Snowbasin has been operating since 1939 and received a prime time showcase on the world stage during the 2002 Winter Olympics, but this gem in the Northern Wasatch is still Utah’s best kept secret. It’s a world-class resort with enviable amenities and terrain, but the absence of on-mountain lodging means you won’t find lift lines and tracked-out slopes.
Ask around about Snowbasin Resort and the conversation will invariably touch on the immaculate day lodges and excellent on-mountain dining. The reputation is well deserved, but you don’t have to be Larry Lunchtime to enjoy this resort. Snowbasin is a skiers’ and snowboarders’ mountain, combining finely-crafted corduroy cruisers and hair-raising steeps with an ultra-efficient lift system and a touch of mountain luxury. Drop-in and experience the different sides of Snowbasin.
You still rock that purple 2002 Winter Olympics ski jacket every time you hit the slopes. The only history you care to study is on display at the Eccles Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games Museum. Time to tip it and rip it.
Step off the Mt. Allen Tram above No-Name Peak and get ready to give it the beans. You’re in the start gate of the famed Grizzly Downhill course from the ’02 Games. Bring your A-game because with a vertical drop of more than 2,900 feet in under two miles, this run has teeth. Just down the ridge is the beginning of the equally imposing Wildflower Downhill, home to the Women’s Olympic Downhill.
Snowbasin also hosted the super-G and the combined, the latter of which became famous for Bode Miller’s legendary slalom comeback that secured him a silver medal. Everybody knows Bode liked a good time, so you should honor that spirit with a visit to the Shooting Star Saloon in Huntsville for a beer and a famous Star Burger when you’re done shredding.
You don’t need nausea-inducing g-forces to have a good time, and let’s get serious, corduroy ain’t just for pants. Some leisurely laps, scenic views and perhaps a refreshing cocktail will do just fine, thank you. Skiing and snowboarding are about having fun, not working, and you’re off the clock.
Climb aboard the Strawberry Gondola for a relaxing 2,500 foot ride to the top of Main Street. Once at the top, take a moment to soak in the panoramic view of surrounding Demoisy and Strawberry Peaks before strapping in for a meandering cruise down Main Street back to the bottom. Take a load off and enjoy another lift to the top before a wide-open, off-trail cruise in the sunny Moonshine Bowl.
Now that your quads are burning, it’s time to transition to the important part of the day: après. Head to Cinnabar Lounge inside the John Paul Lodge for a frosty beverage and some tasty small plates while catching some live tunes.
The send train left the station this morning, and you’re the conductor. You don’t need wax because you’re floating above the snow more than you’re riding on it. Crank the dins and tighten down those highbacks—you’re about to turn the boost to 11.
Newschool shredders have their pick of three different terrain parks, all with meticulously maintained creative features. Littlecat has the smallest features for those just earning their wings, while you can hit some features in Blue Grouse on the way to boosting some jumps in Orson’s near the bottom of Needles Gondola. More freerider than freestyler? Take the Strawberry Gondola to Lone Tree and pop off a host of natural features sprinkled throughout the Middle Bowl Cirque.
Getting sendy can leave a shredder parched and famished, so head to the Funk N’ Dive Bar in nearby Ogden for some refreshment and a burger. The prohibition-era speakeasy on Historic 25th Street is the perfect haunt to wrap up a day of serious boosting.
You live for the untracked steep and deep, but aren’t above getting a little mechanized backcountry bump. You’re first out the gate every time because breaking trail and stomping in the bootpack puts you in your happy place. Avalanche transceiver beeping from the car to the bar, you’re always ready.
Snowbasin has convenient access to remarkable backcountry terrain, which is perfect for mining powder days after a storm. As always, terrain outside the resort boundary doesn’t undergo avalanche mitigation, so it’s essential to ensure you’re prepared with the gear and knowledge to safely ski and ride in avalanche terrain. Check the UAC avalanche forecast, and if the conditions are right you can run backcountry hot laps on the ridge below Strawberry peak, or the northeast bowl off No Name Peak. You can string together huge backcountry laps off the back of the resort if you have the terrain knowledge and strong legs to skin back into the resort. There’s big mountain backcountry terrain at your fingertips in all directions. Just remember sidecountry terrain is backcountry terrain, and all backcountry terrain needs to be treated with respect.
You already worked hard to earn your turns, so there’s no need to go to great lengths for your après. Stop in slopeside at Snowbasin Earl's Lodge to choose from an enormous selection of beers that taste mighty delicious after a big day on the skin track.
Skipc \ 1.4 years ago
Fun article Tony!