All Up And Running: Utah Resorts Dive Into The Season
All 14 ski and snowboard mountains within the state boundaries of Utah hit the "Go" switch before Christmas holidays, and visitors should expect new stuff on the mountains, at the ticket window, and in the lodge.
Here's a look at seven mountains that provide bookends south and north of the larger resorts in the Salt Lake-Park City area.
In the southwest corner, 650-acre Brian Head with the highest base elevation (9,600 feet) in the state has been purchased by Durango-based Mountain Capital Partners. Right away that puts Brian Head in the Power Pass season ticket family of seven resorts across the Southwest. A new high-speed quad replaces the 30-year-old chair on Navajo Mountain -- plus a relocated tubing park, magic carpet at the base, and conveyor lift for lift-to-lift access on Navajo.
Just up I-15, Eagle Point opens its 10th season with more snowmaking and new terrain park features. Known for its cheap day pass ($30-$55), the 350-acre mountain has five lifts and more than 100 condos right at the base. Expanded backcountry program opens up Tushar Mountains terrain.
Owned by actor Robert Redford, Sundance Resort maintains a cozy, upscale culture in the mountains above Provo. Despite a modest 450 acres, the vertical drop exceeds 2,100 feet served by five lifts with extensive night skiing and riding.
In the north by the Idaho border sit two day-trip mountains worth checking out. Family-owned Beaver Mountain, now 70 years old, sits 27 miles east of Logan with 828 skiable acres for a $ 50-day pass, an Indy Pass, or the new $380 season pass for students grade 6 through college.
Neighboring Cherry Peak -- Utah's newest ski and snowboard mountain -- put in the Summit Chair last season to double the skiable terrain (200 acres). Located 20 minutes from Logan outside Richmond, Cherry Peak has 1,200 vert illuminated for night skiing six days a week for $29 per evening.
About an hour south on I-15 and east of Ogden sits Nordic Valley. Also owned by Mountain Capital Partners, the ski and snowboard area is getting its legs after years of uncertainty with four lifts on 140 skiable acres, including most night-skiing acres in the state.
And up the hill, Powder Mountain limits tickets to keep the most skiable acres in U.S. (8,464) as untracked as possible. Nine lifts serve mostly green and blue runs on the front, but the focus is the backcountry where much of "Pow Mow's" acres lie -- accessed by snowcats or Whisper Ridge heli operation. A new village is taking shape at the base.