Utah’s Best Ski Resorts for Beginners

Folks often assume Utah’s ski resorts offer exclusively big mountain skiing and deep powder. As a result, skiers and snowboarders put Utah on their ‘Places to Ski’ bucket list, for when they decide they’re good enough to tackle it.

The thing is Utah is actually home to a whopping 14 ski resorts, each with runs suitable for beginner skiers and snowboarders.

Beginners love terrain that’s contained, minus those scary-looking drop-offs, and without the crowds. Know where to look, and you’ll see Utah is home to some of the best ski resorts for beginners in the USA.

There’s no question that some ski resorts offer more fun times/less face-plant potential than others, so here’s Destination Utah’s skiing for beginners cheat sheet…


Beginner Terrain for Young and Old

Whether you’re aged three or 73, skiing or boarding for the first time is equal parts nerve-racking and exciting.

In the world according to Destination Utah, we believe the ideal Utah resorts for beginners of all ages are Deer Valley (skiers only), and Park City Mountain Resort. They offer 27% and 8% beginner terrain respectively. We know what you’re thinking: ‘8%? Pffff!’ But remember that Park City Mountain is a cool 7,300 acres, so beginner runs equal just over half the size of Utah’s entire Brighton Resort.

They’re also home to wide, open groomed trails and plenty of off-snow activities once you’ve packed up your skis for the day.

Doesn’t get much more beginner than you? Point your skis towards Deer Valley’s Snow Park base area. Wide West and Solid Muldoon, off the Burns and Snowflake chairs are great runs to start on. For a good variety of runs, base yourself mid-mountain at the Silver Lake village area and ride the Stirling, Quincy, Silver Strike, Ruby and Lady Morgan Express chairs. These lifts will allow you to explore most of Deer Valley resort whilst staying on beginner terrain. These lifts will also allow you to  dip your tips into some of the easier intermediate trails that branch off the beginner runs.

At the Park City base area of Park City Resort, the First Time Lift and Payday Express provide access to runs that will safely build the skills and confidence you require to progress to more advanced beginner terrain.  At the top of the Red Pine Gondola, on the Canyons side of Park City Resort you will find the High Meadow chair which provides access to a dedicated learning area for beginners, children, and families.

If you’re somewhere between a beginner and intermediate skier or boarder you’ll appreciate the progression options Park City Resort has to offer. The resort is 42% intermediate and most lifts provide an “easy blue” trail option which allows the beginner to intermediate skier access to a lot more of the resort.

Boa off Super Condor – much beloved by beginners progressing to intermediate, Chicane, Red Pine Road, Another World, and all the runs down to Tombstone off Peak 5 are very easy blues. Lastly, Daybreak lift is very quiet and mellow for low intermediates.


Small But Perfectly Formed

Utah’s smaller resorts with moderate pitches can be great for skiers trying to build their confidence.

Both Brighton and Solitude Resort are small by comparison to other Utah resorts, but they have great beginner terrain- around 20% at Brighton and 10% at Solitude.

Brighton Resort’s Explorer chair features dedicated green runs and the Majestic chair allows for easy progression from green to blue. If you’re a confident beginner, ramp your skiing up a notch on Snake-Creek or the Milly Express.

Solitude Resort’s Moonbeam Express and Link Chair will take you to the majority of the resort’s green runs. Once you’ve got those mastered, Tude-Dudes, Same Street and North-Star offer a gentle transition from green to blue.


Is This One To Avoid?

Whether you’re a true beginner or you’re confident enough only to eat major snow once a day, Snowbird may not be the best fit for you. It is up there as one of the most challenging resorts in North America.

Because they groom less of the mountain at this resort, there’s a lot of off-piste skiing to be had. Its terrain makes it ideal for high intermediate-expert skiers, and the odd mere mortal who knows no fear (but perhaps should…)

However, Snowbird actually has 27% beginner terrain and if you are looking to learn how to ski powder, this is the resort to do it. If you’ve never strapped on a pair of skis in your life, Chickadee is best suited. It is a relatively flat beginner area between the Cliff Lodge and the Snowbird Centre.

When ready to progress, Baby Thunder, Upper Big Emma and Middle and Lower Emma are great areas to ski. These runs offer good, long green trails, definitely enough to get the confidence ripe and are a lot of fun when learning to ski powder. You can also venture into Mineral Basin which has some gentler blue runs.


And Finally…… Get Lifted

Don’t underestimate the amount of time you can spend faffing if the lift doesn’t offer easy access to the blue and green runs. Be sure to study trail maps well in advance and plan your route for maximum ski time.

Alta Resort, for example, while typically thought of as a Mecca for advanced skiers, actually offers some good green runs if you plot your path along the Albion, Sunnyside and Cecret lifts. It also includes some nice, progressional blue runs.

Alta’s favour for the beginner skier is, regardless of where you are on the mountain, if you point your skis downwards and continue to follow the trails you’ll always wind up back at the base.


So, no matter your skill level, all of Utah’s resorts offer terrain that will have you loving skiing and snowboarding from day one. Let Destination Utah get you there!