How to Choose the Best Ski Resorts in Utah

By Sam Feeder , last updated December 23, 2011

It's tough to narrow down the best ski resorts in Utah out of the 14 major ski resorts in the northern part of state because Utah has some of the best skiing in the world. This is primarily due to the massive amount of snow that it receives for at least half of the year, dubbing Utah's skiing industry with the catchy tagline of "the greatest snow on Earth." However, if you have to narrow down the very best ski resorts in the state, the list below should help you to make this tough winter vacation decision.

Deer Valley

A luxury resort sprawled over 6 mountains just south of Park City, Deer Valley is regularly ranked as the top ski resort in the country by the critics and experts who do nothing but follow skiing and the winter sports travel industry. The 5 star hotels with a vast array of luxury services, a limit on the number of lift tickets they will distribute at a time to keep the mountains from overcrowding and a ban on snowboarding has made Deer Valley a delight to skiers who miss the posh world of upper class skiing in the mid-20th Century. There are over 100 groomed runs spread over 2,000 acres and 22 chair lifts, famous for how well they are kept. However, even with a number of different hotels to choose from, Deer Valley is not for those looking to have a cheap and cheerful skiing vacation in Utah.

Alta Resort

The Utah ski resort that gets the best snowfall on average of all the snow-heavy resorts in the state is Alta Resort, the classic no-nonsense resort option. There are over 500 inches of snowfall here on average, and that number often tops 700 inches. Alta Resort also boasts a no-frills attitude about the experience and decor. While there are mile long easy green runs to give new skiers the hang of the mountain, there are also difficult black runs for experts who have been skiing at Alta since it was formed out of an old silver mining town. No snowboarding is allowed and there are no flashy bits of decor or high-end restaurants in the village. This place is old-fashioned or vintage, depending on how you look at it, making it a perfect Utah ski vacation destination for those who just want to ski the whole time and don't want to spend a lot of money.

Park City

Park City is almost as large as Deer Valley, but considered to not be nearly as pretentious, as they allow skiers and snowboarders to share the mountain with little to no conflict. There are 8 peaks and 9 bowls that spread over 3,300 acres with a total of 114 runs and 16 chair lifts, making it arguably bigger than the older Deer Valley just to the south. For the snowboarders who are generally discriminated against in the Utah skiing community, there are 3 terrain parks and a Super Pipe to practice tricks on. There is even an outdoor roller coaster that the park has built to give people who don't want to hit the slopes or need a break from it some thrills uniquely their own.

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