I have a skibug with an itch to check out different resorts and snowpacks. Learning to ski in my late 20’s, I have a lot of catching up to do. Fortunately, I was able to extend a work trip to add a couple of ski days out of state.
Deer Valley, a skier only resort, recently purchased another Utah-local mountain called Solitude. Even though they are both a short drive from Salt Lake City, they are separated by a mountain pass which is closed in the winter providing a variety of terrain for all levels of riders.
With a short and relatively inexpensive flight from Seattle, my husband flew out to join me for two days. We opted for an AirBnB in Holladay to be central to the Cottonwood Canyon and the Park City ski resorts. I wish I could have stayed in the Park City area with its quaint, small ski town feel, maybe next time.
As much as I like to travel to ski, there’s always a learning curve when navigating a new mountain. If you’re like me, I like to hit some tree runs, bowls, and harder terrain than just the groomers. I use groomers to get my ski legs under me for the first few runs or at the end of the day when my legs can’t absorb any more steep moguls.
Deer Valley Resort, Park City, Utah
After a slow start of renting ski boots and adjusting my own bindings in the shop, we were out the door and ready to ski. Starting at the base and exploring a few groomed runs helped me get familiar with the conditions. We searched the map to see if we could find something else but fell short with some of the difficult runs being closed for snow making, bummer.
As the visibility dwindled, I ducked into the aspen trees standing between the groomers. Wow, the trees were nice as most stay on the groomers. The marked black diamond runs with bumps were rough. I never thought I would be thankful for snowboarders scraping the tops of the mogul runs and filling in the divots. My legs burned and were in need for a break.
Deer Valley is a large resort with lodges scattered throughout the property. It took us some time to go back to the base area, where I swapped my boots for better fitting ones and had a quick lunch. The next objective was to get high on the mountain to find some chutes or long tree runs.
We did a couple of laps through the long tree runs before heading to hike to the Ontario Bowl we were scoping out on the trail maps. If only we found the stash of powder sooner, I would have hiked to it all day if I knew it was there, again the problem with not having locals to show you around the mountain right off the bat. There’s something about exploring new places that teaches lessons in the outdoors, and I was overall happy with the day.
Unfortunately, we missed out on the gondola ride from Park City to Deer Valley. If we had stayed in Park City, this option would have been more appealing. However, renting gear and picking up tickets at the resort was straightforward for a ski traveler.
Deer Valley Summary
Deer Valley is a great resort for people sticking on groomed green and blue runs with a lot of terrain to keep you busy for days. The limited number of passes and higher ticket price ($120 for adult) is a nice concept as lift lines are short.
Check out what I skied at Deer Valley on Trace Snow.
Solitude Mountain Resort, Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah
Winding through the Big Cottonwood Canyon, the excitement grew as the craggy mountains broke through the low hanging fog. We passed the first parking lot and lodge and went to the more established base. Again, I rented ski boots and had my bindings tested for liability purposes. The lines were short as we had a better start than the prior day.
It was fun riding the fresh corduroy runs before the lines disappeared as riders shredded down the mountain. Bluebird skies started the morning in an optimistic tone. Riding up the chairlifts to get to the high points. We found a traverse to take us a long ride down the mountain. The only downfall was getting back to the top, which took traversing back across the resort.
We grabbed some nachos to refuel. Breaking through my hesitation of staying on the safe routes, we found pure solitude exploring tree runs until reaching the border of the resort–the other side belongs to Brighton Resort.
Solitude Mountain Summary
Solitude is a great mountain for all levels. Its two bases have different vibes with one being simple and rustic and the other a small village with accommodations and restaurants. The tickets are more affordable with discount options–a full day adult pass is $79.
Check out what I skied at Solitude Mountain on Trace Snow.
Both the resorts had their perks, and I hope to make it back to Utah to explore more of Park City and the Cottonwood Canyons resorts. Even though new snow wasn’t in our forecast, the snow way light and lived up to my expectations.
Disclosure: This is a “sponsored post.” The resorts provided a discount in exchange for writing a review. All opinions and observations are 100% my own.