When Does Utah Ski Season Start? [Updated!]

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Summer in Utah usually means hot sunny weather and a glorious view of the mountains.

While there is definitely something appealing about basking in the sun’s warm rays, the temperatures can be brutal. Snow and ice cover the ground, making it difficult to take a walk or go on a bike ride. Not to mention that the heat can sauna your muscles and dry out your sinuses.

To combat these harsh elements, Salt Lake City residents and visitors find relief in their local ski resorts. The air is fresh, the snow is brilliant, and the views are breath-taking.

But when does the skiing season start and how long does it last? Here’s a detailed guide to help you plan your winter sport trips to Utah.

The Resort Life

The ski season in Utah officially starts on Friday, June 22, 2020 and runs through October. This means that from mid-June until October you can enjoy skiing and cold winter nights.

This year, due to the pandemic, the season is earlier than usual and runs through early October. However, as restrictions are lifted, more individuals are expected to hit the slopes.

Most resorts require that you purchase a season pass, which costs around $60 to $120 a day, depending on the resort and the season. Children under 12 years old are usually free at the resorts.

Each resort offers a variety of slopes (steep and gentle, north and south) and a variety of experiences (panorama, fresh air, nightlife, etc.). Resorts typically range from beginner to expert, offering something for everyone.

For faster skiers, the expert terrace at Alpina Bikes is a must-try. It offers some incredible vistas and is only open to people with an expert badge. The terrace is a great spot for people watching and photo taking while enjoying the snow-capped mountains as the backdrop.

The Town Life

While the resort life revolves around skiing and snowboarding, Salt Lake City is undoubtedly one of the most exciting winter sport destinations. It features some of the country’s best ski resorts (including the largest, Sundance) and a vibrant nightlife that draws visitors and residents from all over the world. This year is no exception, as 2019 saw over 540,000 tourists visit the city and its environs.

The largest ski resort, Park City, is located just 38 miles from the city center and offers the largest vertical drop in North America (1.8km). It also features the nation’s first quadruple gold medalist, Bill Smith, who won gold in 1964, 1966, 1968, and 1972. The resort also attracts a variety of adventure skiers who want to test their mettle on the slopes.

Located 18 miles northeast of Salt Lake City, the city of Park City has a population of around 17,000, making it one of the smallest ski resort towns. It was originally incorporated in 1881 and named after its founder, Park Benjamin.

Although it is smaller than Salt Lake City, Park City still offers a variety of luxury hotels, condominiums, and vacation homes, along with friendly lodging and dining options. The town also has a variety of shops, galleries, and boutiques, which provide further opportunities for adventure seekers to get their fix. Accommodation in Park City will make you feel like a resident, with everything you could need within walking distance.

The Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit any destination, regardless of the season, is usually from April to October. During this time, you’re more likely to experience warm days and pleasant nights, perfect for stargazing, hot air ballooning, and soaking in a hot tub. If you visit between October and April, you’re more likely to experience cold days and harsh nights that can sauna your flesh and dry out your nasal cavities.

Due to the pandemic, the best time to visit any destination, including the United States, has changed. Visiting in the summer when the country is enjoying magnificent weather is no longer a good idea. Similarly, going during a winter vacation when the temperatures are low and the snow is beautiful is no longer appealing. This is because you’re more likely to contract the virus on your trip, which would make it uncomfortable or even impossible to enjoy the sights and sounds of the snow.

In general, one of the best times to visit the United States is in the spring. The weather is usually good, the snow is clean, and you can find a variety of flowering plants and trees, which attract lots of wildlife. This makes it a great time to visit, even if you don’t stay there for long. Another good time to visit is during prime meridian, which is between 8 am and 6 pm. This is the time when the sun is at its peak and gives you the perfect opportunity to go for a swim or take a walk before the heat of the day encroaches.

The Wildlife

Aside from the clear view of the snow-covered peaks, which are breathtaking in any case, Utah is a mecca for wildlife. You might come across bison, elk, and even bears, which is why people often refer to the area as ‘bear country’. It is well-known that the Grand Canyon, the Zion, and the Bryce Canyon national parks are packed with huge creatures, which you’re unlikely to see at all, let alone capture on camera.

Zoologically speaking, these parks are home to a variety of fauna, including bison, elk, black bears, and brown bears. The area is also headquarters for the wolverine, which earned it the nickname ‘the blue paw prints’. You’ve heard of the grizzly bear, right? Well, the brown cousins of the grizzly are living in the region as well. In addition to these large mammals, you might encounter mountain lions, wolves, bobcats, and coyotes, not to mention the more than 320 bird species that can be found there. Due to its biodiversity, Utah is classified as a megadiverse state.

Health And Safety

Although the United States is considered one of the safest places to travel in the world, it’s still wise to be mindful of your health. This is especially important if you’re visiting places with a lot of outdoor activity. Some of the bigger cities, such as Salt Lake City, are extremely safe, but the smaller the town, the more you have to watch out for.

You must remember that the weather can be unpredictable, so be prepared for changes in temperature and precipitation. The most vulnerable parts of the body include your hands, feet, and nose. So, cover them with long sleeves, warm gloves, and scarves. In addition, waterproof shoes and tents are recommended. As for the health matters, Salt Lake City is well-known for its excellent healthcare facilities and professionals. In case you get sick or injured on your trip, you can be confident that they will look after you.

Activities

You won’t be bored on your trip to Utah. There are plenty of things to do, regardless of the season. For instance, you can go for a walk, catch a flick at the movies, swim at the beach, or play golf at one of the courses. There’s also lots of stuff to do in the winter, including skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing.

When the weather is good, you can hike, bike, or go for a drive. If you’re an adventurous type who thrives on changes in scenery, you’ll enjoy the backcountry roads that take you to hidden gems and pristine lakes. These are usually closed to the public but open to individuals with the right pass.

You can also participate in local festivals and events, which celebrate Americana, traditional values, and new beginnings. Some of the biggest and most prominent annual festivals include Celebration Park, which is held in the summer and features traditional and contemporary art and craft exhibits; the Sundance Film Festival, which is held in the winter and celebrates the best independent films; and the Utah Arts and Crafts Fair, which is open to the public in the summer and features 200 local artists and craftspeople.

Where To Stay

You can choose to stay in one of the town’s luxury hotels, such as the famous Sundance Resort or the Gampo Abbey, or in a more traditional setting, such as a bed and breakfast, a lodge, or a tent. When it comes to picking a campsite, it is important to look at your preferred mobility options. If you have a car, a motorhome, or a truck, you can drive to a number of beautiful places and set up camp for the night. Just make sure that there are no restrictions on where you’re allowed to go. Many national parks and forests are off-limits to camping.

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