Looking for advice about Snowbasin
11 posts
5 users
2k+ views
jimw
July 14, 2023
Member since 02/2/2015 🔗
115 posts
Would like to go to Brighton and Solitude but I know they get really busy in the Cottonwood Canyon so was thinking about Snowbasin and Powder Mtn..  Any advice on lodging or shuttle service(if we don't rent a car)?
marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
July 14, 2023
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
3,271 posts

jimw wrote:

Would like to go to Brighton and Solitude but I know they get really busy in the Cottonwood Canyon so was thinking about Snowbasin and Powder Mtn..  Any advice on lodging or shuttle service(if we don't rent a car)?

 Have you skied in Utah before?  Do you have Ikon or the MCP?  Would you bring ski gear or rent?

While it's possible to enjoy Snowbasin and PowMow without renting a car, the logistics take some effort.  A budget approach would be to stay in Ogden and take the UTA bus for skiing.  There is public transport from the SLC airport to Ogden.  Might be a combination of UTA TRAX light rail and bus.

With a car, there are plenty of condo options in Eden or Huntsville on VRBO or AirBnB.  I've also used a local property management company that only deals with properties in the Ogden Valley.

While there is lodging on Powder Mountain, that makes sense only if you plan to ski PowMow most of the time and want to eat in all the time.  There is no "village" of any kind at PowMow.  Wouldn't be worth driving the mountain road for dinner and driving back in the dark.  The road is narrow, has lots of curves, and is pretty steep.

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
July 16, 2023 (edited July 16, 2023)
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,990 posts

I went carless on my last trip to Snowbasin. Here’s the firsthand report:

dcski.com

As @marzNC implies, you probably will need a car if you are trying to ski the Ogden mountains (Snowbasin and Powder) and also places in the Cottonwoods (Brighton, Alta, Snowbird, Solitude). We only wanted to ski Snowbasin and so the UTA bus  worked fine. The ride is longer than the drive but you don’t have to deal with a parking shuttle ride or long walk from the car, so that sort of evens things out. I would definitely try and stay either at one of the downtown Ogden hotels, most of which are near a bus stop, or choose a condo rental near a bus stop. I think it snowed three out of the five days we skied so we were happy to leave the driving to someone else. The drivers who drive the routes to Snowbasin and Powder know the roads well and have no problem negotiating snow.

The Front Runner/TRAX combo is a great way to get to the airport, but depending on the time and day of your flights, it might not work. We arrived at 9:30 pm on Sunday, and Front Runner wasn’t running at that time. That compelled us to take a cab, which was about $100 to Ogden. We took Front Runner/TRAX back to the airport—a fun ride. Not renting  mid-size SUV for the week saved us close to $1,000. It was fun to enjoy a beer at the lodge after skiing and watching the snow falling, knowing I would not have to drive back to Ogden. I also typically slept on the bus rides, giving me a bit more energy for the slopes. 



JimK - DCSki Columnist
July 17, 2023
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,986 posts
If you wait until the local mid-Atlantic season is done and go to Solitude/Brighton in late March or April they are usually not crowded.  Last year being the exception due to the incredible snowfall and crowds that came with it.
jimw
July 18, 2023
Member since 02/2/2015 🔗
115 posts

Yes 20 years ago.  Ikon pass.  Thanks, guys for the advice on lodging and shuttle/car options.  I don't mind renting a car but it's nice when you don't need one.  I know Utah had a record number of skier visits and know next year will probably be the same so that's why I was thinking about the Ogden mtns. 

marzNC wrote:

jimw wrote:

Would like to go to Brighton and Solitude but I know they get really busy in the Cottonwood Canyon so was thinking about Snowbasin and Powder Mtn..  Any advice on lodging or shuttle service(if we don't rent a car)?

 Have you skied in Utah before?  Do you have Ikon or the MCP?  Would you bring ski gear or rent?

While it's possible to enjoy Snowbasin and PowMow without renting a car, the logistics take some effort.  A budget approach would be to stay in Ogden and take the UTA bus for skiing.  There is public transport from the SLC airport to Ogden.  Might be a combination of UTA TRAX light rail and bus.

With a car, there are plenty of condo options in Eden or Huntsville on VRBO or AirBnB.  I've also used a local property management company that only deals with properties in the Ogden Valley.

While there is lodging on Powder Mountain, that makes sense only if you plan to ski PowMow most of the time and want to eat in all the time.  There is no "village" of any kind at PowMow.  Wouldn't be worth driving the mountain road for dinner and driving back in the dark.  The road is narrow, has lots of curves, and is pretty steep.

pagamony - DCSki Supporter 
July 18, 2023 (edited July 18, 2023)
Member since 02/23/2005 🔗
928 posts
I like Ogden.  Good cheap outdoor gear stores, vrbo selections, nice downtown, 8th st restaurants iirc.  Great Christmas festival. Also stayed at Marriot courtyard downton once.  Not sure how many family sized rentals there are downtown on the bus routes.  Personally, I would still want a car so I could explore a little more, I hate being tied down, sort of wide area claustrophobia.  Maybe drive down to one of the canyons on a slow day, likely Brighton for a diverse family.   I also like SLC, 2 different experiences. 
marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
July 18, 2023
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
3,271 posts

My primary ski buddy loves PowMow.  So far I haven't been lucky enough to catch it on a powder day.  These days, need to buy a lift ticket well in advance for any sort of powder day.  We were hoping to go last April but waited too long to get lift tickets for a Friday.  That was a weekend when the LCC/BCC canyons were not handling normal traffic.  We went to Snowbasin instead.  I heard that Snowbasin was totally crazy the day before because the Strawberry area opened after being closed after a powder storm.  There were a fair number of Alta or Snowbird season pass holders who drove to Snowbasin that day.  We rode up in the gondola with a few Alta pass holders.

There will be a new chairlift on the Strawberry side for 2023-24.  That will help keep the line for the Strawberry gondola from getting too long.

jimw
11 months ago
Member since 02/2/2015 🔗
115 posts
Thanks for the advice about Ogden and about buying your lift tickets in advance for PowMow. Nice to hear about the new lift going in at PowMow.  I didn't think they would be that busy compared to the Canyon mtns.  
marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
11 months ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
3,271 posts

jimw wrote:

Thanks for the advice about Ogden and about buying your lift tickets in advance for PowMow. Nice to hear about the new lift going in at PowMow.  I didn't think they would be that busy compared to the Canyon mtns.  

 The new lift I mentioned is on the Strawberry side of Snowbasin.

PowMow added a couple lifts on the backside several years ago.  Fun terrain over there, including aspen trees.  Gets a lot of sun so needs cold temps.

PowMow has limited season passes and day tickets ever since the current ownership took over.  I think the max is 1500 passes and 2500 day tickets.  That means no more than 4000 people on 7000+ acres.  Hard to get a season pass these days before current pass holders get first crack at a renewal.  Fair to say that anyone who is living in Utah has no intention of giving up their PowMow season pass.  Even Indy pass holders have to make a reservation in advance.

The locals who ski Snowbasin have been complaining about lift lines and crowded trails for a while.  Some people blame the Ikon pass.  But the reality is that the population of Ogden and SLC has grown a lot in the last decade.  Many of the newcomers moved because of the skiing and summer mountain activities.

Bottom line is that the skiing around SLC is not the same as it was 20 years ago in terms of lifts or level of crowding.  For that matter, the snow is a bit different too.  More snowmaking has been added to assure opening dates before mid-December.

Note that PowMow has no snowmaking.  Doesn't open until late December.

I had a chance to check out Sundance on a powder day last season.  Had a blast!  Well worth buying a day ticket.  My ski buddy wasn't feeling well  so he didn't go.  I'm interested in going back in the future for more powder turns when we are staying in SLC instead of at Alta Lodge.

jimw
11 months ago
Member since 02/2/2015 🔗
115 posts

Yeah I guess most of the bigger resorts are starting to get busier than they were a decade ago.  Thanks for letting me know about Sundance, I never heard about it.

Is Snowbasin busier than Solitude and Brighton? 

marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
11 months ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
3,271 posts

jimw wrote:

Yeah I guess most of the bigger resorts are starting to get busier than they were a decade ago.  Thanks for letting me know about Sundance, I never heard about it.

Is Snowbasin busier than Solitude and Brighton? 

 Snowbasin, Solitude, and Brighton serve very different markets.  Brighton and Solitude serve SLC locals since they have less expensive season passes than Alta or Snowbird.  Also Brighton has night skiing, which is good midweek for kids, teens, and working adults.  Snowbasin has plenty of locals who live in the Ogden Valley who have passes.

All three are on Ikon.  I would guess that Ikon holders who ski fly to SLC are more likely to only spend a few days at Snowbasin, Solitude, or Brighton.  Although there are families with younger children who enjoy staying for a week at Solitude.

Brighton feels like a day trip mountain, not a "ski resort."  Solitude is both a day trip mountain and a small well run ski resort with a "village" with nice slopeside lodging.  Snowbasin is a fancy day trip mountain with "country club" lodges at the base and on the mountain, but no slopeside lodging.  

To learn more about Snowbasin and Solitude, consider listening to Stuart Winchester's interviews the the GMs.

Podcast #115: Snowbasin Vice President & General Manager Davy Ratchford - February 2023

Podcast #76: Solitude President & COO Amber Broadaway - March 2022





Ski and Tell

Speak truth to powder.

Join the conversation by logging in.

Don't have an account? Create one here.

0.15 seconds