Ski Utah for some of the best powder in the world! The Utah ski resorts claim to have the “Greatest Snow on Earth”, and whilst Hokkaido skiing
may give Utah a run for its money, the Utah snow is definitely phenomenal!
With characteristically light dry powder, and at least four resorts renowned for huge snowfalls with an average of 12.7 metres (500 inches) per season, Utah skiing is certainly up there as a superb powderhound destination.
The profile of Utah skiing has increased since the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. Many ski resorts in Utah are now considered world class as they continue to develop their infrastructure.
Where are the Utah Ski Resorts?
It’s easy to ski Utah because many of the Utah ski resorts are located very close to the Salt Lake City International Airport.
Many of the ski resorts in Utah are within close vicinity of each other so it’s possible to get a taste of multiple ski areas during your holiday. Here are the geographical groupings of the Utah ski resorts.
There are three resorts in the Park City area; Park City Mountain Resort
, Deer Valley
(no snowboarding) & The Canyons
The Cottonwood Canyons
receive more snowfall than the Eastern slope of the Wasatch range (the Park City area). In Little Cottonwood Canyon
(the southeast corner of the Salt Lake Valley) are Alta
(snowboard free) and the interconnected Snowbird
, which has some very challenging terrain.
Big Cottonwood Canyon
is also in the southeast corner of the Salt Lake Valley to the north of Little Cottonwood Canyon, and has Solitude Ski Resort
and Brighton Ski Resort
There are also ski resorts in the Ogden Valley
including Powder Mountain
The Provo area
features the Sundance Resort
Furthest north in Utah is Beaver Mountain, and Brian Head is in southern Utah just 2.5 hours from Las Vegas.
Click on the table below for distances and times between Salt Lake City, the SLC airport and between the Utah ski resorts. Also see the Utah ski resorts map in the top right hand corner of this page.
Ski Resorts in Utah
The Utah ski resorts all vary significantly. Snowbird and the resorts around Park City have a high profile. Subsequently the crowds tend to flock to these ski resorts.
Conversely some resorts fly under the radar and have fewer visitors (e.g. Powder Mountain
). Some of these lower profile resorts also have undeveloped infrastructure, but with fewer people on the slopes the chances of skiing or boarding untracked powder is much greater. Another plus is that the lesser known ski resorts in Utah have much cheaper lift tickets.
Which is the most ideal Utah ski resort for you? Check out the best Utah ski resorts
page which includes awards for the powder skiing, off-piste terrain, steeps, family friendliness, value for money, and the nightlife.
Utah Snow and Weather Conditions
Utah is the dry state in many respects. It’s a misconception that it’s not possible to get a drink in Utah, but the desert air is so dry that you’ll need to apply Chapstick every 5 minutes. The snow is also incredibly dry and the famous Salt Lake Effect is partly attributable for this. The salt lake never freezes, and as storms blow over the lake, moisture is picked up and dropped on the mountain ranges in the form of super dry powder. The snow at Alta ski resort
typically contains only 5-7% water, which is lovely in comparison to the Sierra Cement of the Lake Tahoe region that typically has snow with 10-15% water content.
Utah can receive all types of weather, but generally the temperatures are not too cold. White-outs are not a major problem, and all the resorts have lots of terrain below the tree line, so if there is inclement weather there’s always somewhere to hide.
Heli Skiing Utah
Any Utah skiing or snowboarding is outstanding due to the superb dry powder, but combined with the joy of heli skiing, heli skiing in Utah can provide absolute ecstasy. There are a couple of Utah heli skiing operators, with Powderbird being the main one.
Utah Cat Skiing
also provides easy access to the delicious Utah powder. There are three Utah cat skiing companies where you can revel in amongst the abundant fresh tracks. Park City Powder Cats
is the largest of the cat skiing operators.
Why Ski Utah?
It’s pretty obvious really - Utah is the powder skiing capital of USA!!
The profile of Utah skiing is much lower than that of the neighbouring Colorado ski resorts
. Many attribute this to the stereotype that one cannot get a drink in Utah, and that the state is not quite “normal”. Of course this is far from the case, and the relatively low profile of Utah skiing is of benefit to powderhounds who don’t have to share the fresh powder with all the hordes.
Utah Skiing & Utah Snowboarding - Award Winning
has been given the coveted award from Powderhounds.com for the best ski resort in USA for powder hounds. The other Utah ski resorts also score pretty well in the powderhounds stakes, and Park City Ski Resort
gets an “overall” award for the best skiing in USA
Also for ideas on where to ski in Utah, check out our best Utah ski resorts
Ski Tours in Utah