Snowbasin Ski Resort, Utah

Salt Lake City Expert-Level Ski Trip

Map
Resorts: 4 Miles: 190 Days: 7 Hours: 4

Ski Roadtrip Overview

Time to Visit: December to April
For Skill Level: Intermediate to Expert

Salt Lake City, Utah has twelve ski resorts within a few hour’s drive of the SLC airport. We chose the four most difficult ski resorts in the Salt Lake City area, and developed a road trip itinerary around skiing all within a week’s time.

We also have a beginner-level Salt Lake City ski trip as well, in case that is more your speed.

Itinerary Notes

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.

DayActivityDriving Distance
#1Arrive in Salt Lake City
#2Ski Snowbasin46 miles (1 hr) from SLC
#3Ski Deer Valley63 miles (1.25 hrs) from Ogden
#4Ski Park City3 miles from Deer Valley
#5Rest Day… maybe a day trip to Arches?
#6Ski Snowbird40 miles (1 hr) from Park City
#7Depart Salt Lake City32 miles (.75 hr) from Snowbird

Lodging

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.

Lift Passes

Out of the four ski resorts we chose for this trip, 2 are associated with the EPIC pass (Park City & Snowbasin), while the other 2 are with IKON (Snowbird & Deer Valley). It’s worth looking into possibly purchasing one of those if you plan on skiing one resort (or pass) more than the others.

IKON actually has three more ski resorts around the SLC area within their system. Solitude, Alta and Brighton all work with this national pass, and could be a way to save money by swapping out two of these resorts for Park City and/or Snowbasin.

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.

Arches National Park

Arches National Park

Best Months: May, June, November & August
Hours: Open year-round, 24 hours a day
Entrance Fee: $30 per vehicle, valid for 7 days

Learn More…
ArrivalDay 1

Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City International Airport

Location: Salt Lake City, UT (MST)
Size: Large, #25 in North America   •   Code: SLC   •   Visit Website

SCHEDULE YOUR RENTAL CAR:

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.

Skiing

Ski Days

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 expert-level skier, we picked the top 4 SLC ski resorts in our rankings.

Park City Mountain

Park City Mountain is one of the hardest ski areas in the country. It ranks in the top 10% of most-difficult ski resorts in all of North America, mostly due to the fact that it has 51% of its trails rated as expert-level, and a vertical drop of 3,200 feet.

Mountain Stats

Summit:  10,000′
Vertical:  3,200′
Base:  6,800′

Terrain Stats

Trails:  341
Lifts:  44
Acres:  7,300

Trail Breakdown

Beginner:  8%
Intermediate:  41%
Expert:  51%

More Information…
Deer Valley

Deer Valley is more difficult than the average ski slope. 73% of its trails rated as either intermediate or expert-level, which doesn’t leave much for the beginners.

Mountain Stats

Summit:  9,570′
Vertical:  3,000′
Base:  6,570′

Terrain Stats

Trails:  103
Lifts:  21
Acres:  2,026

Trail Breakdown

Beginner:  27%
Intermediate:  31%
Expert:  42%

More Information…
Snowbasin

Snowbasin is more difficult than the average ski slope. 80% of its trails rated as either intermediate or expert-level, which doesn’t leave much for the beginners.

Mountain Stats

Summit:  9,350′
Vertical:  2,950′
Base:  6,400′

Terrain Stats

Trails:  113
Lifts:  10
Acres:  3,000

Trail Breakdown

Beginner:  20%
Intermediate:  50%
Expert:  30%

More Information…
Snowbird

Snowbird is one of the hardest ski areas in the country. It ranks in the top 10% of most-difficult ski resorts in all of North America, mostly due to the fact that it has 67% of its trails rated as expert-level, and a vertical drop of 3,240 feet.

Mountain Stats

Summit:  11,000′
Vertical:  3,240′
Base:  7,760′

Terrain Stats

Trails:  171
Lifts:  14
Acres:  2,500

Trail Breakdown

Beginner:  8%
Intermediate:  25%
Expert:  67%

More Information…
ResortGreenBlueBlackSummitVerticalAcresDifficulty Score
Snowbird8%25%67%11,000 ft3,240 ft2,50083%
Park City Mountain8%41%51%10,000 ft3,200 ft7,30076%
Deer Valley27%31%42%9,570 ft3,000 ft2,02665%
Snowbasin20%50%30%9,350 ft2,950 ft3,00062%
DepartureDay 7

Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City International Airport

Location: Salt Lake City, UT (MST)
Size: Large, #25 in North America   •   Code: SLC   •   Visit Website

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.