Home to the 2002 Winter Olympics, Salt Lake City (SLC), Utah is a destination that attracts high-level athletes seeking out the finest skiing and snowboarding conditions. Within an hour you can be at nine ski resorts, so SLC locals are used to having choices.
You may not have to travel far to experience a city with more winter wonderland vibes than the North Pole itself. The Wasatch Mountains to the west of town have some terrific terrain for skiing at its resorts. Plus, Utah boasts some really nice, light dry snow, what they call Champagne Powder® in Steamboat Springs, CO.
Since there are several ski resorts operating within the Salt Lake City area, it might be a good plan to see which ones are less crowded or have the best snow conditions. Most resorts report daily snowfall, so visitors will know which slopes are ready for some powdery downhill action.
Another plus about the Beehive State is that it boasts easy access to thermal mineral water. There is a trio of hot springs located nearby Salt Lake City, and several more found in Southern Utah. One more bonus for winter camping enthusiasts is that there are year-round campgrounds open by SLC, so you can pull your RV or travel trailer and stay in your abode for far less than the cost of a hotel.
Here are the closest ski resorts near Salt Lake City, UT, in order of driving proximity.
Snowbird Ski Resort – Snowbird: 28 miles | 35 min
“The Bird,” as it’s referred to by locals, is so close to Salt Lake City that it’s possible to land at the airport in the morning and be skiing by the afternoon. Snowbird Ski Resort has around 500 inches of annual snowfall and claims to have the longest extended ski season in the state.
Snowbird’s 2,500 skiable acres are geared towards more experienced athletes boasting 140 runs comprised mostly of advanced and expert trails. There are a handful of intermediate and beginner runs, so don’t exclude yourself from this location just because you’re still learning.
Additionally, Snowbird Resort offers night skiing for those looking for a bit of thrill under the stars. Regardless of how close to the city this resort is, Snowbird has lodging available on the mountain to make it easy for skiers and snowboarders to hop out of bed and hit the slopes.
9385 S. Snowbird Center Drive, Snowbird, UT 84092 (Map) | (800) 232-9542
Alta Ski Area – Alta: 29 miles | 40 min
Situated on the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon, the Alta Ski Area has been a skier’s paradise since it was founded in 1938. This family-owned facility gets an average of 547 inches of snow each year, making it one of the most coveted places in the country to dig into fresh powder.
Alta’s attractive and friendly atmosphere is what keeps bringing back locals and visitors each winter. There are 116 runs at Alta Ski Area and over half of which are rated as advanced level terrain. The six lifts take skiers and snowboarders from the base elevation to the summit which sits at an elevation of 11,068 feet, giving riders plenty of speed as they descend the 2,538-foot vertical drop.
Lodging, equipment rentals and purchases, and dining are all available right on the mountain. There are also several ski school programs for both kids and adults who are just being introduced to snow sports.
10010 Little Cottonwood Canyon Rd, Alta, UT 84092 (Map) | (801) 359-1078
Solitude Mountain Resort – Solitude: 30 miles | 40 min
Just half an hour from downtown Salt Lake City is a ski resort that is home to some of the best and snowiest runs in Utah. While many visitors choose to stay in the city and make the drive each day, there are plenty of lodging options in Solitude’s quaint and delightful mountain village.
Solitude Mountain Resort has 82 runs on its 1,200 skiable acres, comprised mostly of expert and intermediate trails. The top sits at 10,488 feet above sea level, propelling riders downhill as they descend the 2,494-foot vertical drop. There are nine lifts in total, including four high-speed quads, two quad chairlifts, one magic carpet, one double, and one triple.
Solitude not only has reputation for having incredibly gracious locals but also offers visitors plenty of dining options up and down the mountain. Furthermore, luxurious lodging, ski rentals, and ski lessons are all open mountainside at Solitude.
12000 Big Cottonwood Canyon Rd, Solitude, UT 84121 (Map) | (801) 534-1400
Park City Mountain – Park City: 32 miles | 40 min
Any die-hard ski enthusiast has heard of Park City Mountain Resort, as it’s the largest ski resort in the country and hosted several of the Winter Olympic events in 2002. This resort is considered family-friendly because between the freestyle terrain and designated runs, Park City has something for all experience levels to enjoy.
Park City Mountain Resort has 7,300 skiable acres, a 3,226-foot vertical drop, and 341 different runs. The trails’ levels vary, with the majority being intermediate, though they do boast a large portion of advanced and expert trails. Boasting a whopping 41 lifts, it’s safe to say that this resort is a desired destination for tourists.
Park City also offers world-class lodging, equipment rentals, and ski programs for all ages. For family members or fellow travelers who aren’t into the slopes, there are plenty of mouthwatering places to dine both on and off the mountain, such as the Lookout Cafe and Tombstone BBQ.
1345 Lowell Ave, Park City, UT 84060 (Map) | (435) 649-8111
Brighton Resort – Brighton: 32 miles | 40 min
Compared to other ski resorts in the area, Brighton Resort may not be as big, but it sure packs a punch. A little over 40 minutes outside of downtown Salt Lake City, Brighton gets an average of 500 inches of fresh powder each year, though it’s been known to top 700 inches.
Located right at the top of the state’s Big Cottonwood Canyon, Brighton Resort has seven lifts connecting its 66 runs that are spread across 1,066 skiable acres. Brighton is an excellent location for newbies and intermediate skiers, as over half of the runs are rated blue or green. The base elevation is 8,755 feet and reaches 10,500 feet elevation at the top, with a vertical drop of 1,745 feet.
There are also 200 illuminated acres for visitors who are into night skiing. While there aren’t any hotels in the ski area, lodging is available as close as three miles away as well as near Salt Lake City. Moreover, Brighton Resort is famous for its well-developed ski school and lessons, designed for group and individual learning for all ages and skill levels.
8302 S Brighton Loop Rd, Brighton, UT 84121 (Map) | (801) 532-4731
Deer Valley Resort – Park City: 34 miles | 40 min
Deer Valley Resort is next-door neighbors with Park City Mountain as both are nestled into Park City, Utah. This luxury ski resort offers high-class accommodations, ski valets, fine dining, on-site childcare, and some of the best-taken care of slopes that you’ll ever see.
Deer Valley’s base elevation is 6,570 feet, which a summit elevation of 9,570, producing a vertical drop of 3,000 feet. The 2,026 skiable acres at the Deer Valley Resort are home to 21 lifts and 103 runs, the majority of are for intermediate to expert level riders. This resort is renowned for its famous ski lessons, schools, and clinics to help people new to the sport get up on their feet.
For guests who don’t like to haul their gear with them, state-of-the-art equipment can be rented at the resort. As mentioned previously, Park City has a wide variety of retail shops and restaurants for visitors to check out after a day shredding powder.
2250 Deer Valley Dr. S, Park City, UT 84060 (Map) | (435) 649-1000
Snowbasin Resort – Huntsville: 42 miles | 45 min
Salt Lake City natives enjoy visiting Snowbasin year-round, but the winter months are when it shines. Located in Huntsville, about half an hour from downtown Salt Lake City, Snowbasin Resort has been rated as a top choice by Ski Magazine. It is one of the oldest ski resorts in the United States and hosted several Olympic events.
The average snowfall for the Snowbasin Resort is roughly 400 inches per year, and when it covers their 3,000 skiable acres, that’s a lot of fresh powder to zoom through. The base elevation is 6,352 feet and tops out at 9,310 feet, creating a vertical drop of 2,959 feet.
As far as the terrain goes, half of the 106 runs are classified as intermediate, one-third are advanced, and the remaining runs are easy. If you are a little uncomfortable on the slopes, Snowbasin has several ski school programs for adults and children.
Visitors to the resort enjoy an incredible mix of both luxury and outdoor adventure. While there are no on-site hotels, there are numerous options within just a few miles of the resort’s base in Ogden.
3925 Snow Basin Rd, Huntsville, UT 84317 (Map) | (801) 620-1000
Sundance Mountain Resort – 50 miles / 55 min
Anyone looking for a skiing experience with pure air, fantastic food, and impeccable snow quality ought to put Sundance Mountain Resort at the top of their list.
Located underneath Mount Timpanogos, about an hour from downtown Salt Lake City, Sundance Mountain Resort offers stunning views and world-class overnight accommodations.
Sundance’s base elevation starts at 6,100 feet and reaches 8,250 at its peak elevation, giving it a vertical drop of 2,150 feet. There are 44 runs packed in Sundance’s 450 skiable acres, a majority of which are rated as beginner and intermediate. Ski schools are available for all ages, and there is even a senior ski group with no membership fees for anyone over the age of 65.
During open season, the majority of the front mountain runs and Terrain Park can be used for night skiing!
8841 Alpine Loop Scenic Byway, Sundance, UT 84604 (Map) | (801) 225-4107
Powder Mountain – Eden: 54 miles | 1 hour 10 min
Powder Mountain Resort is about an hour away from Salt Lake City. It has continuously been given high ratings by Ski Magazine due to its excellent snow quality and reasonable ticket prices.
Locals have been reveling in this “secret spot” for years, but its reputation has quickly gained the attention of the world’s ski community. Visitors to Powder Mountain Resort have claimed that this is the best powder in Utah, with over 500 inches of annual snowfall in the area.
This resort’s base elevation is 6,900 feet and reaches 9,422 at the top peak with a vertical drop of 2,522 feet.
With an impressive 8,464 acres of skiable area and 154 runs to choose from, there’s truly something for everyone at Powder Mountain. Intermediate skiers love this resort, as a majority of its terrain is rated blue, but there are numerous trails offered for beginners and advanced riders.
There are also snowsport schools and equipment rentals are available on-site.
6965 E Powder Mountain Rd, Eden, UT 84310 (Map) | (801) 745-3772
Those are the nine closest ski areas to Salt Lake City, Utah. And here’s a complete list of hot springs in Utah to help you recover. Now go shred that epic Utah powder!