Utah Ski Itinerary | For the Powderhound

By Yeti Nov 15, 2019
A powder lover's dream itinerary in Utah at Alta and Snowbird including the best places to grab an après ski beverage and tasty dinner.
Utah Ski Itinerary | For the Powderhound

words by Jeremy Pugh

You saw the storm moving in and pulled the trigger on a last minute trip to Utah. We get it and don't blame you. Now, we're here to tell you that Snowbird and Alta Ski Area were the perfect choice for world-famous steep, challenging terrain, and are bucket-list spots, perfect for hard-chargers with ample beginner and intermediate terrain for the rest of us.

Groomer skiing at Alta


1 p.m.
Land at airport code SLC. Grab a shuttle or a car share to the The Snowpine Lodge, a chic, Southwest-meets-mod hotel offering ski-in/ski-out access at Alta Ski Area and rooms ranging from luxurious mountain-view suites to monastic dorms.

2 p.m.
Stow your bags and grab your gear. Alta’s base is situated at 8,500’ above sea level, so use the time before the lifts stop running for the day at 4:30 p.m. to ski off your jet lag on Roller Coaster, a long, intermediate cruiser off the Sugarloaf lift or the glades off the Collins lift in Westward Ho.

5 p.m.
It’s well past time for drinks at the Alta Lodge's classic Sitzmark Club. Settle in by the fire, buy a local a beer and gather some intel for tomorrow’s deep dive into the Wasatch Backcountry. 

6 p.m.
Dinner at The Snowpine. Mosey to the game room after dinner to get to know your powder-hungry brethren. But call it an early night with some bedtime check-ins on tomorrow’s forecast at via Powder Bouy and Open Snow.

Powderbid Helicopter


6 a.m.
You did listen when we advised you to call it an early night on Friday, right? You’ll need to be at the Snowbird helipad bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for your briefing at Powderbird Helicopter Skiing. Fuel up on breakfast while you pay careful attention to the rules of the non-road. Check the latest snowfall on Utah's Offical Snow Report before you head out the door.

7 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Lift off. Literally. Soak up this unforgettable day of flight+run, flight+run—quick, mid-air snacks—flight+run, flight+run, et al, to untracked lines in more than 80,000 acres of the Wasatch Range’s most spectacular backcountry.

5 p.m.
Beers and free popcorn (ask for the pretzel-laden “spliff mix”) at the Peruvian Lodge, Alta’s most famous (or infamous) ski bar. Every surface of the “P-Dog” is covered in memorabilia from 75-plus years of Alta’s existence. Pro tip: Locals live by the mantra “popcorn is not dinner.” Heed that warning. 

7 p.m.
Pick your protein: steak. Pick your starch: twice-cooked cheese potatoes. Pick your greens: a tossed salad drowned in housemade super-chunky blue cheese dressing. Welcome to Snowbird’s Steak Pit, featuring prime dry-aged USDA cuts and a wine list to delight your palate.  

9 p.m.
How are you still awake? You might talk the bartender at the Tram Club (located next to the Steak Pit) into another round but, really? 

Powder Skiing at Snowbird


8 a.m.
Sunday belongs to Snowbird. Catch the first Tram (9 a.m.) and eye The Cirque as you crest the top of Hidden Peak. If there’s fresh snow that’s where the masses will head. Don’t take the bait. They go left, you go right to the High Baldy Traverse where runs like Fields of Glory, Thanks for the Memories and Center of Gravity await.

4 p.m.
Depart for home, re-live your trip through your camera roll and start double-checking your vacay hours to figure out how to get back here and do it all over again. 

Looking for more beta on a weekend trip to Utah's Little Cottonwood Canyon? Here's another version of 48 hours in LCC which some affectionately refer to as heaven. 

We've also thoughtfully crafted itineraries for the foodie, the explorer and the urbanite should you wish to choose another path of adventure or piece a few together for your custom ultimate vacay. 

Originally written for Ski Utah magazine