So, it’s winter. And you’re a skier. Which means you can’t help but monitor the snow reports in resort towns, and you’re salivating over the ski vacation pics in your social media newsfeed. But you don’t have to resign yourself to staring at photos and lamenting your shortage of paid time off. With just 72 hours, you can have an incredible ski weekend in Park City, Utah. We promise.
Fortunately, Salt Lake International Airport is a major hub with plenty of airlines offering direct flights there. So rise and shine, catch a flight straight to Salt Lake, and gaze upon the beautiful Wasatch mountains as you descend to the runway. Soon, you’ll be skiing or snowboarding. Park City’s two world-class resorts (Park City Mountain and Deer Valley) are just 35 minutes from Salt Lake International. You can minimize hassle by pre-arranging a shuttle to pick you up and take you directly to your Park City lodging. (It’s faster than schlepping around for a rental car, and once you’re in Park City, it’s extremely easy to catch the free town buses, grab a taxi, Uber, or other pre-arranged ride anywhere you need to go.)
Bring your own gear if you’re particular. And if you’re a fan of traveling a little lighter, that’s great, too: Multiple rental shops around town will let you pre-rent online so all you have to do is grab your equipment when you arrive. Some, like SkiButlers, who will actually deliver everything to your hotel room, including a spare set of boots in case your expected size doesn’t fit.
GETTING OUT ON THE HILL
Skiing-wise, there truly is something for every ability level in each local resort. Park City Chamber/Bureau
Ah, the fun part. If you or your posse are beginners, go ahead and book lodging in the villages near the resort ski schools and bunny-hill lifts (found in the same zone for both Park City and Deer Valley resorts). Skiers might want to consider mid-mountain lodging at Deer Valley (in Silver Lake or Empire Canyon) where you can get right down to business on an amazing ski lift right outside your door. You can also hop right onto Park City Mountain Resort’s Town lift right from Park City’s Main Street area and gain quick access to that end of the resort. Park City Mountain’s Canyons Village area also has amazing lodging—including the newly renovated Grand Summit Lodge—with easy lift access. You’ll find no end to rental properties as well, whether you’re interested in a hotel room, condo, or entire home.
Skiing-wise, there truly is something for every ability level in each local resort. Park City Mountain Resort offers 8 percent beginner terrain, 49 percent intermediate terrain, and 43 percent expert terrain. Deer Valley goes a little easier, with 23 percent beginner terrain, 43 percent intermediate terrain, and 34 percent advanced terrain. The staff at each resort are friendly and will always point you toward an interesting new run if you ask. Locals and experts vie for first tracks down Deer Valley’s Daly Chutes and Park City’s Jupiter Peak and Jupiter Bowl areas. But there’s plenty more to go around, too. Have a little fun carving down the perfect corduroy and ducking in and out of the off-piste trees.
GETTING OUT ON THE TOWN
Go for après-ski drinks at Utah’s very own ski-in/ski-out distillery, High West. Park City Chamber/Bureau
Park City makes the easiest ski town for a quick visit, with two major resorts and an incredibly fun Old Town area right in between. This means après and dinners are a breeze, especially if you make reservations for your big-night-out dinners in advance. Since you’ll be packing in all the fun you can in three days, you probably won’t want to pause for grocery shopping, menu-planning, or cooking. Just take it easy and dine right at the resort, or hit the town and see what Park City’s all about.
At Deer Valley, the hallmark dinners are found at its famous Seafood Buffet and at its Euro-style Fireside Dining, to which you even have the option of taking a sleigh ride. At Park City Mountain, treat yourself to a mountaintop meal at the Summit House or lunchtime panoramic views at the Mid Mountain Lodge.
Down in town, roll up your sleeves and get ready for fun—and bring a big appetite. There’s a lot to try and not too much time. Definitely spring for après-ski drinks at Utah’s very own ski-in/ski-out distillery, High West, or at the locals’ favorite haunt, No Name Saloon. You can savor the finest Southwestern meal of your life at Chimayo, eat an entirely fire-cooked meal at Firewood, sip wine in the beautiful Riverhorse on Main, or let your tastebuds take an Asian tour at Shabu. For a no-nonsense breakfast, head up The Eating Establishment or The Bridge Cafe.
Park City travel is so easy to get around that you can fit in one last ski the day you leave. Park City Chamber/Bureau
After two and a half unforgettable ski days on primo Utah-grade powder, you’ll find that getting home is just as easy as getting to Park City was. Ski most of the day, grab your bags in the hotel lobby, catch a late-afternoon flight home, and call it good. The only difference between your arrival and departure: when you leave, you’ll have sunny ski photos on your phone and happy memories in your head.
Originally written by RootsRated Media for Visit Park City.