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Skiing:  Deer Valley

When most skiers hear the words ďDeer Valley,Ē they conjure up images of groomed corduroy and heaping buffet plates. Although these images are indeed correct they are also lacking in detail. Deer Valley does have groomed corduroy and some of the best food in the skiing world. What many donít know is it also has some of the best tree skiing and powder opportunities in the state of Utah.

While the majority of the clientele are cruising groomers or soaking up the ambience of the multiple lodges, the off trail snow remains largely untouched. Any terrain involving a traverse or short hike will hold snow for days. Daly Bowl and the Daly Chutes are the gems of Deer  Valley. These cornice guarded steep slots through the rocks and trees will test even the most jaded expert. Ontario Bowl is another spot that holds powder all day long. The entrance is not even noticed by most skiers, it is located off the Ontario beginners trail. Keep your eye out for a sign on the left hand side of the trail, hang a left off the trail and hike up a short hill. From the top of the hill you can choose untouched lines to either side of the ridgeline.

Deer Valley has made a concerted effort over the years to enhance their glade skiing. Numerous aspen groves and stands of pines provide the perfect haven for tree skiing aficionados. In addition to the aforementioned Ontario Bowl there is also Sunset Glade, and Triangle Trees. Itís not uncommon to be able to link untracked turns through the trees long after a storm day.

If you do come to Deer Valley to soak up some corduroy and be pampered you wonít be disappointed. Deer Valley has 21 lifts, eight of these are detachable quad lifts. If charting a lot of vertical drop is your thing, Deer Valley will be right up your alley. There are detachable quads that go to the top of every mountain within the resort. Flagstaff Mountain has no less than four high-speed quads coming into the summit from several directions. With all of this high-speed transportation, your thighs will wear out before the day wears on.

From the top of Bald Eagle, Bald Mountain, Flagstaff Mountain, and Empire Canyon you can find a virtual bouquet of groomed cruising runs. As per Deer Valley style, they will be smoother than the carpet in your living room. You can be quite assured that while you sleep, the cat crew is busy on the mountain at night. The runs down Bald Mountain and Flagstaff Mountain are very sustained; unlike many Utah resorts the pitch is constant with no step-downs or flat spots.

If you are bringing new skiers to Deer Valley, donít fret; they have one of the best ski schools in the Wasatch. There are many gentle green runs to allow the beginner full use of the mountain. Other than Empire Canyon and the left side of Bald Mountain the beginner can venture about the entire resort. There are several lifts in the Snow Park base that cater exclusively to beginners.

There are many places to eat at Deer Valley. The Snow Park Lodge, Silver Lake Lodge, and the Empire Canyon Lodge are the most obvious places to eat on-mountain. These places all exemplify the Deer Valley treatment, wherein the food is a part of the skiing experience. The salad bars are rumored to be amongst the best to be found at any resort and the turkey chili is known worldwide. The Snow Park Lodge serves up one of the best seafood buffets in not only the skiing world but in the culinary world as well. Be sure and call ahead for reservations at (435) 645-6632.

Deer Valley has a large array of lodging. Condos are quite prevalent not only at the base but also throughout the mountain. If you can't find lodging slopeside, there are other hotels and condos available in and about Park City. Main Street in Park City provides many places to apres ski. A walk down the street will find many places to not only lift a glass of beer, but dance the night away.


Additional Resources

Snow Report

Deer Valley Snow Report








Utah Atlas and Gazetteer

Backcountry Skiing Utah

First Tracks: A Century of Skiing in Utah

Hidden Salt Lake City and Beyond: Including Park City, Deer Valley, Alta and Snowbird

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Top Elevation: 9570

Base Elevation: 6570

Vertical Drop: 3000 Ft.

Ave snowfall: 300 inches

1 4 person Gondola

8 high-speed quads

2 fixed grip quads

8 triple chairs

2 double chairs

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