Presidents Week: Utah Ski Resort Tips

02.16.09 by Kendall Card

So you’ve landed in Utah for Presidents Week.  Today, Presidents Day, is sunny and warm but tomorrow and the next day have a big storm on tap.  Later in the week the weather looks to be improving (depending on your perspective) with sunny skies and warm temps into the weekend.

Chances are you’ve already got your lodging dialed through Utah Vacation Homes and if you’ve got a pile of lift tickets in hand but no real order of what to ski when, it’s time to get down to business.

Let’s talk strategy

If you’re like me you’ll want to avoid the crowds and maximize your time on the hill.  With that in mind, and assuming you’re staying somewhere central and close to the resorts and the freeways (like the Oaks on Wasatch Blvd near the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon) here’s how I’d lay out my week of skiing in Utah.

Monday: Since by the time you read this Monday’s decision has been made, I’ll leave this as an optional location.  However, my buddy called me from Alta this morning and said it was empty.  Odd.

Tuesday: “They” are predicting snow.  I’ve got two suggestions for today.  1: Get yourself to ALTA, quickly. Don’t be late or the snow will be tracked up before you can buckle your boots. 2: Solitude is a good call for a powder day as it often lives up to its name. Chances are good you’ll find untracked powder all day long.

Wednesday: If it’s a storm day, or if it’s not, head to Snowbird.  Tram lines mid week can be forgiving and the fact that the majority of Salt Lake skiers have the J-O-B to take care of, you could find a great deal of untracked powder and lift lines should be slim to nill.

Thursday: The sun is predicted to come out – head to Park City.  It’s a toss up but I’d say a visit to Deer Valley would be good for today.  Untracked powder will still linger in the trees and the groomed runs will be impeccable.  Treat yourself to lunch – my choice is the Butternut Squash soup but many will steer you towards the famed Turkey Chili.  Either way, you can’t go wrong  Finish off your day right by catching dinner in town before heading back to “home”

Friday: I’d head back to Park City for more miles of skiing than your legs will be able to handle.  Park City Mountain Resort is a good call.  Don’t mess around with the PayDay lift – head up Crescent to start your day free of the crowds.

Saturday: Time to get adventurous.  The masses will descend upon the usual haunts, so I’d recommend driving north to Snowbasin or better yet, Powder Mountain.  The lift lines will be a thing of the past and you’ll maximize your time skiing.  If you’re into a more refined skiing experience, Snowbasin is your flavor.  Feeling adventurous? Powder Mountain has more adventurous ways to ascend a ski slope than any resort.  Don’t miss a ride on the Lightning Ridge Snow Cat – $11.

Sunday: If you have time to catch some turns before your flight home, head up to Brighton for a half day. Millicent gets early morning light and is often void of lift lines, especially on a Sunday.

One Response to “Presidents Week: Utah Ski Resort Tips”

  1. Jarrett Santiago says:

    Thanks so much I really learned a few good things by coming here this afternoon.

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