I am not a park skier. My brother is, however. I am not a fan of corduroy groomers, but as my dad ages, although he will be the last to admit it, that is what he prefers. My mom, she’s not too into the whole matter of skiing, and has skied maybe once in the past ten years. She likes those flat as hell runs: the low angle through the meadows of spread out trees with easy ruts guiding you exactly to your mellow destination. As for my younger stepbrother, he races through the runs that are steeper and offer natural half pipes through the tight trees with an obvious luge-like course. I myself have acquired a taste for what every grandmother doesn’t understand but deathly fears: the side country terrain of steep and deep powder. You might expect all of us go to different mountains, but after looking at the magnitude of the sprawling Canyons Resort, it is easy to understand how we can all fill our ski days with exactly what we are searching for in the largest resort in Utah.
I bought my pass to Canyons my freshman year having not being acquainted with the mountains in Utah and coming straight off of an east coast piece of ice. I went there because I was working three jobs and the pass proved to be the cheapest at just over four hundred dollars. It is the best bang for your buck, indeed. The other mountains range from 475-600 dollars, and are further away from Westminster. This also saved me a couple bucks in gas money.
I enjoyed my time at the resort. We skied the top to bottom park endlessly, hiked around Ninety-Nine Ninety to find billowing blankets to the point of exhaustion, and raced backwards down the groomers of Saddleback. While the skiing proved to be playful, the events at Canyons were all together a party. There is free live music most Saturdays of the winter by the outdoor bar illuminated by beautifully furnished fire pits with near to endless s’mores. The bands are encompassing as well. They appeal to an older generation and very much so appeal to my college friends—some even come who don’t have a pass there just to join the fun.
The reason why I didn’t return to Canyons is not a deal breaker for all, but I will be perfectly honest in my opinion. The mountain offers so much and is so large, but it takes a long time to get to where you are headed because you have to traverse and take numerous lifts. The soft slopes involve using your poles and expending a lot of your energy to increase your momentum. I also found that there were steeper pitches at other mountains, which were easier to access. This is a backhanded advantage, as the powder often gets skied off quicker. Another disadvantage was that I realized quickly is that Little and Big Cottonwood were hit by many more storms. If the weather is warmer, sometimes Canyons even gets by rain because of its lower elevation.
I would suggest this mountain for people who are not looking to ski very intensely. I know many freestyle skiers who adore the variety in the park. I would suggest this mountain for families coming on vacation and are looking to spend time at a really nice resort. At the end of the day though, skiing in Utah is some of the best in the world, and I simply could not have a bad day at Canyons.