When it comes to spring skiing, who doesn't enjoy having a few après drinks on a sun-drenched patio. We are fortunate to get quite a bit of sunshine as the spring goes on, and sitting outside with a cold drink after a few hours of skiing just feels like the right thing to do. In an effort to help facilitate your own patio session, we have put together a list of where you can find some prime outdoor seating where you can grab a drink and reminisce on the incredible winter we've had.
Park City Mountain: Riding at Park City you have a couple of solid options to choose from. If you are on the Mountain Village side of the resort, stop into the Corner Store. Featuring quite a large outdoor seating area, live music most days, cheap drinks and your typical bar foods, the Corner Store is a can’t miss spot in the spring. If you find yourself over in the Canyons Village, check out the Umbrella Bar located right in the middle of the village. Post up at the bar under the giant umbrella if you need a little break from the sun, or snag a table out on the large deck. Regardless of where you sit there is a good chance you will be hearing some live music when the sun is shining.
Deer Valley Resort: When you’re out experiencing the Deer Valley Difference, head over to the St. Regis and soak up the sun with a ginger margarita. Make sure to have your Hawaiian shirt on and tell the server to crank up the Jimmy Buffett. Or, for a different but equally enjoyable post skiing sit, cruise over to the Silver Lake Lodge at the base of the Sterling Express Chairlift. Grab a beer from the bar and head out to the patio. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to find a nice adirondack chair to lean back in and work on your goggle tan on the ski beach.
Solitude Mountain Resort: Make your way to the Roundhouse, a mid-mountain lodge easily accessible via the Apex, Moonbeam, Powderhorn and Eagle chairlifts. The Roundhouse has a nice south facing patio that is positioned perfectly for watching people ski while you enjoy a cold beer and some curry fries. One thing to take into account for the Roundhouse is the fact that its ski-in/ski-out, so make sure you keep it under control and make it down the mountain when you’re finished.
Alta Ski Area: As far as sitting outside at Alta goes, there is no better place than the Alta's Goldminer's Daughter Lodge at the Wildcat Base. Similar to the Roundhouse at Solitude, the GMD offers great views of people skiing down High Rustler and the lower portions of the Collins and Wildcat terrain. If you need a little bit of energy in addition to a beer, order an Alta Bomb. What’s an Alta Bomb? It’s a shot of espresso dropped into a glass of PBR. In other words, it’s energy beer. Don’t necessarily feel the pressure of committing to an Alta Bomb as it is perfectly acceptable to take my approach and casually sip a beer.
Snowbird: There is no shortage of options for sunny drinks when it comes to Snowbird. In the Snowbird Center alone you have three different options. Upstairs on the Tram Plaza, you’ve got two places to choose from: Birdfeeder and the Forklift. Check out the Birdfeeder if you want a walk-up window beer and snag a table with your friends. Otherwise, take a seat at the Forklift and have one of the excellent servers take care of you. Your third choice is to go downstairs to the infamous Tram Club and make your way out to their patio where you can get a shot and a beer for $5. Don’t forget that Snowbird is home to Utah’s longest season, so you can keep the après scene going late into the spring.
Snowbasin Resort: Not only does Earl’s Lodge have the nicest bathrooms (seriously, check them out), but it also has a very large patio area. After a full day of lapping the Needles and Strawberry Gondolas, nothing feels as good as sitting down with a cold beer and listening to some live music on the weekends. Beer can be purchased outside on the patio or inside from the servery.
Brian Head Ski Resort: Whenever I ski at Brian Head, it seems fitting to end the day at a place called the Last Chair Saloon. Located in the Giant Steps Lodge, the Last Chair is right next to the Giant Steps Chairlift and the main parking lot. Cruise upstairs and out onto the deck where often times you’ll be able to catch some music while you and your friends put down a couple pitchers of Brian Head Lager. While doing so, be sure to try some of the fried pickles to soak up that beer.
So there you have it, a starter’s guide to the places we like to grab a beer when the weather is sunny and the snow is soft. One thing to always consider when skiing and having some après drinks is the strong Utah sun. Be sure to keep your skin covered and wear some sunscreen! No one wants a goggle burn instead of a tan. Additionally, remember to take into consideration the fact that you are drinking at elevation and alcohol will likely affect you differently. Counter the beers with water and always sort out some sort of carpool or hop on the bus. Almost all of these bars are conveniently within walking distance of a bus stop.
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