The locals here in Salt Lake tried to brace me for the bad news. There was a sense of frustration in their voices, a sadness amongst their sighs. Last year they had 783 inches of snow, and this year they are under 400. It’s the worst winter in recent memory, they tell me (average is 500/yr).
Well, if that’s the case, I’ll say this: The worst winter in Utah is as good, if not better, than the best at 95% of the other ski hubs in the United States. I grew up skiing on the east coast in the Pocono mountain range, about two hours from Philadelphia. I remember learning to ski at Blue Mountain, navigating the brown patches of grass that stuck out from the thin layer of snow.
Compare that to Salt Lake, where the base in some resorts is still approaching 90 inches at the end of March, despite enduring a “down year.” There is a storm that is supposed to hit the area this weekend, a “small one” – only seven inches.
That is what rocks about Utah: Even when it doesn’t snow, it snows.
Accessibility is another thing that sets it apart, something I consider to be one of its greatest assets. The ski resorts are only 30-45 minutes from downtown Salt Lake, giving visitors a lot of flexibility when it comes to lodging, not to mention an easy transfer from the airport to the resorts.
Not impressed? Google some other North American ski regions and see how far they are from the center of the closest city. The resorts in Salt Lake take pride in this and they even offer free lift tickets on the day you land – all you have to do is flash your boarding pass at the ticket counter. How cool is that?
The snow itself is considered the greatest on earth by many due to its light, dry composition. Check out these photos, courtesy of Ski Utah: