Maybe you are asking yourself that question right now? Well, I live in UT, work in the ski industry and, until about a week ago, could not have intelligently answered that question myself. So, when the opportunity arose to visit the resort, I couldn’t resist. It was finally time to head north of the city and leave the familiar slopes of Solitude, Snowbird and Alta behind for the day. I had no idea what to expect.
So, it turns out that Snowbasin is just 40 minutes north of downtown SLC. I plugged the address into my phone and let the GPS take the wheel. Wow: I loved the drive! Once off the highway, I had about 20 minutes in the car, ski tunes blaring and the most beautiful scenery in every direction. Through the canyon, along the river, fishermen and snowmobilers to my left and right, I was in heaven. In fact, I made a detailed mental note of the many trailheads and campgrounds along the way… I will be back in the summer!
Once I reached the base of the mountain, I drove up a windy (but, well paved) road, taking in the unobstructed views. The resort doesn’t offer lodging, so you would be amazed at the pristine nature of the landscape. Parking was easy, the shuttles were fast and I was on the gondola in no time. The locals like to keep this place a secret and I can see why… minimal to no lift lines, acres and acres and acres of skiable terrain and fresh powder around every turn. I was shocked at the size of the mountain and the accessibility to some pretty decent vertical. There was no way that we even made a dent, having just skied for one day, but we certainly tried.
We ate a late lunch on the patio at Earl’s Lodge at the base, choosing to go the grill and beer route, which is the best way to get the full skier experience. (Though, the interiors of the lodges are exquisite, boasting giant windows, opulent furnishings and gold plated finishes; they are truly fit for a king.) The employees were exceedingly friendly and the crowd was decidedly fun! We had to try to get in a few more runs before closing time, so we did some fast GS laps on the gondola before heading back down for some après socializing.
After a cocktail or two, I was on my way. As I was leaving the parking lot, I saw that several groups and families were tailgating. Fun! Snowbasin is not just a ski resort; it is really an experience. I cannot wait to go back!
- Noelle Michaud, Destination Expert