Deer Valley is one of the few resorts left in the country that is ski only. Even though I have a child who snowboards, I can say it is nice to cruise along with skiers. Emily and I decided to skip out of school and take a relaxing Mom/Daughter day.
Over the years, we have done quite a few children's lessons at the ski school. Deer Valley has a series of 3 magic carpets that carry the little guys up the beginner slope and get them going on their skis. Within that area, there are small cones, hoops and obstacles for the little ones to navigate and learn to turn on their skis. It is a gentle, long slope that allows them to really test their skills at turning and getting comfortable on skis. The class sizes are small and the instructors are wonderful. The kids start as a fawn, then a bambi and then a reindeer. If you are not sure of your child's ability, there is a great video you can watch. The one bit of advice I can give you is never to inflate their ability, it will make them scared and the instructor will have to move them into a different class. The childcare is top notch and you can have a relaxing day and know your children are well cared for.
Now that my kids are older and better skiers than I am, we just head to the top of the mountain. You'll want to grab a Children's Adventure Map and see if the kids can find all the hidden bumps and trees. Emily was able to find most of them and told me Ruby's Tail was well named because it had a lot of rolling hills to go over just like a tail. I did not see these first hand as I prefer a slightly more gentle slope. The good thing about these zones is if you prefer to stay on the groomed slopes, you can let the kids go through the trees and meet them a little further down the slope.
I would recommend the Flagstaff Mountain area if you are an intermediate skier. It has quite a few blue runs with a variety of other terrain along the sides. Emily now prefers moguls and trees, so it gave her variety as I just cruised the groomed slopes. The resort is made up of several different peaks and each offers it's own set of challenges.
There is also a NASTAR course that is open to the public. You can show up at the top of the couse to sign up and away you go. Emily decided to take 2 runs. For each age group there is a certain time given to get a medal. With an announcer standing by as you take the course, you feel like a real racer. I stood at the bottom and took photos as Emily did the course and came away with a silver medal. It was certainly the highlight of her day. She was given a pin she wore proudly on her jacket.
As far as food is concerned, Deer Valley does it like no other. I always choose Empire Canyon Grill as our stopping point. There is so much variety from salads to hamburgers, you will never walk away hungry. In fact, we had a hard time getting out of our chairs to get back outside. Another tip, clip your helmet on your chair rather than having it falling on the floor or taking up the whole table space-refer to photo. I learned this during my lessons last year.
From the time you leave the parking lot on the parking shuttle to the moment you return to your car, it is a relaxing experience you will not soon forget. In Emily's words "Wow, the seats are so comfortable on the lifts and the bathrooms are fancy"...from the mouths of babes, they speak the truth.
As we watch one storm exit the state, another one takes aim for the end of the week. Now is the time to enjoy all this new snow as the pattern in the US as shifted to more of a moist flow into the west.