Utah is known for its amazing ski towns and resorts. Aside from having the largest ski resort in the entire country, parts of Utah have long ski seasons, modern amenities, and gorgeous views. While some of the towns aren’t as tiny and charming as those in New England, they’re still great places to ski, relax, and explore. Take a look at five of the most incredible ski towns in Utah and learn the unique reasons why people love each!
1. Park City
Although the area is called Park City, the town only has about 8,000 permanent residents. The small population helps justify including Park City on a list of ski towns. Simply put, it would be a shame to leave out this area because Park City Mountain Resort, often called PCMR, is the largest ski resort in America.
Park City Mountain Resort is known for its world-class skiing experiences and top-of-the-line amenities. The area has hosted several Olympic events and training events. With 7,300 acres of skiing space, 324 ski runs, 41 lifts, a 3.5-mile run, and 355 inches of snow per year, few towns can hold a candle to this one in terms of sheer skiing enjoyment.
The resort area has spacious villas, suites, and other lodgings available for visitors. Also, the resort has unique modern dining, heated pools, and a full spa. Anyone that wants to experience cutting-edge ski resorts would certainly value everything this town has to offer.
While the town has many attractions throughout the summer, it’s certainly best to visit in the winter. After all, the town’s nickname is winter’s favorite town!
Alta is a small town to the east of Salt Lake City. Located in the Wasatch Mountains, this part of the state is known for getting a lot of snow, upwards of 500 inches in a year! As a result of the snowfall and terrain, people have flocked to Alta for skiing.
Alta only has a population of 380 people or so, making it a very charming ski town. While the local resort, the Alta Ski Area, receives about 500,000 visitors per year, it’s a much more subdued location compared to Park City.
The local resort has fewer amenities than Park City. Many small local shops dot the area and lodgings are more hotel-like rather than villas. Thus, the entire area has more of a natural appeal and less of a commercialized feeling to it.
The Alta Ski Area has 2,614 acres of skiable area along with 116 runs. Also, the resort is known for not allowing snowboarders. People that journey to this town will certainly see the benefits of coming to a smaller area. Another benefit of this small town is its proximity to another skiing community, Snowbird.
Brighton, Utah is a small town located in the Big Cottonwood Canyon. The small town was only incorporated in 2020, and it has a population of about 180 to 260 full-time residents. Brighton has a reputation for being a good place for people that want to ski in a laid-back environment without all the tourist attractions.
The Brighton Ski Resort is known for its austere and inexpensive approach to skiing. While there are several places to eat, shop, and stay, the town’s amenities are nothing like larger ski towns like Park City or even Alta. Some visitors choose to stay closer to Salt Lake City for additional lodging and shopping opportunities. They take part in day trips to the ski area without staying long in the town.
That approach appeals to many people, especially locals. The resort has 66 total runs, and its longest run is 1.2 miles. Overall, Brighton is one of the top ski towns in Utah for its pared-down style and ongoing dedication to high-quality runs.
Although Snowbird and Alta are neighbors, they are distinct from one another. Several aspects of this town make it unique and enjoyable, starting with the fact that it’s not a town at all. It’s an unincorporated community!
The Snowbird Resort and the surrounding area have a variety of places to stay, eat, and relax. Several fine dining establishments are located in the surrounding area, and the local lodgings are laden with amenities like pools and hot tubs.
The mountain itself is great for skiing. Like Alta, the Snowbird region can receive up to 500 inches of snow per year. Furthermore, the resort has 169 runs, 13 lifts, and 2,500 acres of land to ski upon. This resort town is great for people that want to be close to major cities without staying in one.
Although Solitude is very close to Brighton, the town has its own distinct village area. As the name suggests, the Solitude Mountain Resort is a great place to seek solace from larger ski towns and cities.
The resort has 80 runs available including the Honeycomb Trail which runs for 3.5 miles. Solitude has a total of 1,200 acres of skiable land, and that land is covered by up to 400 inches of snow per year, similar to other nearby resorts.
The resort has many places to shop, eat, and stay. The lodging has a nice visual appeal as well with typical wood and stone construction. The charming stone walkways in the town area give Solitude a fantastic small-town feeling that visitors will certainly enjoy.
Many more incredible ski towns in Utah exist aside from these five areas. These towns are just a few of the premier locations that offer travelers the most in terms of adventure, lodging, nightlife, and size. Not only are they consistent places to enjoy skiing, but they’re also sites of ongoing changes and evolutions as ski towns adjust to climate change and its impacts on ski seasons and beyond.
If you want to check out some other interesting choices for great ski towns, or cities, in Utah, then Ogden, Brian Head, and Deer Valley are three other places that locals love to ski at.
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