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“This is not a serious ski resort”
Review of Brian Head Resort

Brian Head Resort
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Winter and summer resort offering downhill and cross-country skiing and snowmobiling in the winter, and mountain biking, hiking, and ATV riding during the summer months.
Temecula, California
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“This is not a serious ski resort”
Reviewed January 10, 2013

This is not a serious ski resort. Anyone who is above beginner should not come here.

The terrain is very, very easy. The "black" runs listed on their trail map are short pitches of moguls at moderate steepness connected by long boring flats. A good skier will get bored after 1 day here. I would rate 95% of the terrain across the two peaks that comprise the resort as beginner or intermediate.

The main problem, however, is how the resort is managed.

I was there on Sunday, January 6th 2013. It was our third day here. The morning started windy - not crazy windy, just regular, mountains-in-the-winter windy. Conditions I have skied in many times before.

But the management at Brian Head closes their lifts with almost any wind. I was skiing a lift half of the morning and the wind was dying down when they decided to close it, along with all the lifts that access the upper mountain (the only part worth skiing).

OK, so they are very (unreasonably) conservative about closing lifts. Maybe they are very risk averse, or maybe their old, slow lifts are poorly maintained and can't handle the wind stress. BUT I HAVE NEVER SEEN A SKI RESORT SHUT DOWN ALMOST ENTIRELY IN SUCH MILD CONDITIONS!!! Brian Head's wind policy is bizarre and unlike any other ski resort I have ever visited.

But worse, when the wind had COMPLETELY died down and the sun shone beautifully by about 1pm, when conditions were PERFECT and a nice afternoon of skiing beckoned, did the management of Brian Head re-open the lifts? NO!

Why? As one of their staff explained to me, "We couldn't reopen if we wanted to. We don't have the staff." How so? "Can't afford lift operators if the lifts aren't open."

So, instead of re-opening the lifts when conditions improved, AS EVERY OTHER SKI RESORT ON THE PLANET WOULD DO, they closed the lifts for the day and sent their lift operators home to save money. Disgraceful.

This is simply operating in bad faith. I have never seen a ski resort with this policy. No one should drive more than an hour or commit any scarce vacation time to an operation that has such total contempt for its customers.

More evidence of incompetent management:
- Lift operator was supposed to be managing the crowd at the one lift still open (the bunny lift, lift #3). Instead he was sitting down getting a neck rub from another employee. Line was in chaos. So, employees are not supervised.
- My wife, who doesn't ski, tried to buy at ticket to the tubing park Brian Head operates. Website says they are open until 4pm. REFUSED to sell my wife a ticket at 2:30, saying they were closing. Hey, why honor your operating hours when work is ever so boring and us employees would rather go home?
- on Saturday, 1/5/13, lifts were supposed to operate until 4:30. We were turned away at 4:15 from boarding lift #2. Hey, who do I think I am, trying to ski the whole day? Just 'cause the ticket you sold me says you're open until 4:30 on it?? Again, pattern of inmates running the asylum.

Other observations:
- lodge facilities circa 1970. Atmosphere of a high school cafeteria. Really awful food, again circa 1970: bad chili, greasy fries and burgers, hot dogs. Gross bathrooms.
- absolutely no night life in Brian Head.
- nowhere decent to eat. Local pizza parlor was disgusting.
- snowboarding customers of hill observe no etiquette at all. Saw lots of out of control boarding, near collisions. Watched one out-of-control boarder plow into one of the "Slow" signs posted on the hill protecting a lift. Groups of boarders congregating in the middle of runs all over the hill. Ski patrol nowhere to be seen.

- good dry snow.
- low key atmosphere.
- pretty uncrowded.
- my wife enjoyed her snow-mobile outing from a local outfitter

This is a very, very, very bad destination resort. I had hoped to find an alternative to Mammoth, but it is absolutely not worth the 8 hour drive from So Cal. And it is the most unprofessionally and dishonestly managed resort I have ever visited. The facilities are simply operated at their convenience, without the customer in mind.

Perhaps it is worth noting I have skied over forty years and probably 40 locations in Europe, Canada and extensively in the US. This is the worst operation I have ever had the misfortune to experience.

They should go out of business or sell to someone who has the experience and capital to operate it properly.


Visited January 2013
17 Thank Screenname4000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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224 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Level 6 Contributor
162 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Great for families but rental service was awful”
Reviewed January 10, 2013

Great place, but beware the inept rental employees. At Navajo, one church group waited 3 hours, even though they'd prearranged their rentals. After paying and waiting, they and our family were sent from Navajo to Giant Steps where the line was shorter to rent. However, when the equipment was returned to Navajo they were rudely told to take it to the other lodge. It made no sense. Everyone just left their stuff at Navajo and told them to figure it out with the other rental place.

Visited January 2013
1 Thank Knansea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Clemente, California
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
“Brian Head Ski Trip”
Reviewed January 8, 2013

If you like the mountain to yourself this is a good place. I skied with my three girls and wife overall they really liked the mountain. Very good value. People were very helpful. We went right after New Years and we were able to rent skis easily. Kids took private snow board lessons very good value for what they got. In my opinion if you are looking for big step long runs this isn't the place to go. If you want to get a lot of runs in or enjoy your family time this is it. Very high altitude so it will get cold.

Visited January 2013
Thank James C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Very small mountain”
Reviewed January 7, 2013

I have skied many places in Colorado and New Mexico. After going to Winter Park, Brian Head seems like an ant hill. Our first day we got there around 10 and waited in line for 30 min to get tickets. We stood in line for about 15 min for ski rentals when we were told we had to pay first upstairs. I go upstairs and they tell me to go downstairs. Finally I'm told they are out of skis and I have to take a shuttle to Gorges ski rental at Giant Steps. However they do not have lockers so we had to go back to Navajo to get lockers. We didn't get on the slopes until 1:30.

The Navajo lift look almost 20-25 minutes getting to the top (it stops about 15-20 times) due to the fact that everyone kept falling when getting off the chair lift.
After the long ride up the mountain it only takes about 2min to ski down. Then you are back in line and waiting again. Also, too many kids are in the way and not paying attention where they are going.

Words of advice KEEP EYE ON WEBSITE FOR ROAD CONDITIONS! We went during end of December with horrible weather. We had to buy cables for the car. Many people had chains, but the cables were only $40 and not heavy. They worked just fine. Everyone was stopped at the bottom of the mountain and forced to put on chains. We were just going to tough it out, but glad they made us use them. There is a very steep "S" shaped curvy part that we definitely needed help with. Wouldn't have made it up there without the cables we bought.

Visited December 2012
4 Thank DNTorres
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Nice place, cold though”
Reviewed January 5, 2013

Brian Head is a very nice place, I've been here a few times, but wow does it get cold, even when the sun is out, it can be below zero, definitely a nice family place.

Visited December 2012
Thank Lilphantom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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