Now, we’re debuting the skis, boards, boots, … Those leaving the ski area boundaries or entering the backcountry from a trailhead need standard avalanche rescue gear, avalanche training and should regularly consult the Utah … Not really the kind of beta you want to hear before embarking on a trip—but we, the ever-optimistic Backcountry Skiing … We shot a whack of videos on new products, met with partners, exhausted ourselves and hightailed it out of then-smoggy Salt Lake City to the town of Ogden, also in Utah. Who would have thought the Great Salt Lake could make such great light powder? Carry food, a shovel, extra warm clothes, a probe and a beacon at a minimum. beware! There are tons of objectives for every level of skier, from mellow tree skiing to steep couloirs and low angle meadows. If you’re looking for slackcountry access, the Supreme lift will deliver you to the goods. Willie is a fully certified IFMGA mountain guide and AMGA Ski Mountaineering Guide, based out of Sandy, his home in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah with wife Liz. The groomed trails pass by several meadows, some steep enough for telemarking. Hiking up hills and finding your own first tracks. There’s a lot of family options and the resort itself has done much to bolster its standing amongst its other more frequented neighbors. Another option for the area is Flagstaff Mountain and Upper Days Fork, which can be tracked out fairly quickly, but is still worth getting up early to hit skiable chutes, bowls and trees. When in doubt, hire a guide to show you the best the area has to offer. Just off of the Great Western Lift is Hidden Canyon which offers some of the easiest backcountry access you’ll find, and runs lasting for days after a storm. For the backcountry skier looking for something more challenging, be sure to check out Mount Mellenthin. Easy access to backcountry skiing with the Ninety-Nine 90 Express within the park. On the northside of the Ridgeline consider Dutchess Draw and McDonald’s Draw each with big, each skiable and mega on powder days. If you’re just starting, go with someone who knows what they’re doing to learn the ropes. Bluebird+ includes: Three Bluebird Backcountry lessons ($227+ value) Free access to daily clinics / ski … HERE’S THE SECRET about Utah, and the Wasatch Mountains in particular: it’s the best backcountry skiing in the world. One good thing to know about Alta: the resort doesn’t mind backcountry skiers using its snowcat route for backcountry access. Out of the hundreds of canyons and ridges that make up Utah, it is the Park City Ridge, American Fork Canyon, Millcreek Canyon, Big Cottonwood Canyon and Little … So go nuts (cautiously). Diverse terrain. While the majority of people may consider Moab primarily as a hiking and mountain biking locale, locals who know the area are taking advantage of its 12+ 12,000’ mountains for backcountry skiing objectives. Moist storms that track across the desert west of Salt Lake City slam into a wall of … Backcountry Skiing Utah: A Guide to the State’s Best Ski Tours. THE BEST LOCATION FOR GLADE SKIING. Welcome to Backcountry Snowmobiling View the beautiful backcountry mountains while experiencing the best snowmobiling Park City, Utah has to offer. Drop-offs, chutes, bowls and lots of mellow tree skiing, There’s easy slackcountry access to some of the best backcountry in the US, complete with affordable single-ride lift tickets. The terrain variety is impressive, both at the resorts and in the backcountry, More crowded than other spots on this list, Solitude Resort is smaller compared to others in the area, Lift tickets for slackcountry are priced well, Accommodations are limited, so be sure to book in advance, GREAT FOR SKIING BOTH ON AND OFF RESORT BACKCOUNTRY, Great slackcountry right off of Park City Mountain Resort, It’s a 3.5 hour drive from Salt Lake City. No resort pass required. Tyson Bradley is a nationally recognized extreme and backcountry skier. You can also skip the resort, too, and find access to Silver Fork Canyon and Honeycomb by parking at the lower Solitude lot and skinning/bootpacking up to Silver Fork for runs like Silver Spoon, Meadow Chutes and Brad’s Line. While there’s plenty for families to do here while on vacation, the advanced and expert skiers here will have plenty of terrain to carve and shred, both on and off-piste. Also accessible from Big Cottonwood is the Park City Ridgeline, which is arguably one of the best backcountry skiing zones in Utah. Whisper Ridge is a premier luxury adventure backcountry resort, offering guided heli and cat-skiing, as well as the only heli-MTB provider in the Continental US. Classic. Utah native and Rad-Older-Brother archetype Layne Caldwell, who contributed anything useful you’ve read above, offers these observations: “The resorts in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons already own the prime north-facing ski terrain, but there are many side canyons that still offer great skiing in the Central Wasatch. So whether you’re a newcomer looking to earn you turns in the backcountry, crave some expert-level steep skiing, or want to tackle a multi-day adventure with friends, Utah has it all. As ski resorts are limiting access because of the coronavirus pandemic, skiers are looking for alternative … Canada. It should be noted that there are plenty of approaches to diverse terrain regardless of hazard conditions. In upper White Pine, there’s the spectacular Glacier Bowl and the West Pass. There are some dangerous sections, so know your route! This is a place best suited for experienced backcountry travelers in good shape. What else should we know before connecting you with the guide? East Asia. Here’s a primer for skiers ready to earn their turns, put some skin(s) in the game, etc. Touring potential is massive among these peaks, which can easily be … When you combine the epic Wasatch terrain with 500” of annual snowfall and easy backcountry access, you get the best off-piste ski locations in not just Utah, but the whole country. Alpine touring skis are the most popular style, wider and lighter than traditional downhill skis, made of carbon fiber or lighter woods. The point of backcountry skiing is you can pretty much go anywhere you want (though private property laws still apply…). This is a mountain biking and hiking hotspot in the warmer months, so there’s ample snow covered trails to get where you need, Backcountry Ski & Snowboard Routes: Utah by Jared Hargrave, Grab a cup at Moab Coffee Roasters, where they roast their own beans, Get a pint and a burger at the family-friendly Moab Brewery. Sign up for the 57hours newsletter and join our growing community of outdoor adventurers. Park your car. People who like trail running and mountain biking in the warmer months. 200" of snow at Brighton in JANUARY! One last word to the tech-savvy: if you’re sticking around Wasatch, and let’s face it, most of us are, there’s an amazing app called Wasatch Backcountry Skiing Map available on both iOS and Android, it’s not free, but it has ALL the route beta you need to know. The two mountains share a two-mile-long ridgeline that stretches from the top of Sugarloaf Pass, through to Baldy Shoulder, and then down to the bypass road. Learn where to go, how to get there, and much more from experts. Backcountry Skiing & Snowboarding Friendly, professional UMA guides will share their knowledge and skills while leading you to bowls, glades, chutes and peaks covered in Utah's famous soft snow. Who is backcountry skiing right for? The ski season in Utah usually kicks off mid-November and lasts through April. Cirques, chutes, bowls, and plenty of powder and steep runs, and yes, cliff drops, 10,026’ at Alta; Snowbird’s slightly higher at 11,000’. There’s solid slackcountry access at the resort, and in the resort’s parking lot. Backcountry Skiing in the Wasatch Mountains, Climbing and Skiing Solitude's Fantasy Ridge. 10 talking about this. 1100’ at 50° for The Hypodermic Needle (approx. The region typically gets 500” of snow, and in a good year, conditions can be favorable through late spring. Whether you want to find powder stashes in the Corkscrew Glades or shred the vertical on Mount Tukuhnikivatz (Mount Tuk, as it’s affectionately known to locals), the access for most lines and runs is straightforward thanks to Moab being a solid spring and summer recreation destination. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in our emails. Simply put, it’s a gem of a ski vacation destination where there’s plenty of skiable lines available after it’s more famous neighbors get tracked out. Long considered a local’s locale, Solitude is far less crowded than its neighbors and offers plenty of Utah’s famous powder. It’s not on everybody’s bucket list only because of its name. It typically sees the most amount of snow, with conditions generally staying prime until mid-March. If you’re looking for an Alta and Snowbird backcountry trail map, you won’t find a better one than the Wasatch backcountry ski map mentioned above. WHERE TO BACKCOUNTRY SKI Also attainable from the Solitude lot is USA Bowl, which has good tree skiing, with other options further beyond, like South Monitor and Scott Hill. And obviously, check … So, while the 3.5hr drive from SLC may not be on the top of everyone’s weekend ski list, those who decide to make the journey will find themselves soon planning out their next trip back. Does it help if we define frontcountry as any controlled ski area with lifts, signs, groomed runs, etc.? The Chuting Gallery by Andrew McLean. What makes Brighton so special is it is a perfect place for regular resort skiers to get a taste of the backcountry. This accomplishment made with his brother Damian in 2003 won them Climbing magazine’s Golden Piton Award. Backcountry Skiing in Utah and Beyond But don’t be lulled into a false sense of security due to all the other skiers in the backcountry, more people means greater attention must be paid to snowpack and weather conditions. I like skiing in Davis County as well. Touring bindings allow a free heel for climbing that can clip in for descents. He’s led over 20 Himalayan expeditions, including thirteen Everest summits, Cho Oyu, Makalu, Manaslu, Ama Dablam, an attempt on the North face of Jannu, and the “The Crystal Snake” first ascent on Nuptse. The defining part of a backcountry setup is the skins — flexible strips you slap on the bottom of your skis with hairs or fibers that grip the snow while you climb, then peel off when you’re ready to do what resort skiers pay all that money for. Utah. Beyond Wasatch, the La Sal Mountains have some solid places to ski right around Moab. All rights reserved. Or, consider Backcountry Skiing Utah: A Guide to the State’s Best Ski Tours by Tyson Bradley. View backcountry skiing locations in Utah's Wasatch mountains on your desktop computer. Download our free app and discover your next adventure today! Truth is, anyone can do it. Kenya, made three attempts on the highly coveted Pakistani peak Latok 1, done first ascents on the big walls of Baffin Island and climbed dozens of Bolivian and Peruvian peaks. The adventure stories you want in your inbox. Please try again, or contact us at and we’ll resolve the problem. There are a whopping 551 inches of quality powder per season! If you want to take full advantage of the area and head off-resort, Snowbird and Alta backcountry guides that offer day, weekend and week-long packages for all objectives. The Wasatch Mountain Range might come to mind for most when they think of the best backcountry ski spots in Utah, but there’s another truly great location, definitely off the beaten path, that bears mentioning as a serious destination for any backcountry skier: La Sal Mountains, just outside of Moab! Yes, you can ski between Alta and Snowbird. The LaSal Mountains offer miles of trails and unlimited backcountry skiing terrain. 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