With all of the resorts fully open and a weekend full of snow forecast for much of the Wasatch Front, the ski season is seemingly, finally in full force. The skate park near the house has been empty for weeks. The backcountry skiers have already gotten their first taste and then some. We’ve got plans for our first sizable shredding excursion with friends this weekend—yes, it’s going to be crazy busy most places—but then it’s back home for Christmas. Which doesn’t bother me at all. I rather like it that way. The holiday week provides the time for the throngs of visitors to have their fun on the slopes, before heading back out of town. I’d rather find my time on random (most?!?) weekends throughout the winter than have to feel like I’m putting all my eggs in one basket.
But then I feel extraordinarily blessed to live so close to what I consider world-class ski slopes—not to mention terrain parks. It’s all part of the “nifty and zippy” experience, as it were. Locals and out-of-towners alike love how close Salt Lake City is to the ski resorts along the Wasatch Front, but locals find it easier to justify a season pass and to find offline lift ticket deals for that matter. With this in mind, if you’re looking for vacation packages and discount ski trips, here are a few resources we recommend:
- Ski Resort Company Passes: The ski industry has consolidated a lot over the last few years and is now dominated by just a few companies. This change has been felt in Utah as much as anywhere. If you have a full-access Epic Pass as part of your local ski season pass, you’ll be able to visit Park City Mountain Resort with your lift ticket already in hand. The Ikon Pass is even sweeter and can get you access to pretty much all the other major resorts including Deer Valley, Brighton, Solitude, Snowbird, and Alta.
- Discount Lift Tickets: A lot of people don’t have this type of multi-resort access pass. If you don’t know anything else about skiing and snowboarding, know this. You should never pay the window rate, which is by definition inflated for people who are only willing to ski in fresh powder but who are unwilling to pay a season pass. Even if you’re only a week or two away from your trip—in some cases even the day before—there are websites out there who can help you find easy but significant lift ticket deals in Utah.
- Travel and Lodging: There are countless ski resort transportation options based on your budget and appetite for convenience. These need to be chosen in tandem with your preferred lodging option. Would you prefer to pay a premium for on-resort lodging, a smaller premium for lodging in Park City and other mountain towns dotting the landscape around the resorts, or would you prefer to save some money by staying in the Salt Lake Valley and then taking our tour of the four major resorts during a week-long ski trip in which you go up a few different of the Wasatch Valley’s famous canyons and ski areas? Your answer will largely determine what mode of transportation pairs best with your choice of lodging.
Greetings from NZ Terrain Park Guide
It’s not just cheap thrills and visually-striking slopes of downhill skiing. It’s great, too, just to have a terrain where you can play around and experiment, laugh with friends, see what you can do that you’ve never done before, and beat back the freezing temperatures with the easy determination to have fun in the snow. We’re going to try to check in with updates throughout the year and maybe post some photos if we get the chance, though we usually leave our phones back at the lodge. Mostly, I wish we had been able to update this Terrain Park Guide more this off-season. For now, celebrate and rejoice—and make your plans, one way or another, for the 2019 ski and snowboard season.