Salt Lake is home to all kinds of skiers, riders, revelers, powder fiends, weekend warriors, and more. As a city perched at the base of America’s meteorological miracle, there is a special vibe that resonates here, and when the clouds are low and heavy with powder, you can almost hear it in the air. While the secret about Salt Lake being America’s best ski destination is less of a secret since the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, what few people realize is that this is truly a city for skiers. Diverse cultures and landscapes intersect in Salt Lake, forging a modern ski hub with an eclectic demographic—a demographic pulled here by a gravity that anyone who’s zoomed down an incredible slope will appreciate. Day-to-day life here is many people’s idea of living the dream—and those who live here know it.
Salt Lake’s proximity to the Great Salt Lake and the nearby mountains create the perfect recipe for the Greatest Snow on Earth®. While many parts of the U.S. have wet, heavy snow that make skiing a chore, Utah snow is a light, powdery texture perfect for skiing, snowboarding, and adventuring.
ALTA SKI RESORT
Winter-specific projects completed at Alta include snowmaking system upgrades, installation of Wyssen tower remote avalanche devices on Mt Baldy, removal of the defunct Albion chairlift, and trail improvements off the Supreme lift. For beginner and intermediate skiers yearning to learn to ski powder, this winter Alf Engen Ski School will offer new 2.5-hour afternoon classes for adults. Luxury at 8,500 feet above sea level: Alta’s most elegant hotel, the Snowpine Lodge, recently opened a swanky new two-bedroom penthouse, complete with a stylish gourmet kitchen, cozy wood-burning fireplace, and private patio.
Environmental stewardship was the overriding theme of improvement projects at Alta during the 2023 summer season. More than 13,000 native species plants—grown from seeds hand-collected from Alta’s slopes—were installed within the ski area’s boundary. The resort also committed to matching 100 percent of its annual electricity use with renewable energy for the next two years. And to keep hikers and bikers from trampling wildflowers, Alta lined popular trails with rope lines, complete with photo op pull-outs.
Big changes are in store for Brighton skiers and riders for the 2023-24 winter season. The resort’s old quad-seater Crest lift has been replaced by Crest 6, a six-person chair offering a speedy 5.3-minute ride to the top of Brighton’s five world-class terrain parks and multiple intermediate and expert runs. The Sidewinder restaurant—Brighton’s first mid-mountain dining option—sits above the Snake Creek lift and features the classic and necessary mountain resort restaurant trifecta: beers, burgers, and bathrooms.
Know before you go: a combination of free and paid parking reservations is now required for Brighton’s entire lot throughout the 2023-24 winter season.
This Big Cottonwood Canyon resort is also investing heavily in summer operations with construction of a mountain biking trail network, new 18-hold disc golf course, and event programming.
Changes for 2023-24
Last season, Snowbird commemorated its 50th anniversary in a big way with the introduction of sleek, new cabins for its iconic Tram that, in the summer, feature a transparent floor and open-air roof deck. A highlight of the coming winter season’s improvements at The ’Bird is that all adult, military, and senior season passes will come with one free Kids Freeloader Pass that can be given to anyone age 18 or under the passholder chooses, related to them or not.
An even faster express line to the goods
Powder connoisseurs know that quickest access to Snowbird’s plentiful powder days is with a Fast Tracks lift ticket or season pass upgrade, which allows access to no-wait lanes at select chair lifts. This year, skiers and riders can load Fast Tracks directly onto their lift ticket or season pass through the Snowbird app, versus having to go to the ticket window after arrival.
SOLITUDE MOUNTAIN RESORT:
In preparation for the coming winter season, Solitude replaced the Eagle Express chairlift—Utah’s first high-speed detachable lift when it was installed 1989—with a fast new 6-person chair, thereby decreasing wait times and congestion elsewhere on the mountain, which will be complete in time for the 2023-24 season. Over the summer, Solitude crews also installed three new Wyssen tower remote avalanche control systems across the resort’s Fantasy Ridge area.
Cure for what ails: after a day of slaying Solitude’s snowy slopes, book a Therabody Jetboot session at the Solitude Mountain Spa. This new treatment supports blood and lymphatic circulation relieving muscle fatigue and reducing muscle soreness, leaving your whole body refreshed and revitalized.
This summer, Solitude opened four sweet new, Gravity Logic-designed downhill mountain bike trails, ranging from beginner to expert, representing Phase 1 of multiyear bike park project.