Skiing out west

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#1
Any suggestions? I'm planning a trip this winter. Thinking Utah. I've already done Big Sky, Steamboat, Breck, Vail, Keystone and Arapaho. Looking for something new. Thoughts? Looking for fairly challenging, moderately priced, with a ski town type nightlife as well.
 
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#3
Went to Telluride before it became billionaire paradise and it was awesome. I've always heard if you're just there for the skiing and no night life, Utah is where it's at.

Quit skiing because it's too damn expensive and want to save my knees.
 
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#4
If you like good snow little cottonwood canyon is the most reliable. Also by far the most accessible. I have been around out west and struggled with snow conditions on planned trips(I live in Vermont) In Utah that is usually not a problem plus Snowbird and Alta are second to none
 
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#5
Go to Utah. Spent 2 years out there for grad school & skiing (sometimes the order was reversed). All the hype about the greatest snow on earth is real. Better snow than Colorado by a big margin.

Snowbird & Alta are amazing. They are in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Nightlife is sparse on-mountain at both, but they are both ~30min from SLC valley. Plenty of solid restaurants in the valley. Liquor laws are a little wacky, but there are at least 2-3 solid brewpubs worth going to.

Solitude & Brighton are in Big Cottonwood Canyon and are very underrated areas. Honeycomb Canyon area in Solitude was one of best ski experiences I've ever had. Again, ~30 min from SLC valley for both.

Park City has nice ski town feel and 3 solid but pricier areas up there. Big difference in yearly snowfall totals from the Cottonwood canyons to the park city areas… They catch the first brunt of storms that come across the valley, extract the most snow out of them, and what's left over falls on Park City. Would be nice to visit it for 1-2 days but I personally would make my base in the Salt Lake City Valley for most of your trip.
 
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#7
Utah or Lake Tahoe. Both are close to major airports, Salt Lake and Reno.

If Utah, spend a few days at Snowbird and Alta and then a few days in Park City. Great snow. No nightlife at Alta and Snowbird, but pretty good nightlife in Park City. Both areas are about 30 minutes from Salt Lake airport.

Lake Tahoe has great ski areas, Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Heavenly, and Kirkwood. The only problem is snow can be heavy some times. Plus, the resorts are on the Nevada border so there are casinos and you can bet on games during apres ski due to the time difference. And, ski season is actually off season in Lake Tahoe, so lots of places to stay.
 
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#9
Whistler has the best terrain of any ski area I’ve been to, and there’s lots to do in town.

Alta/Snowbird are awesome, but there is zero nightlight.

Another suggestion is Jackson hole.
 
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#10
Any suggestions? I'm planning a trip this winter. Thinking Utah. I've already done Big Sky, Steamboat, Breck, Vail, Keystone and Arapaho. Looking for something new. Thoughts? Looking for fairly challenging, moderately priced, with a ski town type nightlife as well.
Revelstoke is steep and deep. Always loved the snow at Alta and Snowbird. The terrain at Squaw is fun with some hiking. I disagree with terrain at Whistler. To me Whistler is a boring tourist trap with chance of rain. Great in summer though. JMO. To each his own.
 
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#11
Snowbird and Alta are awesome skiing.

If nightlife is your number 1 criteria then Aspen is great. The town is right at the bottom of the mountain. Lots of restaurants and bars. I haven’t skied there in 25 years so someone else would have to tell you how the skiing is there. I don’t remember it being as good as Utah.

Anyone ever been to Taos? I always wanted to check it out.
 
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#14
Snowbird and Alta are awesome skiing.

If nightlife is your number 1 criteria then Aspen is great. The town is right at the bottom of the mountain. Lots of restaurants and bars. I haven’t skied there in 25 years so someone else would have to tell you how the skiing is there. I don’t remember it being as good as Utah.

Anyone ever been to Taos? I always wanted to check it out.
Taos is a funky little town, the ski area is pretty steep, but snow is Inconsistent. I think it’s El Niño years where they tend to do really well. Not sure I’d recommend flying all the way out for it. I live in the Denver area and it’s a fun occasional road trip during good snow years.
 
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#15
Thanks all, good tips. I personally loved Big Sky the most of my experiences.

I have the Max Pass which covers Solitude/Brighton and hence is my lean, but my friends are looking for a little more livelihood. I'm definitely intrigued by Snowbird / Alta and Park City sounds like it'd be a cool ski town. Too bad you can't drive over the pass in the winter.
 

jbdphi

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#16
Any suggestions? I'm planning a trip this winter. Thinking Utah. I've already done Big Sky, Steamboat, Breck, Vail, Keystone and Arapaho. Looking for something new. Thoughts? Looking for fairly challenging, moderately priced, with a ski town type nightlife as well.
A lot have been named above (particularly Snowbird) but nobody mentioned Jackson Hole, Wyoming. If you want a challenge in terms of difficulty that would be the ticket. Can also access Yellowstone Park via snowmobile as a side trip. Can’t comment on price, town, etc as it has been a long time since I was there.
 

CTBasketball

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#17
Snowbird is a little pricey and packed. Great mountain tho.

Solitude is very good if you go up top and into the canyons. The hike up Heavenly Ridge is great too.

Brighton is my favorite mountain in Little Cottonwood - cheap and if you know where to go the terrain is better than anywhere. The glades are amazing, lots of nuggets.

Breck is too big and pricey. Town is nice tho. Snow isn’t as good as in Utah.

Jackson Hole is overall great. If you’re going for a little bit of everything.
 
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#19
Thanks all, good tips. I personally loved Big Sky the most of my experiences.

I have the Max Pass which covers Solitude/Brighton and hence is my lean, but my friends are looking for a little more livelihood. I'm definitely intrigued by Snowbird / Alta and Park City sounds like it'd be a cool ski town. Too bad you can't drive over the pass in the winter.
Its only like 40 minutes from park city to Snowbird/Alta. Also Snowbasin is about an hour.
 

SubbaBub

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#21
Based on your previous trips, your best options are:

1. Jackson Hole
2. Whistler
3. Alta/Snowbird
4. Tahoe

JH can be done relatively cheaply if you time it right and has all the skiing/nightlife you can handle.
 

Hankster

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#22
Utah or Lake Tahoe. Both are close to major airports, Salt Lake and Reno.

If Utah, spend a few days at Snowbird and Alta and then a few days in Park City. Great snow. No nightlife at Alta and Snowbird, but pretty good nightlife in Park City. Both areas are about 30 minutes from Salt Lake airport.

Lake Tahoe has great ski areas, Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Heavenly, and Kirkwood. The only problem is snow can be heavy some times. Plus, the resorts are on the Nevada border so there are casinos and you can bet on games during apres ski due to the time difference. And, ski season is actually off season in Lake Tahoe, so lots of places to stay.
Heavenly is nice. Also skied Sierra Ski Ranch. Beginners course. However, they do have a couple of black runs with plenty of moguls(sp). That's the place to go when you want to be alone without pole to pole people. Remembering skiing in shorts there.
 
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#23
Utah or Lake Tahoe. Both are close to major airports, Salt Lake and Reno.

If Utah, spend a few days at Snowbird and Alta and then a few days in Park City. Great snow. No nightlife at Alta and Snowbird, but pretty good nightlife in Park City. Both areas are about 30 minutes from Salt Lake airport.

Lake Tahoe has great ski areas, Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Heavenly, and Kirkwood. The only problem is snow can be heavy some times. Plus, the resorts are on the Nevada border so there are casinos and you can bet on games during apres ski due to the time difference. And, ski season is actually off season in Lake Tahoe, so lots of places to stay.
Above. That is the plan. Alta has the best powder on earth but no night life. Tahoe can be great and the view from the top of Heavenly is amazing. But you can get Sierra sludge snow in wet winters. Great night life on Nevada side.
 
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#24
I was going to throw in Snowbasin and Powder Mountain in the Ogden Valley (about 45 minutes from Park City). But there is absolutely no night life nor any real on-site lodging.

They are very different mountains. Snowbasin is big, with more clearly defined groomed trails and a good deal of off-piste, both open and treed. It also has the Men's downhill from the 2002 Olympics which is a start that everyone should do at least once in their lives, if only to gauge just how massive the balls must be on these guys. Also, because they wanted to impress the world, the facilities are magnificent. The Con is that it has zero beds on mountain and extremely limited lodging options nearby.

Powder Mountain is the polar opposite. It has very limited groomed runs which are on the short side. It is a throwback to old time skiing as far as the facilities go. Think Arapahoe Basin, but not as nice (lol - seriously). It is massive if you can ski off piste. You can access almost 9,000 acres of powder in glades and open face. I say glades because while Snowbasin has more classic fairly tight trees, Powder Mountain has widely spaced trees which reduces the risk factor while giving deep, fluffy Powder. The majority of the lines are what we call low angle powder. They are plenty steep enough to ski, but not steep enough to do endos. It caps its lift ticket sales to 1,500/day (never an issue midweek) so there are never any lines or crowded groomed slopes. Often times if you are off piste you don't see another soul. This can be disconcerting. A quick story. The first time I took my brother we were off in a snowfield and blowing through some widely spaced trees when we stopped to catch our breath. My brother was ecstatic but then paused and said "We haven't seen anybody for the past 30 minutes. What if you're skiing alone and get hurt?" Good question. Something to think about. There is very little lodging on the mountain, but more options in the valley 10 minutes away. One other thing. you drive up the the top of Powder Mountain to the parking and lodges. The "bottom" is back in an are with no roads, building etc. Nothing.

Both mountains are remarkably low priced. The window rate at Snowbasin is $109/day, but There are discounts all over the place. Powder Mountain is just under $80/day. I'm not sure about Liftopia options.

So, even though neither works for the OP unless he goes to Park City and he and his buddies are looking for a day trip, everyone should give both Snowbasin and Powder Mountain a look. I've met very few people who have skied them and weren't blown away.
 
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#25
Thanks all, good tips. I personally loved Big Sky the most of my experiences.

I have the Max Pass which covers Solitude/Brighton and hence is my lean, but my friends are looking for a little more livelihood. I'm definitely intrigued by Snowbird / Alta and Park City sounds like it'd be a cool ski town. Too bad you can't drive over the pass in the winter.
Park City is kind of strange. You have to join a club to get into a bar and drink. Those Mormans created some odd liquor law and it is probably the same throughout the state.
Consider Jackson Hole.
 
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