Over the past two years, Sundance Mountain Resort has quietly undergone a major overhaul that has smoothed the flow for skiers and riders around the 467-acre mountain. Sundance Mountain Resort
Nestled in the southern tier of the Wasatch Mountains, this summer Sundance installed it third new chairlift in two years, and cut new trails for 40 acres of brand-new novice/intermediate terrain. Located at mid-mountain on a southern wing of the trail map, the Wildwood area has a new fixed-grip quad that delivers skiers and 'boarders in five minutes to some 10 new blue and green trails.
The new Wildwood section fits conveniently at the top of Jake's Lift that serves the bulk of the green and blue runs on the lower, front half of Sundance. From the top of the chair, skiers and riders have another way to get to the mountain's backside Flathead chair (reportedly slated to be Sundance's next new chair soon) and all its black chutes and bowls.
Since actor Robert Redford sold the resort in 2020, the new ownership has poured cash onto the mountain and into the base area. Formerly all fixed-grip chairs, Sundance now has a high-speed Outlaw that reaches to the false summit on the front side, and a short, 1,000-foot Stairway triple that simplified getting from the front to the back -- and opens up about 15 acres of modest terrain as well.
Down below, the base lodge has gotten a remodel, and a trio of carpet lifts went in for a dedicated beginner area. There's more room for parking, and a higher capacity of snowmaking -- all aimed to make Sundance a more efficient and easy-to-use mountain.
Ticket-wise, Sundance is a partner with the Power Pass and its three-day reciprocal lift tickets with the southwest Colorado-based consortium of eight resorts, including Utah's Nordic Valley.
The 16 ski and snowboard resorts in Utah now welcome millions to their slopes every winter. The vast majority of them either head up the Cottonwood canyons to Alta, Snowbird, Solitude or Brighton, or hop on I-80 in Salt Lake for the half-hour drive to Park City and Deer Valley.
In essence, the 2,150 vertical feet and 515 acres of skiing and riding at Sundance seems to slip beneath the radar of most Utahns and visitors who flock to the state for its "greatest snow on earth." Yet it's only 50-minute drive from Salt Lake to Provo and then up into the hills to Sundance.
Indy Pass and Ski Cooper season pass -- the nation's largest reciprocal partner passes -- are up for sale, meaning at least 146 U.S. ski and snowboard mountain can be had for short-term skiing and riding all season long.
For skiers and riders with wanderlust, both passes lure road-trippers by clustering its pass with partner mountains within easy driving distance of each other. The more adventurous can head out across state lines to cash in their multi-day pass. An adult Ski Cooper pass is now priced at $329 until September, while the price of an Indy Pass sits at $299 until September.
The Indy Pass and Ski Cooper season pass continue to bolster their partner resorts lists (and more may be added this summer). On the Indy Pass, skiers and riders get two days free at at 87 U.S. resorts (plus one in Spain), while Ski Cooper's 58 partners welcome them for three days. The vast majority don't have blackouts or other limitations.
In West, the Cooper season pass has four new partners: Wyoming's White Pine, Washington's Mt. Spokane, California's Mt. Shasta Ski Park and Utah's Sundance. These additions introduces the Cooper mega-partner pass to state of Washington, and shores up its presence at smaller areas in California and Wyoming. Plus, Sundance joined up for this season as the first Utah mountain on the pass.
The Southeast and Midwest drew Cooper's attention this offseason. The Ski Cooper pass added four mountains in Southeast, and four in the Midwest, as well as outlier Saddleback in Maine. It's valid now in 21 states.
For the Indy Pass, four new affiliates came on board from the Upper Midwest -- Marquette Mountain, Mount Kato, Nub's Knob and Tree Tops -- to solidify Indy's presence in that region to nine resorts in Michigan, and six each in Wisconsin and Minnesota. New member Big Rock in Maine comes on this season. The pass, which is purchased separately from any season pass, now reaches into 28 states.
Indy Pass added a new category, Allied Resorts, that gets passholders half-off discounts -- except for holiday periods and weekends (25% off) -- at six New England hills and Loup Loup in Washington. It also added three X-C partners, all located at Indy alpine partner mountains.
The Indy and Ski Cooper passes both work for some 25 resorts. Other reciprocal season passes of note include Lee Canyon (21 partners), Monarch (21), Loveland (16), Sunlight (16), Bogus Basin (14) and Mount Bohemia (12) -- among others.
The seasonal gears have shifted, and Utah's 14 winter resorts are in full-on summer mode with everything from disc golf to mountain biking to riding atop a tramway car in the offing.
Resorts' emphasis on summertime activities continues to grow in the Beehive State, as locals and visitors more and more look to the mountains for exercise and enjoyment. Most mountains keep restaurants open during the offseason. In addition, concerts, workshops, themed festivals and competitions can be found on all around the mountains. And wildflower viewing is always worth the ride into the hills.
A few resorts are open seven days a week, but most open up only for several days around the weekend during the warm offseason. Four Utah resorts won't run chairlifts this summer; instead, Brighton, Cherry Peak and Beaver Mountain highlight hiking and biking trails as mountain getaways, and Alta again focuses on environmental projects.
Snowbird caught the headlines with its rooftop tram ride this summer. One of the two cars on Utah's only tramway will have limited space on top, and floor-to-ceiling windows inside. The base area will be busy, with slides and coaster and all manner of climbing challenges.
Powder Mountain opens a new downhill MTB park served by the Hidden Express chair. To limit crowds, day tickets will cap at 250, and only 500 summer season passes will be sold.
Park City Mountain debuts a new golf course at Canyons Village. Many of the fairways run on winter ski trails, and the course elevation rises and falls throughout. Three lifts bring MTBers to mountain tracks.
A new beginner MTB track is in the works at Solitude, which now is open Thursday-Sunday. Also debuting are climbing wall, bungee trampoline and mini-disc golf.
On the southern terminus of the Wasatch, Sundance brings beginner-flow and intermediate level MTB tracks online. And, of course, the resort's renowned high and long ziplines are due to attract the adventurous crowd.
At Snowbasin, there are 26 miles of hiking and biking trails off the Needles Gondola -- dogs always welcome. And, the northern Utah resort welcomes the return of the live Brews, Blues & Barbecue summer music series.
And, classical music aficionados will once again get to listen to the Utah Symphony's concert series under the evening skies at Deer Valley.
In southern Utah, the focus is on the hardiest athletes, with Eagle Point's Crusher in the Tushars and Tushar Mountain Runs in July, and Brian Head's Women's Epic Race and Brian Shredder downhill MTB race in June.
In an effort to cut air pollution, all bus rides will be free across Utah's Wasatch Front until the end of February -- making it free to ride up to the slopes from Sundance to Snowbasin and five in between.
The first high-speed chair on the mountain, more snowmaking and parking, and base lodge upgrade are in the works at Sundance Mountain Resort.
After more than 50 years, actor-director-skier Robert Redford has sold Sundance Mountain Resort to a pair of real estate investment firms.
Since before Sundance Mountain Resort was established in 1969, back when the ski area was known as Timp Haven Ski Resort, Jerry Hill has been maintaining the slopes of Mount Timpanogos.
Robert Redford's Sundance Mountain Resort maybe just an hour south of its well-known neighbors in Utah's Wasatch Range -- on a clear day you can see the top of Snowbird -- but it feels like you have traveled decades away. Tucked up a steep, tight canyon east of Provo, the resort opened it in 1969 -- and it doesn't seem like much has changed since then.