Family Ski Resort Guide | Deer Valley Resort

By Local Lexi Sep 8, 2021
From outstanding customer service to legendary dining and luxurious touches, there are few ski areas that can match award-winning Deer Valley’s upscale atmosphere and ski school.
Family Ski Resort Guide | Deer Valley Resort

The elegant mountain ambiance and meticulous attention to detail are what earn Deer Valley Resort top honors year after year. Deer Valley is most renowned for the quantity and quality of its painstakingly groomed runs but the powder and tree skiing for expert and advanced skiers are also superb. The proximity of Deer Valley to Park City’s vibrant dining and nightlife scene make it a worthwhile weekend or vacation destination. Note that Deer Valley is a skier’s resort and snowboarders are not permitted.

Service and amenities are what define Deer Valley. For example, a Ski Valet will help guests unload their skis and complimentary ski storage is offered. The dining options and delicious food tempt many skiers off the slopes. Ski trails are well-groomed, lifts are high-speed and the experience at Deer Valley can best be described as seamless. The number of ticket sales are capped daily so the slopes seldom feel packed. Take this fact into account and purchase tickets early if you plan to visit on holiday weekends or peak periods.



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Just over two thirds of Deer Valley’s terrain is rated for beginner or intermediate skiers. For this reason, it is the perfect mountain to learn or gain confidence on skis. The well-groomed snow and lovely, winding groomers are fun for beginners and advanced skiers alike.

Expect to see higher prices at Deer Valley when compared to other resorts in Utah. While costs are higher, it’s a worthy place to splurge and the experience justifies the expense. 

Deer Valley Resort is a 3-minute drive (15-minute walk) east of Park City’s historic Main Street. Approximate driving times (in favorable driving conditions) and distances are listed below:  
Salt Lake City: 33 miles – 45 minutes
Provo: 47 miles – 1 hour
Ogden: 73 miles – 1 hour, 15 minutes 
Logan: 114 miles – 2 hours
St. George: 310 miles – 4 hours, 30 minutes


Stein Eriksen Residences


In a 5th Grader’s Words:
“If you’re looking for a fun day in the powder, come to Deer Valley. It is so fun and there are runs for everyone. From Wide West to The Chutes; there are so many hideouts. Everyone is so nice and the food is amazing!” - Bailey, Age 11


TERRAIN & MOUNTAIN STATS

Skiable Acres: 2,026 Acres
Vertical Drop: 3,000 Feet
Number of Runs: 103
Terrain: 27% Beginner, 41% Intermediate, 32% Advanced
Chairlifts: 20, 3 Conveyor Lifts, 1 Gondola
Night Skiing: No
Deals for Kids: Day ticket prices reduced for children 5-12 and tots 4 and under.

Deer Valley is located just a three-minute drive east of Park City’s historic and bustling Main Street, yet it feels like a world away from everyday life. The luxurious amenities, customer service, and exquisite dining options provide a blissful escape from the grind. Whether it’s a fancy day out with the family or a romantic weekend getaway, the luxe atmosphere of Deer Valley is unique to this corner of the Wasatch Mountains.

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Tickets can and should be purchased online to ensure availability since Deer Valley limits the daily number of skiers to preserve the skiing experience. Deer Valley recommends purchasing tickets during the peak periods of Dec 19 - Jan 8, President's Day Weekend and March 12-27 during Spring Break. If you purchase in advance you can pick your tickets up and any one of the numerous self-service ticket printing kiosks. 

Tickets can also be purchased onsite from one of the three base areas: The Jordanelle Ticket Office, Snow Park Lodge or Silver Lake Lodge. For the most straightforward access, families should begin their day at the Snow Park Lodge. There is a large unloading area—take advantage of those friendly Ski Valets—and complementary parking lot shuttles. At the Silver Lake Lodge there is limited paid parking in a heated garage.

Twenty-seven percent of Deer Valley’s runs are rated for beginning skiers. Of Deer Valley’s six mountains, five offer terrain for learners. This means families of different ability levels have an easier time skiing together. Note that Empire Mountain has no green-rated trails from the summit.

Beginners and learners should head to the Wide West area near the Snow Park Lodge. This gentle terrain is separated from the more trafficked runs and serviced by two chairlifts and three conveyer lifts. Start out on Wide West and graduate to blue-rated Solid Muldoon.

From the Carpenter Express lift, learning or intermediate skiers can warm up with Last Chance and move along to the steeper pitch of Solid Muldoon and Big Stick. Silver Lake Express conveys skiers from the Snow Park Lodge up to the Silver Lake Base Area. Silver Lake provides access to Bald Mountain, Flagstaff Mountain, Empire Canyon and Lady Morgan.

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With four chairlifts, Bald Mountain harbors terrain ideal for intermediates and advanced skiers. Deer Valley’s famous powder skiing through perfectly spaced aspens lies here in Sunset Glades and Triangle Trees. The easiest route down from Bald Mountain is green-rated Homeward Bound. Thrilling blues include Tycoon, Keno and Perseverance. Expert skiers will appreciate the black rated, north-facing runs off Bald Mountain’s Mayflower Chairlift like Mayflower Chutes, Morning Star and Fortune Teller.

Flagstaff Mountain is a great place for families to spend a few hours. A full range of terrain serviced by four high-speed quads and one triple chair are found here. Kids love this zone thanks to the special children’s runs and play areas including: Enchanted Forest, Oompah Loompa Land, Quincy’s Cabin, Bucky’s Backyard and Quincy’s Mine.

Pro Tip: Be sure to pick up a Children’s Area Adventure Map that showcases the 14 children’s trails scattered across the mountain. These high-octane trails feature curving paths through treed terrain, banked turns to foster speed control and fun surprises like a miniature cabin complete with a teddy bear tea party hidden in the woods.

Advanced and expert skiers will want to spend some time exploring the steeper terrain, chutes, bumps, trees and glades from the Empire and Lady Morgan lifts. At 9,570 feet, this is the area of highest elevation at Deer Valley. There are no green runs off the top of Empire Peak. Experts love the intimidating challenge of the Daly Bowl and Daly Chutes.


PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION & PARKING

Consider riding the UTA Ski Bus to avoid driving and help reduce congestion. In the winter months, the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), runs daily service from November or December until March or April. Routes 901 and 902 connect Salt Lake City and Park City. Once you arrive in Park City, the Park City Transit System offers FREE transit around town and to both ski areas. Note that all three of Deer Valley’s day lodge locations are serviced by Park City’s complimentary transit system. Check the UTA website for a current schedule and read our Guide to Ride the Ski Bus

Deer Valley Resort offers complimentary parking with a free shuttle to Snow Park Lodge. Note that limited parking is available at the Jordanelle Express Gondola. Up at the Silver Lake Lodge there are a small number of paid sites inside a covered garage. There is no day-skier parking at the Empire Canyon Lodge.

Base Area


BASE AREAS & LODGES

Deer Valley has a total of 3 base areas. The Jordanelle Ticket Office is best for those traveling to the resort via Highway 40 from Heber or Midway. The Silver Lake Lodge is located mid-mountain and though it can be accessed by car, the paid covered parking is limited. Most skiers use the Snow Park Lodge as basecamp. This is where the main Ski School office and the Children’s Center for childcare are located. Dining, shopping, lodging, free ski storage, and rentals are located at both Snow Park and Silver Lake.

The Empire Canyon Lodge is found high on the mountain beneath Empire Peak and adjacent to the splendid Montage Deer Valley. The Empire Canyon Grill and Rossignol High-Performance Test Center are stationed here.

Pro Tip: Don't miss the chance to try all the latest and greatest Rossignol skis and tech from the High-Performance Test Center! It's free and you can easily swap out and test different types of skis on all the surrounding terrain.


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DEER VALLEY SKI SCHOOL

Deer Valley Resort Ski School is renowned for its fantastic instructors and small class sizes. Lessons are often booked up so it is wise to reserve in advance. Modeled after children’s developmental stages, lessons include fun activities to keep kids engaged and interested in skiing such as a mascot spraying contest, crafting snow cones, snowman building, hula hooping and themed activities. The ski school provides a large variety of lesson options and formats and Deer Valley prides itself on a Gold Standard of instruction. 

Private Ski Lessons
Customize your learning experience at Deer Valley with one-on-one instruction to perfect your techniques. The length of private lessons can be tailored to your needs. Deer Valley also offers a range of special clinics and workshops, for example: Mahre Training Center Ski Camps, Steeps & Stashes, and clinics for men and women. Visit Deer Valley’s website for information and current offerings. Deer Valley also offers an excellent 1-hour 'Intro to Skiing" course for those who are brand new to the sport.

Max 4 Adult Group Ski Lesson
With no more than 4 students, this small group lesson allows beginning and experienced skiers to fine tune their techniques. Max 4 classes should be booked in advance and are intended for ages 18 and up. Students are grouped according to experience level and lesson goals.

Teen Escape
For teenagers aged 13-17 years, Deer Valley offers an all-day Teen Escape to teach students the thrill of skiing and a love for the sport. Send your teen with about $30 so they can join their instructor and classmates for lunch. The Teen Escape is for all ability levels and classes will consist of 6-8 students.

Adventure Club
Built for ages 7-12 years, Deer Valley’s Adventure Club is an all-day program with a maximum class size of six students. Children enjoy personal instruction, fun games, themed activities, races and scavenger hunts. Students are organized by ability level so it typically takes about 20 minutes to organize classes each morning. Advance reservations are highly recommended. 

Reindeer Club
For children 5-6 years in age, the Reindeer Club is an all-day program with a maximum of four students. Ski safety, fun, and progression are highlighted while children participate in scavenger hunts, interact with Deer Valley’s friendly animal mascots, and enjoy plenty of breaks for hot chocolate or snow cones. Deer Valley's beloved mascots will help children learn the secrets of safety and fun skiing. 

Youth Bambi Club
For children 4 years in age, the Bambi Club features a mix of indoor and outdoor fun to keep youngsters entertained all day. Skiing sessions are mixed up with outdoor snow play and indoor activities including story time, art projects, lunch and music time. Discounted equipment rental packages are offered.

Fawn Special
The Fawn Special program is for ages 3 and up with morning or afternoon ski lessons at a student to instructor ration of 1:1. Entertaining and stimulating off-snow activities include story time, arts and crafts, imaginative play, and more. Equipment rentals are offered at a discount. Children should be willing to ski independently with an instructor.


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SKI SHOP & EQUIPMENT RENTALS

Deer Valley operates three rental shops at Snow Park, Silver Lake and the Lodge at Deer Valley. Retail shops around the resort also offer demos, equipment, clothing and accessories.

Deer Valley Resort Rental Shops include a full lineup of Rossignol equipment and demo fleets. With multiple locations across the mountain, it’s simple to exchange, upgrade or adjust your gear. The Grab & Ski program allows you to reserve your gear ahead of time and skip the lines. Deer Valley does recommend using their Grab & Ski benefit during peak periods or holidays. Ski tuning and equipment repair are also available.

A variety of packages are offered and can be customized or tailored to your equipment needs. Demo rental packages, performance, sport rental or junior rental packages are all available with the option to add a helmet or ski poles.

Don’t forget the Rossignol Test Center located adjacent to the Empire Canyon Lodge. This free Deer Valley amenity allows you to find your dream pair of skis by testing the latest and greatest technology from Rossignol!

Pro Tip: If you want the ultimate service and a premium ski rental experience we love Ski Butlers!


Lodging


LODGING AND DINING OPTIONS

Deer Valley has no shortage of accommodation options and the selection can be overwhelming. Most guests opt to call the Lodging and Reservations Office to speak with on-site vacation planners to identify the ideal fit. There are also a good number of economical lodging options in Park City proper or Kimball Junction.

Deer Valley’s luxury accommodations range from hotels to condominiums and townhomes, as well as grandiose private homes located on the slopes. Many provide direct ski-in/ski-out access to reduce the hassle of getting to the hill in the morning. The conveniences of staying at a Deer Valley property include picking up lift tickets at the front desk, complimentary shuttles to the slopes or Park City, plush concierge services and Deer Valley’s accommodating and friendly staff. Connect with Deer Valley’s Reservations Office to consider the options and book a Deer Valley Property.

Of the many lodges at Deer Valley, the Silver Baron Lodge stands out as a great option for families and is conveniently located at the Snow Park base area. This lodge is a family-friendly favorite with a water slide, s’mores kits and kid’s après ski activities like cookie decorating or meeting the ski patrol avalanche dogs.

Deer Valley also has fantastic four and five star hotels that are not owned by the resort but are ski-in/ski-out. Choose from Stein Eriksen Lodge, St. Regis and Montage which collectively represent some of the most luxe lodging available in Utah.


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When it comes to food, nothing compares to Deer Valley’s quality and variety of offerings. While dining at Deer Valley doesn’t come cheap, the resort features some of the best fare that can be found at a ski area. If there is ever a time or place to indulge, Deer Valley is the spot.

Pro Tip: Don’t miss the legendary chocolate chip or oatmeal cookies, which are freshly baked and served throughout the day.

All of the lodges contain dining options so you are never too far from a snack or a meal at Deer Valley. For a quick on-the-go hot chocolate or one of those famous Deer Valley cookies, try Cushing’s Cabin atop Flagstaff Mountain or Snowshoe Tommy’s on Bald Mountain.

For the quickest lunch option, there is upscale cafeteria-style dining at the Snow Park and Silver Lake Restaurants and the Empire Canyon Grill located at the Empire Canyon Lodge. Savor selections from the large salad bar, hot specialties, sandwiches, grilled items, carved roasts, soups, fresh baked goods, and Deer Valley’s famous turkey chili. To-go food is also available. 

Pro Tip: Head down to the Snow Park Restaurant during the 12:00-1:30 PM lunch rush. It is typically less crowded than the Silver Lake or Empire Canyon lodges. Empire Canyon also has a large grab-and-go menu.

At Silver Lake Lodge, Royal Street Cafe is a favorite among locals for sit-down lunch or dinner. Sample the cheeses made in house, fine wines, cocktails and a diverse menu with enough appealing dishes to delight the pickiest eater. Savor a Dungeness crab tower, elk chili, ahi tuna tacos or mac and cheese for the kiddos. This is also a casual après option for thirsty parents and there is seating both indoors and outdoors and online ordering is available for to-go food. 

For an afternoon break or après whistle wetting, Edgar’s Beer & Spirits Lounge—The EBS Lounge—curates craft cocktails, and provides beer, fine wines, appetizers, live music and TVs for sporting events. The large outdoor deck on the second story of the Snow Park Lodge offers an excellent vantage point to watch the slopes and enjoy the mountain’s majesty.

For dinner, consider the brick oven comfort food at The Brass Tag located inside The Lodges at Deer Valley. Oven fired chimichurri chips, bison meatloaf and customizable pizzettes are crowd favorites. There is also a famous Seafood Buffet at the Snow Park Lodge and Fireside Dining at Empire Canyon Lodge. Both dining experiences have established menus but the accommodating staff is happy to provide alternate options for picky eaters or children.

For the true Deer Valley experience, stroll into The Mariposa for dinner at Silver Lake Lodge and enjoy this #1-rated restaurant from the Zagat Restaurant Guide for food and service. With an excellent wine list and a globally inspired small plate menu, you’ll feel far transported from the slopes and mountains of Utah. Lobster chowder, wild mushrooms, bison fillets and more await discerning taste buds.


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CHILDCARE

Childcare is available for children aged 2 months to 12 years in a state-licensed facility from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM daily during the ski season. Children will be kept busy with storytelling, art projects, imagination activities, singing, quiet time and plenty of playtime with toys. Children of similar ages will be grouped together and the option for indoor or outdoor activities is available. Reservations for half or full-day care can be arranged and lunch is included for full-day guests. Half-day afternoon care is not available.

Evening childcare can be arranged with Baby’s Away or directly through any of the Deer Valley lodging concierges.


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POINTS OF INTEREST

For a memorable visit, consider these unique points of interest when planning a trip to Deer Valley Resort.

Mountain Host Tours
Deer Valley’s hospitable Mountain Hosts will offer 4 guided tours daily for both intermediate and expert riders. Tours leave from the Snow Park Lodge in the morning and the Silver Lake Lodge in the afternoon. Visit Deer Valley’s website for further info.

Rossignol High-Performance Test Center
In a quaint little yurt near the Empire Canyon Lodge you’ll find the Rossignol Test Center. Demo the latest in Rossignol’s ski technology, a complementary service from Deer Valley and Rossignol. Swap your skis for changing conditions and discover the skis of your dreams.

Swaner Preserve & EcoCenter
Nestled amid to the bustle of Kimball Junction lies a seldom explored ecosystem and wildlife preserve. This 1,200-acre nature preserve is also home to an impressive EcoCenter with interactive exhibits. View wildlife in every season on their wildlife pier or climb the 4-story lookout tower for a bird’s-eye view. 


VISIT DEER VALLEY'S WEBSITE & LEARN MORE - CLICK HERE


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