Are you planning a Salt Lake City skiing trip?
Awesome! Let’s plan your perfect Salt Lake City, Utah skiing trip! There is a lot to be excited about. For one, Utah has the “Greatest Snow on Earth.” (Believe it or not, the University of Utah did a study on this. And of course, just ask locals, who are not biased whatsoever . . . .)
In this post we will explore the different transportation, ski resorts, ski rental equipment, and lodging.
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Salt Lake City Skiing Trip
A Salt Lake City skiing trip is where it is at! You will love Utah!
The Salt Lake City metropolitan area is surrounded by mountains, including the mountains the major ski resorts are located at. This makes Salt Lake City one of the most convenient places to ski. You can literally fly into Salt Lake and be at a resort in less than an hour.
Transportation to Ski Resorts from Salt Lake City Airport
Once you arrive at the Salt Lake City Airport you have a few options on how to get to the slopes.
Rent a Car
Renting a car gives a lot of freedom, but make sure that you get four wheel drive or have chains handy — you may be able to get away with front wheel drive if you’re headed to Park City or Deer Valley, but chains or four wheel drive are often required going up Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons (Alta, Snowbird, Solitude, Brighton).
I like to use CarRentals.com, and book in advance to get good rates.
If you’re worried about getting up the canyons, both Big Cottonwood Canyon (Solitude and Brighton) and Little Cottonwood Canyon (Alta and Snowbird) offer bus service directly to the resorts. Simply park your car at the base of either canyon in the designated parking lots and hop on the bus!
You avoid the stress of driving up and down the canyon, and don’t have to worry about finding a parking space.
This is a great way to save money! If you are visiting family and just need a ride to their house or if you are staying in a hotel that is close to the ski bus this is the way to go! I personally like Go Airport Shuttle. This is a respected brand that has really great reviews for the Salt Lake Area.
Private Car or Ride Service
Go Airport shuttle also offers a private car service! This is a more private and convenient option to get to your destination quickly.
Uber and Lyft are also available in Salt Lake and either is a great way to get around if you do not want to rent a car.
Public Transportation – Trax and Bus
Salt Lake City has a really good train system. If you are staying in Salt Lake City, the green line will take you from the airport to downtown.
There are also ski buses that can take you from the light rail (called Trax) to the ski resorts. And as mentioned before, if you have a car, You can park at the base of some of the canyons and ride the bus to the resorts. This is a really popular service that locals and visitor’s alike use.
It is the cheapest option, but it would be really inconvenient if you have all your ski gear in tow. We want to make your Salt Lake City skiing trip amazing not horrible!
Ski Resorts Near Salt Lake City
There are eight resorts within an hour from Salt Lake City. The closest to the Salt Lake City airport is Snowbird. Resorts that have national recognition, and are also favorites of many celebrities, are Park City and Deer Valley. Alta, Solitude, and Snowbird are known for having more snow than the other resorts. Brighton, Sundance, and Snow Basin are local favorites.
We will explore each resort so you can decide what your best option is.
Brighton Ski Resort
Brighton averages 500 inches of snow in the winter. It is dry, light and fluffy making it perfect for both snowboard riders and skiers alike. Brighton is located at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon.
If you are a beginner skier or have kids, take a good look at Brighton. It has deals and terrain that may entice you. (And don’t worry, if you are an experienced skier or snowboarder, it has terrain for you too!)
This resort is where most local residents ski and board.
Brighton Lift Tickets
There are a lot of options for lift tickets at Brighton. Buying online will save you money so be sure to plan ahead.
Obviously, you can purchase a full day ticket that includes the entire resort, but Brighton has the options of half day tickets. Beginner tickets only include certain lifts that have green slopes.
Brighton also has kids ski free with a paying adult ticket! For each paying adult, two children under the age of 10 can get a lift ticket without additional cost.
Brighton also has night skiing options from 4:00pm – 9:00pm. There are night skiing promotions offered weekly so be sure to check their website.
Brighton Ski Chair Lifts
Brighton has 5 high speed Quads, 1 triple, and a magic carpet lift.
Brighton Ski School
One question you might have is if you need a reservation for group lessons. The answer is NO!
The ski school is so amazing and will get you set up in a group lesson the day of. Just arrive early. (You must be at least 4 years old to participate.) Tips are appreciated!
If you want a private lesson it is probably a good idea to call ahead, although we have had luck with getting it set up the day of. They are very flexible!
There is a new 3 year old ski class available but reservations are required! (In the past we did a private lesson for our 3 year old)
Common Ski School Questions
Most group lessons are 2 hours, but there is an all-day choice that includes lunch. Skiers and snowboarders are in separate classes. There is a limit of students allowed in each class to keep them small.
We were so impressed with their ski lesson instructors. My daughter was determined not to ski because the boots looked boyish (age 6). They helped her calm down and got her on the slopes! I didn’t think it was going to happen but they were miracle workers.
Brighton Ski Rentals
If you need to rent your ski equipment go to the 2nd floor of the Brighton Center. You can check out the different ski rental packages available. Adult prices start at $25.
If you are doing children group lesson’s ski rentals are an additional $15 dollars (such a great deal!) The cost is only $20 to rent equipment if they are not in ski lessons.
Grooming and Terrain
Brighton has very groomed trails. There are pathways through trees and chutes for more adventurous skiers and riders. Brighton has four terrain parks. A terrain park is like a skate park where riders and skiers can do tricks. They also have 66 runs.
Brighton Ski In Ski Out Accommodation Option
Brighton Lodge is yards away from the lift. It is a great option if you want to be close enough to the ski area. This is important because if you have skied before, you know the value of not lugging your skis, boots, and winter gear around more than you have to.
Solitude Mountain Resort
Solitude resort is very nice. There are a lot of people from out of state that come to Solitude on ski trips. The terrain is great and the snow is fabulous! You will be very happy with this choice.
Solitude Lift Tickets
Solitude ticket prices are very reasonable if you purchase in advance.
Kids 5-7 $25
Youth 8 -12 $39
If you walk up to the ticket office tickets will be
Kids 4-7 $45
Youth 8-12 $69
There are also other options such as half day, PM passes, and 10 ride passes.
Solitude Terrain and Slopes
10% of the slopes at Solitude Ski Resort are beginner green slopes. If you take the Moonbeam and Link chair lifts you will stay in this area.
Once you graduate to blue and black slopes, there are many options to challenge yourself.
If you are an experienced skier or just love a challenge this ski resort is a great option.
There are 8 lifts, 79 runs as well as Nordic trails. Snowshoeing trails are also available at Solitude.
Solitude Ski School
Lessons run daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. There are full day and half day options available. Different ski levels and age levels will be determined at the lesson.
Mini – designed for kids 3-4 years old
Junior Explorers – 5-6 years old
Explorers – 7-12 years old
Group teen and adult lessons are also available.
Private lessons are also a great option to get one-on-one instruction.
Booking lessons online or making reservations directly with the ski school is advised. Prices vary by age but they tend to be a little more expensive the younger you are.
Child care is available for your infants at this resort. There is a max of 15 kids allowed so reservations are recommended
Solitude Ski Rentals
Ski rentals are available at the resort. Prices start at $23 for children and $59 for adults for a full day ski or snowboard package.
Solitude Ski In Ski Out Accommodation Options
Solitude Village Resort is a ski in ski out accommodation. There are often great deals available to stay there.
Club Solitude is a wonderful benefit of staying onsite. There is a nice heated pool and sauna. Also, there are activities throughout the week such as s’more making, star gazing, yoga, and game room are available. It is a great place to relax and have fun after being on the slopes all day.
One of the perks of staying at the resort is proximity. Solitude is up Big Cottonwood Canyon. From the base of the canyon, it takes about 20 minutes to get up to the resort. With snow and avalanche control, it can take you much longer.
Park City Mountain Resort
Park City Mountain Resort
Park City is an amazing city and the ski resorts are top notch! Hollywood stars come to Park City for film festivals and to enjoy skiing.
Lift Tickets at Park City Mountain Resort
The price is about 3-4 times more than most ski resorts around, but you may see a movie star so it could be worth it!
Tickets at the window will be about $179. Buying in advance will save you money. It is recommended to buy at least 7+ days in advance to save the most money. I found tickets were around $154 when purchased in advance.
Park City Mountain Resort Ski School
Lessons start at $300 for a full day for a 3 year old. As the age increases (4-6 ) the price come down to $275. Ages 7-14 is $259.
Epic Schoolkids allows local kids to ski 5 times for free and have one free ski and snowboard lesson. This is an amazing program that we have participated in almost every year. Be sure to sign up early to be able to participate. Sign ups are usually in October but can be as early as July.
Our Ski School Experience
My daughter (age 6) skied there this last season and was absolutely in love with her ski instructor and even said, “Will I never see him again” She loved it! I felt like she learned a lot.
Terrain and Lifts
Park city has 41 Lifts, 348 trails, and 7 terrain parks. There are 4 gondolas, 33 high speed chair lifts, and 2-3 magic carpets and rope toes.
50% of Park City runs are beginner and intermediate.
If you have an infant or a child that does not want to ski child care is a great option. Prices run from $135 -$165 depending if you want a half day or full day care.
Accommodations at Park City Mountain Resort
Park City Manages many hotel properties. They have 8 signature properties available. If you are looking for ski in ski out options in Park City I would check these out first.
There are other resorts that have this same option throughout the area. Do some research to find the best fit for your vacation.
If you are looking for high end and top of the line facilities and equipment Park City Mountain Resort will not disappoint. One thing that tourist and locals love about Park City is that the town itself has a very special feel to it. You can get out and be social in a ski village.
Olympians, celebrities, and just normal people like you and I can all enjoy this amazing ski resort.
Deer Valley Ski Resort
Deer Valley is located in Park City. Deer Valley is a ski only resort! No Snowboards allowed. This is what makes it unique. (Alta is also ski only)
Park City really is a high end amazing destination. Unlike, most ski area resorts the ones in Park City are equipped with state of the art Olympic facilities. You pay for what you get.
Deer Valley Ski Resort Lift Tickets
Buying ahead is always going to save you money on a full day ticket. Deer Valley prices are similar to Park City Resort.
Adult $159 (online price)
Child $100 (online price)
Window prices will be more expensive. If you are planning on skiing during peak times such as Christmas the resort does hit capacity so it would be in your best interest to plan ahead.
Ski Rental Packages at Deer Valley
Adult Ski Rental is $68
Child Ski Rental is $50
Ski Chair Lifts at Deer Valley
There are 21 Chair lifts at Deer Valley. 12 are high speed lifts.
Terrain and Slopes at Deer Valley
Deer Valley has terrain for all levels but it cater’s to experts. That means a more experienced skier will have more opportunities to challenge themselves at this resort.
Deer Valley Ski Lessons
Ski Lesson’s are top notch at Deer Valley Resort. Lesson are available for all ages. Prices range from $270 -$310.
I would highly recommend lesson’s if you have never skied before. It is a tough sport that takes about 3 days to really get!
Alta Ski Resort
I am most familiar with Alta. This resort sits at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon and is for skier’s ONLY! Alta will be the first to get snow and the last to melt off. They have great runs and a wide variety of trails. I have always enjoyed going to Alta.
Alta Ski Resort Lift Tickets
It pays to buy your tickets online to save money. The price at the window will run around $125 compared to the online price of $82-$119 depending on peak times.
Children ticket prices are $65 dollars at the window and $52 -$62 online.
There are some tickets only available at the ticket window such as afternoon tickets, late afternoon, and beginner tickets.
Another option is to buy an Alta-Bird Combo ticket which allows you access to both Alta Ski Resort and Snowbird Ski Resort. Alta and Snowbird are right next to each other.
Alta does not have night skiing.
Alta Ski School
Ski lessons are available for all ages. Children 4-12 years, teen, and adult lessons.
Alta has a 9 levels of skiing ability that they will group you into. From beginner to advanced.
Prices range from $155-$160 for full day lessons. Half day lessons range from$80-95. Lunches are provided in full day children lessons.
Alta Ski Rentals
The Alta Ski Shops are located at the Wildcat Building and at the Watson Shelton.
Prices start around $62 for a full day adult packages.
Alta Slopes and Terrain
Alta has 6 high speed chair lifts and 116 runs. There is an even amount of easier runs and more difficult runs. There is not a terrain park.
Lodging and Accommodations at Alta Ski Resort
The lodging facilities in Alta are not owned or operated by the Alta Ski Area. There are privately owned condo’s and other lodging accommodations that can be found on Homeaway and Airbnb. Snowbird does have a lodge which is not that far away.
Our Experience at Alta Ski Resort
We loved skiing at Alta. The snow is sooooo good. It averages 700 inches in the winter. That is about 200 more inches than other resorts.
One reason we love Alta is because they have a full service childcare. When we had infants and still wanted to ski we were able to take advantage of this onsite facility. We could ski in and check on our little one as often as we wanted. It really was a selling point for us.
We also took advantage of their ski after three program. Which is a pass that allows you to ski after three for $39 for the season.
Snowbird Ski Resort
Snowbird is just below Alta. It also will get amazing snow throughout the year. Snowbird does allow snowboarders which you will find many.
Snowbird actually has a lot of winter activities besides skiing and snowboarding. Snowshoeing tours are available starting at around $50 plus the cost to rent show shoes.
Snowmobiling tours are also available at this resort. Tours can range from 2 or more hours. Prices vary but the driver will be more expensive than the passenger. You can book a reservation in advanced but often same day tours are available.
Snowbird Lift Tickets
If you purchase tickets online you will save money. Price really depends on the day. The price ranges from about $69-$72 for adults and around $39 for youth tickets. This will save you about 36-46% off window ticket prices.
An Adult Ski/Snowboard package is $65.
Snowbird Mountain Ski School
Ski lesson for ages 3 -6 are available. A full day for this age is around $235, half day is $190
For kids ages 7-15 the full day price decreases to $195.
Adult lessons and private lessons are available as well.
Snowbird has a child care facility onsite. They allow babies 6 weeks – to Children 12 years of age. This is really a great option if you have little ones or a child that just needs a break one day from skiing. I would recommend booking a reservation online.
Snowbird Lifts and Terrain
Snowbird has an amazing tram that is enclosed and warm. It will get you to the top to the mountain in about seven minutes. There are 6 high speed lifts, 2 conveyor belts, and 2 other normal lifts.
Snowbird terrain is a natural terrain park. Snowboarders love the challenge and unique trails available. If you are seeking boxes and rails there is a section of the resort that has that as well.
Snowbird is great for beginners. About 27% of the mountain is green slopes. So if you are worried, don’t be.
Snowbird Ski in Ski out Lodging
The Cliff Lodge is really nice. Rooms are available to sleep up to 8 people. I have stayed here a few times and really liked it. There is a nice spa and pool.
The major benefits of staying onsite is you do not have to drive up and down the canyon each day and you can walk out and ski directly from the lodge.
Sundance Ski Resort
Sundance Ski Resort is located about an hour south of the airport. There are no other ski resorts near it. The actor Robert Redford owns this small ski resort and has made the Sundance Film Festival a very popular event. (Most of Sundance Film Festival take place in Park City)
Ski Lift Tickets
The lift tickets are very reasonable starting at $26 online. Window tickets will be more expensive.
There are always deals for night skiing and lift tickets. I have seen BOGO.
Terrain and Slopes
There are 3 quad chair lifts, and 1 triple chair lift. 35% of the slopes are beginner and 45% are intermediate. 44 runs are available which is really good for a smaller resort. It is a small resort but a great place to learn to ski.
Ski Lessons at Sundance Resort
Group lessons are available and range from $95 -$150
Lodging at Sundance Resort
The Cottages at Sundance is an option for a ski in ski out accommodation. I have stayed in these and they are so cute! We upgraded to a bigger suite and I would highly recommend the experience.
My Experience at Sundance Resort
I have taken lessons and snowboarded at Sundance. It was a great experience for a beginner. The resort is small compared to other Utah resorts but if you are learning it is a great place!
As for Sundance, I really can’t say enough amazing things about the area. I personally love it during the summer. There are beautiful hikes which my family loves.
I have eaten at all the restaurants and loved them. Again, I highly recommend the lodging! Sundance is a great beginner resort.
Snow Basin Ski Reost
Snow Basin is actually the only ski resort in the Salt Lake Valley that I have not skied at! It is located one hour north of the Salt Lake City Airport. I need to go give it a try!
Snow Basin Lift Tickets
Buying online is the way to go. Ticket Prices start at $55-$115 online. The window price can range from $79-$139
Snow Basin Ski Lesson’s
Ski lesson are available. Prices are typically cheaper during the week and increase during the weekend. $139 -$186. 3 year old lesson are $300 which is pretty expensive compared to other resorts.
Snow Basin Terrain and Slopes
There are two gondolas, a tram and express lifts. Also, at least 3 terrain parks with lots of obstacles and challenging courses to experience. Snow Basin Resort has a lot to offer in slopes and terrain.
Check out this Itinerary Below
Pro Tips for your Salt Lake City Skiing Trip
I have skied at almost all the resort listed! Each one has been a wonderful experience! There are some little tips and tricks to consider when planning your Salt Lake City Skiing Trip.
Pro Tip – Gear
It would be nice to come to Salt Lake City and buy all your gear without having to pack it in a suit case. These is just one problem. Walmart and other local stores start to clearance winter gear at the end of January. The options will be pretty slim. You can always buy gear at the resorts but just know you will pay a premium.
Pro Tip- Packing
If you are planning a winter ski trip and want a Free Planning Check List click on the link! I will send you one right over! This sheet will help you know what kind of gear you will need to bring!
Pro Tip – Ski Lessons
Try to schedule your lessons early! Lessons are very important especially if it is your first time! Remember to tip your instructor! This is not common knowledge but very important!
It Is Now Time To Plan Your Salt Lake City Skiing Trip!
I hope this helps you plan an amazing Salt Lake City Skiing Trip!
Utah is a fabulous location for winter sports and you will not be disappointed! This wonderful state has hosted the Olympics in 2002 and is currently trying to get a bid on a future Olympics!
If you have any questions comment below!
Also, join my Planningaway Travel Community on Facebook. This is a place where I post travel deals, and you can ask any questions about your Salt Lake City skiing trip or any other upcoming trips!