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Four days, three resorts...is it possible?

Los Angeles...
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Four days, three resorts...is it possible?

Hi everyone -

Making my first trip to Park City with a couple friends for Presidents Day week. We've got four ski days and want to get the most out of them -- we're wondering if it makes sense to try to ski all three Park City resorts (Canyons, Deer Valley and PC Mtn.) or if we'd have a better experience focussing on just one or two resorts and really getting to know it.

We're all intermediate skiiers, and we definitely want to check out Deer Valley at least one day since it really sounds like something special. Any suggestions for how best to spend 4 days? Any major differences or preferences among these three resorts? Are we cheating ourselves if we spend only an afternoon at one place? Reading these boards, The Canyons seems to be recommended less often than the others, but any other tips would be great. Thanks in advance!


Salt Lake City, Utah
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1. Re: Four days, three resorts...is it possible?

My opinion - Ski Deer Valley first, then decide. I've never been to the canyons, and didn't really like PCMR. If you want to try a different resort, think about hitting one of the other resorts in the SLC area, like Alta or Snowbird up little cottonwood, Brighton or Solitude up big cottonwood. Many people come in for a week and ski a different place everyday. You can't really get to know a resort in one afternoon, so hit 1 or 2 different places during your trip and feel like you at least have a good sense of what they have to offer. Then save some of the others for the next time. There will be a next time. You'll want to come back.

One thing to think about is that weekend will be pretty busy at all the resorts but DV will be the less crowded (They limit the skiers). And if the weather is stormy (new snow) stick with the PC area resorts, You could waste valuable time waiting to get up the canyon to Alta or Snowbird. Hope this helps.

Park City, UT
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2. Re: Four days, three resorts...is it possible?

With four days, I would ski each of the three and spend one day at Alta and/or Snowbird. Or each one and then return to your favorite. I think most people can get a pretty good read on an area in one day by careful planning.

If you're sure you want to try Deer Valley (good choice) go there first. You might even go there with the QuickStart program -- register first at parkcityinfo.com and take your boarding pass to the area for a free ticket on your arrival day.

Beyond that, you don't really have to plan before getting here. The areas are 5 or 10 minutes apart. Each area here has its proponents and detractors. I know PCMR and DV better, so I tend to go to them.

BTW, I noticed an ad for Park City Transportation that includes free taxi service in Park City if you book them for r/t airport transportation. Sound interesting. Check at www.parkcitytransportation.com.

Los Angeles...
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3. Re: Four days, three resorts...is it possible?

Thanks for the tips - much appreciated. Any other suggestions also welcome!


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290 posts
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4. Re: Four days, three resorts...is it possible?

So here is the long and short of it.

Yes, you can totally hit all three resorts in the time you will be here, if you are accustomed to the altitude. If not you may find yourself moving a little slower than you usually do on your first day. You might want to try the resort that you most want to visit on your first day and then you can return later in your trip if you are not able to get enough in on that first day.

The only reason the Canyons gets reviewed less is that it is a new resort and more of a locals place - its nice but you won't see any celebs. Whereas PC Resort is right in town and more of the Yuppie Hotel that people go to for the ambiance just as much as the Powder. Deer Valley and the Canyons are very similar terrain with similar architecture and resort amenities. It is really a toss up but due to the higher prices and the hill limits you will probably deal with fewer crowds at Deer Valley.

As a local I will tell you that the resort that you do not want to miss is Snowbird/Alta (actually two adjoining resorts which allow skiers to use their passes on both sets of lifts. Contact Snowbird to find out how it works.) These resorts are in a different Canyon, Park CIty is up Emmigration Canyon and Snowbird and Alta are up Little Cottonwood (much prettier drive up a quaint little Canyon). These two resorts are on the lake side of the Salt Lake valley and get the infamous Great Salt Lake snow. Tiny particles of salt are absorbed into the atmosphere from the great salt lake and deposited on these resorts slightly altering the freezing point of the snow and creating softer flufflier powder.

It will take you about an hour drive each way from Park City but 30 minutes from Salt Lake (Snowbird is a worldclass resort so you could spend the night.) The view from the top of the tram will take your breath away.

Good luck, I'm sure you'll enjoy your stay either way.

salt lake city
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for Salt Lake City
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5. Re: Four days, three resorts...is it possible?

Here's my two cents...

stick to Deer Valley for your stay here. Reasons: 1. You can ski free the first day you land by showing your boarding pass. 2. There will be horrible 30 minute lines everywhere else that weekend and Deer Valley has crowd control by limiting ticket sales. 3. it is more expensive so less people go 4. It's wonderful and big so an intermediate would never get bored with it in a few days. Even experts don't. 5. you will feel like an expert on your last day because you will know your way around. that is always comforting 6. they have the best seafood and salad bar for lunch in the state 7. i think you can get a discount pass there for skiing 3 days in a row.....buy early though because it will sell out. 7. They will shuttle you to and from the parking lot 8. There is a valet if you want someone to care for your skis while you have lunch 9. the runs are all meticulously groomed for the intermediate skiers pleasure

Let me know if you need more reasons.

Not native Utahn
10 posts
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6. Re: Four days, three resorts...is it possible?

I like DV. Very nice resort - long runs and lots of em. You definitely won't get familiar with it in one day.

I also like PCMR, but it will probably be a little too crowded that weekend.

I have a pass to Alta which is a nice skiier's resort. Less expensive - great snow. Will also get crowded, but not AS bad as PCMR.

And by the way, Park City is NOT in Emigration Canyon - it's Lambs Canyon. If you go up Emigration, good luck finding a ski resort because it's all residential.

Finally, I don't like the Canyons because it may be vast with a lot of terrain, but they seem to have a ton of cat tracks where your busting your butt to just get to the lift.

Salt Lake City
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7. Re: Four days, three resorts...is it possible?

Couple of corrections to make...

Park City is in neither Emigration nor Lamb's Canyon. Park City is up Parley's Canyon. You will pass the Lamb's Canyon exit on one side of the highway and the Emigration/East Canyon exit on the other side of the highway. Don't take either exit. The East Canyon/Emigration Canyon road is not plowed in winter and Lamb's Canyon is a narrow one lane road that is also not plowed. Just stick to i-80 Eastbound out of Salt Lake City and you can't miss Park City.

I drive Salt Lake City to Park City every day. You want the Kimball Junction exit into/out of Park City. It's about 25 min. from the Kimball Jct. exit to Salt Lake City limits. Tack on another 10 min. to downtown Salt Lake City, except during rush hour when Lord only knows how long it will take you to get from the mouth of Parley's Canyon to downtown Salt Lake - easily 20 more minutes. Avoid rush hour (4:30 - 6:00). When the lifts close, take it easy, have dinner in Park City, and then drive down to Salt Lake when the traffic eases up.

8. Re: Four days, three resorts...is it possible?

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