Top Reasons To Ski Utah

Welcome to Utah, one of the snow meccas in the US
Heather Burke
Written by Heather Burke / Photos by Greg Burke
Last updated July 20, 2023

If "The Greatest Snow on Earth" isn't enough to get you to Utah then here are the top reasons why you need to ski there now. 


Utah has the snow! Ski resorts Snowbird and Alta typically get over 500 inches of snow annually. Their patented “Greatest Snow on Earth” couldn’t be truer – it's copious, light and dry, no heavy wet stuff here, and as a bonus, it's often bluebird when the sun shines on these high-elevation Rocky Mountains.

Skiing Utah
The snow here is so good, Utah has even patented the title "Greatest Snow on Earth”


Utah’s big ski resorts are easy to reach. From Salt Lake City, you are just a 40-minutes to Park City, Deer Valley, Snowbird and Alta, and under an hour to Powder Mountain and Snowbasin. You can easily be skiing fresh snow by noon on your arrival day. In a week, you can ski eight major resorts, all with unique characters, and an easy drive to each other.

Skiing down a ski resort in Utah
Skiing down a ski resort in Utah


Little Cottonwood Canyon is a must-visit destination for skiing enthusiasts, with the legendary Alta ski resort being its main attraction. Alta is loaded with snow and has a reputation for being a skier's paradise, exclusively catering to skiers. The mountain offers a diverse range of challenging terrain, including steep chutes, powdery slopes, and big snowy bowls. The only thing Alta doesn’t have is many long intermediate groomers. Enjoy lunch at mid-mountain Collins Grill and unwind at the Snowpine Lodge with scenic views, a steamy outdoor Jacuzzi and aprés ski fireside at Gulch’s Pub.

Outdoor Jacuzzi at The Snowpine Lodge
Outdoor Jacuzzi at The Snowpine Lodge


Snowbird, Alta's neighboring resort, offers a vast interconnected ski area spanning 4,700 acres. Ride the impressive Tram from base to summit, reaching Hidden Peak at 916 feet, and explore numerous skiing options in all directions. Snowbird is a snow cone for skiers and boarders, with thrilling drops in The Cirque and powder tracks in Mineral Basin. Snowbird features many steep gems and wide open powder fields, and well-groomed runs like Chip's trail. Lunch at the stunning Summit Lodge with views extending to the Great Salt Lake. Stay at Cliff Lodge with a 10-story concrete and glass tower designed to withstand avalanches, and enjoy the scenic rooftop Cliff Spa is a must. Après-ski at Aerie on the top floor offers a great place for cocktails, dinner, and live entertainment.

For more affordable lodging, consider staying in Salt Lake City, such as the Residence Inn by Marriott at the base of Big Cottonwood Canyon, providing easy access to Solitude, Brighton, Snowbird, and Alta within a 20-minute drive.

Snowbird summit tram
Snowbird summit tram


Park City is Utah's largest ski resort and spans over 7,300 acres of skiable terrain across 17 peaks. With 347 trails to explore, there's something for everyone. Enjoy wide-open cruisers on Motherlode, Silverlode, and King Con lifts, or seek steep and deep terrain at McConkey's and Jupiter. Take the Silver to Slopes ski tour to discover the area's mining history or hop on the Quicksilver gondola for access to Canyons side, featuring great glades, steep runs, long groomed cruisers, and powder fields. Treat yourself to lunch at Lookout Cabin with breathtaking views or The Farm at the base for local-inspired cuisine overlooking the slopes. After skiing, venture into downtown Park City, where Main Street offers vibrant pubs, distilleries and local shops. It's a destination that caters to both skiers and non-skiers alike.

Skiing down Park City slopes
Skiing down Park City slopes


Deer Valley is another skiers’ only resort that sets a high standard for white carpet grooming, stellar lodges, and smooth service, with some very worthy ski terrain amid its 2,026 acres. Bald, Flagstaff, and Empire all peak out over 9,000 ft with beautiful long groomers, some gorgeous aspen-tree stashes, and venerable steep cornices and chutes in Daly Bowl. Everything is posh at Deer Valley, especially the day lodges and the 4 and 5-star hotels like Stein Eriksen’s, Goldener Hirsch, Montage, and St Regis – where aprés ski is Champagne Sabering by outdoor fire pits! Deer Valley limits ticket sales, so buy ahead, and don’t bring your snowboard – not allowed at this “ski” resort!

Skiing in Deer Valley
Skiing in Deer Valley, a skiers-only resort in Utah


Snowbasin is a Utah treat, located just under an hour from Salt Lake and Park City. Despite being lesser known, this ski resort offers stunning features. With an impressive vertical drop of almost 3,000 feet on runs like the Wildflower and Grizzly downhill courses from the 2002 Olympics, Snowbasin is a playful mountain with plenty of excitement. Speedy gondolas flank Snowbasin’s east and western bowls – with well-pitched groomed runs and exciting double black diamond steeps peppered around the 9,000 feet peaks. Ride the summit Allen Peak Tram to the Downhill start huts and ski non-stop to the base to gain serious respect for ski racers. Don’t miss the spectacular view of four states and the Great Salt Lake from atop Strawberry Gondi.

Snowbasin black run view
Snowbasin black run view, a skier's gem


Stay at Compass Rose Lodge while skiing Snowbasin and nearby Powder Mountain. This chic boutique ski hotel is beautifully decorated in vintage ski swag, with an alpine sophistication. You can walk to aprés ski at Shooting Star Bar – the oldest continually operating bar in Utah. Have a burger and beer – that’s all they serve in this veritable 1879 ski museum.

Compass Rose Lodge at Snowbasin
Stay at Compass Rose Lodge


Powder Mountain is a unique private ski area and can be reached by lifts, snowcats, buses and backcountry guides. Powder’s 8,464 acres are unlike any other ski area, you’ve got lifts and trails, plus in-bounds cat skiing, and unlimited opportunities to hike to wild untracked “powder”. The other unique aspect of Powder is it’s a playground for tech execs and start-up successes who are building their ski utopia at the Summit Village of Powder. With a daily cap of 1,500 ski tickets, Powder avoids large crowds. The resort is humble and happy from the rustic base to the pleasant peaceful terrain.

Slope at Powder Mountain
Skiing at Powder Mountain


Still have ski legs and a longing for more powder? Cat ski with Whisper Ridge – the premier cat and heli-ski operation in Utah! Whisper Ridge operates daily cat and heli-ski trips near Powder Mountain, an exhilarating add-on to your Utah ski itinerary. With a 70,000 acres tenure of private land for their cat and heli-skiing, you’re going to be skiing some fresh powder, snowfields, trees, and having a totally unique remote experience playing in Utah’s snowy mountain far from lifts and lodges.

Catskiing at Whisper Ridge
Enjoy cat skiing with Whisper Ridge to have a unique remote experience

Go ski Utah now, there’s tons of snow, you can fly and ski the same day, and you have so many choice world-class ski resorts, lesser-known snow havens, and convenient lodging within striking distance of the next great ski place to discover.


If you are planning a ski vacation to Utah, you can package lift tickets with lodging, rental equipment, and transfers. SnowPak is a mountain travel company specializing in ski vacations and will make sure you have all the right ski products for your winter getaway. See Utah ski packages for more information.