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Utah snowboarding 2014

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posts: 9
Utah snowboarding 2014

We are coming over from Sydney either jan or feb, park city. Can anyone give advise on best times to come to avoid local holidays and get great snow??

Also accommodation options that are reasonably priced.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers.....

10 replies to this topic
Utah
posts: 80
reviews: 7
1. Re: Utah snowboarding 2014

If you are flexible in your dates, mid Feb gives the best chance at great snowboarding conditions. Park City resorts are at lower elevations than some other well known destinations. If UT has a bad snow year like last year, there won't be a ton of natural snow until after the Jan storms. Don't get me wrong, there will be snow either way. Even if there is low snowfall, the resorts in Park City make a lot of snow with machines. But if you are coming all the way from Sydney, I'm guessing that you are wanting more of the Utah "greatest snow on earth" experience. That experience is a combination of a solid deep snowpack underneath many layers of progressively lighter and drier powder, but the powder can't be too light. It still needs enough "body" to support the weight of the rider, otherwise the board cuts all the way down to the icy pack underneath, or you find yourself so deep in it that you have to struggle to stay on top. Good snow (which UT claims to have the best of) is not so wet that it gets sloppy and crusty, but not so dry that you have to fight to stay on top of it when the powder gets DEEP. It should have a sort of "bottomless" feel that you can just float on top of with minimal effort.

If you come in early Jan, you risk conditions that have a lot of icy spots from man-made snow that is very poor quality compared to natural powder, and if Dec. isn't particularly good, you end up with some thin layers of powder on top of a crusty mess underneath. Not what you would travel around the world to ride on. Late Jan is starting to get really good, but if you are trying to avoid holidays, you absolutely don't want to be in Park City during Sundance Film Festival. From the week before Christmas to the end of Jan is the busiest time of year for Park City.

Feb is my absolute favorite ski month though. By then, there is a very deep solid snowpack which prevents you from bogging down and having to work much harder, but there are about 11 precipitation days in a typical February, so mother nature is laying down fresh powder every 2-3 days. Also, temps in mid Feb are getting warmer and there is much more sun than Dec-Jan, but not enough to cause sloppy snow.

Re: accommodations, there are less expensive places in PC for sure, but remember that it is high season for them. If you don't feel the need to stay directly in Park City, consider staying in SLC and just renting a car or catching the shuttle to whatever resort you want each day. More bang for your buck that way. You would also have the option of going to some of the other SLC resorts. When I snowboard, I particularly like Snowbird and Brighton. But they aren't nearly as large as Canyons in Park City.

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah
posts: 1,013
reviews: 18
2. Re: Utah snowboarding 2014

U.S. holidays are Martin Luther King Day in January and Presidents Day in February. Check listings for the specific dates. It's usually the third Monday of the month and both weekends are extremely busy for the ski industry. You might also want to avoid going while the Sundance Film Festival is taking over town. Counterintuitively, the ski resorts are empty during Sundance, but lodging, dining, and transportation may be more expensive and with longer waits. There are a lot of people in town, especially the first weekend of the festival. If you bought your own food or dined at the ski areas, it would actually be a great time to be at the resorts, because other out of town skiers and snowboarders are avoiding the area and the Sundance crowd is in Park City for film not good snow.

It's difficult to predict when the best time for snow will be. But generally, later in the year will have a deeper base, so any accumulation will just be for playing and not covering rocks and bushes, etc. I love February or early March as there is typically a solid base. Hopefully you arrive when a few good snowstorms hit and you can experience the famous Utah powder. But sometimes in the winter, it won't snow for two weeks straight. All of the PC resorts have excellent grooming standards and Park City Mountain Resort and The Canyons have some of the best terrain parks in North America. Both are huge resorts as well.

If you're skiing exclusively in Park City, I would lodge in Park City. There is free public transportation that goes to every ski resort as well as historic Main Street. You don't need to rent a car if you're in Park City. If you decide you want to check out some other resorts in the area like Alta or Snowbird, you may want to consider that option. There is no public transportation from Salt Lake to Park City, though there are plenty of shuttle services that will charge you a pretty penny.

Edited: 3:08 pm, June 26, 2013
Charlotte, North...
posts: 25
reviews: 15
3. Re: Utah snowboarding 2014

All good advice on previous two posts on when to visit. As for lodging, Park City Mountain Resort website has great lodging options of all types. There are many photos & the staff is very helpful with all kinds of questions. We even arranged for grocery delivery on one of our trips. You can buy lift tickets, rental equipment, etc on their website.

posts: 9
4. Re: Utah snowboarding 2014

Really appreciate your advice. It looks like we're thinking more about park city. Whistler was another option, but unsure. Flights are tending to be cheaper in feb, which works well with the snow for Utah.

Thanks so much

Utah
posts: 80
reviews: 7
5. Re: Utah snowboarding 2014

Well, Whistler certainly has a couple things going for it. Whistler is HUGE! Utahns make a good point that if you combine Canyons and PCMR (which is easily done given the proximity of the two resorts) then you get just as much skiiable acreage. That is true, but neglects one important point, Whistler has an impressive vertical drop, which means MUCH longer runs. There is also incredibly varied terrain at Whistler, and much to offer the true expert. Whistler also has many more restaurants and bars. If you are into the drinking and drug scene, then there is no comparison there between Whistler and PC.

Now the bad... The elevation it HORRIBLE! Anyone raving about the "powder" there obviously hasn't been to Utah mid winter. Any reviews you'll read that consider the snow better in Whistler are typically written around Christmas, because like we said before, snow in PC isn't good until Jan. It just isn't possible for Whistler to get the quality snow that Utah gets. Their summit elevation is the same as our base elevation, and their base elevation is practically sea level. Add to that, it is a coastal location which means it is humid. Year round they get snow at the peak and rain at the base. So the typical conditions in mid winter there are what we Utahns refer to as "spring crud". The other problem with Whistler is that it is even further north than Utah, which already has annoyingly short hours. The best snow is at the top of the mountain, which closes much too early because it gets dark. And riding in the flat twilight period isn't fun anyway as you can't really see what's in front of you.

Keep in mind that as far as Park City is concerned, PCMR is better for snowboarders than Canyons. Deer Valley is skiiers only. You'd probably still enjoy Canyons, but the flats will be annoying and there are fewer of them at PCMR. Neither are considered the best resorts in the area for boarders. Snowbird and Brighton win for boarders, but even though they are actually very close to PC, you have to drive around to SLC to access them.

Edited: 12:47 pm, June 27, 2013
Sydney, Australia
posts: 3
6. Re: Utah snowboarding 2014

Hi, we are an Australian family with 3 boys 6,8 and 10 who want to have a relaxing family holiday with a great ski school. Which would you suggest between park city and DV? Any tips on anything? We're all intermediate skiers with our youngest being a more experienced beginner! We will be confined to early January (our school holidays.) the other place that has been suggested to us is Copper Mountain.

We also don't want to pay a huge amount on top of air fares but want to ensure some atmosphere, uncrowded ski school and a relaxing convenient location especially with young children.

Thanks for any advice!

Sydney, Australia
posts: 3
7. Re: Utah snowboarding 2014

Hi, we are an Australian family with 3 boys 6,8 and 10 who want to have a relaxing family holiday with a great ski school. Which would you suggest between park city and DV? Any tips on anything? We're all intermediate skiers with our youngest being a more experienced beginner! We will be confined to early January (our school holidays.) the other place that has been suggested to us is Copper Mountain.

We also don't want to pay a huge amount on top of air fares but want to ensure some atmosphere, uncrowded ski school and a relaxing convenient location especially with young children.

Thanks for any advice!

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah
posts: 1,013
reviews: 18
8. Re: Utah snowboarding 2014

Hi Skye B. You may want to start your own thread so that people can answer your specific questions. Park City and Deer Valley are separated by less than three miles. Both have top of the line ski schools. Park City is the larger of the two and Deer Valley doesn't allow snowboarding. Both should have fantastic terrain for all of your ability levels. Park City is also only a 45 minute drive from Salt Lake International Airport. The town will have many options for accommodations and restaurants and there is a free shuttle bus that goes from the historic district to both resorts. You could easily ski both areas in the same weekend.

San Antonio, Texas
Destination Expert
for San Antonio
posts: 1,774
reviews: 16
9. Re: Utah snowboarding 2014

DV has a better ski school for children, & not packed. Better snow making, food, etc

Park City, Utah
posts: 90
reviews: 1
10. Re: Utah snowboarding 2014

Actually, there is public transportation from Salt Lake City to Park City, but it isn't very convenient. During the Summer it makes only two trips a day - early in the morning and around 6pm.

If you are motivated to find good snow you should view the Park City, and more importantly Utah, as one region. We have mountains to the north (Snowbasin and Powder Mountain) that will sometimes receive storms that don't quite reach Park City. Also, the ski areas in Little and Big Cottonwood Canyon will often have twice as much snow as any other resorts.

If you stay in Park City, you are less than an hour drive from 10 wonderful ski areas (Sundance, Deer Valley, Canyons, PCMR, Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, Solitude, Powder Mountain, Snowbasin). While everyone has their opinion on which is best, all of them offer quality skiing.

If you have a rental car you are free to chase any snowfall at any of these mountains. All of the major rental agencies are in Salt Lake City if you want a car during your entire trip, or you can rent a car for just a day from the local Park City four wheel drive rental company, whichever suits your best.

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