Utah Bound: Top Tips for Choosing Where to Ski in Park City

Wondering where to ski in Park City? Deer Valley is a good choice ... photo by CC user mikereid on Flickr

There are so many slopes in the Park City area that it can be overwhelming to choose just one. Fortunately, you don’t have to ski just one, but it is helpful to know the best slopes for your skill level.

Set Your Budget

Skiing prices are all over the map, and so this is probably the first thing you should hammer out – how much do you want to pay for your ski trip? There are about three resorts in Park City with similar pricing, and it’s pretty reasonable. Those are of course Deer Valley, The Canyons, and Park City Mountain Resort.

Pick a Resort Near a Major Hotel Or Lodging

Choose a resort that’s near a major hotel or lodging area. For example, Park City Utah lodging gives you easy access to all of the major resorts in the area and they’ve got several different lodging “levels” or styles, depending on your budget or particular interests.

In general, the closer the resort is to the ski escort, the better. If there are places to stay right there on the resort, expect to pay more for the convenience. So, get as close as you can without being inside the resort where you’re effectively a “captive audience” and beholden to the resort’s accommodations and… well, everything else.

Deer Valley

Deer Valley is one of the nicest, perhaps the nicest, resort in the area. It offers immaculately groomed runs, and they cater to all levels of skill and experience. It’s the kind of place that offers something for everyone – except snowboarders. Seriously! If you have a snowboard, leave it at home. Deer Valley does not allow it on its slopes.

Another thing about this place is they really know how to treat skiers. Many of their dining facilities are 5-star, and some people can feel a little out of place by the atmosphere. The customer service is over the top. You almost feel like these people are your personal servants.

If that’s not the kind of treatment you feel comfortable with, there’s always The Canyons.

The Canyons

The Canyons is Utah’s largest ski resort. It allows snowboarding and it’s a little more laid back. Accessible via gondola rides into the mountain, the base camp is higher than the one you’ll find at Deer Valley.

This place has nice, quiet, runs for beginners but can also accommodate more experience folks. Part of the resort is a time-share facility, so if someone approaches you with free ski lift tickets, just be aware that they may be trying to rope you into one of those vacation ownership thingies.

Park City Mountain

The most laid back of the three is definitely Park City Mountain. It offers skiing and snowboarding in a somewhat quaint, if not campy, setting. A-frame condos decorate the landscape, and there are hot chocolate stands everywhere.

While you don’t get quite the action you do at Deer Valley, there’s still a lot of diversity, especially for “never-evers” and intermediate skiers.

Gary Harper is a travel agent. He likes to share his insights online. Look for his articles on many travel and vacation websites.

One other thing to keep in mind is if you need a visa or not to enter the states. Check the requirements for your country and plan accordingly to avoid any problems on arrival.