It's a much different experience on the slopes at Stevens Pass this year. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, people going to the mountain must make reservations online to ski and to rent equipment.
Facial coverings must be worn at all times, both indoors and out. General Manager Tom Pedigree said the limited reservation system means lift lines are shorter, and there is much more room to maneuver on the mountain.
After nine months of coronavirus, a white mountain under blue skies is just the lift folks have been yearning for. The Summit at Snoqualmie has implemented similar protocols due to COVID-19, such as mandatory face coverings and online booking.
Stevens Pass and The Summit at Snoqualmie opened for the season on Friday with new restrictions in place, but there is an upside to some changes. Besides several passes for a variety of schedules, Crystal has a few other bells and whistles for snow lovers, such as a ride on the gondola and space to park your RV to work from the mountain.
Stevens Pass, about 90 minutes east of Everett on Highway 2, plans to open on Friday, Dec. 4. Again, you need to pick a specific date to ski and buy in advance online or over the phone.
“Pass Holders get priority reservation access this season,” according to the resort’s website. The Summit at Snoqualmie Pass, only about 50 minutes east off I-90, is set to reopen in the first week of December as long as the snow keeps falling.
The resort has published a list of COVID-19 precautions here, which also includes mandatory face coverings. “The fact that we ski outside in ultraviolet sun and in the wind, and it’s common for us to wear goggles, gloves and face coverings.
Dr. Daniel Pasture, a neuroinfectious disease physician at UC Health University of Colorado Hospital, said the outdoor element of ski trips is generally safe during a pandemic, but the virus could spread if people congregate in places such as lift lines, lodges, restaurants and bathrooms. View Resorts, which owns 34 resorts in the United States and Canada, including Stevens Pass, announced months ago that it would implement a reservation system that allows pass holders exclusive access at the beginning of the season, unlimited week-of reservations and a rolling selection of priority days.
For many, the reservation system and other restrictions are not enough to keep them home after being cooped up under health orders for the greater part of a year. Crystal Mountain is officially the first ski resort in Washington to open for all manner of powder lovers under new guidelines and à la Nina year leading to what should be a stellar snow season.
Crystal Mountain’s opening is big news for all those hoping for some safe outdoor recreation to keep spirits lifted through the coming months after increased restrictions shuttered many businesses across the state. Of course, don’t plan a trek out to the mountain if you’re feeling ill, don’t anticipate impromptu chats with new friends on the ski lifts as they will be restricted by family or parties which arrive together, anticipate socially-distanced seating on Crystal’s parking lot shuttles, and be ready to wear your mask from the moment you set foot out of your car, to the moment you return to drive home, unless you’re actively sliding down the mountain.
“Please be kind and patient with our fellow skiers and riders as we all do what it takes to get out and enjoy the wide- open spaces and tons of great snow we’ve come to love here at Crystal,” the email said in its final sentence. As for Steven’s Pass, it's eyeing a Dec. 4 opening, with many Washington mountains to likely follow with their own set of guidelines to permit a safe reopening.
At 9 a.m., Wednesday, eager snow lovers snapped their ski boots on, scanned their fresh Iron passes, and took to spinning chairlifts. Brighton, Alta, Brian Head, Park City and Woodward are spinning their lifts on Thanksgiving, with Snow basin and Snowbird expected to open in the coming days.
Some employees have shifted their positions to a more specialized ‘health & safety’ group that focuses on sanitizing surfaces and ensuring guests are wearing masks. Brighton opened for operations on Nov. 19 and has already had to make some tough decisions when it comes to annual events or festivities pertaining to holidays on the mountain.
Colorado Ski Country is encouraging everyone looking to hit the slopes this season to do their research beforehand. While most Colorado resorts are now operating on a reservation only basis, it hasn’t stopped Coloradans from buying season passes.
Huff said the group’s goal this year is to provide a constant experience for season pass holders, even with the ever changing COVID-19 restrictions. “We believe our pass holders will be able to get in a lot of skiing and riding this year, it will just require a bit of planning,” said Huff.
While Alpine Valley and Boston Mills Brandy wine don't open for a couple more weeks, passes go on sale this weekend. Even how you ride a ski lift,” explains Thomas Cont, Social Media and Public Relations Manager at BMW (Boston Mills Brandy wine).
“Skiing and tubing, both activities are socially distant sports by nature. The resorts hope to attract those who may have cancelled travel plans due to the coronavirus.
“They're (skiers at BMW) not worried about flying out somewhere, they're not going on a 6 to 8-hour car rides somewhere. All passes and lift tickets for Boston Mills, Brandy wine and Alpine Valley are being sold online this ski season.
Opening day for Alpine Valley and Boston Mills Brandy wine is set for December 19. Despite the stay-at-home order that has closed many businesses and entertainment centers across the state, ski resorts are allowed to continue operating.
The governor specifically named the resorts as a key element to outdoor recreation for physical and mental well-being. We’ve not only been meeting the Placer County 'purple tier' restrictions, but we're going beyond them,” Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows spokeswoman Alex Spychalsky said.
We don’t have a ton of indoor capacity right now, and it’s really just for bathroom access and grab-and-go food, things like that,” Spychalsky said. The resort is reminding guests that if they are coming to the mountains, they should get in their car and return home after visiting.
Under the state's regional stay-at-home order, hotels or other vacation rental companies “cannot accept or honor” in-state or out-of-state reservations for non-essential travel. Guests also need to purchase their lift tickets online before visiting the resort, and at some locations, weekends are already sold out.
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows said most customers have been happy to comply with the changes for the opportunity to get on the mountain. Despite the stay-at-home order that has closed many businesses and entertainment centers across the state, ski resorts are allowed to continue operating. The governor specifically named the resorts as a key element to outdoor recreation for physical and mental well-being.
We’ve not only been meeting the Placer County 'purple tier' restrictions, but we're going beyond them,” Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows spokeswoman Alex Spychalsky said. The resorts are operating under strict guidelines, however, that have limited much of the services they would ordinarily offer. We don’t have a ton of indoor capacity right now, and it’s really just for bathroom access and grab-and-go food, things like that,” Spychalsky said. The resort says it has spent over $1 million on improvements to meet COVID-19 protocols. Hand sanitizing stations are located around the resort, cleaning crews are constantly washing high-touch areas, air scrubbers move air through some indoor spaces and lift lines have been expanded to accommodate physical distancing. The resort is reminding guests that if they are coming to the mountains, they should get in their car and return home after visiting.
Under the state's regional stay-at-home order, hotels or other vacation rental companies “cannot accept or honor” in-state or out-of-state reservations for non-essential travel. In general, Californians are encouraged not to travel out of their region. Visitors who do come to the ski resorts are encouraged to pack a lunch and eat it in their car. Guests also need to purchase their lift tickets online before visiting the resort, and at some locations, weekends are already sold out. A mask or face covering that has a minimum of two layers of fabrics is required at all resorts. Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows said most customers have been happy to comply with the changes for the opportunity to get on the mountain.
Note :- The details of Seattle Tacoma Airport on J2Ski are not definitive, and are subject to change. Skiing, snowboarding and all winter sports involve risk of serious injury or death.
You MUST confirm all information, especially snow and weather conditions, locally before you ski or board. 13 Ski Resorts near Baltimore-Washington Airport | J2SkiIf you like what we do, you can support us from as little as $1 a month...
Note :- The details of Baltimore- Washington Airport on J2Ski are not definitive, and are subject to change. Skiing, snowboarding and all winter sports involve risk of serious injury or death.
You MUST confirm all information, especially snow and weather conditions, locally before you ski or board. Psst: Please be sure to follow all local regulations, social distance, and wear a mask to keep yourself and others safe.
If you make a purchase through them, we may receive a small commission (for which we are deeply grateful) at no cost to you. When LIA suggested celebrating my 30th birthday with a weekend snowboarding in Utah, I was dubious.
But, as LIA pointed out, Salt Lake City is only a hop, skip, and short plane ride away from our home in the San Francisco Bay Area. Still, maybe I’ve lived on the California coast for too long, but when someone says “we’re going snowboarding,” I imagine a lot of effort.
LIA whipped out Google Maps like a pro and showed me that there are 10 freaking ski resorts with an hour of the Salt Lake City airport. Half of the fun of a trip to the Salt Lake City ski resorts is the drive to get to them through the mountains.
You can see their snowy peaks waving at you while you’re sipping your morning coffee, beckoning you to come explore them, like jagged, snow-topped sirens. To put things into perspective, downtown Salt Lake City is only one hour from Powder Mountain, the largest ski resort in the United States at 8,464 acres.
Before we dive into details for each of the four best Salt Lake City Resorts, here are some commonly asked questions: The easiest way to get as close to the action as possible is to fly directly into Salt Lake City International Airport, which is located less than an hour’s drive away from 10 different ski resorts.
They’ll pick you up from the airport any time of the day and take you to any of the Salt Lake City ski resorts in a 4×4 van. If you’re not keen on driving through snow and also trying desperately to cling to every last penny you have so that you can spend it on more skiing (or more post-snowboarding-beer, no judgment) there is a bus which takes you from Salt Lake City directly up to the mountains.
This is by far the cheapest option for getting up the slopes at only $4.50 per ticket, or free for Super Pass holders. Your best bet is to purchase a Ski City Super Pass, which gives you access to all four resorts for anywhere between 3-10 days.
But if you live nearby or plan to visit multiple times throughout the season (you baller, you) it might make more sense to purchase a season pass from your favorite Salt Lake City ski resort. To give you an idea of how epic the snow is at the Salt Lake City ski resorts, this photo of me snow-shoeing at Solitude Mountain Resort was taken in April.
The opening and close dates vary each year depending on snowfall and weather. The typical ski season at Salt Lake City resorts lasts about 5 months.
Generally speaking, they open from late November or early December until late April or early May of the next year, which is great because you can do things like spend your Spring Break soaking up the sun snow (yes, this is exactly what we did this year. Jeremy’s birthday falls during his school’s Spring Break, so he gets to choose where we go, which means it’s probably what we’ll be doing every year for the rest of our lives).
The winner: Brighton has the cheapest lessons and thus is the best setting for your 80s Ski School Montage *cue saxophone riff×. They offer extremely reasonable ski and snowboarding rentals (we’re talking like, under $50 a day) AND patio furniture, so you can cross that off your list at the same time.
They’re located 18 minutes away from the airport directly on your way to all four Salt Lake City ski resorts. Keep in mind that rentals typically take about an hour to iron out, so try to do it as soon as possible, so you don’t eat into your time on the mountain.
Just think, every second you waste not out on the snow, Scooter Gibbons and his crew of Douchey Ski Dudes are doing nefarious things and bagging’ all the babes! Budget-Friendly Tip: If you book online in advance, you will receive a 20% discount off the usual price.
Christy Sports Patio and Ski | Address : 3939 South Wasatch Boulevard, Salt Lake City, Utah Solitude and Brighton cater more to non-experts, while Alta and Snowbird are firmly in the “you really need to be good at snow sports” camp.
Best for non-skiers and non-snowboarders: Solitude offers absolutely stunning snowshoeing for as low as $25 a day (including snow-shoe rental). Solitude is also home to a luxurious spa where they do not judge you for pampering yourself instead of doing athletic things (yes, we speak from personal experience).
Each of the four Salt Lake City ski resorts is wildly different and appeals to a different class of outdoor adventurer. So keep in mind that our reviews are pretty heavily skewed towards non-experts, and as a result, we spent most of our time at Brighton and Solitude.
Brighton Resort may be just outside of Salt Lake City, but it feels like another world tucked into the Wasatch Mountains! With many of the ski resorts I’ve visited, Green/Easy runs can tend to feel like they were just tossed in willy-nilly.
It’s one of the things that, in my opinion, makes less experienced skiers and snowboarders feel like an afterthought. Hills, zipping across the main mountain, and whipping through trees on narrow pathways.
Located in the absolutely jaw-dropping Big Cottonwood Canyon, Brighton Resort is closer to Salt Lake City than most people’s morning commutes, but it feels like its worlds apart. With the absence of crowds, the tall evergreens, the mountains all around us, and fresh snow falling around us, LIA and I both couldn’t help but notice that Brighton Resort is one of the most beautiful ski resorts we’ve ever seen.
Luckily you’re not completely alone (because being stranded on a snowy mountain is my worst nightmare), because they have an impressive amount of staff around the grounds. Solitude also has a cute little Nordic Center, where you can go cross country skiing or snowshoeing.
I feel like it’s no secret how slow we are at anything (i.e. Machu Picchu, Cataract Falls, every hike we’ve ever done) but we enjoyed a wonderful, leisurely meander around what we were told is usually a pond and managed to get lost minimal times. It felt like we were exploring Narnia: everything was peaceful, quiet, snowy, and magical, and we were pleasantly surprised by how easy snow-shoeing actually is.
Adorable Solitude Village has fantastic amenities, including a great spa (with fair prices!? After the one single snowy athletic thing she did (a whole hour of snowshoeing *ahem*), LIA booked herself a relaxing facial at the spa which was clearly very hard-won and absolutely deserved.
Solitude combined with Brighton would be the ultimate one-two punch for a fantastic ski /snowboard day in Salt Lake City. FAQ’s About Solitude Mountain Resort Distance from Salt Lake City : 29 miles (35-minute drive) Terrain: Intermediate to advanced Best For: Skiers and snowboarders wanting to explore the slopes in peace and … solitude.
Address : 12000 Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, Solitude Village, Utah Alta Ski Area is an institution: it’s been serving up deep powder to skiers since 1938.
The second reason is that Alta Ski Area is one of the two Salt Lake City Resorts that attracts the best of the best. FAQ’s About Alta Ski Resort One of the oldest ski resorts in the world Distance from Salt Lake City : 32 miles (60 minutes) Terrain : Mostly Intermediate and Advanced Best For: Skiers looking for a challenge, or beginners who want to watch some incredibly good skiers Where to Stay near Alta: Alta Lodge is a sophisticated (read: fancy-shmancy) traditional lodge with a cozy atmosphere.
Many of the rooms have fireplaces and stunning views of the mountains outside, including the High Rustler, Alta’s most famous run. We’re talking like, Scooter Gibbons doing’ backflips out of a helicopter levels of experts.
If you are an advanced snowboarder, however, go to town (and be sure to wave to us peons on the ground from your helicopter to epic powder-land). We are, her, not advanced … so we’ll leave the rest of this review to the more qualified, like Snowpack.
The vibe is fun and silly and boutique-y and unique and low-key luxurious, and the prices are super reasonable, starting at just $160 per night. For an even more budget-friendly option, try Hotel RL by Red Lion, also centrally located in downtown Salt Lake City.
Prices start from just $94 a night and include perks like a free airport transfer (helpful if you’re living that rental-car-free life), complimentary artisanal Victrola Coffee Roasters coffee and espresso drinks (PASSES sold), and free bike rentals. But one of my favorite things about Hotel RL is its philanthropic initiative, Project Wake-Up Call.
The project works in partnership with carefully vetted local charities and uses photography to raise awareness and fundraising for homelessness. In Salt Lake City, their partner charity is The Road Home, which works to provide shelter to homeless individuals and families with a focus on helping transition to permanent housing.
You can get a free night at any Hotel RL location by making a donation of $100 or more to one of their partner charities (terms and conditions apply). We are totally in love with this 1892 Queen Anne in The Avenues area, with 2 bathrooms each with claw foot baths, a hot tub in the garden, gorgeous historical features and an upstairs deck connected to the master suite.
Packing properly for skiing or snowboarding is crucial to ensuring not just your safety, but your enjoyment. While our wool clothing is super soft and not at all itchy, if you prefer another material, we recommend silk as an alternative (women’s top, women’s bottoms, men’s top, men’s bottoms).
They’re stretchy loops of fabric that keep your neck warm and can be pulled up over your mouth, ears, and nose when the wind is bitingly cold! Winter Sports Gear: If you’re planning to go skiing or snowboarding on your trip, bringing a few things can easily be packed in your suitcase will save you cash on rentals.
All bad jokes, opinions, and awful ski movie references are 100% our own and totally not their fault. We love these reusable face masks because they're ethically made with sustainable materials and budget-friendly.