snowy field in the foreground, Wasatch back ski resorts in the distance

Best Ski Resorts in Park City, Utah

When considering the best ski resorts in Park City, Utah, it’s important to mention three: Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley Resort, and Canyons Resort. These are, in fact, the only three ski resorts in Park City, Utah, all located within a ten minute drive of each other. And while each of these world class resorts may argue their superiority above the others, they each have their own strengths and unique vibes that make them appealing to different skiers and snowboarders.

Deer Valley Resort, the Most Luxurious Ski Resort in Park City
Known for their excellent service, fine food, luxury accommodations, and frequently groomed slopes, Deer Valley Resort certainly caters to skiers looking for an upscale feel.

Attentive ski valets pamper you by carrying your skis from your car, and free overnight slope-side ski storage takes a fair amount of hassle out of your ski experience. From vegan and gluten-free options, to their famous turkey chili, the culinary delights at this resort feel like anything but typical ski resort cafeteria fare. At the end of the ski day, guests sip drinks such as the St. Regis’s signature 7452 Mary (a killer bloody mary named for the number of vertical feet above sea level at which the hotel is situated), or just bask in the afternoon sun at the ski beach outside of Silver Lake Lodge.

Beyond the well earned ultra-posh reputation, Deer Valley also has some awesome powder stashes that last much longer than they might at other resorts where powder hounds abound. This resort was in fact named in 2012 by Outside Magazine as the #1 Best Powder Stash in North America.  Deer Valley’s famous corduroy attracts groomed run fans who stay away from the freshly fallen, and this Utah icon limits the amount of skiers allowed in the resort each day to prevent crowding. For these reasons, Deer Valley’s ungroomed runs usually hold on to their pillows of powder for a day or even two days after a good storm. Snowboarders, however, can’t enjoy these hidden powder stashes, because Deer Valley is one of only two resorts in the U.S. that limit their ticket sales exclusively to skiers.

Park City Mountain Resort, the Best Terrain Parks and Best Family Ski Resort in Park City
Ranked in 2014 by SKI Magazine as the #1 ski and snowboard resort for terrain parks, #2 for a family ski vacation, and by Transworld Snowboarding as the #2 resort overall in North America, Park City Mountain Resort’s outstanding strengths are the freeriding and the kids’ scene. You also can’t beat their Town Lift direct access to Park City’s historic Main Street with its bustling shops, restaurants, and nightlife.

Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR) claims to have the best terrain parks and superpipe in the country. The Eagle Superpipe hosted Olympic events in the winter of 2002, but the resort hasn’t settled with just that. A group of nationally recognized freeriders called the Park City All Stars ride PCMR parks and pipes daily and share their input with the resort to help keep the freeride experience there amazing. Park City Mountain Resort has recently added the candy themed Neff Land park, as well as a new mini pipe.

PCMR has also put a ton of focus into making themselves appealing as a family destination. For starters, they offer a great way to keep the kids entertained with the Adventure Alley map that will have them excitedly exploring to earn treasures by snapping photos.

A wide array of ski and snowboard lessons balance fun and education to help kids improve their skiing and boarding skills while having a great time. In addition to private lessons for all ages, kids and teens can enjoy small group lessons with trained instructors who help participants learn skills, build friendships, and develop their love for their snow sport.

And to finish things off, when everyone is ready for a break from skiing, the whole family can enjoy the Flying Eagle Zip Line and the Alpine Coaster, open throughout the winter.

Canyons Resort, the Biggest Ski Resort in Park City
While Deer Valley Resort covers six mountains and over 2,000 acres, and Park City Mountain Resort offers around 3,300 acres; Canyons Resort boasts around 4,000 skiable acres of terrain, making them the largest ski resort in Utah. With all that space, there is some issue with getting from place to place within the resort. However, the best way to deal with that is to mine one area one day, such as Tombstone Express and Ninety Nine Ninety, a different one the next day, maybe Dreamscape and Dreamcatcher, and so on, to explore the entire ski and snowboard resort.

Over the past few years Canyons has expanded their terrain, adding over 300 acres of intermediate and expert terrain at Iron Mountain, demonstrating their commitment to offering plentiful slopes to enjoy. And because the resort is so sprawling, they have added a new lodge and restaurant at the top of the Dreamcatcher lift to help take pressure off the other, more central eating options.

In addition to new terrain, Canyons Resort has recently put in some extra effort into upgrading by adding winter ziplines, and the new orange bubble heated chairlift which keeps skiers and boarders warm and dry by enclosing them in a tangerine hued pod on their way up the mountain.

Park City Utah’s Three Excellent Ski Resorts
All three Park City, Utah ski resorts were ranked in SKI Magazine’s top 10 ski resorts in North America for 2013. After many years at #1, Deer Valley was ranked #2 this year, with Park City at #5, and Canyons at #10.

These three destinations were also listed in Sunset Magazine’s top 20 ski resorts in the west for 2013, which had Canyons Resort ranked above Park City and Deer Valley.

More mainstream publications are taking notice of Park City’s ski resorts as well. Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley Resort, and Canyons Resort were also ranked together among Forbes top 10 ski resorts in the United States for 2013. Forbes notes that, though Park City has three different ski resorts, they’re all within ten minutes of each other, and that, “taking a trip to one usually means taking a trip to the other.”

Forbes also points out that the town of Park City, Utah really has more going for it than any other ski town, since it is, “bigger than Telluride, more accessible than Aspen, only 35 minutes from a major airport and the place is picture perfect in every sense.” Oh do go on. They do. Forbes (and pretty much everyone else who has been here) also talks up our fine dining and drinking scene. Why thank you.

So really, just come to Park City, Utah. Enjoy the town. Experience all three resorts. Decide for yourself which resort you prefer. It’s quite likely that you’ll love them all.

Kendall Fischer, Content Writer

 

 

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