Just up the road from its more famous neighbors, the ski and snowboard resorts of northern Utah hold their own, with everything from massive powder terrain to former Olympic race courses to a seriously local vibe.
Up-and-down Nordic Valley finally got stability when Colorado-based Mountain Capital Partners took over management of the Ogden-area mountain in 2019. Right away, the local hill above Eden got a high-speed six-pack to radically upgrade access to its 500 acres of terrain.
This summer, crews cut a half-dozen new expert runs and glades off the Nordic Valley Express detachable chair. Nearly half of its 40-trail network is now black-rated. They also built a yurt lounge at the top of the lift and put in more snowmaking -- plus a new beer bar and expanded parking down below.
Up the road at Snowbasin -- home to the men's and women's downhill races at the 2002 Olympics -- the resort has moved from the Epic Pass to the Ikon Pass and Mountain Collective. More snowmaking, avalanche mitigation, more gladed trails and regrading of the connector Broadway trail topped summer work. Big news next season will be a second lift for more slopetime on Strawberry sector.
With the largest in-bounds skiing and riding in the U.S. (8,434 acres), Powder Mountain is as it was last season: A powderhounds' heaven with lift, snowcat, snowmobile and hike-to stashes. Off-season work focused instead on setting up summer mountain biking terrain, expected to open next summer.
Move over to Logan and a pair of local hills have no new surprises for the season. North at the Idaho border sits Beaver Mountain, the quintessential local hill that opened in 1939 and has been under the Seelhozer family ownership from the git-go. "The Beav'" has four fixed-grip chairs and a couple of magic carpets handle 828 acres of skiable terrain. Night skiing is around the base and mostly private, although a dozen public nights are scheduled.
Utah's newest alpine mountain, Cherry Peak epitomizes the "local hill" as it's just four miles from downtown from Richmond. Opened in 2015, the 400-acre ski area appeals to mid-level skiers and riders with most of its 29 runs in the green or blue categories. And, as many close-to-town areas do, Cherry Park has night skiing, six nights a week.
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.
From the mighty to the sublime, this road trip in northern Utah grabs a couple of Indy Pass days at Beaver Mountain and Powder Mountain that, despite their vast difference in size, both operate in quiet, unpretentious seclusion in the northern extent of the Wasatch Range.
In an effort to cut air pollution, all bus rides will be free across Utah's Wasatch Front until the end of February -- making it free to ride up to the slopes from Sundance to Snowbasin and five in between.
If standing in lift lines is getting you down, turn on your night light and go skiing and riding at half of Utah's 14 resorts.
The Indy Pass will return 100% of its partner resorts for the 2021-22 season along with new additions Powder Mountain, Utah, Mt. Ashland, Oregon, and West Mountain, New York for a total of 66 resorts in the U.S. and Canada.
If you've skied this season, you're probably well aware of the virus' effect on the sport — social distancing made lift lines longer, reservation systems were a headache, and even with plenty of well-meaning policies in place, ski areas were busy. Really busy.
Can you believe it? The final days of winter have come. As spring officially arrives Saturday, we’ll enjoy mild turns in the East, while winter refuses to let go in the West. Forecast details in this week’s SnoCast.
A large pool of bitter cold air seeps into the US from Canada this week, affecting the weather from coast to coast. Here’s what to expect on the slopes.
In the waning days of January, Mother Nature got to work -- dropping her glorious bounty upon the mountains of the West, and finally giving skiers and snowboarders the deep powder they've been waiting for.
Aside from Covid-related changes, capital improvements big and small went up this summer at eight of Utah's ski and snowboard resorts.
A ski and snowboard season like no other is coming to us all, including locals and visitors to the major Utah resorts.
So, all you want is deep pow', first tracks and freshies all day. You're not interested in checking the grooming report for morning corduroy. Only snowboards or fat-boy skis on board. And hiking is the best way up. If this is you, then Silverton Mountain and Powder Mountain await your arrival.
Once there was a time when you reached age 60, you'd skied for free. Then you had to be 70. And now, at a half-dozen Western resorts, 80 is the new 60.
All 14 ski and snowboard mountains within the state boundaries of Utah hit the "Go" switch before Christmas holidays, and visitors should expect new stuff on the mountains, at the ticket window, and in the lodge.
For those that want flexibility, ski only a handful of days, or their local mountain is on the Epic or Ikon Pass, we get it. To start things off right, we’ll be completely honest with you. We have an Epic Local Pass. Heavenly is only a few minutes from our house, so we use it to get in a few laps when we don’t have a ton of time. Do we go to resorts on the Epic or Ikon Pass for vacation? Rarely.
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.
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.
Beautiful weather is in store for the St. Patrick’s Day weekend as a huge area of high pressure keeps much of the nation dry.
Big! Powder! Paradise!
There is no other way to describe Utah’s Powder Mountain, which has already received 215 inches of snowfall this season and currently sports a 90-inch base covering more than 8,400 acres of terrain - the most skiable terrain in North America!