Top 7 Best Ski Resorts in Utah

Utah isn’t as well known of a skiing destination compared to other states in the western US, but there are some great mountains here to explore. With excellent snow conditions and fewer crowds, skiing in Utah is highly recommended. 

I’ve been skiing for most of my life and have had the opportunity to ski all over the world. I’ve skied several resorts in Utah, and I know through first-hand experience what the best resorts are here. 

This post will list all of the best ski resorts in Utah. I’ll highlight all of the top skiing destinations in the state and provide you with some other helpful information like what type of terrain to expect and how much snow each resort averages. 

Let’s jump in. 

1. Park City

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Date: November 20 (Average)
  • Closing Date: April 11 (Average) 
  • Best Known For: Extensive Terrain and Grooming. Excellent powder conditions when it snows. 

Park City is one of the top ski resorts in Utah for a good reason – it offers some of the most extensive terrains you can find in the state. With over 7,300 skiable acres, the resort is also one of the largest in the US. 

All of this acreage means you can find your favorite terrain and explore away from the crowds you might find in other popular resorts in the West. And if you visit during a storm, you are sure to enjoy excellent powder conditions that are easy to get used to.

The skiing here is epic, but there are also world-class accommodations and lodging in the resort area after you are off the slopes for the day. Whether you want to relax at a spa or take the family out for a nice dinner, you’ll be able to find it.

Park City doesn’t have extensive beginner terrain, so it’s not the best location for newbies. There is a learning hill, but most of the runs here are intermediate and advanced.

2. Snowbird

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: November 25 (Average)
  • Closing Day: March 20 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Amazing powder conditions. Good chance for late-season skiing.

If you want to chase legendary powder late into the ski season, Snowbird is one of the best locations in Utah to do so. This resort has a reputation for excellent powder and gets around 500 inches of snow every season.

Related: How Much Snow Do You Need to Ski?

Even if you aren’t a powder hound, Snowbird still has much to offer. The resort has an excellent ski lesson program, with instructors available to match your ability level to help you quickly become a better skier. 

You can also take advantage of 5 top-notch lodges to stay at after a long day on the slopes. Each of these has comfortable amenities with many dining options scattered around the base and lodging areas. 

The scenic tram ride is also recommended and perfect for friends or family members who don’t want to get on the slopes. This still costs $36-$42 to enjoy the views, and although it’s worth it, that’s an expensive tram ride. 

3. Deer Valley

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: December 4
  • Closing Day: April 17 
  • Best Known For: Upscale Amenities. Limited lift tickets to prevent overcrowding. 

Deer Valley is another top-rated ski resort in Utah that boasts some of the most upscale amenities you will find in the state. If you want access to excellent snow conditions and enjoy high-end resort features, you will enjoy your time here. 

Another alluring aspect of Deer Valley is that the resort limits the number of lift tickets sold. This prevents overcrowding, and it is a rare thing for ski areas to do in this day in age. But you won’t be stuck in the lift line very long no matter when you visit. 

There is also plenty of upscale lodging and dining options here, and you can relax into luxurious accommodations after you spend your days full of skiing. Some world-class chefs and hotels keep the reputation of quality service extremely high. 

All of this luxury does come with increased costs, and Deer Valley is one of the most expensive ski resorts in Utah. Expect to pay a hefty sum if you stay here. While that’s not good news for skiers on a budget, if you can afford it, you’ll be more than pleased. 

4. Brighton

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: November 20 (Average)
  • Closing Day: April 20 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Family-friendly atmosphere and consistent, high-quality snow conditions.

Brighton is a smaller ski resort in Utah, but it’s one of the most family-friendly locations you’ll find in the area. If you are looking for a fun ski trip for your entire clan, this place is well worth exploring, and you’ll be in for a fantastic trip. 

Snow conditions are typically good to excellent here, and Brighton sees an average annual snowfall of over 500 inches. This means there is always a decent chance for powder. And if there isn’t powder, the resort will be well-groomed and always ready to ski. 

Brighton is also well-known locally for having some of the best powder conditions you can find at a resort. It is located at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon, which has a reputation for creating dry snow that is ideal for skiing on. 

The downside of a smaller resort is that you don’t have access to as many amenities here. While Brighton offers rentals and a few dining options, other accommodations aren’t as extensive. 

5. Alta

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: November 22 (Average)
  • Closing Day: April 20 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Backcountry and expert skiing terrain. Not being a typical ‘resort.’

If you are an experienced skier and want access to some of the most challenging terrain in Utah, Alta should be high on your list of places to check out. This resort has great inbounds skiing as well as plenty of backcountry access.

Alta has a strong reputation for being all about skiing. Most people prefer not to call this one a ski resort, and in truth, it’s more of a ski area. But what it lacks in amenities, it more than makes up for in world-class skiing. 

This location gets hammered with snow and always has plenty of powder days scattered throughout the season. Alta averages nearly 550 inches of snow every season, and the conditions here are almost always excellent. 

Alta is pretty small, so it has more of a ski town vibe than a full-fledged resort. There are still lodges and rentals available, but you’ll want to book far ahead of time to make sure you get the accommodations you are looking for. 

6. Sundance

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: December 10 (Average)
  • Closing Day: April 7 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Sundance film festival. Beautiful natural views. 

Sundance is a unique ski resort that is as well known for its summertime film festival as it is for excellent skiing opportunities. This is also one of Utah’s most beautiful resorts, based on the serene setting and incredible views available here. 

Sundance offers suitable terrain for any type of skier. You can expect the opportunity to ski legendary Utah powder or can venture into the terrain park to work on your freestyle skills. Night skiing is also an option, and several lifts stay open after dark when conditions allow. 

The resort also has an excellent ski school if you want to take a lesson and plenty of rental options, so you don’t have to bring your gear if you don’t want to. There is also a nordic center if you want to go cross-country skiing. 

The popularity of the Sundance Film Festival has made this area a well-known destination, and that has increased the cost of just about everything over the years. You can expect to pay top dollar for lodging and dining here.

7. Snowbasin

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: November 24 (Average)
  • Closing Day: April 11 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Wide open bowls, plenty of powder

Snowbasin is another solid ski resort in Utah that boasts epic powder day opportunities and world-class terrain that is always fun to ski. The resort has a few bowls that offer wide-open terrain where you can find an untouched line when there is fresh snow. 

Snowbasin is a popular resort because it is very easy to access within an hour from the Salt Lake City airport. That means you can get off a flight and be on the slopes quickly, which is great news for any weary travelers. 

You also have access to a few different lodges and plenty of dining options here. Whether you want to stay close to the lifts or find a house for rent a little further away, you are sure to be cozy and comfortable if you stay here. 

Snowbasin can have variable snow conditions, and the area doesn’t always get as much reliable snowfall as some other top resorts in Utah. Check the snow report before your trip to determine how much snow has stacked up recently.

Additional Tips for Skiing in Utah

One of the great things about skiing in Utah is that many of the resorts are easily accessible from the Salt Lake City metropolitan area. If you fly here, this is where you will land, and you can be at many of the resorts on this list within an hour or two. 

If you need rental equipment and want to save some money, consider renting ski gear in the city before heading to the resort. Resort rentals are almost always a bit higher than what you’ll pay at ski shops in Salt Lake. 

And if you are an experienced skier and want to explore the backcountry, Utah has some fantastic opportunities for that as well. Be sure to check the avalanche conditions and bring proper safety gear if you want to venture out of bounds. 

The food at ski resorts can sometimes be hit or miss. You’ll find anything from world-renown chefs to basic ski lodge pub fare at the resorts in Utah. Check out this list of best ski area dining options if you want to eat well on your trip.

Final Words

The skiing in Utah can be epic. I’ve had some unreal powder days here over the years, and when there is reliable snowfall, you can expect to find fresh tracks at many of the resorts on this list. If you love to chase powder, Utah is a great place to do it. 

Utah also makes for a great ski trip destination because of the easy access from the city to the slopes here. If you want to ski a few resorts without traveling too far, you’ll easily be able to make that happen here.

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  • Kenny Jewell

    You really missed the boat regarding the order of best ski resorts in Utah. I’ve been skiing in Utah for 40+ years mainly skiing the Cottonwoods. There are 2 resorts you completely left off that are much better than 1/2 this list. Both Alta and Solitude offer much better skiing than Sundance (lack of skiing acreage and snow) and Parkcity (overcrowded and lack of snow). I also feel that Snowbasin should be in your top 5. I’ve had season passes at most resorts in No Utah and Basin has, in my opinion, they offered world-class amenities at half the cost of either Deer Valley or Park City.

    • Christine

      Hi Kenny,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts here – I know we all have different favorites for the top ski resorts in whatever region you visit often. I’ve had a great time at all the resorts listed here, and that’s why I wrote up the list. It wasn’t intended to be a definitive list, and my rankings are obviously different than yours. But I think we both can agree that Utah has some great places to ski! I’ll keep your insight in mind for any updates to this post. Hope you had a great season!

  • Christine

    Disagree with PCMR. You must not have been 2 PCMR in 2022. Grooming has been horrible. There were gaping holes with rocks in the corduroy. 40% of reported groomed runs were not actually groomed. The slow chairs didn’t open. Epic mix reported 5mn lines which were in fact 45mn. The exit lift lines from canyons were so long u had 2 ski in the dark 2 get 2 base.
    PC itself is easily accessible from SLC. Town bus is easy 2 take.

    • Christine

      Hey Christine,

      Thanks for the update about last season at Park City. You’re right that I didn’t get to visit the resort in the 2021/22 season. Bummer to hear that conditions weren’t great when you visited. But you can’t always count on there being good snow all of the time, I guess. I’ve had some great days there in the past.