From north to south, Utah is dotted with ski areas that boast some of the highest average snow totals in the nation. Come sample a face shot of The Greatest Snow on Earth and then you'll understand…
This family owned resort in the Bear River Range collects piles of white fluffy snow and offers playful terrain with a friendly off-the-beaten-track vibe. Turn your tweets off and settle into the nostalgia of this hometown hill. The lack of crowds at Beaver Mountain keep the fresh tracks coming—even days after a storm. This area of Utah is known for colder temperatures and as such, the powder in this zone remains pristine for longer periods of time. The gladed trees and the runs off the Harry's Dream Lift offer a lengthy pitch and plenty of pow. For even more privacy, head for Marge's Triple and work up an appetite for the infamous Triple Bypass Burger at the Beaver Mountain Grill.
If it's namesake doesn't spoil the surprise, head to Powder Mountain yourself to uncover a veritable winter playground. With a huge amount of acreage, you can easily spend a couple of days exploring the mountain's numerous nooks and crannies. Powder Mountain sells affordable tickets for single unguided Snowcat Rides—take one or several laps to access fresh turns off Lightning Ridge and Raintree. The resort also offers full-service cat skiing and backcountry guiding packages. Plan to spend some time running laps in Powder Country, where riders can milk fresh turns to Highway 158 where a Pow Mow shuttle bus will quickly whisk you back up to the Hidden Lake Lodge for more turns. From here check out numerous tree runs off the Hidden Lake Express or harvest mellow pow turns and delightful glades in privacy via Mary's chairlift.
Having served as a venue for the 2002 Winter Olympics, it is not an exaggeration to dub the slopes of Snowbasin as world class. What to expect at Snowbasin: high alpine bowls, screamer steeps, wonderful views, speedy chairlifts and gondolas, and delectable cuisine. When the snow is dumping, and vis is low, head over to the thickly treed terrain off John Pau Express. If it's a classic Utah powder day with blazing sunshine and you're looking for extreme terrain, ride the Allen Peak Tram and scope techy lines and the wide-open powder bowl as you ascend. Peep the map and take your pick of one of the many alpine bowls that crown Snowbasin; the bowls above Strawberry Gondola come highly recommended!
Famous for meticulous groomers and perfect aspen glades, Deer Valley is a lovely place to enjoy pristine powder. If storms roll in during the early morning hours, the groomers may be dusted with a perfect serving of champagne powder. With six peaks, expansive acreage, and limited daily ticket sales, guests can binge on Deer Valley's delights. Bald Mountain is the place to explore powdery glades and expert skiers will savor the steeps off the Empire and Lady Morgan lifts.
Park City Mountain
Park City Mountain Resort is Utah's largest resort and as such boasts the greatest amount of snowy acreage. Days after a storm you'll find powder across the resort's 17 peaks, 13 bowls, and 7300 skiable acres. The storied history of Park City's silver mining boom is palpable as you encounter many historic structures and mining relics while exploring the sprawling terrain. Storm ride in comfort from the Canyons Village using the Orange Bubble Express. Fun turns in gladed forests can be found off the Tombstone Express. As a general rule, the best powder turns can be found on the highest peaks; the Ninety-Nine 90 lift is a local favorite. Powder lovers also appreciate the challenging terrain off McConkey's Express and the Jupiter lift.
Tucked underneath massive Mount Timpanogos, it's hard to envision a more dramatic landscape than what Sundance Resort serves up on the daily. Less crowded than many Utah resorts, Sundance is the place to slow it down and connect with nature and your fellow shred and ski buddies. Pair your powder with an art class like we did, or simply enjoy the slopes bell-to-bell with a delicious midday meal to warm your soul. We recommend enjoying turns in Bishop's Bowl or the steep trees beneath the Flathead Lift.
Utah's oldest ski area is a magnet for families, snowboarders, and those who appreciate the atmosphere of a local hill. Tradition runs as deep as the powder that coats Brighton's playful slopes. With the highest base elevation of any resort in the Cottonwood Canyons, powder storms often favor Brighton. Head for the natural playground of Mount Millicent, accessible via the Milly Express. The terrain here is replete with open bowls, giant cliffs, sweeping groomed terrain—good fun after an early morning dump — and groves of evergreens and aspens. Night skiing at Brighton during the peak pulse of a powder storm is one of the best ways to experience Utah snow!
In terms of terrain, Solitude has it all: friendly beginner slopes, excellent trees, open bowls, gullies, techy steeps, and expansive groomers for cruising. When all of this is covered in powder, which is often the case in Big Cottonwood Canyon, it provides a veritable buffet of savory Utah flavors. Blonde cliffs soar above the drool-worthy powder terrain in Honeycomb Canyon. For steep tree lovers, hit the glades in Headwall Forest off the Summit Express. To locate a few playful powder pockets late in the day, check out the aptly named Roller Coaster run beneath the Sunrise lift.
Alta Ski Area
With a landscape carved by ancient glaciers and perched atop the soaring granite ramparts of Little Cottonwood, many view Alta Ski Area as powder skiing's Mecca. It was the stomping ground of Dick Durrance, who invented techniques like the Dipsy Doodle for navigating steep, powder filled chutes. It's where pioneers like Monty Atwater and Ed LaChapelle first developed avalanche mitigation control techniques in North America. To ski Alta powder is to experience a vibrant facet of skiing's history. Rewind the decades and snag a seat on the Wildcat Lift for powder pockets and tree skiing. For wide open bowls, watch for Alta Ski Patrol to drop the rope on Ballroom or Devil's Castle.
As the home of steep powder skiing, it's best to pack your snorkel for Snowbird's deepest days. As Alta's neighbor up Little Cottonwood Canyon, Snowbird does not suffer for lack of snow. Bang out laps on the Aerial Tram or plunder the sunny back bowls in Mineral Basin until your legs crumple. Late in the day there may be mellow powder pockets lurking beneath the Baby Thunder lift. Savvy guests will keep their eyes peeled for the Mineral Basin and Road to Provo rope drops.
Follow our forecasting friend Evan or grab the Ski Utah app to learn when storms split south. If you're witnessing a mid-week storm, it's time to head to Eagle Point on Thursday evening to experience a "Powder Friday". Because Eagle Point only operates a handful of days per week (excluding peak and holiday weeks), mid-week storms ensure a massive powder harvest for those who arrive on Friday mornings. The high elevation and north-facing slopes off the Lookout Chair keep conditions primo for powder lovers. If you're not opposed to a short hike, take any one of the gates along the Country Road cat track for bonus face shots.
Brian Head Ski Area
Brian Head boasts the highest base elevation of any resort in Utah and the sensation of ploughing through powder with a red rock vista on the horizon is indescribable. The arid desert climate manufacturers whisper-light snow. Exit left off the Alpenglow lift for great tree skiing or the aptly named Powder Run. Brian Head is seldom crowded, so expect to ski pow here all day during storm cycles, anything accessible from Giant Steps Express is game!