Utah claims to have “the greatest snow on earth” – a pretty tall order considering some of its North American neighbours. But the state’s poster boy resort of Park City lives up to the hype, with enough monster dumps of whisper-light powder to make it onto the bucket list of any respectable powder hound.
Just 45 minutes from Salt Lake City, its three main areas of Park City Mountain, Deer Valley and The Canyons are packed with powder-filled bowls, tons of tree skiing and some high-end steep and deeps. It’s a great base ski area with some pretty challenging runs, and a few really scenic top-to-bottom trails for the nervier skiers. But if you’re really looking to play with the big boys, hop on the bus to the powder capitals of Alta, Snowbird, Solitude and Brighton. Alta alone gets a massive 13 metres of snow each year and its link to Snowbird makes it one of the biggest ski areas in the US. And the Park City area is only getting bigger, with a new gondola planned for 2016 that’ll link The Canyons to Park City Mountain, and add The Canyons to the EPIC Pass from next season – expanding what’s already a beast of a season pass. With early bird deals on this and the Ski Salt Lake City super pass, you never have to pay full price if you plan smart.
But it’s not just the powder that makes Park City. The town itself is packed with all the charm of an Old West mining town. The Main Street’s still lined with wooden porches and colourful clapboard shopfronts, and the free silver mining slope tours give a great flavour of the town’s past life. There’s tons going on, with classic laid-back après at No Name Saloon and the ski-in High West Distillery, and sunrise hot air balloon rides for the romantics. Couple that with snowmobiles, sleigh rides and snowtubing, and your day’s itinerary is sorted. That’s if you can tear yourself off the mountain.