As the weather starts to warm up and the powder days become fewer and farther between, the excitement for spring skiing begins to set in. For the past few months our worlds have been filled with lunch laps, dawn patrols, whiteroom weekends, and parking lot après. We’ve tried to make the most of every day on skis, and as the final days of the season draw near, we have no intention of ceasing to maximize our time sliding on snow. Whether you’re planning to catch one more ski trip to Park City during spring break, or you’re a new local wondering what all the fuss is about spring skiing, keep reading to learn how to properly make the most of the last few weeks of the ski season.
How to Spring Ski at Park City Mountain Resort
If you’re an early riser and like to start your ski days with first chair, the best place to begin is on east-facing runs, which get the most sun early in the morning, and as a result, are the first to soften up. My go-to first laps of the day in the spring are off of Bonanza Lift. Bonanza offers quite a few sunny blues that are great for warming up your legs and slicing through the soft snow. My personal favorite off of this lift is Silver Queen, a wide open slope that gives you plenty of space and just the right pitch to lay down some serious turns. Other great areas to hit in the morning while the east-facing slopes are still soft but not sloppy are the runs to the left of Pioneer Lift, like Comstock, Red Fox, and Hawkeye, or if you find yourself on the Canyons side, Flying Salmon and Snow Dancer off of Saddleback Express.
As the day goes on and the sun continues to move, move with it. Ditch the east-facing runs once they get too slushy and move on to south-facing runs, which will be the next to soften, then you’ll want to eventually move to north- and west-facing runs, which stay solid later in the day. If you want to try your hand at some more advanced and variable terrain, head up to Jupiter Lift and drop into West Face or make your way to the Mystic Pines off of the Peak 5 Lift. If that isn’t your cup of tea, not to worry, there is plenty of terrain to explore. Prospector, a black diamond north-facing slope off of Silverlode Lift, is in its prime at around noon most sunny spring days, while Sitka and Shamus off of King Con Lift and Payday off of Payday lift are still in great condition in the early afternoon.
If you find yourself wanting to take a minute to kick back and relax, Miners Camp at the base of Silverlode Lift and the Quicksilver Gondola has a wide spread of lawn chairs that are perfect for basking in the sun and enjoying a midday drink or snack. Parking lot après also abound at Park City Mountain Resort, so if that’s more your style, set up some camp chairs, throw a few burgers on a portable grill, and enjoy the views.
One other thing to note is that during spring at Park City Mountain, pretty much anything goes. Adults and kids alike can often be found wearing ridiculous onesies or hot pink tutus (especially on April Fools’ Day and closing weekend) and no one gives them a second glance—that’s just how it goes around here! So, if you’re feeling bold, feel free to rock your best ’80s outfit or head-to-toe denim attire.
How to Spring Ski at Deer Valley Resort
Deer Valley’s impeccable groomers can still be found in the midst of spring temperatures—you just have to time them right. If you find yourself at the resort early in the morning, there are a few spots you can head to where the snow will have already started softening up. The first is Sultan Express where you can enjoy Tycoon, a rolling groomer with several different pitches. Other fun runs that soften up early are Star Gazer off of Red Cloud Lift or Magnet off of Lady Morgan Express. If you want to tackle some harder terrain, head up Empire Express and drop into Empire Bowl. If you time it right, you’ll score soft bumps that are easy on the knees.
When the day starts to warm up and east-facing slopes become a little messy, take advantage of the different aspects available at the resort. Cruise Nabob, Wizard, or Keno off of Wasatch Express in the late morning to lay down some big GS turns in buttery soft snow. After, tighten up your turns and hit the Grizzly trees or Ruins of Pompeii off of Sultan Express. These north-facing slopes hold snow the best on warm spring days, so save them for when east- and south-facing slopes get too slushy. Runs like Hawkeye and Bluebell off of Silver Strike Express and Northside Express also stay firm later in the day, making them ideal for early afternoon laps.
When your legs need a breather, stop by Silver Lake Lodge, also known as the ski beach because of the lawn chairs that scatter the snow in front of the lodge. These chairs are perfect for relaxing in when the sun is high in the sky. When you’ve had your fill of spring skiing, you can either ride down Silver Lake Express to avoid the extremely warm and wet snow at the base or you can get one more run in on the shaded Big Stick.
Get a Spring Tune
Our final tip of advice for you to really make the most of spring skiing in Park City is to get your skis tuned for spring-specific conditions. During most of the winter, Park City enjoys the cold and dry snow that has earned Utah the accolade of having the “The Greatest Snow on Earth”. But in the spring, the water content in the snow rises, which in turn can make it feel sticky and slow if your skis are not prepared for the conditions. One moment you’ll be heading down the run just fine and the next you’ll be jerked forward as your skis suction to the wet snow. Take it from us when we say this experience can be wildly frustrating and annoying. So, before you hit the slopes, stop by our Rennstall World Class Tuning Center to drop off your skis. They offer an overnight tune so you can drop your skis off in the evening and pick them up before the resorts even open to ensure you don’t miss a single day of skiing.