Wasatch Ski Resort Culture Guide

The central Wasatch has a phenomenal amount of skiing in a small area. Each ski area has its own unique terrain and quirks and that is what makes them special. Their differences also appeal to certain people and ultimately define the culture of the ski area. Where we choose to ski has a big impact on our lives, because skiing with friends is just plain more fun. Here are some generalizations of who is drawn to each ski area through this Wasatch Ski Resort Culture Guide.


The people who ski at Snowbird know that they want to ski at Snowbird. They’ve done their research and their friends have told them that Snowbird is the place to be. Typically, Snowbird skiers and snowboarders are there to make the most of their day skiing as much fall line terrain as they possibly can. The terrain is steep, is easily accessible right from the lift, and the runs are long with no frills attached.

Peruvian Gulch, Gad Valley, and Mineral Basin surround Hidden Peak and offer a run in the sun for every hour of the day. There are areas in the trees for low visibility, there are areas with no trees for days with nothing but sun.

To summarize it, Snowbird skiers and snowboarders are there to ski and snowboard.


Alta is separated by a single ridge from Snowbird and they both share the Little Cottonwood Canyon steeps. However, there are some differences that both seem to attract two very different crowds. 

Alta’s ability to remain timeless as well as its scenic and gentle skiing in Albion Basin seems to attract retirees who want to get their coffee together, ski their brains out, and be done by lunch. Or they’ll ski bell to bell because they just plain love skiing and have spent their whole lives perfecting how to ski super efficiently so they don’t get tired.

The other group that is attracted to Alta are the boys and girls who like to build a jump in the woods and have a great day jumping off of it and using the mountain as a terrain park. There are tons of jumps, cliffs, and other natural terrain features for folks to make a cool picture out of. 

Alta skiers are there to enjoy the Alta magic in their golden years, or they’re there to get some air and snag a photo with their friends.


This year some smaller terrain park features from other Alterra resorts are being brought to Solitude in order to create two small terrain parks.

Solitude has announced an opening day of November 18th 2022. 


Brighton is at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon and is Utah’s oldest ski area and one of the first in the country to embrace snowboarders. It’s terrain is kind of a perfect pitch so that loads of fun can be had without too much stress. They also build a pretty impressive terrain park and typically have the least expensive pass options, as well as night skiing. This attracts two major crowds.

The primary crowd that seems to patronize Brighton are families with young kids. There’s space between the trees for the kids to grow and things are still interesting for mom and dad. Plus the night skiing after school is a plus.

The other crowd that likes Brighton are the young college kids who like to ski powder and  hit the terrain park. The parking lot parties hosted by this demographic can be quite entertaining.

Deer Valley

Deer Valley was set out to be the greatest, most exquisite ski experience from the ground up. They limit the number of skiers on the mountain to equal the number of seats in lodges so that if there is a weather closure, every guest can have a place to sit. There are two full time employees whose job is to ski every day and report to the grooming team how well the grooming job was.

The people who are attracted to this kind of ski experience tend to be people on vacation or locals who have retired both from ski racing as well as their career. Deer Valley just plain does it right.

Park City  

On the Epic Pass and with a massive amount of terrain as close to an international airport as possible, Park City is primarily enjoyed by vacation skiers. The long sprawling groomed runs allow for a whole day of going from one side of the mountain to another, as well as looking at big houses in The Colony. All this variety as well as being on the Epic Pass are great for vacation skiers. 

Park City does build one of the best terrain parks in the country, with everything from small jumps and rails to a huge half pipe and massive kickers. Olympians on the US ski team practice their freestyle skiing here, as well as those hopeful to do the same.

We hope you can find the right resort for you this winter based on this Wasatch ski resort culture guide at these winter destination Wasatch mountain resorts. If you aren’t into the resorts, check out some other winter outdoor recreation options to enjoy during the snowy months in Salt Lake City!