Alli Widman / Lexi Dowdall                October 2019

Snowbird, aka "The Bird" is for serious skiers and boarders. This no frills resort is true to its roots as a haven for those seeking powder and steep, rugged terrain. The scenery is spectacular with 360º views of jagged peaks characteristic of the Alps. Hidden Peak (11,000 ft) is the highest lift accessible point in Utah. The light and flakey snow benefits from the Lake Effect, elevation and drier climate and lives up to Utah's title as "the greatest on earth." The iconic, European style tram carries ~100 passengers from the base to Hidden Peak in ~8 minutes. The Bird has one of the longest seasons in North America. Average annual snowfall totals 500+ inches and being partially on private land, it can easily remain open through May (though the Gad Valley, leased from the Forest Service, becomes "backcountry.")

 

Snowbird caters to Experts, though there is a dedicated learning area for novices (Chickcadee). Intermediate terrain is limited and many Blues are either winding traverses or quite steep. Snowbird Center (the Main Base) has an institutional feel with limited, but high quality, lodging and dining options. There are four lodges at the Base, all with ski in ski out access and owned by Snowbird. All are clean, comfortable and have good service (think, the Bandon Dunes of skiing). Snowbird offers 5 or 7 days on the Ikon Pass or 2 or 3 days on the Mountain Collective

RESORT FEATURES

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PASSES
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CONDITIONS

Quick Take

 LET'S GO 

  • Snowbird is for the adventurous - fall lines are steep and exploration is encouraged, pretty much anywhere is game

  • Logistics for a resort of this caliber don't get much easier. A short ride from Salt Lake City and the Snowbird Center has everything you need 

  • Dedicated learning areas, private group options and mountain guides can improve your technique at all ages and levels

  • Come find "the greatest snow on earth"

INSIDER TIPS
  • Avoid long waits for the tram to Hidden Peak (esp. on weekends and powder days) by taking the Peruvian Chair to the Peruvian Tunnel (a conveyor belt that literally goes through the mountain), cruise down Mineral Basin and take the 4 minute lift to Hidden Peak 

  • Skiers should purchase the all access pass to Snowbird and Alta. It's only $25 more and easy to go between (The Baldy Lift from Mineral Basin connects to the SugarLoaf peak at Alta). This provides greater variety and visibility and snow conditions vary between the two

  • Intermediates and those newer to the Bird wanting a warm up can take Chip's Run from Hidden Peak. Chip's winds 2.5 miles to the base with several chances to try steeper lines between the winding segments to ease into the tougher pitches

  • The Cliff Lodge is the most luxurious of the four lodges. The other lodges are simple and comfortable, everything is in walking distance

HESITATIONS
  • Limited terrain for Beginners and Lower Intermediates. Trail ratings are deceiving, this place is steep (Blues here are like Blacks at neighboring Park City resorts)

  • Crowds - the fine powder and steep fall lines are no secret. Locals flock after big storms and runs are skied off quickly

  • The après ski scene is small and mellow. It fits the bill after a rigorous day on the mountain, but if looking to party, this is not your spot

  • The children's lessons program is strong, but family friendly activities and alternatives for non-skiers are lacking

GETTING TO & GETTING AROUND

 
Getting To
  • Closest Major City: Salt Lake City, UT

    • Distance: ~32 miles South East 

    • Travel Time: ~ 45 minutes 

  • Closes Major Resort Area: Park City

    • Distance: ~40 miles, ~55 mins​

Neighboring Resorts
  • Closest Neighbor (Ikon & Collective Pass)

    • ​Alta (~2 miles, ~7 mins or ski between)

  • Big Cottonwood Canyon Neighbors​​​​ (Ikon Pass)
    • Brighton (~25 miles, ~40 mins)

    • Solitude (~23 miles, ~40 mins)

  • Neighbors in Park City

    • Deer Valley (~42 miles, ~1 hr) (Ikon Pass)

    • Park City (~40 miles, ~55 mins) 

Travel by Plane
  • Closest major commercial airport: SLC - (Salt Lake City International)

    • ~32 mi Northwest, ~45 mins​​​

Travel by Bus
  • UTA buses from downtown Salt Lake to Snowbird; cost effective (fares ~$4.50 one way)

  • Airport shuttle services is available to / from SLC

  • Shuttle service from Park City

    • Canyon Hop; shuttle service from Park City to resort of your choice; starting $59 / person 

  • Snowbird Lodges provide free shuttles within the Snowbird / Alta area 

  • Cars are not needed if staying in Snowbird or Alta

    • Pros: Parking is free; provides flexiblity to visit other ski areas or go to SLC

  • Cons: 4 wheel drive / snow tires are required when it snows 

  • ​Ride shares to / from Snowbird are convenient and reasonably priced​

    • Uber and Lyft rides to / from SLC airport are ~$40 for up to 4 passengers non-peak ​​
Travel by Car

There is no need for a car if you plan to stay within the Snowbird / Alta area - it is compact and free shuttle service is available within the area. Uber / Lyft are available and cost effective. We recommend using airport shuttle services for transit during snowier conditions. 

The Lay of the LAnd

Coming soon - easy navigation with all of the key spots highlighted 

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