Well Groomed | Utah's Top 15 Groomed Ski Runs

Well Groomed | Utah's Top 15 Groomed Ski Runs

Local Lexi

By Local Lexi \ March 11 2024

Sure, we all know Utah's slopes are coated with The Greatest Snow on Earth® but there's much more to love about Utah than powder snow...

That's right, we're headed on-piste for a comprehensive list of the 15 best-groomed ski runs across Utah's ski areas. When Utah's snowcats get busy at night, they leave countless wakes of gorgeous corduroy that beckon to skiers and snowboarders. In this situation, the early bird really does get the worm as the best turns can be found as soon as the lifts begin spinning. We advise an early start, a strong coffee and fresh legs.


GET READY TO CARVE!

Note that this itinerary is best suited to strong intermediate and advanced/expert skiers or snowboarders. Always check the trail map ratings before selecting a run and remember the Skier's and Snowboarder's Responsibility Code. No matter what the situation is, the people downhill from you always have the right of way and it's your responsibility to avoid them and proceed safely. 

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Alta Ski Area

While Alta is most renowned for its legendary powder snow—903 inches to be exact for the 2023–34 season—there is no shortage of pleasing groomers to be enjoyed at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon.

My personal favorite can be accessed about halfway down the route from the Sugarloaf chairlift. After you trace the chairlift's path for a while along Devil's Elbow, you'll hang a right and look for the sudden drop on the skier's left-hand side that denotes the entrance to ROLLER COASTER. There's no false advertising here, Roller Coaster cuts a sinuous path down the mountain back to the base of the Sugarloaf chair. It dips, it drops, it curves, and it delivers serious fun. It's one of the most dynamic and well-shaped runs at Alta and you'll find yourself whooping, hollering, and screaming as if you were visiting an amusement park. 


Beaver Mountain

Thanks to the remote and uncrowded slopes at Northern Utah's Beaver Mountain, you can count on letting loose and carving hard to your heart's delight in the Bear River Mountains. The most bang for your buck as far as groomed runs are concerned can be found off the Harry's Dream lift. For absolutely deserted groomers where you can swoop from edge to edge, go explore the terrain off Marge's Triple. 


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For my favorite sequence of groomed runs, you'll ride the Harry's Dream lift and exit to the skier's right. Continue heading hard right to D-STREET where you'll make a scintillating S shape before the groomer drops off and provides amazing views of Logan Canyon. D-Street will curve gently to the left and you can pick your poison: THE RIDGE or THE STUMP. Both offer equally enticing corduroy and pleasing pitches. Each of these options will deliver you back to the base of Harry's Dream for another lap. 


Brian Head Resort

Only at Brian Head Ski Resort can you enjoy lovingly groomed slopes with the astounding expanse of red rock on the horizon. While many of Brian Head's groomed runs offer red rock views, the best and most encompassing views can be accessed from the Roulette chairlift. Here the mountain drops away offering unobstructed views of the north which contain rolling hills of sandstone and the snowcapped Tushar Mountains in the distance. HARD TIMES is the run that gives you the best peek at this unique scenery but AUGHT to YAZ will also stimulate. 


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Brighton Resort 

Beloved Brighton in Big Cottonwood Canyon keeps skiers and shredders on their toes with its interesting, playful, and bench-like terrain. The best pitches are arguably over on the Mount Millicent side. The groomed runs roll and pitch back and forth in an exciting manner. I typically choose BACKBONE to EASY OUT because the early morning light over here is fantastic and the views across the canyon complement the experience of wrapping around Brighton's western flanks. 

Brighton gets a special shoutout for providing the most exciting and expansive groomers for night skiing in the state of Utah. In the 2022–23 season, Brighton added more night skiing terrain off the Snake Creek chairlift and the resort is now one of the best spots to take advantage of night skiing operations.


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Cherry Peak Resort

Cherry Peak is another off-the-beaten-path resort that seldom sees crowds. It's a place where speed demons can let loose and thrive on the mountain's steeper pitches. Cherry Peak is quite special in that it runs a program dubbed "Freshies at Five." After daily operations have paused, the snowcat will make several passes to leave fresh corduroy for the evening's night skiers. That means you can score freshly groomed slopes after a day at work! 

For the most electrifying groomer linkup at Cherry Peak, head up the Gateway chairlift and on to the Summit chairlift. Pause to enjoy the view of Cache Valley at the top of the Summit lift before you swoop down the steep expanse of GUTSY. As you approach the top shack at the Gateway lift, keep cruising until the last opportunity to take a long, lingering right-hand turn down SIDE STEP. This run whips back around and deposits you onto the ski area's main TRUE BLUE run and back to the base area. 


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Deer Valley Resort

No ski area across the globe is quite so famous as Deer Valley Resort in Park City for the quality and quantity of their groomed terrain. Owning the largest snowcat fleet in the state of Utah does give the resort a bit of a leg up, but the bottom line at the Buck is you can expect seriously high-caliber groomed snow. It's admittedly difficult to pick Deer Valley's top groomer since the menu is so stacked with options. In the future, it will be an even more challenging feat as Deer Valley eyes a massive expansion to the southeast. 

Because I enjoy spreading out and zooming fast I'm going with the groomed terrain off some of Deer Valley's most deserted slopes. The groomers along either the Mayflower or Sultan Express chairlifts are steep, sinuous, and seldom crowded. As a bonus, the startling sight of Jordanelle Reservoir to the east adds an exotic scene to enjoy while you scream down the slopes at mach speed. To start, take a ride up Sterling Express to the top of Bald Mountain. From the summit, drop down TYCOON or opt to take the steeper STEIN'S WAY to pay proper homage to the heritage of Deer Valley and Stein Eriksen's legacy. 


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Eagle Point Resort

Eagle Point in central Utah's Tushar Mountain Range offers seclusion, solitude, and brilliant blue skies. If conditions haven't lined up for one of their beloved "Powder Fridays," fear not as there are plenty of grand groomers begging to dance. My favorite groomer sequence at Eagle Point can be reached from the top of the Lookout quad chairlift. Head skiers left to bag PUFFER'S PASS on to WOLVERINE. These steep blues sweep along the north-facing aspects of the resort where the snow stays cold and the surface is edgeable for lightning speeds. 

Eagle Point earns additional accolades for providing quite possibly the best, widest, gentlest, and most scenic beginner's groomer in the state. The width of this run and its forgiving slope provide ample room for first-timers to get comfortable and build their confidence. As a bonus, the ELK MEADOWS ski run also links to TUNNEL VISION where it's possible to ski through a tunnel underneath the highway. Thanks to the scant crowds and the perfection of Elk Meadows, I'm convinced there is no better place to learn skiing or snowboarding than at Eagle Point.  


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Nordic Valley

In Northern Utah's Ogden Valley lies a humble hill with an indomitable spirit known as Nordic Valley. One of their most exciting groomers is aptly named 2020. This run, off the Nordic Express chairlift, dips, dodges, drops, and zigs before it zags. This tree-lined run is unpredictable and it keeps you on your toes, just like that infamous year that brought us a life-changing global pandemic. Note that 2020 is not typically groomed when there's fresh snow. If that is the case and you truly need to burn turns on corduroy, check out FLYING SQUIRREL to IT'S A START.

Park City Mountain

Park City Mountain boasts an overwhelming amount of terrain, much of it perfectly sculpted into seemingly never-ending groomers. The options to link up various groomed runs are nearly limitless so it's highly recommended to spend a few days at Park City if you're an aficionado of well-maintained slopes. In fact, 120 or more runs are groomed at Park City on a nightly basis! 

We'll go for a groomer that truly sets Park City apart with its access to North America's only ski-in/ski-out distillery, High West Distillery and Saloon. From the Payday Express lift, swoop down PAYDAY and hook a hard right down QUIT 'N TIME to the base of the Town Lift. Here you are just steps away from delicious whiskey, cocktails and amazing bistro food. 


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Powder Mountain

Despite its name and claim to powder fame, Powder Mountain does actually groom its slopes and these offer great snow to those who decide not to venture off-piste. The terrain is fun, playful, and approachable and there's enough of it to keep visitors busy for days. My favorite pitch is SIDEWINDER underneath the Timberline chair. It's got great pitch, it's wide, the exposure is perfect and its path winds around the fall line of the slope in a pleasant manner. 


Snowbasin Resort 

As a former venue for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, it's obvious that Snowbasin Resort delivers world-class groomed runs and snow. If you'd like to trace the tracks of Olympic gold medalists then you'll want to head up John Paul Express to the Allen Peak Tramway. Snowbasin leaves much of the challenging terrain off the John Paul lift ungroomed for expert and advanced skiers, so it is best to check the grooming report before attempting this feat. If the grooming report is favorable, you can choose from the GRIZZLY or WILDFLOWER DOWNHILL runs to swoop down Snowbasin at mach (but safe!) speed and feel like an Olympian.

If the grooming report isn't lining up, an equally fun challenge is to see if you can ski or shred from top to bottom on one of Snowbasin's many groomers without stopping. It's a worthy feat! ELK RIDGE or MAIN STREET over on the Strawberry side are bound to satisfy. 


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Snowbird

Snowbird serves up some of the steepest groomers available at any Utah Resort such as REGULATOR JOHNSON or LOWER SILVER FOX. But my favorite groomer at Snowbird isn't often groomed, you've got to hit it just right. It languishes back in the sunny bowls of Mineral Basin along the Path to Paradise, see aren't you tempted? It's located directly after a sharp right-hand turn along the cat track: WHITE DIAMONDS. The pitch is steady and steep and you've got incredible views of Midway, Heber, and Mineral Basin itself. Just like a precious gemstone, White Diamonds are a rarity and they must be treasured when conditions align. 


Solitude

Solitude Mountain Resort is ripe with groomers of all stripes and pitches. The variety on offer here keeps just about everyone in Big Cottonwood Canyon entertained. Much like Snowbird over in the neighboring canyon, Solitude's best groomer is also a gem. DIAMOND LANE drops precipitously off the top of the Powderhorn II chairlift beneath the quaint little ski patrol shack. The run itself tops a ridge so the terrain falls away on either side creating the sensation of being airborne with expansive views of Big Cottonwood's north walls. Diamond Lane is not often groomed in the early season but once Solitude picks up a good amount of snow, it's ready to go and often groomed in January and beyond. This run is steep, challenging, and just stunning as far as groomer conditions go. 


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Sundance Mountain Resort

Gorgeous views can be enjoyed at Sundance Mountain Resort, a boutique resort nestled underneath the imposing silhouette of Mount Timpanogos in Utah County. The best spot to take advantage of Sundance's scenic placement is to swoop down AMY'S RIDGE via Red's Lift. This sets you up for a little tree skiing in Junior's or a more challenging descent off-piste into Grizzly Bowl. 


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Woodward Park City  

Woodward Park City is unlike any other resort in Utah. It's a fun land for kids and kids at heart featuring a 66,000-square foot indoor Action Sports Hub and an outdoor complex of jumps, halfpipes, rail gardens, and more. Since Woodward doesn't have groomers in the traditional sense, we're going to highlight their perfectly groomed TUBING PARK. With the longest tubing lanes in the state of Utah, the downhill thrills on this pitch of perfectly groomed snow are a memory to treasure. 


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