WITH 14 RESORTS combining for more than 26,000 skiable acres, there are close to a thousand ‘official’ ski runs in Utah. Which makes a list like this pretty tough to put together. But after consulting with my crew, all of whom have been skiing and riding these mountains for many years, we feel the picks below represent pretty much the most epic Utah ski mountain treasure hunt imaginable.
Check back in once you’ve hit them all and let us know if you agree.
Milly Bowl – Brighton
Back in the good old years, Mt. Millicent was a forgotten side slope with a slow 2-seater that stayed untouched for days. Though now equipped with a high-speed quad, Milly still has no lines and opens a playground of options for spinning hot laps all day. Drop down the gut of Milly Bowl for glory faceshots that your friends can see from the chair, or play in the cliffs, chutes, or groomers that flank this often overlooked stash.
Canis Lupus – Canyons
This natural half pipe stretches for over a mile — bonus points for every bush jumped or log tapped at its rim. Swing down the center or find your inner X-Gamer and boost that half pipe air. As smooth as a glassy wave (well, sometimes), this run will make your whole day.
Fantasy Ridge – Solitude
Towering high above Solitude Resort and Honeycomb Canyon, the majesty and intensity of Fantasy Ridge gets you going whether you’re skiing it or not. Named the most intense inbound hike in North America by Outsider Magazine, a knife ridge boot pack leads you to chutes 1-26. Some are gnarly and require air, others are not, but the steep, fresh, and euphoric adrenaline factors are pretty much guaranteed.
Night skiing – Wolf Mountain
Okay, this isn’t a ‘ski run’ per se, but night skiing has the potential to turn any run at Wolf Mountain into one of the most amazing of your life. And you’ll have plenty to choose from, because this resort in the Ogden/Davis area, just north of Salt Lake City, puts 100% of its terrain under lights — the most extensive in the state. Even better is that a full day pass here will get you 12 hours of skiing / riding for $36…working out to $3 an hour!
Mt. Baldy – from Alta or Snowbird
Serving as a backdrop for big-mountain skiing competitions, a short boot pack up either side of this bare-topped mountain opens a world of possibilities. Join the pros as they thread through chutes, or enjoy the open powder fields and snowy trees. Beware of rocks and cliffs — ask a neighbor if you aren’t sure — and smile as you rock the terrain on one of the most rewarding runs of your life.
Grizzly Downhill – Snowbasin
Olympians sped down this run at over 80mph in 2002, and now you can too (well, maybe 40mph, but that is still FAST). Take the Allen Tram and stand at the start of the Men’s Downhill while your skis overhang the 2,900 vertical feet back to base area. Drop in, feel the rush, and throw your hands in the air when you cross the finish line.
McConkey’s – Park City
Park City might not seem steep from its base, but as you ride the Bonanza chairlift and approach mid-mountain, the steep peak and glorious glades of McConkey’s reveals itself. With a high-speed 6-pack that delivers you to the top, this makes for a sick powder lap bowl. Once the bowl is tracked, a ridgeline of perfect pitch glades flanks to skier’s right and adds hours of fresh snow. When your legs have had enough, continue the cruise and take Quittin’ Time to the front door of High West Distillery for a saloon finish to your day.
Flux Capacitor – Snowbird
Maybe more like the greatest ski run to watch crazy pro skiers like Carston Oliver fly down. A chute with 3 cliff drops that ejects at high speed into Snowbird’s famous Cirque, this line is not for the fainthearted. Watch from below, get an up-close view while passing by on the tram, or strap in and feel the adrenaline bliss as you reach mach speed.
Bishop’s Bowl – Sundance
With a famous name and high-class amenities, it’s amazing how comfortable and laid back Sundance feels. Take Arrowhead Lift to Bishop’s Bowl and bask in the 360-degree glory that the Wasatch Mountains and the iconic Mt. Timpanogos provide. Then float down the wide-open terrain like you’re in Alaska.
Carpe Diem, James Peak – Powder Mountain
Powder Mountain’s tagline is “7,000 plus acres of untouched pristine powder,” and they’re not lying. An 8-minute CAT ride drops you off at Fantasy Ridge. Hike another 20 minutes to James Peak, and…welcome to an untracked playground of open fields, chutes, rollers, trees, and unlimited happiness.
Jordanelle – Deer Valley
Deer Valley is famous for their impeccable grooming (no joke — I hear they have their own corduroy pattern) and first-class service. Sit back, relax, and enjoy. Jordanelle is less adrenaline and more like meditation with flow. Cruise the ridgeline, breathe deep as you take in the view, and try to keep your eyes on the snow as you pass mid-mountain mansions with gold statues out front.
Giant Steps – Brain Head
With a base elevation of 9,600 feet, this southern Utah resort gets a surprising snowfall of about 400” / year. Giant Steps is the name of a mountain, the main chairlift, and the most direct run from top to bottom at Brian Head. Wide open and free, it skis like a rolling glacier that gently delivers you to the front door of your slope-side condo.
Vertigo – Eagle Point
Utah’s newest resort also has the steepest runs in the state. Eagle Point is small and inexpensive ($25 day pass?!), but it doesn’t skimp on good times and fresh lines. Vertigo is one of a series of steep tree-weaving north-facing slopes off the Lookout Lift. Feel the rush and the snow flying in your face. At a place like this, you get fresh tracks all day.
Beaver’s Powder – Beaver Mountain
From the top of Harry’s Dream Lift (great name in my book), turn right and follow the gentle fall line into wide-spaced pine trees and an open bowl of bliss. Weave some tighter, steeper trees toward the end of the bowl, find the pow stashes, and then cruise down the gully on Teddy’s Frolic to the chairlift for another round.