When I first learned to ski, I lived in Florida and had to get on a plane before I could get any turns in, so I spent a lot of time planning. One area stood out for me as a good time and money value, Utah. Eventually, I fell so in love with the state, I moved. Here's why it should be on your radar this winter:
Travel and Leisure magazine named Salt Lake City airport the best domestic hub in the US for on-time flights. Additionally, it offers non-stop flights from over 80 cities and sports 11 resorts within an hour drive. And no, you don't need a hovercraft to make it happen, last season I had breakfast in Orlando, Florida, and was on the slope at Alta Ski Area before lunch. That's access.
Average snowfall at Utah resorts is 500 inches per year. Additionally, if you like skiing with a snorkel, Utah gets roughly 18 "monster dumps" (12 inches or more of snow in a 24-hour period) annually. Need I say more?
When I learned to ski here I was promptly informed I'd be ruined for skiing most other places in the country. Why? Well there's a slogan that Utah has the "Greatest Snow on Earth®" which I didn't pay much mind to until I did some research.
Utah's average snow density is 8.5 percent, the perfect consistency to float your skis through powder. Other factors such as wind conditions and frequency play a part as well. "What makes Utah skiers deservedly brag about the conditions, therefore, must be the whole package. The body. The combination of quantity and quality of snow, the infrequency of wind to pack it down or blow it away and the consistency with which it falls," explains Jill Alder of On The Snow, a site devoted to snow reports, conditions, and forecasts.
Blue Bird Powder Days
Utah resorts receive fresh snow an average of once every five days, but they also average 300 days of sun. What does that mean? Lots of those powder days clear to blue sky during the day. Bluebird days are the best!
Something for Everyone
From the luxury of Deer Valley, to the family vibes of Alta Ski Area and Brighton, Utah resorts offer enough variety that most anyone can find a "home." Are fresh tracks your passion? Head north from Salt Lake City to Powder Mountain. Whoops, DON'T go to PowMow, we locals want to keep that one to ourselves... And these are just four of the 15 resorts in the state.
Visitors on a budget can find deals on lodging and lift tickets by visiting SkiUtah.com and Liftopia.com. Both are worth checking regularly because the listings change often.
Plan on visiting Utah? I'll watch for you on the slopes!