How to Ski Deer Valley | Expert Opinion |

How to Ski Deer Valley

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Deer Valley opens this weekend – Saturday, December 3, 2016. In honor of the occasion, we wanted to share some thoughts on how to make the most of your time on the hill. With three Deer Valley locations, our staff here at Jans consists of some seasoned and loyal DV skiers.

Case in point: Jans Deer Valley at Snow Park Hardgoods Manager, Ramsey Moore. Born and raised in Park City, Ramsey has been skiing Deer Valley regularly for 22 years. That’s a lot of time to learn the nuances of a mountain, so we asked Ramsey to share some insight on how to approach a day at Deer Valley.

Deer Valley winter trail map.
21 lifts serving 101 runs, 2,026 skiable acres, and 3,000 vertical feet. Trail Map courtesy of Deer Valley Resort.

Note: What follows is, obviously, subjective. How do you ski Deer Valley? Well, that depends. But, How You Might Consider Skiing at Deer Valley Based on Ability, Conditions, Weather, Time of Day, Personal Preference, and Infinite Other Influencers… is a terrible title. So we went with a bold claim, and stuck Ramsey with the job of backing it up.

Your skiing style?

“I grew up in Park City so I’m comfortable skiing just about any terrain out here. Obviously my first choice will always be pow – if it’s there. But I’m also happy to spend the day ripping groomers, or cruising with the family. It’s never a bad day when you’re skiing.”

Jans Expert, Ramsey Moore, skiing at Deer Valley.

Where to ski on a powder day?

Lady Morgan
“A ton of terrain, good pitches, and some steeper sections for the deep days.”

“Probably offers the most vertical, with lots of tree stashes that hold their snow after storms. When other parts of the mountain are pretty skied out, you can still find plenty of untouched sections in the trees.”

“It needs to be a good snow year, but when it is this lift is great. Not a lot of people head over there. Its lower elevation, so you’ll want to make sure you catch it in the morning before things warm up. It’s best when a storm is still rolling through, or it stays really cold.”

Deer Valley winter trail map, best powder day lifts.
Sultan and Mayflower zone to looker’s left, Lady Morgan zone to looker’s right (highlighted in green). Trail Map courtesy of Deer Valley Resort.

Where to ski on a groomer day?

“It’s north facing so the snow stays really good throughout the day. Reward, Wizard, Legal Tender – they’re all awesome high-speed groomers. Plus my favorite groomer on the mountain, Keno, is off of this lift.”

“Check out Stein’s Way, Perseverance, and Tycoon. They are all fast, long, and have really nice pitches. Hit them in the early morning before the sun gets to them.”

Deer Valley winter trail map, best groomer day lift.
Use the Wasatch Express lift to lap Reward, Wizard, Legal Tender, and Keno (highlighted in green). Trail Map courtesy of Deer Valley Resort.

Where to ski with the family?

“The cool thing about Deer Valley is that you can take any level of skier and go pretty much everywhere. I probably wouldn’t take beginners straight to Empire or Sultan, but just about every lift has fun, mellow runs as an option. At a lot of mountains kids or inexperienced skiers are confined to the bottom of the hill. But at Deer Valley, you can take them all over without overwhelming them.”

Family-friendly skiing at Deer Valley.
Families with younger kids aren’t confined to a single section of the mountain.

Most underrated zone?

Deer Crest
“Now that the Mountaineer Express is a high-speed chair you can get a ton of laps in without spending too much time on the lift. There aren’t a lot of runs, but the groomers over there are all awesome.”

“Again, it needs to be a good snow year, but nobody goes over there and the trees are loaded long after a storm.”

Most overrated zone?

“Talking specifically about powder days, I’d probably have to say Empire. There’s a ton of awesome terrain – Daly Chutes, X-File trees – but it’s also where everyone heads first. Obviously I’m not saying it’s bad. It’s just that it gets skied out really quickly and there’s terrain that’s just as good, if not better, elsewhere.”

Best spot for lunch?

“Empire Canyon Lodge, and get the fish tacos! It’s not as crazy as some of the other lodges and has an awesome deck for warm, sunny days. You’ll have more luck finding an open table outside here than anywhere else.

I recommend eating earlier in the day (around 11:00am) or holding off until after 2:00pm if you can. A lot of Deer Valley skiers tend to get to the hill right at 9:00am, and then they’re done by noon. So when they leave, and everyone else heads in for lunch, you can have the mountain to yourself.”

Lunch at Empire Canyon Lodge at Deer Valley.
Empire Canyon Lodge. Eat during off-hours to maximize ski time. Photo courtesy of Deer Valley Resort.

Best spot for après festivities?

“The EBS Lounge upstairs at Snow Park Lodge. It has a big deck that still gets sun later in the day, and during the spring they’ll have bands playing out there.”

Apres at the Snow Park Lodge at Deer Valley.
Enjoy the last of the sun on the deck, or head inside for beverages. Photo courtesy of Deer Valley Resort.

We hope this insider information helps you maximize your Deer Valley skiing experience. Here’s to the 2016/2017 season. Now bring on the snow!


Nate Tomlinson, Senior Content Writer