Description - Utah is famous for its bountiful snowfall. Some ski areas receive an incredible 500 annual inches of dry powder. Many of the most popular ski areas in Utah are within a one hour driving radius from Salt Lake City an its international airport.
Copyright: Utah Ski & Snowboard Association
Face shots in Utah's famous powder
- Within an hour's drive of downtown Salt Lake City, visitors can check out Alta Ski Area and Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort in Little Cottonwood Canyon and Solitude Mountain Resort and Brighton Ski Resort in the adjacent Big Cottonwood Canyon. The charming mining-era styled town of Park City (about 35 miles from Salt Lake City) boasts The Canyons, Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain Resort. Less than an hour's drive north of Salt Lake City, winter enthusiasts will find Snowbasin Resort. Southwest Utah, about four hours from Salt Lake City and three hours from Las Vegas, is home to Brian Head Resort.
Recreation - Utah's plentiful snowfall and its outstanding terrain provide some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the country. Additionally, many resorts offer opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.
Climate - Several weather effects combine to bring Utah its famous powder snow. Prevailing winter winds winds push clouds full of moisture east from the Pacific Ocean, across California and Nevada and to Utah. When the clouds meet Utah's Rocky Mountains, the remaining moisture rises, cools and condenses, and precipitation hits the Utah ski resorts with deep powder snow that is particularly light and dry. Another weather element that feeds Utah's "snow making machine" is the Great Salt Lake Effect. The lake releases water into the air that then rises into clouds of snow, producing squalls on the lake's eastern flanks. These squalls contain some of the lightest, fluffiest snow in the country which falls in feet - not inches- in the Wasatch Mountains.
Most of the Utah resorts are located in the Wasatch Range of the Rocky Mountains, just east of Salt Lake City and Ogden. Brian Head is one exception, found in southwest Utah near Cedar City.
*Information provided by the Utah Ski and Snowboard Association.