Snowbird

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Snowbird
Meimei Ma
SnowPak Local Insider
Meimei Ma

Pros

  • High volume of quality world class powder; 500 in 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 neighbor, Alta, get 500 in 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.

17/18 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 shuttletle 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 (1-2 mi)

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

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Between Alta and Snowbird (1-2 mi)

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

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Salt Lake City (25-30 mi)

  • 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 area2,500ac 2,200ac
summit elevation11,000ft 10,550ft
total lifts11 11
child lift ticketFree $54
adult lift ticket$129 $104
uncrowded
snow
back country
value for money
average total snowfall330″ 270″

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
Have your say on Snowbird
Fabulous!

4.4 / 5

Nov 21, 2017
DHDeyton H.
intermediate snowboarder
Snowbird was by far my greatest experience for snowboarding a full season. They had the best snow and most fresh lines. Definitely not for the faint of heart. Adventurers welcomed!... More
Fabulous!

4.3 / 5

Nov 20, 2017
DFDavid F.
advanced skier
I’ve had a season pass at Snowird for 15 years. I love the resort, but it can be difficult for beginning skiers. All the lifts have been upgraded to high speed and that has almost eliminated lift lines except in the busiest days... More
Fabulous!

4.2 / 5

Nov 20, 2017
WWeston
expert skier
Snowbird is fantastic for anyone above beginner skill level. There is terrain to test your skills from any lift on any day of the year, and chances are, the snow is going to be fantastic. Even in a bad year Snowbird still racks up more snow than most Colorado resorts. You can ski chutes, cliffs, trees, open faces, moguls, and wide open groomers all... More
Good!

3.9 / 5

Nov 19, 2017
CAChris A.
advanced skier
Who needs a ski town when you have runs like they do at Snowbird? Shopping and eating would be a waste of time. Amazing snow and the most challenging in bounds runs I've ever skied.... More
Very Good!

4.1 / 5

Nov 13, 2017
LJLevi J.
expert skier
I have gone skiing here many times with my family. And every time it has been a blast. Very family friendly and priced well. And the snow is great most years. I'm glad to have this resort so close to home.... More
Superb!

5 / 5

Nov 12, 2017
RDRonald D.
advanced skier
Had a great time. Lots of snow and amazing terrain. Loved taking the tunnel to Mineral Basin and viewing the history and artifacts in the tunnel. Highly recommend this ski resort!... More
Average!

3.5 / 5

Nov 11, 2017
EAEstuardo A.
beginner skier
Nice resort to ski or snowboard close to Salt Lake City. The tram ride has great views of the wasatch front. The parking is big enough and close to the resort... More
Very Good!

4.1 / 5

Nov 11, 2017
EBEric B.
expert skier
WICKED TERRAIN. I was back in Mineral Basin in mid February last year and bathed waist deep cloud dust for six straight hours! Pretty sure my ski career peaked that day!... More
Superb!

5 / 5

Nov 08, 2017
CColton
advanced skier
Snowbird is the best resort in the United States. It’s only issue is the level of crowd, it’s really busy on weekends and holidays. Too busy, it takes always Business. ... More
Fabulous!

4.4 / 5

Nov 08, 2017
BWBill W.
advanced skier
It's snowbird... it's steep, has amazing snow and terrain. Not a good beginners hill. Lines can suck and new snow gets skiied out fast. Its still one of the best ski hills around. ... 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%