Utah is the ultimate ski destination with eight major ski resorts within an hour from Salt Lake (some far less and a few just a bit more)! These mountains also happen to get tons of snow – up to 500’ annually of light fluffy western powder. They call it the “greatest snow on earth”. And with Salt Lake City International Airport, its so easy to get to!
Another added benefit to a Utah ski trip is you can stay conveniently, and very affordably, in or just outside Salt Lake City. You’re not slope-side but it is an easy commute to the slopes, and you can take your pick of ski resorts each day. That’s why they call it “Ski City“. Utah’s capital city of 1.2 million is surrounded by mountains and has a plethora of hotels and lodging options for skiers.
Staying in Cottonwood Heights at the Marriott Residence Inn near the base of Big Cottonwood Canyon is choice. You are just south of downtown Salt Lake City, 20 minutes from SLC airport, 20 minutes to Snowbird and Alta in Little Cottonwood Canyon, 25 minutes to Solitude and Brighton up Big Cottonwood Canyon, 30-minutes to The Canyons base at Park City Mountain, 40 to Deer Valley, an hour to Snowbasin and and 1:15 minutes to Powder Mountain! Talk about great options!
We stayed in a spacious studio suite at this Residence Inn, with a full kitchen and living room, plenty of room to spread out, for a $150-200 a night. Daily breakfast is included – a big buffet with fruit, cereals, yogurt and oatmeal, pastries and bagels, eggs and bacon, even waffles. What a great start to a ski day! Fueled and on our way to the ski slopes by 8!
Après ski, there’s an outdoor heated pool and hot tub, and you’re a short drive to several great area restaurants, grocery, ski shops, and a liquor store (yes, you can get booze in Utah Monday- Saturday – despite the rather pious 50% Mormon population, its not a dry state – except if you’re talking snow quality).
Dining nearby, we loved Tuscany – very romantic Italian place with a beautiful interior, we highly suggest you eat at the cozy bar by the fireplace. A more casual night, The Porcupine Grill offered fun pub fare, a bit boisterous on a Friday eve, but tons of Utah beer on tap. Porcupine is very popular with locals – always a good sign. With our fully equipped suite kitchen, we could even cook in your one night to save on dining out.
Each ski morning, over buffet breakfast in the bright cheery lobby, we could look at the daily snow reports, and UDOT for road conditions (well-updated), and literally decide on the spot where to ski that day! Alta, Snowbird, Park City…! If the Little Cottonwood Canyon, the road to Alta and Snowbird, is closed from last night’s big storm, you can go to plan B and ski Park City or Solitude! Conversely, if it dumped at Snowbird, and the canyon road shows clear, you’re packing your gear and on your way in minutes for first Tram or Alta’s iconic terrain.
IKON Pass holders have access to Snowbird, Alta, Solitude and Brighton, plus Deer Valley!
EPIC Pass holders can ski Park City Mountain including The Canyons, and Snowbasin. Once you’ve invested in a multi-mountain season pass, staying at an in town Marriott (or other chain hotel) versus at the ski resort, your ski trip can be surprisingly affordable.