Have we got a pitch for you!
Check off the longest or steepest run at each of Utah's 15 ski areas. While most of these runs are only appropriate for experienced or advanced skiers, we also feature a few that are great for beginners and intermediates. Some of these runs will raise the hair on the back of your neck, others pay tribute to our 2002 Winter Olympic legacy, and one even features an underground ski tunnel!
As always, Ski Utah encourages folks to make responsible and educated decisions when venturing beyond resort boundaries or through backcountry exit gates. You should never exit a ski area boundary into avalanche terrain without proper equipment, knowledge about how to use it, a partner, and the smarts to safely navigate through avalanche terrain. Even though you may see tracks or the snow looks and feels safe you should absolutely not venture into backcountry terrain without these basic requirements. If you're not being safe, you are endangering others and that's a pretty darn selfish way to live.
With the warnings out of the way, we present the longest and steepest ski runs in Utah.
Can you catch them all!?
Alta Ski Area
You can score a great peep of Alta's longest run right from the Albion base area. Just look skyward for the imposing rock ledges atop the huge ridge that divides Alta Ski Area in two. There you’ll spy a little notch known as Eddie’s High Nowhere.
If you’re looking for the steepest terrain at Alta, you’ll have to saddle up for a hike to the top of Mount Baldy (not always open). There you’ll need to gather your courage to descend into the gut-wrenching Little Chute. This tricky, narrow chute is absolutely not for beginner or intermediate skiers; just catch local skier Drew Gilmore’s line below, it may be more than enough to satisfy you.
Beaver Mountain boasts a 2.5 mile run called Gentle Ben. If steeps are what you're craving head for Lue's which is named after Beaver Mountain's original matriarch, Luella Seeholzer.
When connecting with longtime Brighton Marketing Director, Jared Winkler, he simply wanted to share his absolute favorite Brighton linkup. It does require backcountry equipment, skills and knowledge of current avalanche conditions to complete this top to bottom circuit.
Jared recommends starting on the Snake Creek chairlift. Once you reach the top terminal, exit the backcountry gate (with gear, a partner and a good amount of backcountry savvy) and hike up to the top of Preston Peak. From the top of this peak, you can score 4-5 great powder turns and land right back above Snake Creek Bowl. Milk a few more powder turns here and then veer into the My-Oh-My Terrain Park once you encounter the Thunder Road cat track. Jib some features, hit some jumps and wind your way into the Candyland terrain park.
Jared then recommends either riding the rail garden through the terrain park near the Majestic chairlift or veering to the right down blue-rated Powder Alley for more pow turns or a nice detour through the trees. After sampling a little bit of nearly all the types of terrain Brighton has to offer, Jared recommends jumping back on Crest Express to repeat the process.
Cherry Peak Resort
The steepest run at Cherry Peak comes with jaw-dropping views and enough pitch to make a heart monitor screech. At the top of the Summit Lift, turn left and locate Gutsy as you face the expanse of beautiful Cache Valley. To stitch up an even longer run, finish Gutsy and link up Side Step for a big sweeping turn and finish up on True Blue which will deposit you at the ski area's beautiful lodge.
Deer Valley Resort
Want to see if you can handle the longest run at Deer Valley Resort? It measures out to a whopping 2.8 miles! Begin from the top of Northside Express and make your way to the bottom of the Sultan Express Chairlift. Accomplish this by skiing sections of the following runs: Ontario, Homeward Bound, McHenry’s and finally, Sultan Connection.
The steepest and hairiest terrain at Deer Valley is the renowned Daly Chutes in Empire Canyon. A short shuffle will deposit you on the edge of this hulking cornice and at this point, you can make a decision about whether you'd like to proceed or retreat. The steepest shot is Chute 4. Watch out for rocks, drops and snow sluff!
Eagle Point Resort
There’s not much competition with crowds at Eagle Point to enjoy the longest and the steepest runs in the Tushar Mountain Range. The longest run even includes the unique experience of skiing through a tunnel and it is appropriate for strong intermediate skiers.
Start out by catching the Monarch chairlift and enjoy stunning views of Mt. Holly while you ascend. Take the Big Horn run down to the wide green-rated groomer, Glacier Glade. You may wish to stop here and take a photo of the sprawling valley below. From there, funnel yourself into the tunnel and ride all the way to the base of the lower mountain on the Tunnel Vision run. The ski tunnel safely transports skiers and snowboarders below Route 153 and kids love to whoop and holler while making the journey. You can reach the Canyonside Lodge by hailing a seat on the Canyonside Double Chair. In total, you will have descended 1,500 vertical feet and it’ll take the average intermediate skier 7-10 minutes to complete the entire run!
If you’d rather access the steepest terrain in Southern Utah, head up the Lookout Chair for a great selection of steep, north-facing black diamond terrain. If you’re seeking the steepest pitch at Eagle Point, bag Upper Vertigo which can be accessed from the top of the Lookout Chair. For a more consistently steep pitch, try Hoodoos or Delano.
At a whopping 1.2 miles long, the lengthiest pitch at Nordic Valley boasts a fun name as well: Lolly, Lolly, Lolly. This green-rated trail is great for everyone! Enjoy beautiful views of Ogden Valley as this always-groomed track winds back and forth like a serpent across the newly-added terrain near the Nordic Express 6-person Chairlift.
Park City Mountain
For the steepest run at Park City Mountain, and to relive a little Olympic glory, you’ll want to head up the Eagle Chair from the main Park City Mountain Village. Exit left and look for CB’s Run. This daunting slope was a showpiece in the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympic Games and is still used today for all sorts of competitions like last year’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championship.
CB’s is named after Craig Badami who was killed in a helicopter accident while assisting with teardown of a World Cup event. Craig was a huge player and visionary in popularizing alpine skiing in America and he was the son of Nick Badami who purchased the resort in 1974. Craig was responsible for bringing World Cup racing to Park City and this run, formerly named “Gotcha Run” was renamed to honor his legacy. For more Park City Mountain history, click here.
For the most iconic, longest, and most likely steepest run at Powder Mountain you’re going to have to saddle up for a journey. This trip is only suitable for those with backcountry skills, a knowledgeable partner, awareness of local avalanche conditions, avalanche gear and the confidence to use that gear in an emergency. We’re going to summit James Peak! Note that this terrain is only accessible when current conditions and avalanche hazard allow.
Purchase a ticket on the Lightning Ridge snowcat to bump on up to Lightning Ridge. From there you can either set a skin track or a bootpack to the summit of 9,425-foot James Peak. The wide open slope is ideal for bagging long, satisfying powder runs when conditions allow.
Snowbasin Resort has the distinct honor of hosting the men's and women's Downhill and GS Races at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games so it's no surprise here that we call this resort's steeps world-class. The Men's Grizzly Downhill, accessible via the unique Allen Peak Tram, is the resort's steepest run, racking up 2,900 feet of vertical drop.
The longest run at Snowbasin is Elk Ridge which tops three miles! You'll find Elk Ridge on the Strawberry side of the mountain.
Snowbird's’s longest run and steepest run can both be bagged from the top of the Hidden Peak aerial tramway. Follow the signs for Chip’s Run right from the top and you’ll wind down the entirety of Peruvian Gulch for a whopping 2.5 miles. Though Chip’s Run is rated blue, you should note that this blue difficulty rating might be quite a bit more difficult when compared to other ski resorts!
For Snowbird’s steepest pitch, look for the red avalanche gates on the right-hand side as you descend down the cat track toward Regulator Johnson. This pitch is so steep you won’t be able to spy much of it from the entrance gates. Brave skiers and riders will be rewarded with some of the most excellent double-black diamond turns at Snowbird. Great Scott!
SolitudeSolitude Mountain can proudly claim Utah's steepest groomed run. This black-rated groomer is called Challenger and it's located off the Eagle Express quad. In snowy times, Challenger may not be groomed to preserve the powder so be sure to check the grooming report and current conditions.
Sundance Mountain Resort
With over 1,000 feet of vertical drop, skiers and riders craving steeps at Sundance Mountain Resort should head for the top of the mountain to Bishop’s Bowl. This large bowl harbors deep powder and offers both groomed and moguled runs. I love grabbing a steaming pile of hot nachos in the Bearclaw Cabin first.
Woodward Park City
Woodward Park City stands apart from other Utah resorts in both its terrain and features. Woodward's talented Mountain Operations crew has their work cut out as they sculpt and shape the mountain to meet the needs of the future's pro skiers and riders.
They've lovingly crafted their imposing halfpipe to updated standards in order to prepare the next Olympians. Woodward's pipe is 400 meters long with 18-degree decks and 22+ meters of radius. This means Woodward's halfpipe has two additional meters of radius in its lower transition area to provide better conditions and smoother landings for riders completing tricks. The radius of the halfpipe at the 2014 Sochi Olympics was 20 meters in length which was increased to 22+ meters for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.