Snowbasin, Utah

Snowbasin is one of the 3 resorts close to Ogden north of Park City and Salt Lake City. Not many people make the drive north from Park City, but it’s well worth it.

Ridge top view at Snowbasin, February 2008

Ridge top view at Snowbasin, February 2008

Stats and Rating

Vertical Drop 2900′
Size 3000 Acres
Annual Snowfall 300 Claimed / 300 Actual: Rank 40
Lifts 9
Trails 104
Review Date Feb 2008, 2010, and 2011
Number of visits 3
Our Rating ★★★★★
Snowbasin Trail map 2014/15

Snowbasin Trail map 2014/15

Review

The first few years we skied Park City we kept hearing people talk about Snowbasin. It’s a 1 1/2 hour drive from Park City though, so it takes planning and motivation. The first year we went was 2008 and we went back 2 more times after that with friends and family because it was so good.

Snowbasin Tram, February 2011

Snowbasin Tram, February 2011

We usually start the day on the John Paul express. This is one of the best lifts in North America, with 2,424′ of mostly black terrain. This is where the downhill courses were for the 2002 Winter Olympics. They usually groom 1 or 2 runs off of that chair, and they are leg burners so it’s a good idea to go there early. At the top of the lift the Allen Peak Tram is a small tram that was built for the olympics and probably wouldn’t have been done that way for any other purpose, but it’s a fun touristy thing to do with a short black run back down. The view of the Ogden side of the valley from up there is amazing.

View of Ogden from the top of the tram at Snowbasin, February 2008

View of Ogden from the top of the tram at Snowbasin, February 2008

The John Paul lodge is at the bottom of the tram and this is one of the most spectacular settings for a mid-mountain lodge I’ve ever seen. All the lodges at Snowbasin are beautifully constructed with bathrooms you feel bad about entering with ski boots on. The food service is in the top 5 of resorts on our list, alongside Sun Valley and Deer Valley. Sun Valley is the parent company and you can see it in the way this resort is run which is very high class but not overly expensive.

Looking out the windows from the John Paul lodge at Snowbasin, February 2008

Looking out the windows from the John Paul lodge at Snowbasin, February 2008

The upper middle of the resort features a lot of blue terrain with some shorter runs on Porcupine and Middle Bowl. The Becker and Wildcat chairs serve the lower part of the center and we never spent much time on either one, but a lot of it is good groomed terrain and some bumps if the snow is good.

Snowbasin groomer, February 2008

Snowbasin groomer, February 2008

The Strawberry Gondola side is enormous and is really a complete ski area by itself. You could spend all day exploring it. We usually spend the afternoon over there until our legs give out.

Strawberry terrain at Snowbasin, February 2008

Strawberry terrain at Snowbasin, February 2008

The good

  • Great variety of terrain
  • Snow quality
  • Grooming
  • Lots of vertical on 3 lifts
  • Views
  • Buildings and lifts are top notch
  • Lack of crowds
  • Food quality
Powder field at Snowbasin, February 2008

Powder field at Snowbasin, February 2008

The bad

  • There are 2 gondolas and we aren’t huge fans of gondolas. Even though they are fast and warm, you need to take your skis off and inevitably there is some annoying person on the phone in your cabin
Top of the ridge at Snowbasin, February 2008

Top of the ridge at Snowbasin, February 2008

Would we go back?

Yes — this is one of our favorite resorts

View of the Great Salt Lake from the top of Snowbasin, February 2008

View of the Great Salt Lake from the top of Snowbasin, February 2008