SNOWBASIN RESORT GUIDE
Images courtesy of Snowbasin Resort
Snowbasin Expert Itinerary
Strawberry, Middle Bowl, Porcupine, John Paul, No Name
From Grizzly Center - Needles Gondola - Warm Up on Main Street - Strawberry Gondola - Sister's Bowl & Lone Tree - Middle Bowl - Lunch @ Overlook - Powderhound Bowl - Grizzly & Wildflower - No Name - Return to Base
1. 9:00am – Take Needles for a Warm up over to Strawberry
From Earl's Lodge and the Grizzly Center, head up the Needles Gondola. After this 12 minute ride to the top, it's time for long warm up as you make your way over to STRAWBERRY. Take the Strawberry Traverse to Main Street. STRAWBERRY, the southern most portion of the mountain, is home to wide open bowls and seemingly endless groomers. With wide open bowls, can come low visibility. Snowbasin posts visibility updates on its website and signs will be apparent. *If visibility is low, skip to Step 3 for MIDDLE BOWL.
From the Needles Lodge, try to sneak a peak at Lone Tree, readily identifiable by the the "Lone Tree" at the top, viewable to the skier's right (pictured -->).
Follow Strawberry Traverse to connect to Main Street. This run is generally groomed and skis nicely in the morning. There are usually ungroomed parts along both sides if you prefer to tackle a few bumps. Main Street runs directly to the Base of STRAWBERRY where you can take the Strawberry Gondola to the peak. Exit the gondola and take a few minutes to soak in the stunning view. On a sunny day, you can see across four states.
View from the top of Lone Tree.
2. 9:45am – Strawberry Fields Forever
When you've soaked in the view, head to the skier's right for Elk Ridge. From here you can spy to see if Sister's Bowl is open...if it has recently snowed, it will likely take some time for Sister's Bowl to open. From Elk Ridge, you can access any of the terrain to the far right of the mountain. This expansive area has great natural fall lines. Weave your way in and out of the trees around Gun Tower and/or Twist & Shout. Given the size, there are plenty of nooks and crannies and you're likely to find some fresh stuff. There is plenty to explore in a few laps in this area as you patiently wait for Sister's Bowl to open. *If it's a powder day, the line at the Strawberry Gondola may be the rate limiting factor.
Entry to Sister's Bowl will be worth any potential wait. Enter from the gates to the skier's right just after getting on to Elk Ridge. Then traverse along until you see a line, ideally an untracked one that looks good. Long and soft, Sister's can be a real burner and connects into WFO to Last Chance to return to the Strawberry Gondola.
Lone Tree is an iconic run at Snowbasin. When you are ready for a traverse and a short boot pack, these chutes are thrilling. You will know you've reached the chutes when you get to the ancient pine (that you hopefully spied from Needles Lodge). Soak in the views from the top and brace yourself for these tight chutes between rock walls. Stop at the bottom to admire what you have accomplished. Then head onwards and look out for Dan's Run on the skier's right. You can follow this to the base of the Middle Bowl chair.
Glimpse into Sister's Bowl from Elk Ridge. Image courtesy of Snowbasin Resort.
3. 11:45am – Laps on Middle Bowl
MIDDLE BOWL is perfect for making a few laps before lunch. This old triple can be deceiving, it looks relatively short and slow, but it services a variety of steep terrain in the center of the mountain. *Pro Tip - when the lines are long at the Gondolas...or the visibility is poor at Strawberry, you can easily spend several hours lapping this chair.
Any of the routes from the Needles Lodge at the top of the Middle Bowl chair are fun. Take your pick amongst Moose Mound, Sweet Revenge or be a little more daring and try Pork Barrel. Pork Barrel is short, but a big tighter and has iconic views of the Needles Gondola. Continue making laps until you are hungry.
Fresh powder on Pork Barrel. Image courtesy of Snowbasin Resort.
4. 12:45pm – Lunch @The Overlook or Needles Lodge
Needles Lodge is convenient for an upper mountain lunch and the food will not disappoint. Make a reservation at the new Overlook Bar, or dine on the sundeck with outstanding cafeteria style options.
5. 1:30pm – The Road to Lookout
After lunch, we like to get a good burner in all the way to the base, follow Needle's Run down.
For a bonus lap, jump on the Porcupine Triple, this lift is slow, but it is the only way to access Powderhound Bowl. The slow lift keeps the crowds away from here so it's easy to catch some fresh snow.
6. Ski like an Olympian - Speedy and Steep on John Paul
Return to the base and board the John Paul Express quad, the same lift that was used by Olympians to access the downhill and super G courses during the 2002 Winter Games, On the way up, you will get a good view of these Olympic downhill runs. Grizzly was the men's downhill and Wildflower was the women's. Both have double fall lines and are generally groomed and extremely fast. To reach the Olympic starting gates, you will need to take the 15-person Allen Peak Tram. From either run, you can connect to the Grizzly Finish to return to the base of the John Paul Express. Head back up the lift with time to explore the far north side of Snowbasin.
To end the day on a high note, take the Allen Peak Tram again and this time, make your way down the traverse on the skier's left. The 10-15 minute hike to get up to NO NAME PEAK is well worth it. From the peak, you can can cut anywhere between Shooting Star and No Name. The entire area has a steep pitch and is filled with chutes and trees. Just do beware of cliffs! If you have parked in the Maples lot, continue this incredible run through the Lower Pyramids where you can return directly to your car (if you have strategically parked). It is also just a short walk back to the MAIN BASE.
For a slightly less aggressive line, bypass Lower Pyramids by staying to the skier's right as you come down No Name or Shooting Star and catch FTS to return to the John Paul Express. From here you can make another lap or two. When you're ready to call it a day, FTS leaves you in at the MAIN BASE and Grizzly Finish is by Maples Lot.
Completion of Wildflower!
Congratulations! You have explored Snowbasin's diverse terrain and experienced the Olympic downhill courses, time to relax and enjoy some live music and beverages at the The Cinnabar in Earl's Lodge. For more après options, see our guide.