THE GREATEST SNOW ON EARTH
Written by Caylee Matthews
Even in this era of Instagram travel, where a post of a picturesque spot prompts the masses to overrun a given location, there are still fairly undiscovered places where you can pursue your passion. For skiers, Brian Head Resort in Southern Utah remains one of those places. When compared with other ski destinations, Utah boasts impressive numbers for those seeking pristine powder and smaller crowds, including 500” of annual snowfall and nearly one-third less volume on their lifts and runs that resorts in neighboring states. Here’s our quick guide to planning your Utah ski getaway in both well-known and off-the-beaten-path locations:
New for the 2019-20 season, Vail resorts launched the Epic Day Pass (starting at $106), which allows guests to ski for up to 50 percent off the lift ticket window prices. For guests looking to ski more days in the 2019-20 season, the Epic Pass and Epic Local Pass (launching at $939), provides unlimited, unrestricted access to all of Vail Resorts’ owned and operated properties and additional access to partner resorts around the world.
To refuel after a day on the slopes, be sure to check out the flown-in-fresh oysters and lobster rolls at Rime Seafood and Raw Bar (rimerawbar.com), located at the top of Mountaineer Express lift. High West Distillery’s Nelson Cottage offers one-seating-a-night dinners with expert whiskey pairings from the world’s only ski-in/ski-out distillery.
PARK CITY AREA
With 7,300-acres, 41 lifts, and seven terrain parks, Park City Mountain Resort is the largest resort in the United States and offers a plethora of dining and lodging options. The winter ski season is expected to commence on November 22nd and close on April 12th.
APEX RESIDENCES PARK CITY apexparkcity.com
Park City’s newest private residences are nestled at the highest elevation in Canyons Village at Park City Mountain and offer unparalleled access to the largest mountain resort in the country. A ski bridge and trails that run through the community offer a true ski-in, ski-out experience. Three distinct home styles, designed to bring the outdoors in, will fuse modern architecture and sophisticated alpine charm. A neighborhood slope-side clubhouse encompasses a state-of-the-art fitness center, games room, outdoor swimming pools, a steam room, sauna, and spa treatment rooms.
Featuring the space and refinement of a single-family home, the convenience and amenities of a boutique hotel, and the intimacy of a private club, Lift Park City, which opened this past summer, offers a vibrant pedestrian neighborhood of new residences, shops, and restaurants. In addition to a selection of exclusive penthouses and spacious four-bedroom homes, Lift has adjacent access to the mountain resort’s soon-to-debut high-speed chairlift and a luxe pool deck overlooking the Retreat ski-home trail.
Known year-round for the scenic natural wonders found in Zion National Park and Cedar Breaks National Monument, Southern Utah is also home to a pair of high-elevation ski areas with big-time powder and little-town crowds.
EAGLE POINT eaglepointresort.com
Located 17 scenic miles from Beaver, this independently-owned ski resort encompasses 650 skiable acres high in the Tushar Mountains. Lauded for being extremely family-friendly, the heart of the village offers plenty of ski-in/ski-out lodging. With an average of 400-inches of snow each season, the remarkably varied terrain across 40 runs can amply occupy beginners to experts. A professionally-designed terrain park integrates natural and human-made features. Operating dates for the 2019-20 winter season are December 20th through April 12th.
BRIAN HEAD RESORT brianhead.com
First opened in the winter of 1964-1965, this family-operated resort is nestled within Cedar Breaks National Monument and enjoys 360-inches of snowfall annually. Just 3.5 hours by car from both Salt Lake City and Las Vegas, dates for the upcoming winter season are anticipated to be November 15th through April 12th.
Being further afoot means that it often gets bypassed for closer peaks, but going the extra distance is worth it for nearly empty powder runs. Boasting an annual snowfall of over 360” and Utah’s highest base elevation, two connected mountains (Giant Steps and Navajo) offer 71 runs and eight chair lifts. For the ultimate off-piste experience, Snowbird’s Powderbird helicopter provides access to pristine backcountry skiing.
Lodging options range from moderately-priced hotel rooms to more upscale condominiums and rental homes. The boutique Compass Rose Lodge in Huntsville (compassroselodge.com) boasts a private observatory. Don’t miss the Kansas City-style pork ribs and the festive atmosphere at The Last Chair Saloon in the town of Brian’s Head, the highest city in Utah.
Fun add-on activities include snowmobiling through Cedar Breaks National Monument to explore snow-dusted red rock hoodoos and wine tasting at IG Winery, Utah’s premier winery in nearby Cedar City.
For those who live the mantra “Sleep, Eat, Ski,” check-in to Sundance Mountain Resort (sundanceresort.com) and work up an appetite on the slopes at Red Mountain Resort. For dinner, head to the highly-rated Tree Room, followed by a nightcap at Owl Bar, where Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid famously plotted their schemes.