I’m at Solitude, one of four fantastic Utah ski resorts I visit on my stay; each of them offering skiers something unique.
What do the Kardashian clan, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift and Gwyneth Paltrow all have in common? No, not their Pilates instructor. They all ski Utah’s famously luxurious Deer Valley Resort. And as I arrive at the resort and a ski valet takes my skis, it’s nice to feel like a celeb, if only for a moment.
Deer Valley Resort, in the Wasatch Range, is 58km from Salt Lake City. It was founded in 1981, by Edgar Stern, who wanted to create a world class ski resort, complete with impeccably groomed slopes and tasty food options (I can recommend the chocolate-chip cookies).
The resort, one of three resorts in the US that is ski only (sorry, snowboarders) is for those wanting to ski in style. One of the resort’s signature runs is Success on Bald Eagle Mountain. Nothing says success like skiing Success, successfully.
Not far from Deer Valley is Park City Mountain Resort. Much of Park City and surrounding areas were once home to silver mines.
Even today, there are more than 1000km of tunnels underneath Park City and Deer Valley resorts. And trams that were once used to carry silver up and down the mountains were converted into chairlifts.
Park City is known to be one of the best family ski resorts in the US. And it’s easy to see why. There is a great area for beginners and those getting used to green runs.
And, yes, there are black runs for the more advanced and adventurous types.
Famished after a big day on the slopes? Head to Chimayo on Park City’s charming Main Street for a buffalo steak.
ALTA AND SOLITUDE
One of the best things about these resorts is their proximity to Salt Lake City International airport. In 45 minutes, you can go from the airport to parking your car at Alta.
Located in the Cottonwood Canyon, Alta is one of the oldest resorts in the US and one of the highest in Utah – that means lots of soft powder, which is perfect for experienced skiers. Check out Point Supreme above Albion Basin for spectacular mountain views.
My pick of the Utah ski resorts is Solitude. Perhaps it’s because half of the resort’s runs are aimed at less experienced skiers. It’s also less crowded than other resorts.
Sweeping down one of the resort’s long green runs, through picturesque forests on my way to the bottom of the mountain, I feel a sense of accomplishment. Until another child barely old enough to walk glides past me.
HOT IN THE CITY
What to do when you get tired
of carving up the snow? With the Wasatch Range looming behind the buildings, Salt Lake City, Utah’s capital city, is certainly spectacular.
And because of the city’s grid layout, it’s easy to explore on foot. The best place to start is Temple Square, in the south-east corner, where you’ll find the Salt Lake Temple.
Constructed by Mormon pioneers, who founded the city in 1847, the temple and its surrounding buildings are impressive.
Salt Lake City is also home to the Utah Jazz basketball team. While I’m there I catch the team – which includes Aussie Joe Ingles – play at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
It’s hard to beat the buzz of an NBA game.
United Airlines flies to Salt Lake City, Utah (via Los Angeles). Go to
United.com. For more information and holiday ideas, see visitutah.com.