Utah Utah first timer advice

Discussion in 'General Resort Discussion' started by focker, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. focker

    focker Getting on the lift Skier

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    Couple of questions I was hoping to get answered.

    For SLC should Powmow and Snowbasin be planned as essentially their own trip? I see lodging can be found between the two for fairly good pricing on VRBO type sites. That makes doing 2 days at each of these hills very tempting. There seems to be more than enough terrain at these two places to entertain us for all of a planned 4 day trip.

    Would you recommend Solitude/Brighton/Alta over Powmow/Snowbasin? Are they comparable?

    Would a regular rental car work for both these choices?
     
  2. Nathanvg

    Nathanvg Putting on skis Skier

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    I always do Snowbasin/PM or BCC/LCC as separate trips and I think that works best. That said, you can do them in one trip without too much hassel if you want to. Both locations are a lot of fun. I like BCC/LCC better due to more snow and more expert level runs.

    I usually get a regular rental car if saying in the valley and take the bus if the road is snow restricted. The best option is to stay slope slide in BCC or LCC but it does cost more. If you do that, you don't need a car at all. I've done it both ways many times.
     
  3. tch

    tch What do I know; I'm just some guy on the internet. Skier

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    What do you want out of your four days? What kind of skier are you? What terrain/difficulty do you like? Have you ever skied out west? Are you looking for a "resorty" kind of experience or just skiing? Are you willing to put up with some crowds? Do you have a "bucket list"? More info would help.
    PM/Snowbasin have more than enough terrain for four days. As do all the others in LCC/BCC. It depends on what kind of experience you want.

    If there is no new snow, a regular car is fine for all destinations. If there is a storm, PM and LCC are dicey. But there are busses at both places.
     
  4. Decreed_It

    Decreed_It I'd rather be skiing Skier

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    I would plan as separate. We worked the logistics of a day at Snowbasin this past Xmas family trip while staying at Alta slopeside. It snowed making the decision easy (who in their right mind drives away from fresh at Alta?). Would have involved going to get a car (round trip to the valley), then a likely precarious drive down and up, Alta to Snowbasin being 1:30 under best driving conditions, then reverse that on the way back. Shuttle or Uber Ski not really an option, just too expensive. If had stayed dry and bluebird, maybe, but even then the drive logistics alone were enough to sway us away from the idea.

    Of course staying there is a different story. Should we do this again I'd go to PM and Snowbasin, stay there a couple nights, then make the one way to either LCC or Park City (great for kids, shopping and stuff to do) and stay there for a couple days.

    All of that said if it was my first trip to Utah it would be Alta/Snowbird hands down. We're only looking elsewhere to expand our horizons after a couple years doing LCC.
     
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  5. TQA

    TQA Putting on skis Skier

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    With only 4 days I would forget both PM and Snowbasin. Brighton Solitude Alta and Snowbird will be enough. If you are average intermediates then do them in that order.

    If you are stronger skiers Alta and Snowbird would be my choice as the resorts are joined and you can get a combined pass. They have more steeps and off piste.

    As others have said get a 2wd hire car and if the chain up lights are on park the car and take the bus up.

    I ski that area for three weeks almost every year and will add my personal piece of advice. If you are fortunate enough to be blessed with a weekend blue sky powder day do not attempt to ski at Alta or Snowbird. They will be crammed with locals and I mean jam packed and the queue to get up the canyon is often hours long. Instead take the 40 m drive op I 80 East up Parleys canyon to the resort formally known as Canyons but now Park City Canyons. [ Do not go to Park City ] It will be less busy and you have a good chance of still finding untracked powder at 3 pm.
     
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  6. Thread Starter
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    focker

    focker Getting on the lift Skier

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    More info:

    We'll be skiing weekdays for sure as we'll go out for our kids spring break. We enjoy Bowls, Groomers, trees and powder. Hate moguls as we have little experience with them being from the midwest.

    Family has skied Whitefish 4 days. I've skied out west more. Everyone is level 6 or higher.

    Would rather not move from one condo to another and would like our drive to/from the hill to be under 30 minutes. Lift ticket cost is a factor for us with 4 people.
     
  7. Thread Starter
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    focker

    focker Getting on the lift Skier

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    Solitude and Alta are probably at the top of my bucket list, Snowbird would be but it's probably a bit much for my youngest son and wife.
     
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  8. tch

    tch What do I know; I'm just some guy on the internet. Skier

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    OK then. Stay close to south end of SLC. Ski Brighton, Solitude, Alta. Go back to the one you like the best for the last day (probably Alta to be honest). Look on Liftopia for ticket deals: usually Soli is cheapest, then Brighton, and finally Alta. Ski shops at mouth of canyons have some discount, but usually only $5-10.

    Agree w/TQA that Alta/Snowbird is a sh*tshow on a powder weekend day -- actually almost any true powder day. Solitude is a great, close alternative in that case.
     
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  9. New2

    New2 Getting off the lift Skier

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    I suspect you'd have a lot of fun either way. Staying at a condo or cabin in the woods between Snowbasin and PowMow is likely going to be in the same ballpark cost-wise as a suite in a mid-range motel in a Salt Lake suburb... those are pretty different experiences.
    Any one of these resorts offers plenty of fun for four days. If your youngest son and wife aren't confidently skiing most blues, then I'd honestly say PowMow is the best bet, with Brighton a solid runner-up. Alta and Solitude are in the middle, with some nice easier blues--but you need to gather intel or scout ahead of time to know which are which. Snowbird and Snowbasin both have limited green terrain, and their blue runs tend to be more challenging.
    If you go the Little/Big Cottonwood Canyon route, look at buying Ski City Super Passes. Liftopia's probably cheaper if you commit to a schedule in advance, but the Super Pass gives you flexibility, direct-to-lift access, and free rides on the ski busses if you decide to take 'em.
     
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  10. Pat AKA mustski

    Pat AKA mustski Out on the slopes Skier

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    I am an intermediate skier and have always enjoyed Alta. There is plenty of skiing for intermediates and even when my skills were much lesser than now Alta is one of my favorite mountains. I can take or leave Brighton, but Solitude is fun. I prefer Snowbasin and PowMow to Brighton, Solitude, and Snowbird. However, staying in or near SLC is much less expensive and there is a lot more options for dining out and entertainment for the family.
     
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  11. Drahtguy Kevin

    Drahtguy Kevin Après aficionado Pugski Ski Tester

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    You really need at least one day at Alta for no other reason than the experience of skiing without snowboarders on the hill. The snow preservation is amazing.
     
  12. Thread Starter
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    focker

    focker Getting on the lift Skier

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    I feel like going to SLC and not skiing Alta is just ridiculous. If we're going to fly out there we have to ski there at least 1 day.

    We're the kind of family that is fine skiing all day and then chilling in our condo with a home cooked meal, some board games and music and mom and I having a few drinks. We don't need a ton of entertainment options, besides a pool/hot tub available.

    My kids are way way better skiers than when we skied at Whitefish so that will help things.
     
  13. chilehed

    chilehed Tom Skier

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    On my last SLC trip I got a 4WD SUV from Rugged Rentals, and the weather we had made me glad I did. I thought the rate was reasonable, the shuttle ride wasn't onerous and I plan to use them next time I go.
     
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  14. Thread Starter
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    focker

    focker Getting on the lift Skier

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    This is kind of my only question left at this point is what type of rental car do we get. We want one for sure, as we want to do some exploring and enjoy having our own car and not being tied to the busing system the whole time we are there.

    What did you pay per day for that?
     
  15. Decreed_It

    Decreed_It I'd rather be skiing Skier

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    Reminds me that Alta's Alf Engen Ski School is fantastic, my kids, which hate and whine about that sort of thing, agreed to go back for a 2nd day. Worth the investment, they will have fun and build skills while you and the Mrs. go shred and enjoy a nice lunch. Highly recommended.

    Also, love this thread because I've learned a lot for our next trip! Thanks to all!
     
  16. Slim

    Slim Getting off the lift Skier

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    AWDrentals put snow tires on all their cars this year.
    Subaru Outback ~$100/day
    They drop you off at the airport, so very fast to when you leave.
     
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  17. Thread Starter
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    focker

    focker Getting on the lift Skier

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    That would work perfectly for us. Nice! Were you able to get all your ski gear into it ok? Might be tight lol.
     
  18. tromano

    tromano Goin' the way they're pointed... Skier

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    Given your likes, dislikes, skill levels, etc... @New2 nailed it. Top recommendation has to be staying as close to pow mow as you can with 3 days there and maybe 1 at snowbasin (or Alta).

    FWIW my oldest daughter is level 5-6 range and she can ski all the blues at snowbasin no problemo.

    And for the love of Ullr. Dont underestimate the pow mow or snowbasin access roads.
     
    Shawn C. and Slim like this.
  19. Slim

    Slim Getting off the lift Skier

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    Last January we had an Outback with the 2 of us, and gave a ride to a friend. In April we had a Kia Sorento from them with our family of 4, more than enough space. we I would think an Outback is more than large enough, but you know your family/group’s Bagage best ;-) They also have Sienna Minivans with AWD and if you want more room.
    They also have roof boxes, so that’s another great option for ski gear.

    We have 1 pair of skis/poles/boots per person.

    What I really liked is that they got snow tires, as far as I know, this is unique. They were also very convenient, picking us up at the airport Bagage claim and dropping us off at check in.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  20. tromano

    tromano Goin' the way they're pointed... Skier

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    One other thought, the park city resorts would be a very good fit for your family as well. Better than LCC and having some nice perks over BCC. Surprised no one has mentioned them yet.
     

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