Park City Resorts
There are three major ski resorts in the Park City area: The Canyons, Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley.
Deer Valley is an upscale resort and is one of the few remaining North American ski areas that does not allow snowboarding. As such, Park City and The Canyons are popular snowboarding resorts. Though the Park City area resorts are not owned by the same company, you can buy special lift tickets that allow you to ski at all three areas.
The town of Park City is filled with art galleries, trendy shops and restaurants. In general, lodging in this area will be expensive.
Sundance is in nearby Provo Canyon. The resort, which was founded by Robert Redford, hosts the popular Sundance Film Festival.
Little Cottonwood Canyon
Unlike the Park City area, both Little and Big Cottonwood Canyon offer a downscale ambiance. While there are no trendy art galleries or fancy restaurants, there are plenty of cheap, extended stay lodging choices and fast food restaurants.
Snowbird and Alta are located in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Alta is another of the skier-only resorts and offers a retro vibe. Though famous for its glades and steep terrain, Alta has some of the best beginner terrain in Utah. It is also home to an authentic rope tow, which takes you across, as opposed to up the mountain.
In contrast, Snowbird is a mega-resort, whose main lodge looks like an office building that belongs in the business district of Manhattan. Snowbird is also proud of its lack of beginner terrain. In fact, Big Emma is supposedly the steepest green or beginner trail in North America. Steeps and mogul runs are plentiful.
You can purchase a ticket that allows you to ski both Alta and Snowbird, and a trail connects both areas. However, do not try to get into Alta on a snowboard.
Big Cottonwood Canyon
Because of their remote location, the Big Cottonwood Canyon Resorts are not as crowded as the Park City areas. However, both resorts in this area have terrain that is perfect for intermediate skiers. Solitude is the more upscale resort; it offers a European-style condo village. Brighton is another no-frills ski area; it has some of the cheapest lift tickets in Utah.
Ogden Ski Areas
Snowbasin, Wolf Mountain and Powder Mountain are the three ski resorts in the Ogden area.
Snowbasin is owned by the same people who own the luxurious Sun Valley Resort in Idaho. It is known for its Oriental rugs and chandeliers in the cafeteria. Snowbasin has varied terrain as well as an extensive lift and gondola system.
If you can't afford Snowbasin but want to enjoy the Ogden area, Ski Magazine ranked Powder Mountain as the best value and the third-best conditions in Utah in 2009.
Wolf Mountain is a Utah's most family friendly resort. The Wolfdeedo Double Chair is user-friendly and provides access to some of Utah's best beginner terrain.
Article Written By Lisa Mercer
In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.