Salt Lake City Beginner-Level Ski Trip
Resorts: 4 • Miles: 211 • Days: 7 • Hours: 5
Ski Roadtrip Overview
Salt Lake City, Utah has twelve ski resorts within a few hour’s drive of the SLC airport. We chose the four least difficult ski resorts in the Salt Lake City area, and developed a road trip itinerary around skiing all within a week’s time.
If you are looking for a slightly harder ski trip in Salt Lake City, we have just the road trip for you.
Don’t forget to schedule your rental car or SUV ahead of time! Just showing up at the rental company’s kiosk at the airport and hoping they have what you need is a recipe for disaster. I always rent my rental vehicles the same time I book my flights.
Route & Week Breakdown
This is our rough idea for how to split up your seven days in Salt Lake City. We included some driving distances from one spot to the other to give you an idea for how far it is from one place to the next. However, how much you actually drive depends on where you decide to set up camp for the week.
|#1||Arrive in Salt Lake City|
|#2||Ski Powder Mountain||58 miles (1 hr) from SLC|
|#3||Ski Brighton||87 miles (2 hrs) from Powder Mtn.|
|#4||Ski Solitude||2 miles away from Brighton|
|#5||Rest Day… maybe a day trip to Arches?|
|#6||Ski Alta||25 miles (1 hr) from Solitude|
|#7||Depart Salt Lake City||33 miles (1 hr) from Alta|
As for where to stay for the week, Park City is going to be the most convenient, but anywhere around SLC will work. I always gravitate towards renting a full home on either Airbnb or VRBO as opposed to a hotel or a resort stay. A resort stay may make more sense if you were planning to ski exclusively at one resort the whole week.
Three of the four resorts we visit in this ski trip are a part of the IKON lift pass network. Powder Mountain is a part of the smaller INDY pass, which actually has three other Utah resorts within its network, however they are spread out across the state. The closest INDY resort to Powder Mountain is Beaver, which is about 2 hours (86 miles/138 km) away.
National Park Adventures
We were hoping to be able to add in one of Utah’s 5 National Parks to this trip, but the closest one is Arches, and it’s about 4 hours (233 miles/375 km) away. If you are looking for a quick one-day trip away from skiing, this would be the park to do it at. It is certainly feasible to make it back and forth to Arches from SLC within just one day. Winter at Arches is a peaceful time, without the crowds or scorching heat that can plague most summertime visitors. However, ice, snow, and reduced park operations can present additional challenges for winter visitors.
Salt Lake City, UT
We begin this road trip by flying into the Salt Lake City airport. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding flights into this fairly large airport.
After deplaning, pick up your rental car (you scheduled one ahead of time… right?). After that, head to where you’re staying for the night. We think Park City is a great place to stay – plenty of restaurants and nightlife – but really any place around Salt Lake City will work just fine.
We chose these four ski resorts based on our proprietary Difficulty Score. It is generated by looking at the number of easy-intermediate-expert slopes by acreage and the maximum vertical drop of the overall resort.
Our scoring compares each resort’s metrics with all others in our database, gives each a Difficulty Score, then ranks them accordingly. Resorts with a lower score are easier than those with a higher one. However, a high score does not mean that the resort does not have any easy slopes, or vice versa. This is just an overall score given to the resort based on all its metrics grouped together.
Since this road trip is built for the beginner or moderate-level skier, we picked the best 4 “easy” SLC ski resorts in our overall rankings.
Skill Level: Intermediate
These ski resorts are perfect for the intermediate skiier that wants to ski here. These resorts were chosen due to their moderate vertical drop as well as a higher amount of intermediate slopes.
Lifts: 9 • Runs: 154 • 40% Moderate Trails
Summit: 9,422 ft • Vertical: 2,522 ft
Lifts: 11 • Runs: 116 • 40% Moderate Trails
Summit: 10,550 ft • Vertical: 2,020 ft
Lifts: 4 • Runs: 66 • 40% Moderate Trails
Summit: 10,500 ft • Vertical: 1,745 ft
Lifts: 7 • Runs: 65 • 50% Moderate Trails
Summit: 10,035 ft • Vertical: 2,047 ft
Powder Mountain is the largest ski resort in the US by acreage. This massive resort has over 8,400 acres of skiable terrain. Interesting fact: Powder Mountain is also an “upside down” ski resort. This means that the base is at the top of the mountain instead of the bottom.
|Powder Mountain||25%||40%||35%||9,422 ft||2,522 ft||8,464||58%|
|Alta||25%||40%||35%||10,550 ft||2,020 ft||2,200||53%|
|Brighton||21%||40%||39%||10,500 ft||1,745 ft||1,050||53%|
|Solitude||20%||50%||30%||10,035 ft||2,047 ft||1,200||53%|
Salt Lake City, UT
After a long week of hitting the slopes, it’s time to head home. Drop off your rental car at the airport and board your flight back to reality.