Utah’s ski areas and their abundance of the “Greatest Snow on Earth,” are legendary amongst powder hounds everywhere. Images of snorkel deep powder taken at Utah’s larger world-class resorts like Deer Valley, Snowbird, Alta and Park City grace the covers and fill the pages of the biggest ski and snowboard magazines across the globe. Chances are if you ask the average skier where to find the best powder in Utah, they tell you to check out the big guns, Alta, Snowbird or Deer Valley. But when the snow flies, the locals know better and head to one of these best kept Utah secrets.
5. Beaver Mt.
Beaver Mt. is a small mom-and-pop ski area located a quick 2 hour’s drive north from Salt Lake City in Logan Canyon. The trail map may not be much to look at, but with only a handful of die-hard locals and a scattering of Utah State college kids skiing the “Beav,” you’ll be hard-pressed to find a lift line at this quaint gem. When it dumps, the trees and steeps have powder all day long compared to Alta, which gets tracked up in just a couple hours by some of the greatest skiers in the world.
Located at the top of Salt Lake City’s Big Cottonwood canyon, Brighton offers a great alternative to the hustle and bustle of Little Cottonwood’s larger resorts. Brighton caters hard to the young park savvy skiers and snowboarders so if sending it on rails and table tops is your thing, they’ve got you covered. The best part is that on powder days, while the kids are working on their corked 720s in the park, you’ll have endless powder stashes to explore in the trees below the Milly Express & Great Western Express chairs. And when other resorts call it a day at 4pm, at Brighton you can keep shredding under the lights until 9.
3. Powder Mt.
Pow-Mow (as it’s known to locals) is an intermediate powder skiers dream come true, featuring mellow blue powder bowls that seem to go on for miles. Situated near Eden, Utah, the 1.5 hour drive from Salt Lake City is just long enough to keep the riffraff away. On deep days, Powder lives up to its name, dishing up some of the longest sustained runs and most open terrain in all of Utah. And if the resort’s not your thing, you can hook up an $18 cat ride to the untracked goods on Lightning Ridge and Raintree.
Solitude is just below Brighton in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Solitude is skiing the way it was 30 years ago. Slow lifts, long traverses, deep pow, and best of all, no crowds! Solitude’s long traverses mean that it takes a little extra effort to get around, but the payoff in faceshots is well worth it. A tree skiing, explorer’s dream, Solitude’s nooks and crannies offer up freshies for days on end after the storm has moved on and the Utah sun comes out.
Not only is Snowbasin one of the best kept secrets in all of Utah, it may very well be the best kept powder skiing secret in all the US. Host to the 2002 Olympic downhill races, and an annual Dew Tour stop, unlike some of the smaller mom-and-pop resorts on this list, Snowbasin also has world class amenities to compliment the already world-class powder skiing. The Basin has it all from long winding groomed runs, to steep, gnarly chutes that will challenge any level skier or snowboarder. With Snowbasin’s breathtaking 360 degree view, some of the nicest lifts / facilities around, and the most expansive varied terrain in Utah, you’d better go check it out before Snowbasin becomes the biggest destination in Utah.
Greg Buskin pays the bills as a writer for CableTV.com an XFINITY Utah Dealer. Somehow, he still manages to ski 100 days a year at Snowbird where he rarely misses a powder day.