Planning the Ultimate Trip With Friends

By Yeti Feb 12, 2023
Your ultimate guide to planning the perfect Utah ski vacation with friends.
Planning the Ultimate Trip With Friends

Brought to you by:
High West Distillery

Get up early for the powder. Stay up late for drinks and music. Utah IS the ultimate winter getaway to experience with friends and loved ones. Local experts have curated the most memorable adventures, best places to grab a bite, where to rest your head and more, just for you. Grab your girlfriends, guy friends or your main squeeze. We'll see you on the slopes.

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Adventure Mom
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Active Alyssa

What Should I Not Miss During My Trip?

Here are 12 things you won't find anywhere else. We promise.

  1. Ski at Alta and Soak at Snowbird:

    Spend the day at Alta Ski Area and find out what all the fuss is about when you take a run down High Boy. After a long day of shredding, exploring and enjoying some of the best views in Utah, head over to Snowbird for the steamiest après scene in the state. Your aching quads will thank you while you soak in the rooftop outdoor hot tubs at the Cliff Spa at Snowbird.
  2. Hike Antelope Island State Park during sunset:

    Drive 45 minutes north of Salt Lake City and you'll experience the unique terrain and rich wildlife at Antelope Island. One of the best places to catch a sunset on the island is found at the end of the short hike to Elephant rock. If you're feeling adventurous, hike to the top of Frary Peak and be on the lookout for the roaming bison!
  3. Spend a day in Park City:

    Within a few minutes of walking down historic Main Street, you'll understand why so many people say Park City is their favorite ski town. Whether you decide to ski from Park City Mountain directly to the only ski-in/ski-out whiskey distillery, High West, or end a day skiing at Deer Valley by riding the funicular to enjoy cocktails at St. Regis, everybody will feel at home. Enjoy the boutique or outlet shopping, high-end dining, or grab a beer at one of the many bars on Main Street. If you like nightlife, be sure to check the line-up at Park City Live. Top local bar picks include: No Name Saloon, The Spur, High West Distillery, Yuki Yama Sushi, Old Town Cellars and Shabu.
  4. Ski at Brian Head Resort and explore Cedar Breaks National Monument:

    One of the truly iconic experiences in Utah is being able to ski deep pow and explore the desert in the same day. Start your morning by hiking the Ramparts Overlook trail before spending the majority of the afternoon skiing at Brian Head. After a long day of skiing, head to Last Chair Saloon for live music, cold drinks and incredible BBQ.
  5. Sundance Zip Tour:

    Fly over 65 miles per hour or stop mid zipline to take in the beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. This will surely get your adrenaline pumping and heart racing!
  6. Paddle board yoga at the Homestead Crater:

    I'm sure you have never done yoga in a geothermal hot spring. Challenge your balance on a paddle board above 95-degree mineral water. Here, you won't mind if you fall in. Yoga not your thing? Book a timeslot to soak in the crater.
  7. Sleigh Ride to the Viking Yurt:

    Experience the mountain at night during a sleigh ride behind a snow-cat pulling you 1,800 vertical feet up to the Viking Yurt. You will love the night sky and amazing Norwegian style, six-course menu.
  8. Cat skiing at Powder Mountain:

    Guided tours and cat ski accessible terrain is at your ski tips at Powder Mountain! Ski an all-day tour or check out the sunset expedition. If you really want a work out, sign up for the Skin and Ski experience and earn your untracked turns!
  9. Ski untouched terrain in the Wasatch with Powderbird's heli skiing:

    45 minutes from Salt Lake City Airport, Powderbird Helicopter Skiing accesses nearly 80,000+ acres of skiable terrain. Operating out of Historic Park City and Snowbird in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah's premier heli-skiing definitely needs added to every snow lovers bucket list!
  10. Ride Snowbird's Aerial Tram:

    The Aerial Tram at Snowbird is one of the most recognizable symbols of Utah skiing and snowboarding. Whether you prefer Blue or Red (Blue is my favorite), the Tram is an absolute must skiers. Gain 2,900 vertical feet in under eight minutes. Take in unobstructed views of Little Cottonwood Canyon, Salt Lake City, the Great Salt Lake and Mount Timpanogos. Grab a bite to eat or a drink at 11,000 feet. New for the 2022/23 season, Snowbird has updated the Tram cabins!
  11. Take the Ski Utah Interconnect Tour:

    The Interconnect Adventure Tour is an experience truly unique to Utah. Where else can you ski six resorts in a single day and the backcountry between them? No backcountry gear required — just a good attitude and advanced ski ability.
  12. Bobsledding at the Utah Olympic Park:

    The Utah Olympic Park, located in Park City, was home to a handful of competitions in the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. Current and future Olympians are still training here year-round, so the action is non-stop. Feeling brave? Ride an actual bobsled down the Olympic Bobsled Track. Don't worry, your driver will handle the hard stuff as you do your best to keep your head from banging around at 80mph.


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Travel Tips and Deals


From Here to There: the Greener Way

The mountain slopes, where tens of thousands ski, hike and bike each year, are more than a source of fun — they are home to a diverse ecology and produce a majority of the water for the area. Public and shared transportation has become a major focus in Utah.

Leave nothing but tracks and spare your pocketbook by following these tips.

Uber or Lyft It

Both Uber and Lyft are great options to get up the Canyons, just make sure they are equipped for snow if it's a storm day. Also, select "UberSki" or request a Lyft with "SkiRack" if you have your board or skis along for the ride.

Ride the Bus

The UTA Ski Bus is a reliable and cheap option regardless of the weather. All of the busses are prepared for snow and they offer special racks to safely stow your skis or board.

Finding your route is easy on the Ski Utah app. Simply allow it to use your location, and it will map out the route and schedule in just a few clicks! Note, if you're arriving late in the day, check to make sure the busses will still be running. This post has all the details: Complete Guide to Riding the Utah Ski Bus

POW Bus Shoot

Ride Share

Rideshare is a great option, but takes a little more effort to plan because there isn't a single app that produces consistent ride results. I suggest posting in several until you find a match. A few resorts even reward carpoolers with freebies and incentives. Watch for rideshares to grow over the next year or two now that local resorts are pushing for solutions.

  • ShareLyftApp (specifically for skiers and riders)
  • Perform a Google search using "Rideshare " to find more matching sites

Private Services

Canyon Transportation - 4x4 vans and SUVs to safely transport you and your crew up canyon without stress. Perfect for a group! Serves Park City, Salt Lake City and Ogden.

Snow Country Limousine is Utah's largest luxury transportation company featuing SUVs, high-roof transit vans, mini-coach buses and motor-coach buses.

Rent For an Excursion

If you feel like exploring another area check out Canyon Recrecation, operated by Canyon Transport. They offer FULLY equiped camper Jeeps. Their Jeep Wrangler Sahara sleeps 4 and include user-friendly rooftop tent and all the car camping equipment you need for your National Park road trip.

I hope these tips help you plan a sweet vacation without committing to a car for your whole stay!


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Travel Tips and Deals



Vacation. Most would say it's a time to relax and have fun. So where do our electronic devices come in? They can add to the fun, but they can also distract us from fun and potentially deliver stress-full messages. So what's the right balance of disconnecting vs incorporating devices in your fun?

The answer is likely in how you answer these questions:

  • Do I tense up when I see the emails or texts that have arrived on my device? Perhaps problems from work.
  • Does the device add to my vacation in a purposeful way? Uses could include photos, tracking your runs or posting on social media to make all of your co-workers envious.
  • Even if it adds something, is it distracting you from being fully present in your vacation? Maybe you are so glued to the above that you tune out how good Utah's powder FEELS under your skis or board.

The answers are individual, so all I can do is suggest you ask a few questions. Either way, I recommend stowing it for at least part of every day (you can let it continue tracking your vertical…just don't look until later :)

When you choose to stay connected, these tips will make life a little easier and more fun.

Keep it Warm

Freezing temps kill batteries in a hurry causing your phone to shut down. Stow your phone inside your jacket, close to your body. I sometimes add a sticky toe warmer to the inside of my pockets which keeps both the device, and me, warmer.

Charge It Up

Start with a full battery and consider carrying a compact portable charger such as the Goal Zero Flip 10. It has enough juice for a single charge for your phone and fits easily in a pocket. Recharging stations are also available at many resorts like Park City Mountain, Deer Valley and Snowbasin.

Phone Charging


Wi-Fi is common at most lodges. Snowbird even upped their game by baking a fiber-optic line into the tram cable! This means speedy WiFi at the Summit Lodge and HD quality on webcams. However, WiFi is hit-or-miss on the slopes – which may help manage device dependency. Knowing this, capture your moments on the snow, but spare yourself frustration and numb fingers by uploading posts back at the lodge, preferably with a hot drink in hand and a fireplace at your toes.

Next Level Apps

Ski Utah App This FREE app contains everything a snow enthusiast could need. Features: custom resort powder alerts, ski day tracker, overnight snowfall, daily forecasting by Evan Thayer of OpenSnow, Ski Bus schedules, along with all the classics like 24hr, 48hr, base detph, year-to-date, the last 7 days it snowed, NOAA weather forecasts, snow stake elevation, lifts status and mountain stats.

GAIA GPS – Plan your next backcountry ski trip with ease. Helps evaluate avalanche terrain (slope angles), view incoming weather, and track your location even without cell service.

Ikon App - Download the Ikon Pass App and track stats at Solitude, Brighton, Deer Valley, Alta, Snowbird and Snowbasin. The app helps you track vertical feet, max speed, number of runs, and current altitude. It also allows you to view the live location of others in your group on the map any time.

EpicMixSkiers and riders at Vail Resorts, which include Park City Mountain, can check snow conditions, view lift line times, stay connected with family, track their runs, and much more using the EpicMix App. Feeling competitive? There are also challenges and leaderboards. I competed in a "most vertical feet" contest using EpicMix and it was a hoot! Strategy meets speed.


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Whether you're immersed in the action or cheering from the sidelines, these larger than life events will have you jonesing for more.

December: Alta and Snowbird's Torchlight Parades for New Year's Eve. So many activities take place in Utah around the Holidays, but skiing in a parade is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

January: Sundance Film Festival. Believe it or not, the Sundance Film Festival is a great time to be on the hill. What would normally be a busy week of ski season, ends up being one of the best times of the season to ski great snow without the crowds. Catch a movie after you leave the slopes for the full Sundance experience.
5 Reasons To Go Skiing or Snowboarding During The Sundance Film Festival

February: Deer Valley's World Cup Weekend is a local's favorite each season. Free concerts, aerials, moguls, and fireworks, it's a five day party that you shouldn't miss.

March: Spring Skiing in Utah. This isn't one particular event, but more just a reminder to book a trip to Utah in March. Between spring skiing and pow days, you can't go wrong. Remember, March is historically the snowiest month in Utah.

April: Spring Gruv and Pond Skim at Park City Mountain. Also, don't miss closing day parties. Hint hint: Alta and Snowbird. View More About Spring Skiing In Utah

More Events


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Active Alyssa


Insta-Worthy Digs

  1. Yurt at Beaver Mountain: Perfect for winter parties or family reunions, rent the yurt at the base of Beaver Mountain. Wake up to breakfast at the lodge and get first tracks the next day!
  2. Blue Sky Ranch: Stunning luxury with 3,500 acres and many mountain activities available, along with a Spa and High West Distillery to enjoy! Blue Sky is closest to Deer Valley Resort, Park City Mountain and Sundance Resort.
  3. Compass Rose Lodge: Located in Huntsville, Utah, jut minutes from Snowbasin, Powder Moutnain and Nordic Valley. The lodge offers 15 beautifully-appointed king and queen bedrooms with the premium furnishings, an on-site coffee house, and incorperates an Observatory, the Huntsville Astronomic and Lunar Observatory (HALO).
  4. Zermatt Resort: Get a taste of Switzerland without a passport! Enjoy endless year round activity, pool and spa at the resort or check out the attractions nearby. The Homestead Crater, Soldier Hollow and Ice Castles. Just a short drive away from Deer Valley Resort, Park City Mountain and Sundance Mountain Resorts.
  5. Snowpine Lodge: Cozy up in the newly renovated Snowpine Lodge. With lodging packages including breakfast and dinner, a chic bar and inviting common areas, this beautiful lodge will feel like home by the end of your stay. Fun fact: the Snowpine was the first ski lodge in Little Cottonwood Canyon.
  6. Sundance: Settle in to a warm cottage or home at Sundance Mountain Resort. These digs will leave you feeling relaxed and begging for just one more night. Opt for a spa treatment or art class to round out your stay.
women in a hottub


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Need to take your ski vacation to another level? Check out these Insta-worthy outings.

Fireside Dining at Deer Valley: Imagine pulling up to the tippy-top of Park City in a horse-drawn carriage and entering Empire Canyon Lodge, where roasted leg of lamb and melting raclette cheese are warming by crackling fires in huge stone fireplaces.

The Veuve Yurt at Montage: Bring your wallet and your joie de vive. Spend an hour sipping champagne, enjoying gourmet popcorn and people watching. The ski fashion is top notch.

Collins Grill: Kick off your boots (they give you slippers) and settle in to a leisurely lunch mid-mountain at Alta. Beautiful view and old-school fancy fare like escargot. Classic Utah!

Shooting Star: Utah's oldest and most famous bar awaits you after skiing one of the three resorts in Ogden valley. Order the Star Burger—a glorious stack of two ground-beef patties, two slices of cheese with a grilled knackwurst Polish sausage in the middle—and while you eat, check out the scenery, including the wallpaper of dollar bills and the taxidermy.

High West: This is the place to wrap up the day with friends at the world's only ski-in distillery. It's ALWAYS hopping, but the award-winning cocktails and noshes are worth the wait.

BBQ at Brian Head: Hit the road, from SLC or on your way up from Vegas, for a chill, down-to-earth experience in Utah's red-rock country. The owner smokes killer ribs every weekend in a super casual, friendly atmosphere. The area holds a "Dark Sky" certification, so sparkling views of stars are part of the package.

High West Distillery and Saloon


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Ski-Day Cocktails

Toast your best powder day at these spirited spots.

Park City

Trollhallen: If you're skiing Deer Valley and need a break, pop in to Stein Eriksen Lodge to soak in the classic Euro-style pub setting. You don't have to be an Olympian to enjoy a perfect Irish coffee by the crackling fire. Yes, the prices are elevated but so is the experience—and the wild game chili.

The Spur: There's always an open seat and a solid burger waiting for you at this Main Street mainstay. Now serving a house whiskey made by Alpine Distillery.

The Cabin: Later in the evening, turn it up at this ski-town club and sip on the famous Elkupine, made with High West double rye, American prairie bourbon, lemon and bitters, with an Absinth rinse.

Silver Star Cafe: For the morning after—or your mid-day ski brunch—look no further than this award-winning local's secret and its spicy Bloody Mary.

Salt Lake City

White Horse: Salt Lake City has been waiting a long time for a bar like this: For grownups. No college-crowd dive, a place with roomy banquettes for a crowd; two-tops for intimate conversations, or social tables for sharing tapas—with friends or strangers. Killer food, expert bartenders. (Get a little wilder at sister restaurant Whiskey Street, next door.)

Bodega/The Rest: Disguised as a market, hiding a speakeasy, hiding a restaurant. A new bucket list hot spot in the SLC underground.

Water Witch: Hard to say it better than they themselves: "Spirits (some rare), Wine, Good Beer, and Foofy Snacks. No cocktail list to burn your eyes and harsh your chi, only your whimsy and darkest desires." A labor of love and neighborhood favorite.


Snowbird: The Aerie, Cliff Lodge: The view is the draw here, of snow falling and cats grooming. Impressive wine list. Try the "Mountain Love," Hendrick's gin, lime juice, simple syrup, rose water, bitters, cucumber ribbon and pinch of salt.

Alta: Sitzmark, Alta Lodge: Classic ski lodge bar with warm fireplaces, incredible views and good company. One of the very best on-mountain après ski spots in Utah.


Hearth on 25th: Known for fire-roasted fare and upscale comfort food, cocktails are also the thing, like the maple Old Fashioned.




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A special thank you to High West Distiller.

You can visit the High West Saloon in Park City, UT or the distillery in Wanship, UT.