Utah ski resorts take first and second place in Ski Magazine’s western rankings

Oct 25, 2023, 10:28 AM | Updated: Oct 26, 2023, 5:28 pm

FILE (Photo: Baileypalblue)...

FILE (Photo: Baileypalblue)

(Photo: Baileypalblue)

Northern Utah is well represented in Ski Magazine’s list of the top 30 Western ski resorts, with Powder Mountain taking first place, Snowbasin coming in second and both Alta and Deer Valley making the top 10.

Described as a “gritty ski area with old, slow lifts, limited dining, throwback lodging, and not a speck of nightlife,” Powder Mountain earned the top spot due to its snow, value, access and terrain variety, the ranking states. It’s a big jump for the Weber County ski area, which was ranked 18th last year.

“Undiscovered Powder Mountain is a true throwback to how skiing used to be, with uncrowded slopes, great snow, and prices that let everyone in on the fun,” editors for Ski Magazine wrote.

Meanwhile, Snowbasin received its second place ranking in part due to the traffic in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons, becoming “the de facto destination for lots of Salt Lake City skiers who chose to ski rather than sit in traffic,” the editors write. Among the resort’s strengths are its lifts, grooming, snow quality and terrain variety.

In total, seven Utah resorts made the list:

  • • Powder Mountain, No. 1
  • • Snowbasin Resort, No. 2
  • • Alta Ski Area, No. 7
  • • Deer Valley, No. 9
  • • Snowbird Mountain Resort, No. 13
  • • Park City Resort, No. 15
  • • Brighton Resort, No. 17

The ranking comes on the heels of a historic season where Utah’s statewide snow water equivalent — essentially the moisture in the snowpack — peaked at 30 inches in early April, surpassing the decadeslong record of 26 inches.

Nearly every Utah resort broke some kind of record — Powder Mountain recorded its highest snowpack since 1977, according to Ski Utah, while Snowbasin had its longest season and most recorded snowfall ever.

According to Ski Magazine, the results are reader-generated. A survey was emailed to 200,000 people, who were asked to rate a resort on 15 criteria, including snow, lifts, terrain, lodging, food and drink.

“No money nor exchange of advertising is involved in the process. Absolutely none. We host the survey, and you, the readers, decide the Top 50,” Ski Magazine editors wrote.

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Utah ski resorts take first and second place in Ski Magazine’s western rankings