Brighton, Of Course. Utah’s Ski Family Favorite.

Photographer: Richard Cheski, Mindset Imagery. Photo courtesy of Brighton Resort.

Photographer: Richard Cheski, Mindset Imagery. Photo courtesy of Brighton Resort.

Today’s post is a guest post from Utah mom and adventure woman, Alyssa Erickson! When she’s not skiing, hiking and climbing with her kids, Alyssa blogs at The Kid Project

brave ski mom logoWhen we first moved to Utah, we heard all sorts of things about Utah ski resorts. If you want epic steeps, you head on up Little Cottonwood Canyon. But when we asked families where they were headed to ski or board, they all said, “Brighton, of course.”

Of course, I thought. Apparently they expected me to know why. And after skiing at Brighton for a season, I can see why. Brighton Resort has a style, class, and flow all its own.

Something about the friendly but relaxed lifties, the 1960s A-frame and old one-room cabins scattered in the forest up on the mountain make Brighton different. You won’t find large lodges or a base village. You won’t find large parking lots with bus in services. Even with improvements like the RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Device) system and “Go Card” which saves time and money purchasing your lift tickets and getting on the lifts, they still retain their nonchalant personality.

What you will find:

Brighton Resort is located up Big Cottonwood Canyon, approximately 35 miles from the Salt Lake City airport. It is “old school” in the best of ways. Lift tickets are inexpensive ($68 adult full-day) and kids 7 and under ski free!

The average annual snowfall is 500” and 100% of their 1,050 skiable acres is serviced by high speed quads.

Brighton has a host of terrain parks and a ton of easy to moderate terrain, which is why it is so perfect for kids. In fact, their terrain park systems are so widely popular with snowboarders, I sort of feel like a skiing minority. Almost. :)

Brighton also has Utah’s largest night skiing operation with 22 runs on over 200 lighted acres.

When you visit:

brighton resort utah family

Photographer: Richard Cheski, Mindset Imagery. Photo courtesy Brighton Resort.

When you pull into the parking lot at Brighton, there is a good chance you will be ushered into a parking row a snowball’s throw from the ticket office and lift. You unpack your crew and hit the slopes with hardly any hassle or hoops to jump through. You can access four lifts from the base depending on the skill level of the group.

For beginners, head into their beginner area, serviced by the Explorer lift, just to the left of the lodge. There is a magic carpet and one lift servicing this area, perfect for true beginners and small children.

From there you can move on to the Majestic lift which gets you up higher on the mountain, but has really fun green runs for the kids. You can either lap back down to the base, or head higher on the Snake Creek Express for more moderate skiing with fantastic views of the Wasatch Range.

One of the best features of Brighton is its tree skiing.  There is a lot of fun tree skiing for every level skier, whether it is your five-year-old zipping through some easy tree trails or the adults hitting a powder day off the Great Western. We’ve even ventured into steeper trees off the Crest Express and found untracked powder days after a storm.

Brighton is known for their terrain parks. All terrain parks and the half pipe are accessed from the Crest Express and Majestic Lifts. They are improved and changed throughout the season, so for more detailed info visit their parks site: Brighton Terrain Parks.

brighton millicent steeps

While we haven’t skied Brighton nearly as much as Alyssa, it’s a favorite of our family. Here’s our son in 2010 ripping up the steeps off the Milly Express.

Insider tips:

Brighton has food services in the all new Millicent Chalet at the base of the Millicent Quad, at the Alpine Rose Cafeteria, and Molly Green’s on the upper floor of the A-frame.

But my favorite part as a mom, is their “sack lunch amenities.” Brighton is one of the few resorts that invites families to bring their own lunch and provides areas to enjoy them… other than eating at their car or in a snowbank. On the main level of the Brighton Center and the main level of the A-frame you will find tables, bathrooms, and vending machines.

If I were you, I’d hit the A-frame. We’ve seen a dad carry in an electric griddle and cook up grill cheese for his kids.

Why didn’t we have that idea?! It was fantastic!

Thank you so much Alyssa, for this insider’s take on Brighton, of course! 

© 2014, Kristen Lummis. All rights reserved. Any use or publication of content, including photos, requires express permission.


  1. Lilah says

    Our family loves Brighton too and we have been skiing there for years. We always stay at because the lodging is close enough to the ski resort that we can walk back and forth for lunch or a nap or whatever. Highly recommend Brighton for a great family fun atmosphere.