The Definitive Guide to Spring Skiing In Utah!

The Definitive Guide to Spring Skiing In Utah!

By King of Après \ March 15 2018

Spring is a constant battle between winter and summer

While most people associate spring skiing with slushy slopes, sunshine, and goggle tans, don’t forget, March is historically the snowiest month of the year in Utah and April has delivered some of the biggest storms in recent years. Following ten days of warm sun, a potentially potent storm is currently making it's way towards Utah, with more snow on its heels.

Spring skiing is one of my favorite things in the world. Between deep powder days, sunny hot laps, slush bumps, goggle tans, bikinis, bro tanks, and costume parties, there’s almost too much fun stuff going on to summarize in just one post. I find the best approach is to divide spring skiing season into three different periods and regions:

 

Early Spring Skiing
Hot Laps and Cold Brews in the Northern Wasatch
March 16 - April 15

Quintessential Spring Skiing
Powderhounds, Clowns, and Après in Park City
March 15 - April 16

Late-Spring Skiing
Deep Pow and Parties in the Cottonwoods
March 15 - Memorial Day - The Snow Melts

 

Early Spring Skiing
Hot laps and Cold Brews in the Northern Wasatch (March 15-April 16)

We are currently under high pressure here in Utah. While we were skiing deep powder a just over a week ago, temperatures have since spiked, and the sun has been out in full force. What better time to bust out the carving skis and rip some groomers in the sun. And what better place to rip some groomers than Snowbasin, the resort that hosted the 2002 Olympic Downhill and Super G races.

The 45-minute drive to Snowbasin Resort is a great way to avoid the weekend crowds in the Cottonwoods and Park City. When you’re done ripping high speed groomers in the sun, Snowbasin's event calendar is chock-full of après-ski activites, starting with this weekend's PBR Scavenger Hunt and St Patty's Day Celebration. The Cinnabar's live music scene is also in full swing. Don’t miss out on Brew Madness, a competition pitting local breweries against each other each weekend at Earl’s Lodge.

Snowbasin is offering one heck of a deal this spring. Buy a 2018-19 Season Pass and ski for free the rest to this season. Passes for the 2018-19 Season go on sale on March 16th.

Just down the road from Snowbasin is Powder Mountain. PowMow is a great place to spend a fun spring day on the slopes. A scenic ride on the Lightning Ridge Snowcat, followed by a nice twenty-muinute hike to the top of James Peak, is the perfect way find some powder turns while working on the all-important goggle tan. The Powder Keg's après-ski live music lineup is unrivaled anywhere in Utah. With a scheduled closing date of April 15th, plan on being there to help Pow Mow-ians send the season out with a bang.

You may want to plan on splitting that weekend between resorts, because Snowbasin is going off April 13-15th. The Brew Madness Finals, Spring It On! Celebration and Pond Skim take place Saturday. Followed by a raucous closing day party on Sunday the 15th.

Beaver Mountain, outside of Logan, Utah, knows how to send out the season in style. Don't miss the annual Beaver Bash and Pond Skim.

 

Quintessential Spring Skiing
Powderhounds, Clowns and Apres in Park City (March 15-April 8)

As the weather pattern looks to be more active towards the end of the March, there’s no better place to be in the spring than Park City, Utah. The two massive resorts in town offer ski terrain for every condition. On powder days, head to Jupiter and 9990 at Park City Mountain, and Lady Morgan and Empire at Deer Valley. On sunny days, dust off your skinny skis and rip some laps on King Con and Silverlode. Or guide your own luxury home tour through the Colony at Canyons Village and Deer Crest at Deer Valley. You could even break out the park skis or board and spin some laps through the various terrain parks at Park City Mountain, where you’ll find parks suitable for all abilities.

Both Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain offer some of the best on-hill dining in the world. Deer Valley is consistently listed at the top of every ski magazine's on-hill dining rankings. The Ski Beach, located outside the Royal Street Cafe, is my go-to for a cold beverage on a sunny day. Or warm up on a spring pow day with a tasty bowl of Wagyu Beef Pho inside. Closing Day for Deer Valley is April 8th, so get up there soon.

There are too many après-ski options in Park City to name them all. I personally love skiing into town on a spring day, grabbing a food and a drink at High West Distillery and Saloon, Old Town Cellars, The Cabin, The Bridge, or Davanzas, all located a few steps from the base of Town Lift. Park City also has some great decks to enjoy a meal and a drink.

Pro tip: Lookout Cabin has the only on-hill liquor license at Park City Mountain.

You can’t go wrong with après-skiing at either base area, Park City or Canyons Village. Soak up the sun at The Corner Store, Pig Pen Saloon, the Umbrella Bar, or the Red Tail Grill. I love to spend the first couple hours of après-skiing by working on the goggle tan while listening to some live music. Once the sun disappears, I move indoors for some food and drinks at Legends Bar and Grill, Drafts, or Baja Cantina.

Over at the Canyons Village base area, free concerts and activities have been taking place every weekend in March. When Spring Gruv kicks off March 24th, we'll see live music and events for sixteen straight days at both base areas! Get out in the sun, make some soft turns, and dance the afternoon away in your ski boots.

Park City also knows how to throw a good party. April 1st is the annual celebration known locally as Clown Day. Put on your goofiest costume and spend the day acting a fool with your friends. Six days later, is one of my favorite days of the season: Pond Skim Day at Canyons Village. One hundred costumed skiers and boarders take turns trying to ski across a giant pond at the Red Pine Lodge. Sign up if you want to compete, or just grab your own costume and spend the day celebrating the madness with the what seems like the entire town of Park City.

Park City Mountain closes April 8th. And Park City is sending the season out with a bang. Both Canyons Village and Park City Base Areas will feature live music from some of Utah's best local acts. Don't miss the Metal Dogs from 1-3pm at Canyons Village, followed by Breakfast Klub. Or head over to Park City Base for Pixie and the Partygrass Boys featuring Motherlode Canyon Band.

 

Later-Spring Skiing
Deep Pow and Parties in the Cottonwoods (March 15 - The Snow Melts)

Last, but not least, are the Cottonwood resorts of Ski City, USA. While the rest of Utah is preparing for their final weeks of operations, the Cottonwoods look to be in midseason form with some promising storms in the forecast.

Solitude Mountain Resort is one of my favorite places to be on a spring day. Not only do they have some of the most underrated grooming in Utah, but Honeycomb Canyon and Evergreen Peak have great coverage for the next spring storm. Looking to get off the groomers and get rad in the sun? Fantasy Ridge is the place to be... if you dare. Deemed the "scariest inbounds hike ever" (by myself), what better way to get the adrenaline pumping while working on the perfect goggle tan. Solitude closes for the season on April 15th, so make plans to get over there soon.

Alta sits at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon, where they have a mid-mountain snowpack of almost eight feet. Spring skiing in Little Cottonwood is heaven-on-earth for die-hard skiers. The snowpack is deep, the storms are on their way, and the spring skiing vibe in unbeatable. Keep an eye out for the best party of the ski season, known simply as Frank.

And don’t put away your powder boards just yet, I’ve had some of my deepest days at Alta in March and April. This year should be no exception. Alta is extending their season a week or two longer than usual. Alta will end daily operations on April 15th. But will reopen Friday-Sunday until the first weekend of May. The closing day party on High Boy and the base area is legendary. Bring your best costumes, party favors, and gaper gear and dance the day away celebrating everything Alta (just don't ruin the party attempting to ski down the backside of High Boy on snowblades).

Brighton is an awesome place to spend warm spring days in the park and should still see plenty of snow in the next month or so. Millicent is one of my favorite lifts to ride on a powder day. As the days are getting longer, max out your ski days by night skiing into April. Where else can you rip nearly-2000 vertical foot laps from 9am to 9pm?

Brighton maintains a flexible closing day depending on snowpack, occasionally staying open until late-April. Oh, and they know how to throw one hell of a closing day party, known simply as Marcharita It's rowdy. Don’t miss it.

Snowbird and spring skiing go together like burgers and fries… Corona and lime... or better yet, a shot and a beer at the Tram Club. The spring skiing mecca is open longer than any resort in Utah and the place absolutely goes off in the spring #LongestSeasonInUtah! Sunny or powdery Cirque laps from the Tram should be a constant in your life for the next two months. Combine that with patriotic Memorial Day costume skiing, unofficial pond skims, bikinis and bro tanks, sunscreen and zinc, and even some random day that everyone decides to ski in jorts (aka jean shorts) Jortski, the Bird is the word in the spring.

Snowbird's closing date is still TBD. Drop the ball on picking up a pass this season? Don't worry. Check out the Snowbird Spring Passes. The first pass is available now, and for $579 you can ski Bird every day until early-May. Then on Friday, Saturday and Sundays until the last strip of snow melts away... whenever that may be. The second spring pass runs April 1st through closing day, the exact price is still "TBD," but this will be the season to get your money’s worth and then some.

Snowbird & Snowbasin have already started selling their 2018-19 season passes, and in one of the boldest moves in the Utah ski industry, you can ski free the rest of this season by pre-purchasing next year's pass. Oh, and Snowbird also offer a financing option that breaks down the cost of a 2018-19 Season's Pass into ten monthly payments. For the cost of one day pass per month, you will ski for free until the snow melts this season and have your pass paid for in time for 2018-19 Opening Day. One more thing, you can use the Snowbird pass this summer for hiking or mountain biking from the Tram.

 

So, there you have it. Après Adam’s definitive guide to spring skiing in Utah. See you out on the slopes… or at least the slopeside costume party. I’ll be the guy with a beer, playing 80’s dance music, rocking a mullet and dancing in snowblades.
Cheers!

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