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Comparing Three Utah Ski Mountains: Deer Valley, Park City, and Snowbasin

Comparing Three Utah Ski Mountains: Deer Valley, Park City, and Snowbasin

So we just got back from our family ski trip to Utah and IT. WAS. AWESOME! It hasn't snowed much this year (all of the mountain resorts are feeling it) but they did get a couple feet on our way up there and even more while we were there, which we were STOKED about. Heeellloooo powder (and major leg burn)! 

We stayed in an Airbnb in Heber City (but like North Heber City just outside of Park City). We preferred this location over downtown because we were still close enough to downtown and multiple ski resorts, but had a serene lake view from our balcony and hot tub. It also was a large enough house to fit nine adults at an affordable price. It's hard to find a place in any mountain town that has actual beds, not just three pull-out couches and some bunk beds in a room. 

While we were there, we got to shred three different mountains: Deer Valley, Park City, and Snowbasin. Here is our breakdown of the three different resorts, with an overall score, pros, and cons.

Deer Valley - 5/10

Two women skiing at Deer Valley Resort, Utah. They are on the side of the mountain smiling at the camera.

Pros: There is something for everyone! It felt like each chairlift had a hard, intermediate, and beginner way down which was perfect for our group of varying abilities. There's so much to explore, with a lot of fun runs through trees and/or with insane views. Accommodations (bathrooms, restaurants, etc.) are all kept super clean and fully stocked.

Cons: It's expensive (more than $210/day WITH an Ikon buddy pass discount; $270 without a discount). This mountain is for skiers only. I guess this could be a pro for some people, but as a preferred snowboarder, this is definitely a con. The employees are extremely rude. This honestly is the biggest reason this mountain isn't getting a higher score. On multiple occasions, we were made to feel incompetent and unwanted (interestingly enough, none of the parents had this experience...).* We were also surprised by the amount of "slow" signs and enforced "traffic control" on the mountain. At certain points, they even set up fences to funnel all skiers through a 5-foot wide opening... like mid-mountain, not at the base or near a ski lift? Weird.

*Our parents had a BLAST at Deer Valley and would rate it 9/10. They did not have the same experience with the employees as the "kids" did. 

 

Park City - 8/10

Group of four people standing on the top of a mountain at Park City, Utah. It is dumping snow.

Pros: The mountain is big. We were here for two days and barely covered half the mountain. There's also something for everyone here. Snowboarders are welcome so major bonus points from me. Cheaper than Deer Valley (about $250/two days if you buy the pass ahead of time). Once again, accommodations (bathrooms, restaurants, etc.) are all kept super clean and fully stocked. Free, front-row parking for carpool vehicles; you just gotta make a reservation ahead of time. 

Cons: Definitely the busiest mountain we were on. Also, if you're traveling with beginners, there's not as many "green" runs outside of the main lodge areas so be mindful of that. Some operations were delayed or just didn't make sense... like they had lifts on "wind hold" but the winds were only blowing at like 15 mph. Obviously I don't work on a mountain so I'm sure there's more to it, but it didn't always make sense to us. 

 

Snowbasin - 9/10

Two women on the side of a mountain at Snowbasin Resort, Utah. 

Pros: Snowbasin is a VIBE. From the minute we drove up, we knew we found our favorite mountain of the trip. Every single employee was so friendly and welcoming. They were blasting rock music at the main lodge and all of the chair lifts. Think après vibes. The lodge is honestly impressive––the massive wood beams, chandeliers, and ornate details are a surprise. THE BATHROOM IS INCREDIBLE. Literally posting a separate picture of that because it's unbelievable that this is at a ski resort. And this was the cheapest ticket at just about $107/day. They also offer free, front-row parking for carpool vehicles. 

Womens restroom at Snowbasin Resort, UtahMain lodge at Snowbasin Resort, Utah

Cons: There is hardly any green runs––almost the entire mountain is intermediate/advanced. This is nit-picking but they didn't groom any of the runs after the snow storm, so it was chopped powder which KILLED our legs after a couple runs and just isn't that fun.

Overall, we had a blast and loved every minute of the trip. We will definitely be heading back to Utah for another week of fun in the snow. Have you been to any of these resorts? Tell us what you agree/disagree with!

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