With some of the North America’s best skiing on its doorstep, can Salt Lake City win our Battle of the Ski Resorts?
Nominated by Dickie
Ease of access 3/10
There are (still) no direct flights to Salt Lake from the UK, so it’s a 20-ish hour door-to-door journey…
Sense of scale and epicness 7/10
It’s on the edge of American wilderness and the Great Salt Lake, so even if the mountains aren’t European in height, you know you’re in BIG country.
Variety and quality of the pistes 9/10
All piste life is to be found here – in a resort like Park City, there’s a lot in one place. We like exploring the smaller areas like Alta, Snowbird and Solitude, but there’s a secret pleasure in hitting groomers as pukka as those at Deer Valley. The bigger resorts get busy at weekends but are supremely well-organised to keep traffic flowing.
Off-piste potential 9/10
There aren’t the epic long runs you’d find off the Monte Rosa or Mont Blanc Massifs, but there’s a lot to explore. And the powder is just extraordinary – dry, deep and the easiest you’ll ever ski.
The smaller, steeper resorts are set in bowls, and you can grab the same lift and keep edging along a few metres before dropping in to get a never-ending series of lines.
On-hill grub 4/10
Hmmm. Cafeteria-style, unless you properly splash out. Deer Valley restaurants are wonderful, but priced according to the value of the chalets nearby, which happen to be some of the most expensive real estate on the planet. Drop down to the base and grab a burger.
Après scene 6/10
Different. Park City is the best in conventional terms, with a cowboy town high street. Other resorts have a few hotels and condos but most of the accommodation and life is down in Salt Lake. You have to pay a few bucks to join a ’drinking club’ in the city to bypass the no-booze Mormon-ness. The clubs often have live bands.
Base suitability 10/10
It’s the primary reason we’d make the trek. 14 resorts within 50 miles, with every kind of skiing covered, from the hick and wonderful Powder Mountain to slick and fabulous Deer Valley. Most deserve at least a day, and the biggies can stand a full week.
Family friendly? 5/10
Either brilliant or rubbish, depending on age of family. Youngsters and parents will find the trip and lack of instant access to the slopes unnecessary. Early teenagers will find Utah’s rawer version of America unbelievably exciting. It’s a great place to learn off-piste skills because of the access and quality of the snow.
RANK: Joint 15th