Skiing doesn’t have to be a solo sport. In fact, hitting the slopes is way more fun with family and friends. In Utah, skiing really is a family affair—you’ll see parents teaching their children how to ski, siblings chasing each other down the mountain, and families congregating in ski lodges to warm up with hot cocoa. Most ski destinations in Utah are very family friendly because of this, and the following 10 are some of the state’s best.
Alta is for skiers. But really, snowboarding isn’t even allowed. That’s part of what makes skiing at Alta feel so pure and simple—everyone comes together with a communal love for the same sport. Definitely a hotspot for skiing “purists,” Alta may feel intimidating for beginners and families. But never fear, Alta is the perfect place to learn how to ski, too. Located up Little Cottonwood Canyon, Alta Ski Area is remarkably close to Salt Lake City.
Snowbird feels like a magical, winter wonderland tucked far away from civilization. But that’s the tricky part: Snowbird is actually very close to Salt Lake City, and the drive to the resort is almost as enjoyable as the skiing. Snowbird’s vibes are memorable and family-friendly. Staying at the resort is comparatively affordable for families, but at the same time, adults won’t feel like they’re sacrificing luxury for the sake of their kids.
Alta Ski Area’s neighbor, Brighton Resort features 1,050 acres of terrain and 1,875 vertical feet of skiing. Similar to other ski resorts up Big Cottonwood Canyon, the resort averages 500 inches of snow every winter. Easy to access from Salt Lake City, Brighton Resort is also unique because all of its terrain can be accessed by high-speed quad. Both children and adults can sharpen their skiing skills at the resort’s “Snow Sports School.”
The last Big Cottonwood Canyon ski resort on this list, Solitude Mountain Resort is similar in size to Brighton and Alta, covering 1,200 acres of land and offering over 2,000 vertical feet of skiing. So, what makes Solitude great for families? For one, it’s definitely not Utah’s biggest ski resort, which means it’s easier to keep track of your crew. But second, the resort features an almost unbeatable amount of beginner and intermediate slopes so that you and your family will have room to explore without worrying too much about advancing beyond your skill level.
Sundance Mountain Resort could be the most family-friendly ski resort in the state. If anything, it’s definitely the most quaint. Famously owned and started by actor and activist Robert Redford, Sundance (which is nestled into the majestic Mount Timpanogos) is beautiful, charming, low-key, and considerably cheaper than other ski resorts in Utah. It’s also a lot smaller. And while this comes with both pros and cons, it makes for a fun and simple day with family on the slopes.
Park City is Utah’s most famous ski hub, and for good reason. Park City Mountain Resort is the star of Park City’s ski scene, and unlike any other ski area on earth. Composed of two formerly distinct ski resorts (Canyons and Park City), Park City Mountain features 7,300 acres of skiable area and 3,200 vertical feet. This place is huge, and that’s part of what makes it so fun. You and your family could explore this place for days without feeling bored, and your little skiers may start to show interest in park skiing and moguls.
Ranked No. 1 Overall Resort in North America by the readers of SKI Magazine, Deer Valley Mountain Resort has a reputation for luxury. The resort features over 2,000 acres of skiable area and is known for its upscale amenities such as free ski valets and free parking shuttles. And while you may not be interested in indulging in a luxury ski resort with your entire family in tow, the resort’s little luxuries could make a difference in your stress levels. Because when the hard stuff is taken care of, you can breathe freely and enjoy the time with your loved ones. Don’t plan on snowboarding though. Deer Valley is one of three resorts (along with Alta Ski Area) in North America that doesn’t allow snowboarding on its slopes.
Perhaps Utah’s most unique ski resort, Brian Head is a wonderful place to visit for families looking for an authentic down-home experience. Located in what would technically be called southern Utah, the resort features 650 acres of skiable area and some seriously spectacular scenery. Did you ever imagine skiing with red rock formations and colorful sandstone canyons in the background? Brian Head takes alpine scenery to a whole new level.
Snowbasin Resort happens to be in one of Utah’s prettiest and least crowded areas. Just east of Ogden in northern Utah, the resort covers a whopping 3,000 acres. Snowbasin offers specialty programs and group lessons especially for kids (and for adults!), and features five different terrain parks as well as 26 kilometers of Nordic trails for cross-country skiing.
Opened way back in 1939, Beaver Mountain has both a rich history and a stellar reputation. A visit to the Beaver Mountain will challenge your allegiance to large ski resorts, and especially when it comes to your family’s allegiance. Passes are cheaper, the mountains are friendlier, and the resort is welcoming to skiers and snowboarders of all ages.