When I think of skiing at Snowbasin, I think of a smorgasbord — you know, a little bit of this goodness and a little bit of that goodness which, when taking together, adds up to something incredibly satisfying.
This is because Snowbasin offers a taste of the best skiing in Utah, condensed into 3,000 skiable acres and 3,000 vertical feet.
Love wide open bowls where you can choose your own line? Head to the Strawberry Gondola for a vast variety of intermediate and expert terrain.
Passionate about ski racing? Snowbasin is Utah’s Olympic mountain, home of the 2002 men’s and women’s downhill, super G and Alpine Combined races. Ski the courses and taste alpine glory.
Looking for family-friendly terrain where you kids will feel both at home and adventurous? Snowbasin is one of the best ski resorts in Utah for families, with designated slow-skiing terrain at the heart of the mountain, including Bear Hollow Woods with family-oriented glade skiing.
Want to stand at the top of the world and then test your mettle traversing to steep chutes? Snowbasin has those, too, notably from the flank and top of 9,370’ Demoisy Peak.
Can’t get enough powder skiing? Each year, Snowbasin receives an average of 300” of Utah’s trademark “greatest snow on earth.”
With so much diverse terrain, and a wide array of noteworthy experiences, Snowbasin is a “choose your own adventure” wonderland.
A Local Gem Turned Olympic Mountain
For 79 years, Snowbasin has hosted Utah families and skiers and snowboarders from around the world. Originally a winter playground for residents of nearby Ogden and Salt Lake City, the first rope tow was installed in 1939, followed by the ski area’s official opening in 1940.
In 1984, Snowbasin was purchased by the Holding family, who also own and operate Sun Valley, Idaho.
1995 brought word that Salt Lake City would host the 2002 Winter Olympic games, with Snowbasin hosting the marquee Alpine skiing events.
Today, visitors can learn about the resort’s Olympic legacy skiing while riding the Strawberry and Needles gondolas. The Needles cabins highlight individual Olympic and World Cup racing champions, while the Strawberry cabins feature the flags of countries that participate in Winter Olympics.
Advanced and expert skiers can ski the Grizzly Men’s Downhill and the women’s Wildflower Downhill top-to-bottom off of the Allen Peak Tram. It’s a thrill to experience the combination of breathtaking steeps, double fall lines, and terrain transitions on both of these runs.
Pro Tip: If the downhill courses aren’t your thing, but you still want to try ski racing, Snowbasin’s dual NASTAR course is open to skiers of all levels on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
How to Ski Snowbasin
The terrain at Snowbasin is approximately 20% beginner, 50% intermediate and 30% advanced/expert. Snowbasin has 11 lifts, but the majority of the mountain can be explored by using two gondolas and two high-speed chairlifts.
The exception to this is for beginner skiers, who will want to start on Littlecat Express and progress to the Becker triple chair.
Intermediates and above start on Needles Gondola, exploring a variety of blue runs at the heart of the mountain. From Needles Lodge, families can access several slow/family ski zones, including Bear Hollow Woods. Return to the gondola or ride Wildcat Express to enjoy mellow open terrain in Wildcat Bowl. There is plenty to keep you busy all day.
To access Snowbasin’s most unique terrain, take Strawberry Traverse to Strawberry Gondola. While there is groomed terrain here, the real fun comes in choosing line after line across a vast range of ridges and gullies. Strawberry Gondola also accesses Snowbasin’s most extreme terrain directly off of the top or via short traverses into gated Middle Bowl Cirque and Sister’s Bowl.
On the opposite side of the resort, John Paul Express, named for a 10th Mountain Division World War II soldier, offers stunning views and access to the downhill courses. Mt. Ogden Bowl Road, with top-to-bottom snowmaking, offers a cruising intermediate route from the top.
This area of the mountain also offers tree skiing, steep chutes and plenty of exploration on in-bounds hike-to terrain.
Where Utah Learns to Ski
With it’s low-key attitude and big-mountain feel, Snowbasin is a magnet for those who want to learn to ski in a relaxed setting. This is especially true for local beginners who participate in Learn & Earn, Snowbasin’s award-winning learn-to-ski program for kids and adults.
A three-year program, enrollment for the upcoming season begins in March, followed by a summer orientation meeting and season rental equipment fitting session.
During the first year, participants take three full-day lessons and earn a season pass. During year two, participants take three more full-day lessons and earn a season pass, plus they now own the equipment they previously rented.
In the third year, participants receive a premier season pass and a full day private lesson to cement their skills.
Snowbasin is Epic
Compared to many large resorts — and especially when considering Snowbasin’s top-notch infrastructure — Snowbasin is a good value, even if you’re buying a one-day ticket. Purchased more than seven days out, an adult weekend ticket is just $119, while a youth weekend ticket is $59. Advance purchase multi-day tickets will save you even more.
Even better, if you have an Epic Pass, skiing at Snowbasin is included. Add on a day or two during your visit to Park City, or come to Utah just for Snowbasin.
Snowbasin has daytime dining, but does not have on-site lodging. If you’re staying in Park City, Snowbasin is just about 70 minutes away, with Ogden and Salt Lake City being closer.
The nearest lodging is in Huntsville, where you can find condos, small inns, B&Bs, and a boutique hotel just 10 miles away.
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