Taking a Ski Trip in Utah: Tips for Planning Your Visit to Utah Ski Resorts

Planning a ski trip in Utah?

Utah’s mountains and gorgeous outdoor views year round make for an amazing place for outdoor activities and trips for outdoor lovers.

In the summer, Utah hikes and lakes take center stage, but in the winter skiing becomes Utah’s outdoor activity of choice. In 2021, Utah ski resorts welcomed 5.3 million visitors, and a good portion of these visitors were on ski trips from out of state.

When planning your Utah ski trip, it helps to know about the Utah ski resort options and to plan ahead which resorts you want to visit. Here are some tips for planning your visit to Utah’s ski resorts:

Tip #1: Choose the best ski resort for YOU

Utah offers 11 ski resorts within driving distance of Salt Lake City and Park City. Each resort is unique and offers different ski runs, different skill levels, and different resort amenities.

    • Alta Ski Resort is located in the Salt Lake Valley and offers ski runs for advanced skiers. Alta is also one of two Utah ski resorts that do not allow snowboarders, and is priced higher than most other resorts.
    • Brighton Resort is located in Big Cottonwood Canyon, and is a great beginner friendly resort. There are lots of well-groomed runs for skiing and snowboarding. It is also more price-friendly. Brighton also has a beginner “bunny-hill” so if you have family members that are learning how to ski or snowboard, Brighton may be a good option for you. Be sure to check available ski and snowboarding lessons at Brighton and other Utah ski resorts if you or a family member are wanting to learn how to ski or snowboard.
    • Skier going off a jump during a snowy day at a Utah ski resort. Utah mountains in the background. Skiing in Utah. Ski powder in Utah.Deer Valley Resort is a ski resort in Park City and is Utah’s seconed ski resort that is exclusively for skiers. They offer great skiing lessons, well-groomed runs, and amazing dining at a higher price point.
    • Nordic Valley Resort is known for being a great ski resort for beginners, and offers fun night skiing. It is one of the most affordable Utah ski resorts and is located close to Ogden, Utah.
    • Park City Mountain is, as the name suggests, located in Park City. It is a more advanced Utah ski resort and has a good ski school. It is priced slightly higher than other resorts. Park City is also known for its terrain parks, so if that is your thing you might want to consider a ski day at Park City. One benefet of Park City is that it has an actual town attached to the ski resort, which means ski repair shops in case you need a tuning before or after your day on the mountain. Park City also has many shops and restaurants that you can enjoy after your ski day, such as the No Name Saloon & Grill which is a local favorite.
    • Powder Mountain is another ski resort near Ogden and is known as a more laid-back resort. It has a fairly average price point when compared with other Utah ski resorts.
    • Snowbasin Resort is also located near Ogden, Utah. It is a reasonably priced ski resort offering beautiful views and is a great resort for beginner skiers.
    • Snowbird Ski Resort is best known for its advanced ski runs and steep terrain. It is close to Salt Lake City and is best for the experienced skier or snowboarder. As one of Utah’s most known ski resorts, Snowbird also offers many end of season ski events that you may want to attend as well.
    • Solitude Ski Resort is close to Brighton Resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon near Salt Lake City. It is a great resort for all skill levels and is reasonably priced, but can be crowded at times because it is the main resort featured in the Ikon Ski Pass. While Brighton and Solitude do not have the beneft of having a town attached to their resorts like Park City does, Solitude is one of the closest ski resorts to downtown Salt lake City, so if you are a little thristy, be sure check out the best bars in Salt Lake City if you are curious about what kind of night life Salt lake has to offer after your day on the mountain.
    • Sundance Resort is located close to Provo, Utah and can be a bit of a drive. It is known for its beautiful views and can be less crowded than other Utah ski resorts and also has the benefit of having as much skier traffic when compared to other Utah ski resorts.
    • Woodward Park City is the final Utah ski resort close to Salt Lake City to consider, and is located in Park City. It offers unique activities on and off the slopes and is better utilized by intermediate to advanced skiers. There are many lodging and hotel options located in Park City, but if you wish to have a more “homey” experience, be sure to check out the best Park City Airbnb’s


Tip #2: Plan the logistics of your Utah ski trip ahead of time

Drive times to Utah ski resorts can be a toss-up, so it’s always better to plan your ski day ahead of time. Once you’ve selected your resort, make sure you leave with enough time to arrive, park, and get on the mountain.

We have compiled the average commute time from Salt Lake City, as well as Park City to different Utah ski resorts:

Little Cottonwood Canyon Ski Resorts:

Alta Ski Resort has a commute time from Salt Lake City of 35-50 minutes and a commute time from Park City of 50-75 minutes to find a ski-only resort. Snowbird has a commute time from Salt Lake City of 30-50 minutes and a commute time from Park City of 50-75 minutes to find some of the best ski terrains in Utah.

Big Cottonwood Canyon Ski Resorts:

Brighton Resort has a Skier in Utah, hitting the jumps at a Utah Ski resort terrain park. Skiing terrain parks in Park City Utah. Park City Utah skiing.commute time from Salt Lake City of 40-55 minutes and a commute time from Park City of 55-80 minutes to find day and night skiing. Solitude Ski Resort has a commute time from Salt Lake City of 30-55 minutes and a commute from Park City of 50-75 minutes. Here you can find unlimited skiing and snowboarding with the Ikon Pass.

Parleys Canyon Ski Resorts:

Deer Valley Resort has a commute time from Salt Lake City of 35-60 minutes and a commute time from Park City of 10 minutes or less. Park City Mountain commute from Salt Lake City is 33-50 minutes and a community time from Park City is 10 minutes or less. Woodward Park City has a commute from Salt Lake City is 25-55 minutes and a commute from Park City of 15-30 minutes. Here you can find some of the best terrain parks Utah has to offer.

Ogden Canyon Ski Resorts:

Nordic Valley Resort has a commute time from Salt Lake City of 60-85 minutes and a commute time from Park City of 80-120 minutes. Powder Mountain has a commute time from Salt Lake City: 65-90 minutes and a commute time from Park City of 90-140 minutes. Snow Basin Resort has a commute time from Salt Lake City of 45-60 minutes and a commute time from Park City of 70-100 minutes. Here are the Northern resorts giving you the freshest skiing and snowboarding Utah has to offer.

Provo Canyon Ski Resort:

Sundance Resort has a commute time from Salt Lake City: 50-90 minutes and a commute time from Park City: 40-60 minutes. Here you can ski and snowboard if you are closer to Provo than Salt Lake City and still experience Utah skiing.


Tip #3: Make a day of it!


Once you’ve skied all you can for the day, check out some local restaurants to save yourself from cooking dinner and save money by not buying food at the ski resorts. For a list of some of the best restaurants in Salt Lake City, check out our other blog posts! 

Tip #4: Save money, if you can

One of the best features of Utah ski resorts is the Epic Pass and Ikon Pass. Both passes offer a variety of options to Utah locals and Utah visitors alike, and can help you save money on your ski trip. These types of passes also offer options for discounts for students and first responders if you can verify your credentials. This discount could save you lots of money on your next adventure!

Epic Pass

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Epic Pass offers 4-day bundles for all of the Park City ski resorts. If you are planning a ski trip in Park City, Utah, then this pass allows you to visit all of Park City’s resorts for four days!

Ikon Pass

Map of utah ikon pass ski resort locations. Skiable locations with Ikon Pass. Ikon ski pass. Unlimited solitude skiing.

Ikon Pass is best for avid skiers. If you plan a ski trip to Utah, the Ikon pass offers 2,3, and 4-day pass options for most of Utah’s ski resorts. However, if you like to travel and ski, the Ikon Base Pass allows you to access 44 ski resorts across the globe, and is an amazing option to bundle all of your ski trips into one price.

Many resorts also offer discounts for pre-booking your ski day pass, and a lot of them run promotional sales throughout the year, so plan your Utah ski trip early and check Utah ski resort websites and social media accounts frequently!


Mapping Out Your Trip

Map of Utah Ski resorts to ski in Utah. Best skiing in Utah.

As you can see above here is a ski high overview map of where all of the resorts are that we have discussed throughout this article. From the image you can tell that Snowbird and Alta are two Utah ski resorts that are very close to each other and you could hop resorts and ski at both in one day. You can also see that Brighton and Solitude are similar ski resorts where they are very close to one another and you could ski both the same day as well. Looking at the map of the ski resorts you can also see that Park City is on the back side of Alta/Snowbird/Brighton hence why the snow pack is very different at Park City due to the fact that the snow drops on Alta and Snowbird first before heading over the mountain to Park City. Not only is having a map like this important to understand where the resort you are skiing at is, but it can also better help you plan your day trip!