Weekend staycation at Canyons!

By Mountain Mama Mar 15, 2013
Living in Salt Lake, you normally stay at home and drive to the mountains. Instead, we enjoyed a 2-day staycation at Canyons Resort's Grand Summit.

I have to say everytime I get up to Canyons, I am in awe of the beautiful runs and the massive size of the resort!  It is the the largest ski/snowboard resort in Utah and once you get out of the base area, you can see the wide expanse of runs.  The parking is easy as you park just off the main road going into Park City and ride the Cabriolet-an open air lift that you stand in- with all your gear right to the base area.  It is convenient as you get off, grab your tickets and you can jump straight onto the Gondola and up you go.  There is no miles of walking from the parking lot which with kids and gear, becomes a challenge.  The ticket booth, restaurants, ski rental and ski school are within a couple minutes walk around the plaza.

We always drive to the resorts for the day, but on this weekend we had ourselves a staycation at the Grand Summit.  Emily had a 2 day race for Brighton Competition Team so we decided to stay even though Canyons is only a short drive from Salt Lake City.  It was also Brennans 6th birthday!  Yes, my little boarder is now 6.  There are many room options at the Grand Summit.  We had a parlor room which included a full kitchen, pull out couch and 2 day beds.  Perfect!  The outdoor pool was also a hit with the kids.  Mom...well, a little chilly for me, but I jumped in anyway.   We were lucky to get a little snow the first night for the 1st race.  The great thing is we were slopeside.  We were able to grab our skis from ski storage and out the door and onto the plaza.  A bit better than living in the car for the day.

Emily raced first thing in the AM and then Brennan and I headed up the Orange Bubble.  It is one of the newer lifts with heated seats and a cover you can pull down to protect you from the elements.  Let's just say for a 6 year old, was an exciting ride.  It takes you high on the mountain, but my little boarder can do it.  If you have little ones, take them to the top.  There are some nice runs for kids:

Favorite family runs:

1. Off Orange Bubble:  take a left onto Upper Mainline which is a wide green.  When you get to an intersection, you'll see a "family zone" orange sign to the right.  Cruise in there and you'll end up on Meadow Way which is the training/school area, easy green and wide and carries you down to the Red Pine Lodge area which is a "main hub" for many lifts and a restaurant/facilities. Main mid mountain hub.

2. Top of Gondola: Also at Red Pine Lodge hub.  Take High Meadow lift which is the beginner lift and do the Meadows. Green, easy, beginner.

3. Saddleback Express:  Takes you to the top to a slightly steep blue run Kokopelli.  Bren did it on his board.  If you can get yourself down a blue pitch, it is a great run with stunning views.  We decided to try the Painted Horse area terrain park.  Lets say it wasn't a screaming success, but Bren had a good time watching the big boys and taking a few jumps on the side on his own.  I would suggest taking the Pine Draw blue run back down to the family Meadow area.  Still a little blue pitch, but big turns should get you down. You can also try Snow Dancer blue run off the top of Saddleback which is a nice blue as well.

4. If you're feeling a little more daring, take Chicane blue run down from Red Pine Lodge to the Tombstone Express lift.  It is wide. Bren made beautiful turns on his snowboard and we had a lot of "he's killing it, how old is he".  When you take the lift up, go straight to Red Pine Road run, easiest way down.  It is a gentle blue.  Other runs off the top are a little steep for the little guys.

This only cover a very small area.  There is so much more terrain to explore.  Blues can take you to Peak 5 lift and you can get some blues off that.  I would suggest downloading your kids on the Gondola from the Red Pine area.  You can take Doc's run from mid station on the Orange Bubble, however, it is a fairly narrow blue run and can be steep and long for tired little legs.

We had a blue bird day Sunday and got to explore the mountain again before heading home.  A successful weekend with one 9th place medal for Emily and a little crash the second day.  As we talked about, even Lindsey Von has bad days and as long as you get back up and ski down, it's OK.  With plenty of tears, but no injuries, we had fun.  And Brennan got to end his birthday day with some bowling.

On a weather note, it is spring skiing!  Warm temps and awesome snow!  Looking into my crystal ball, fresh snow heading in around the 21st.

Happy Skiing and a little video to make your smile...a snowboarding teddy bear!