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First Time trip to Utah!

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Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
326 posts
46 reviews
First Time trip to Utah!

Hello all,

I am so overwhelmed on were to go/stay in Utah. We are a family of 4, 2 adults, 2 teenagers (16 and 17 year old) and are planing a ski trip over presidents day! We are are all Intermediate skiers and are looking for a place in Utah sort of like Keystone (We love river river run village). What would be a good resort for us? We usually rent a condo thru VRBO. We have been going to Colorado for the past 5 presidents day and are looking for a change! Any help would be much appreciated! Thanks.

Park City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah, Winter Sports
Level Contributor
15,234 posts
338 reviews
1. Re: First Time trip to Utah!

Park City will offer you quite a different experience than Keystone with an historic village filled with interesting shops and restaurants all just 35-40 minutes from the airport. You can choose to stay in the historic downtown area with easy shuttle bus access to the three resorts (plus chair lift access to Park City Mountain Resort) or stay at one of the resorts and have ski in/out access.

I would suggest for diversity from what you've experienced at Keystone, maybe do look at a VRBO listing downtown. You can be at Deer Valley or Park City in 5-10 minutes by shuttle bus, or a bit further out to Canyons Resort.

Deer Valley will give you an experience somewhat akin to Keystone. Plenty of ski in/out lodging on the mountain if you want to go that route.

You also don't need a car - just take an airport shuttle and then free bus around town.

Have fun.

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah
Level Contributor
3,146 posts
28 reviews
2. Re: First Time trip to Utah!

Park City has three ski areas within seven miles. Park City Mountain Resort is the most centrally located and closest to the historic district on Main Street. In fact, there is a lift that goes from Main Street up to PCMR. PCMR has great intermediate runs, is very comparable in acres and vertical drop with Keystone. PCMR will also have the most half pipes and terrain parks. If you are skiing you may access all three Park City resorts (Deer Valley does not allow snowboarding).

Deer Valley also limits the amount of lift tickets they will sell in a day for shorter lift lines and less congested slopes. They have a reputation for finely manicured or groomed runs and excellent customer service. This area is about 1,000 acres smaller than Keystone or PCMR but has a similar vertical drop. The restaurants here are excellent, as Deer Valley caters to a high end clientele.

The third area is The Canyons Resort which is the largest, by nearly a 1,000 acres. They will also have a terrain park and lots of great tree skiing. The area is very spread out and sometimes you need to travel on cat-tracks to get to the next lift, which shouldn't be a problem if you are skiing. They have North America's only heated chairlift (Orange Bubble).

One note is the elevation is significantly lower in Park City than Keystone by almost 2,000 feet, but the Park City resorts will still average about 130 inches of more snow per year and February should be a great time with a deep base already.

Since the resorts are so close together and you can access all three with the free shuttle system (or take a cab) if it were my trip, I would try to experience all three resorts. Perhaps one day at each. I know some people prefer more convenience and to just stay in one place, but the resorts are close enough that I would want to see them all. All will have great terrain for your ability level, are large enough, have great food, and your children are old enough to carry their own gear on a bus ride. You have to decide if it's worth the hassle of transportation for a few miles.

For lodging, again if it were me, I would stay at or within walking distance of Main Street. PCMR and The Canyons both have sort of mountain villages with restaurants, ice skating, activities which can be nice too. Deer Valley seems the most exclusive and without a base area, each resort on property being it's own entity.

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah
Level Contributor
3,146 posts
28 reviews
3. Re: First Time trip to Utah!

Here is another good resource for info. They have an event calendar too. Check it out closer to the dates you will arriving and it will have listings of everything happening in town that weekend.


Level Contributor
241 posts
14 reviews
4. Re: First Time trip to Utah!

Having planned trips with a similar family structure the past few years....and being your first year in UT.....my recommendations to you would be:

-Use All Resort shuttle to get you to and from airport...........if you are staying in PC, you do not need to rent a car....the free bus is excellent and will get you to wherever you need to go.......

-Stay at Marriott Summit Watch.......awesome location in downtown PC......walking distance to everything....super nice pool for the kids.......ski in/out to PCMR (town lift)

-Try to ski a day at each resort......PCMR, Deer Valley and Canyons.........each are unique and def. worth visiting.

-Having been to both CO and UT and the many resorts.............with or without the kids..........I think you and your family will absolutely love PC..............it has so much more to offer than skiing a whole vacation at just Keystone.......

You will be back........next trip you have to take them up to Solitude/Brighton.......Snowbird/Alta..........

Charlotte, North...
Level Contributor
25 posts
24 reviews
5. Re: First Time trip to Utah!

If your looking at VRBO still, try Crescent Ridge Condos. Close by resort, quiet, large units. I believe they show up in Old Town section or maybe Thanes Canyon.

6. Re: First Time trip to Utah!

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