Snowbird

Closed
Snowbird
Meimei Ma
SnowPak Local Insider
Meimei Ma

Pros

  • High volume of quality world class powder; 1,270 cm of the good stuff per year
  • Epic rugged terrain - Expert terrain ranges from "Challenging" to "Heart Attack", you get the picture
  • Efficient lift system
  • Long seasons - sometimes even deep into summer

Cons

  • Not suited for beginners
  • Small village with limited dining, nightlife and shopping
  • Accommodation comprises of just four lodges

Overall

4

Visit Snowbird, and you’ll quickly learn why so many professional freeriders and extreme skiers call it home. The terrain is as rugged as you’ll find anywhere so even the most experienced shredders will get a rush going down challenging lines. And let’s not forget about the snow! In a normal year, Snowbird and its neighbour, Alta, get 1,270 cm of the “greatest snow on earth” dumped onto the highest resort terrain in Utah. The mountain gets the lion’s share of the magical stuff and can sometimes get twice as much snow as nearby resorts in a single storm! The trees, bowls and chutes will hide these powder stashes for days, just waiting for you to draw your lines.

13/14 Historical Snowfall

Best month to go

Mid- February to early March

Snowbird’s season typically begins no later than early December. Even though Mother Nature delivers an almost unbelievable amount of snow, the resort still maintains some snowmaking equipment to make sure they’re able to get some groomers open before the blizzards come. In fact, they work hard to have at least a few runs open by the Thanksgiving holiday although this could be just a few groomers and upper mountain trails for the advanced folks.You don’t need to be there that early, though. January is when you’ll see a good coverage of snow on the advanced and expert runs. The season lasts as long as there is snow, so it’s common for the lifts to run through late May and beyond. We like to visit mid-February to early March, when there’s plenty of snow and sunshine. That said, if you’re lucky, you can catch a powder storm later in the season. You also skip the hustle and bustle of the holiday season which means cheaper lodgings.If you find yourself at Snowbird late into the season, follow the sun over the course of the day to find the best conditions. We like starting out in Mineral Basin in the morning before moving over to the front side of the mountain in the afternoon. Stay high on the mountain after lunch – temperatures at the base can hit 10 °C resulting in very sticky snow in the lower half of the mountain
Airplane

FLY TO

Salt Lake International Airport

Bus

SHUTTLE TO

Snowbird (45 minutes)

Base of Snowbird (Walk)

  • Made up of four resort owned lodging including one ski-in/ski-out
  • Great for skiing at Alta
  • Small convenience store

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Base of Alta (2-3 km)

  • Neighbouring resort with five convenient lodges
  • Great for skiing at both mountains
  • Breakfast and dinner included

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Between Alta and Snowbird (2-3 km)

  • Condos and vacation rentals
  • Lack the convenience of prepared meals at Alta
  • Easy access to the slopes

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Salt Lake City (40-48 km)

  • Cheaper and wider selection of accommodation than Snowbird
  • Convenient base for skiing at other resorts
  • Small risk of road closure due to heavy snowfall

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For beginners

Although over a quarter of the mountain is rated for beginners, the easy terrain isn’t very accessible for the inexperienced and the progression to more advanced terrain is abrupt. If you're an never-ever give Alta or Park City a shot instead!

More beginners tips

For intermediates

There's plenty on offer for intermediates across the resort but more adventurous skiers and snowboarders should check out the Mineral Basin. Our pick would be Lupine Loop into Bassanova then take the Path to Paradise to Junior’s Powder Paradise. It’s an intense yet wide blue run, surrounded by black diamond terrain and the stunning views of the Wasatch Range!

More intermediates tips

For experts

From steeps and chutes to trees and bowls, Snowbird is truly an expert's playground. Hoop's is our winner here; it's a black diamond off the Knucklehead Traverse that's also north facing on the upper mountain so the pow there stays fresh late into the season.

More experts tips

Find freshies

Few people head out to Little Cloud and Gad 2, making them perfect for finding the fresh stuff, even days after a storm. Be sure to also check out the powder bowls of Mineral Basin!

Ditch the crowds

Queues for the aerial tram begin at 8.30am, so either get there at 8:00am or take the Peruvian lift for some superb skiing at Peruvian Gulch or continue into the tunnel through to the Mineral Basin (backside) area.

Non skiers

The small town with limited options at Snowbird could leave non-skiers rather bored here. However, there are loads of attractions in Salt Lake City, just 30 to 45 minutes away.

Families

If you have inexperienced beginners in your family, Snowbird might not be the best resort as the beginner terrain is quite limited. Additionally, getting to and from lodging and parking isn't easy either. The town is also small with limited dining and shopping.

Snowbird vs
SnowbirdAlta
beginner27 %25 %
intermediate38 %40 %
advanced20 %35 %
expert15 %-
total runs169 116
ski area1,012ha 890ha
summit elevation3,353m 3,216m
total lifts11 11
child lift ticketFree $54 USD ($73 AUD)
adult lift ticket$129 USD ($174 AUD) $104 USD ($141 AUD)
uncrowded
snow
back country
value for money
average total snowfall838cm 686cm

Snowbird Reviews

Fabulous

4.3 / 5

based on 52 reviews

How well the resort caters for beginner skiers / boarders

Beginners

How well the resort caters for intermediate skiers / boarders?

Intermediates

How well the resort caters for advanced skiers / boarders

Advanced

How accessible and convenient it is to get to this resort from a major destination

Accessibility

Quality of the off-piste terrain

Side/Backcountry

Overall value for money of the resort

Value for money

Quality of lifts, lift speed and lift layout in the resort

Lifts

Quantity and quality of the snow

Snow

How uncrowded is the resort

Uncrowded

Après ski and dining options

Town

Services and facilities e.g. child care, tubing, health care, equipment hire

Facilities

How family friendly is this resort?

Family Friendliness
Fabulous!

4.3 / 5

May 01, 2018
Alex S. Alex S.
expert skier
This might just be the hardest mountain i've skiied in the US. There are tons of hard runs to chose from. I would highly recommend coming here if like hard terrain.... More
Fabulous!

4.4 / 5

Apr 30, 2018
Jared F. Jared F.
expert skier
It is a great mountain with a lot of wonderful terrain. Very little snow this season but still was able to provide a great experience. I would ski here again next year.... More
Poor!

1 / 5

Apr 07, 2018
Tad G. Tad G.
expert skier
Canyon traffic is terrible and your parking is worse. The food on the mountain is piss poor. Customer service is non existent. You really are "over-sold". Parck City and Sundance are way more fun and Brighton and Solitude are far better values! I feel sorry for Alta being in the same canyon.... More
Superb!

4.6 / 5

Jan 20, 2018
KHKent H.
expert skier
Skiing Snowbird (and Alta connection) make it unquestionably one of the elite and best Ski experiences in the U.S. It is among the most accessible ski resorts to travel to and can ski on the same day of arrival/departure from SLC airport. The 500 plus inches of average annual snowfall provides epic powder skiing days throughout the season that... More
Good!

3.5 / 5

Dec 02, 2017
EGErick G.
advanced skier
Great snow any part of the season, the Summit is the best place to be after skiing Snowbird. Great place for intermediate and experts. Easy to get from salt lake city.... More
Superb!

5 / 5

Nov 30, 2017
LMLogan M.
expert skier
Snowbird is steep and deep. Plenty of mandies. Easy to get to, great employee perks. Longest season in utah, we skid main chute in july last summer. Eat at El Chanate at the cliff! ... More
Fabulous!

4.2 / 5

Nov 27, 2017
BWBrandon W.
expert skier
This resort really caters towards the skiing itself. The feel of the resort makes you want to spend your time on the snow. The lifts are mostly all detachable high speed lifts and the tram makes quick access to the summit. Awesome terrain for intermediate to advanced skiers as well as awesome Utah powder makes snowbird a skiers paradise. ... More
Very Good!

3.9 / 5

Nov 24, 2017
DJDaniel J.
expert snowboarder
Snowbird is the Jackson of Utah. Lots of steeps and chutes, drops and powder, and large enough to avoid crowds on moderately busy days. If you looking for a spot to learn don't come here, if you're looking for the locals of SLC spot for speed and adrenaline, you found the spot. ... More
Average!

3.5 / 5

Nov 23, 2017
AAlec
expert snowboarder
Snowbird has great and varied terrain and the snow is superb. It’s main drawbacks are that they’re slow to prep the mountain and much of it stays closed after snowfall, it gets extremely crowded, and there’s no terrain park.... More
Superb!

5 / 5

Nov 21, 2017
MGMichael G.
advanced skier
Snowbird was unreal!! Amazing experience, I went to Brighton resort many times before and snowbird is definetly a more experienced side of the mountain in Utah. I would kill to get this snow pass!!... More
Other ski resorts in

Salt Lake City, Utah

Alta
25% 40% 35%
Deer Valley Resort
27% 41% 32%
Park City
8% 42% 50%
Snowbird
27% 38% 35%