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USA Radio

Ski Utah: Winter Sports Heaven

By Heiko Obermoeller

The views from our descending plane to Salt Lake City, Utah, Winter Olympics host city of 2002, prepare us for our upcoming winter sport adventures. All around us there are mighty mountain ranges covered with snow and shimmering in the backlight of the sun. The snow in Utah is not your average snow. Because of its unique, powdery consistency, this snow is said to be “The Greatest Snow on Earth." The variety of slopes is equally impressive. Within an hour of Salt Lake City, you’ll find 10 first-class resorts that make this region a true winter sports paradise.

Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort

It took 45 minutes to drive up to Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort and the last kilometers were accompanied by more and more snow. The next morning, we take the lift up to the approximately 3000-meter Hidden Peak, where snowboarders and skiers find a variety of slopes for all levels of expertise. It’s a trip over the light powder snow accompanied by the breathtaking scenery of the Wasatch mountain range and the Salt Lake Valley.

The newest addition here is "The Summit", a fantastic mountain-top facility that has, among other things, a nice café where you can warm yourself a little between your descents. Exhausted but happy after a day of skiing in perfect sunshine, we dine at one of the great restaurants before we relax in the heated outdoor pool with grand views of the surrounding mountain peaks.

Alta Ski Area: A Skier’s Dream

Our next stop is the adjacent Alta Ski Area where, unlike Snowbird, the slopes are reserved for skiers. Here you´ll find quite a variety of different slopes on which you can enjoy the surrounding scenery of Little Cottonwood Canyon. If you’d like to visit all four Salt Lake area resorts (Alta, Brighton, Snowbird and Solitude), I recommend getting a Ski City Super Pass to make your winter sport adventures truly affordable.

Deer Valley Resort in Park City

The next morning we’re off to Park City, about 45 minutes away, a charming old silver mining town whose Main Street is full of restaurants and bars. Especially in the evening, it’s the place to go. Not far from downtown there’s the luxurious Deer Valley Resort, known for its excellent service. As we pull up, the courteous valet service opens the doors and carries our skis directly next to the lifts. They even store your skis here overnight for free – a service that is nowhere else to be found. Be sure to take a lunch break in the fantastic Deer Valley Grocery Café; you need to try their famous homemade turkey chili.

Park City Resort

Our next stop is the Park City Resort, directly adjacent to downtown Park City. The resort is the largest ski resort in the U.S. High up in the mountains, you’ll find an impressive superpipe here, where the courageous can try their skills on daring jumps. We stay with a mellower slope this afternoon and have a lovely and relaxed dinner on Main Street afterwards.

The snow in Utah more than lives up to its reputation. And I’d like to think that it has even made a beginner like me look a bit more like an expert.

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