Park City – The Ideal Ski Resort Near Salt Lake City

Anyone who has been skiing for more than a couple years has become well aware of the two main corporations managing ski resorts around the world. The awareness comes in the form of either the Epic Pass or the Ikon Pass, the purchase of which provides unlimited skiing across an incredible range of mountain resorts.

In much the same way the video business saw the roll-up of independent video stores by Blockbuster in the 80s and 90s, the ski business is witnessing a similar scenario. Intriguingly, a sector ripe for such a roll-up would seem to be surf shops, but that has not been the case.

Regardless, Park City as a ski destination offers the choice of Deer Valley (for skiers only) or Park City Mountain, which has become the largest ski and snowboard resort in the country.

Park City offers some eyebrow-raising statistics in its ‘king of the mountains’ status:

  • A base elevation of 6800 feet with a summit elevation over 10,000 feet…
  • Which provides a vertical rise of over 3200 feet, and…
  • With an average snowfall of 355 inches over 500 acres, you end up with over 300 trails across 7300 skiable acres.

I’ve heard many interesting debates as to the superiority of the Epic Pass or the Ikon Pass. To me, it boils down to whether you have international aspirations, in which case the Epic Pass is the direction you should head as you will have access to over 70 resorts around the world, including unlimited access to over 30 resorts in North America, Switzerland and Australia. If you are going to keep your travel more domestic, the Ikon Pass offers fewer unlimited access resorts, mostly in the western U.S. and Canada. There are a bunch of websites that go into updated detail about the two different passes, so no need to get into any further nitty-gritty here.

In any event, our visit to Park City was glorious.

Chilling at the intersection of The Highway and Blaise’s Way

We hit several clear days, which are ideal if you (like me) have a bit more trepidation when the light is flat, and the bumps are slightly less discernible. Given the sheer size of the mountain, we had very little consternation about lift lines, other than early in the day.

As the years go by, I admit to missing my salad days riding on a snowboard, but improving technology with skis and boots certainly makes those first few runs even easier after a season away from the slopes.

Comfortable boots: the key of ski life

Overall, Park City Mountain is divided almost equally between expert and intermediate terrain, with only a relatively small amount of beginner runs.

We found the service consistently great at Park City, both in the restaurants and at the lift lines.

Many people have found that skiing in Utah is an excellent experience, mostly because of the proximity of the Salt Lake City airport to a variety of choices. The après ski offerings around the town of Park City remain excellent, whether you are aiming for higher end fare, or looking to manage on a tighter budget.

For more information about Park City click here.

Brad Auerbach has been a journalist and editor covering the media, entertainment, travel and technology scene for many years. He has written for Forbes, Time Out London, SPIN, Village Voice, LA Weekly and early in his career won a New York State College Journalism Award.