In the 2025-2026 season, skiers will be able to summit the ridge atop Deer Valley and head down the other side into the vast new terrain of Mayflower.
Owned by Ikon Pass-purveyor Alterra Mountain Co., Deer Valley announced a deal with the owners of under-construction Mayflower resort to operate both mountains that sit near the town of Park City. Under the new operating agreement, the Utah resort will grow to more than 5,700 acres, making it the fourth largest ski area in North America, and the third in the U.S. behind Powder Mountain and Park City Mountain. The trail map will expand from 103 to 238 runs, and 16 more lifts will go in to make a total of 37.
Mayflower's privately owned terrain has long been eyed by resort developers because of its more than 3,700 acres of varied terrain, and because of its easy access from U.S. 40 right off I-80. Initial plans had the resort focused on a military-focused development.
Deer Valley's prohibition of snowboarding will include Mayflower. Deer Valley is one of three mountains (Utah's Alta and Vermont's Mad River Glen, the others) do not permit snowboarding, officials say. They also said daily limit on the number of skiers on the hill will include the expanded terrain.
A new Mayflower base area will follow along with Deer Valley's emphasis on luxury. Hotels, ski-in ski-out homes and a "commercial downtown" are expected to provide a whole new entrance to the resort -- eliminating the need to go into the busy downtown Park City area. Resort officials have said that the new entrance will reduce traffic in Park City -- a contentious issue for years.
Several years ago, Park City Mountain Resort acquired neighbor The Canyons (formerly known as Park City East), and ran a gondola over the ridge to link the two trail maps and increase skiable acres to 7,300. And Deer Valley has entertained the idea of running a gondola over its ridge into Solitude, another Alterra resort that sits in Big Cottonwood Canyon.
Riding a chairlift to get to mountain biking trails is becoming more common in Utah, as winter resorts convert their vertical drop from the snow to the dirt.
Most trail systems include easy to difficult runs, terrain park features, single-track side routes and access to no-lift backcountry. And most resorts rent equipment, and some offer lessons. Check websites for e-bike access.
Brian Head in southern Utah has gone full-in on MTB with more than 100 miles trails. The Giant Steps Express drops riders at the 10,920-foot summit. From there, catch one of nine intermediate trails, eight advanced routes, the fall-line Wildflower expert line, or lolly-gag on the loopy Color Flow down 1,100 vertical feet.
The views can make you brake and gaze. The lift runs Friday through Sunday. A shuttle takes riders to pedaling off the beaten track. Brian Head is a member of the Mountain Bike Power Pass family, too.
At Deer Valley, you can cop up to 3,000 of vertical feet via three high-speed chairs that run daily until September, with Twilight Tuesdays until 8 pm.
Some 70 miles criss-cross four mountains around the trail map, topping out at 9,400-foot Bald Mountain summit. The trail system leans toward blue and black routes, full of features. A single novice that winds from top to mid-mountain.
This summer, Sundance fires up the Outlaw Express daily for mountain bikers who already have experience. There's one green flow but you must get off at midway -- and resort says there are no true beginner trails. Otherwise, most trails dip sharply off the lower mountain's short but steep pitches for expert, advanced and intermediate runs with 1,300 feet of vertical drop.
If the MTB doesn't satisfy your thrill jones, then take a plunge on the Sky Zipline -- the longest vertical drop in the nation.
A good place to start youngsters on mountain bikes is Solitude. Two chair lifts run Thursday to Sundays. The trail system is modest, about 20 miles of routes, but it tilts toward the green and blue tracks. The short loop off of Link chair will help get up the speed, and a few more novice tracks come off Sunrise.
And, for something different, head to Snowbasin and ride the Needles gondola on weekends. Mostly intermediate routes run off the south side.
The snow kept piling nonstop in the Utah mountains this winter, and then March came along with another record-breaking snowfall -- prompting more than half of Utah's 14 mountains to stay open longer.
At Snowbasin, the season has been lengthened to April 23. Coupled with its earliest opening on Nov. 18, the northern Wasatch mountain will have had its longest ski and snowboard season since it opened in 1940.
An astounding 800 inches fell on Brighton at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon. As a result, all lifts will run through April 30, and then the Milly Express will reopen May 5 and run 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily to the end of May. Crews plan to construct a top-to-bottom terrain park on the Milly side to go along with groomers.
Its neighbor Solitude had its snowiest winter (700-plus inches) ever. As a bonus, lifts will run daily through May 7, then Friday-Sunday until the official end of the season on May 21.
Deer Valley broke snowfall records, too, so the Park City-area mountain will spin chairs on Bald Eagle lower slopes and Bald Mt. upper terrain until April 23. Next door, Park City Mountain will keep all lift operating until at least April 23 after a month of March that saw 450 inches fall -- and the best season in 49 years.
Snowbird skiers and riders have been carving atop nearly 200 inches of base this spring -- the result of nearly 800 inches snowfall. The Little Cottonwood Canyon mountain typically stays open to Memorial Day. This season, daily ops go through May 14. Then, on May 19, Snowbird shifts to a Friday-Sunday (plus Memorial Day) schedule -- with more possible.
Sundance will close daily operations in April 2, but tack on an extra two days the next Friday (April 7) and Saturday (April 8). Among the rest of Utah's 14 resorts, Nordic Valley says it's thinking about a couple of bonus weekends after April 9.
Not sure which Utah resort near Salt Lake City you want to try? Why not sample them all in a single day -- getting some backcountry turns as a bonus -- and then decide.
SkiUtah has run the Interconnect Adventure Tour since 1984, offering skiers only (because of Alta's snowboard ban) a chance to criss-cross the Wasatch Range to cop a few runs at all or some of the half-dozen top resorts: Deer Valley, Park City Mountain, Solitude, Brighton, Alta and Snowbird.
Two distinct tours for 2-8 people run seven days a week. One starts in Deer Valley, hits up all six mountains, and ends at Snowbird. The other begins and ends at Snowbird, and covers the four mountains in both Cottonwood canyons. Private, custom-route tours also available daily.
Online reservations are essential. Cost depends upon group number, and includes use of a Ski Utah Gold Pass for access to lifts along the way.
Each full-day tour includes a couple of lift-served runs at each trail map it crosses. Importantly, each requires sufficient backcountry-skiing skill and fitness at altitude to handle moderate sidestep/shuffle/traverse uphill travel and off-piste downhills. Avalanche beacons are provided.
The Deer Valley tour begins at mid-mountain Silver Lake Lodge. Tour participants pick up a Gold Pass at the base and ride up to meet with your guide. From there, the tour covers a few runs at Deer Valley and Park City before heading over into the backcountry of Big Cottonwood Canyon.
In-bounds skiing at Solitude and Brighton end with a traverse from Solitude summit over into Little Cottonwood Canyon backcountry. A long descent ends at Alta's upper mountain. A couple of runs end at the Mineral Basin gate, and Snowbird. Participants have time for a long run off the summit into the base of Snowbird, where a van drives them back to Deer Valley.
The Snowbird tour stays in the Cottonwood canyons. It begins with an early-bird ride up the Snowbird tram and a couple of warmups laps in Mineral Basin. From there it's uphill traverse over a pass to Brighton, where a backcountry run ends at the base area. The resort links with Solitude, where participants have lunch and then head up to finish the tour at Alta and Snowbird.
After a replacement of the upper basin Supreme chair last season, the backside Albion Basin side of Alta continues to be revamped. This season, a new high-speed six-pack is expected to replace the fixed-grip Sunnyside chair at the Ikon Pass partner resort, although supply-chain slowdown may delay its opening.
The new chair will both deliver skiers and riders more quickly into the basin's network of novice green-rated trails, and provide back-door access to the chutes and bowls off Supreme and Sugarloaf lifts. Concurrently, the old Albion chair has come down.
The Corkscrew trail on Collins side has been widened, more avalanche control towers put in on the East Castle high ground, and more snowmaking has gone at Wildcat base.
In a continuing effort to reduce traffic in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Alta will require an online parking reservation for Friday-Sunday for $25.
In neighboring Big Cottonwood Canyon, Solitude turned its attention to the first terrain park on the mountain. Summer crews installed two groups of boxes, rails and other features. A beginner-level park will sit on upper Main Street, accessed off either Apex Express or Moonbeam chairs. And, a more advanced park can be had on the steeper North Star trail, served by the Sunrise chair. An Ikon Pass gives unlimited skiing and riding at Solitude.
Over at Deer Valley, a new short-line Burns Express chair has gone in to join the main base Snow Park teaching area with the greens and blues of lower Little Baldy Mountain. Linking to the Deer Hollow green trail, the new lift will also make it easier to move from the Jordanelle Gondola base to the main mountain. Deer Valley is a seven-day Ikon Pass partner.
Next door at Park City Mountain, owner Vail Resorts (Epic Pass) has paused on major projects for this summer. Instead, the Canyons base Red Tail Grill has gotten a new deck. To reduce crowding, the resort will limit day ticket sales and continue paid parking.
The seasonal gears have shifted, and Utah's 14 winter resorts are in full-on summer mode with everything from disc golf to mountain biking to riding atop a tramway car in the offing.
Resorts' emphasis on summertime activities continues to grow in the Beehive State, as locals and visitors more and more look to the mountains for exercise and enjoyment. Most mountains keep restaurants open during the offseason. In addition, concerts, workshops, themed festivals and competitions can be found on all around the mountains. And wildflower viewing is always worth the ride into the hills.
A few resorts are open seven days a week, but most open up only for several days around the weekend during the warm offseason. Four Utah resorts won't run chairlifts this summer; instead, Brighton, Cherry Peak and Beaver Mountain highlight hiking and biking trails as mountain getaways, and Alta again focuses on environmental projects.
Snowbird caught the headlines with its rooftop tram ride this summer. One of the two cars on Utah's only tramway will have limited space on top, and floor-to-ceiling windows inside. The base area will be busy, with slides and coaster and all manner of climbing challenges.
Powder Mountain opens a new downhill MTB park served by the Hidden Express chair. To limit crowds, day tickets will cap at 250, and only 500 summer season passes will be sold.
Park City Mountain debuts a new golf course at Canyons Village. Many of the fairways run on winter ski trails, and the course elevation rises and falls throughout. Three lifts bring MTBers to mountain tracks.
A new beginner MTB track is in the works at Solitude, which now is open Thursday-Sunday. Also debuting are climbing wall, bungee trampoline and mini-disc golf.
On the southern terminus of the Wasatch, Sundance brings beginner-flow and intermediate level MTB tracks online. And, of course, the resort's renowned high and long ziplines are due to attract the adventurous crowd.
At Snowbasin, there are 26 miles of hiking and biking trails off the Needles Gondola -- dogs always welcome. And, the northern Utah resort welcomes the return of the live Brews, Blues & Barbecue summer music series.
And, classical music aficionados will once again get to listen to the Utah Symphony's concert series under the evening skies at Deer Valley.
In southern Utah, the focus is on the hardiest athletes, with Eagle Point's Crusher in the Tushars and Tushar Mountain Runs in July, and Brian Head's Women's Epic Race and Brian Shredder downhill MTB race in June.
It's going to be a busy construction season this summer at the Wasatch Range ski and snowboard resorts, as five new-replacement chairlifts go in, and the only tramway in Utah gets new cabins.
Locals and visitors to Utah who have an Ikon Pass hanging around their necks will get to check out some improvements and upgrades at five Utah resorts that honor the multi-mountain season pass.
Last season, Covid gave a jolt to the time-honored habits of skiers and riders, but the 2021-2022 season promises to be a bit less restrictive -- with exceptions.
Despite Covid restrictions, the ski and snowboard resorts of Utah had a boffo summer season last year with hiking, biking, scenic lift rides and other social-distanced activities. But one key attraction was missing: Music.
The purveyors of the Ikon Pass have announced a new round of investments at its major ski and snowboard resorts in the West, including the much-anticipated gondola connection between Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows.
SnoCountry's Road Trip team is grabbing its Ikon Pass and hopping a flight to Salt Lake City to try out a trio of Wasatch Mountain resort. Ski and ride all you want at Solitude, and up to seven days each at Deer Valley and Snowbird.
Aside from Covid-related changes, capital improvements big and small went up this summer at eight of Utah's ski and snowboard resorts.
The creator of the Ikon Pass will invest more than $200 million this summer to further upgrade some of the 15 resorts it owns for skiers and riders in the 2020-21 season.
For the second season at Park City Mountain, options for expert skiers and riders heading up into Jupiter Bowl to catch some steep-and-deep will be fewer.
As fall approaches, ski and snowboard resorts begin to close down summertime activities in order to get ready for winter. However, the mountain biking season just goes on and on, especially in Utah.
Skiers and snowboarders who live in or visit Utah each winter may soon have another choice in destinations: Mayflower Mountain Resort.
Both the Epic Pass and Ikon Pass streamline skiing and riding costs during the winter. Now that summer's here, they switch gears to make warm-weather times in the mountains more affordable, too.
Making plans for a trip to Utah this summer? Be sure to set aside time to check out all the warm-weather offerings from the state's ski and snowboard resorts.
It looks to be a busy summer at resorts owned by Denver-based Alterra Mountain Co. as the firm begins to catch up on much-needed improvements both on and off the mountain.