the trails open?

wyb 01-19-2012 11:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by awesomeo3000 (Post 6568072)
Hmm...not sure where the valley is, but Park City's snow report says they got 1" in the past 24 hours, as of this morning.

my fam lives on the west of the SLC Valley (West Jordan to be precise) - as someone already mentioned, most of the resorts got missed again.


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