We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Skiing and canyons?

NY
Level Contributor
28 posts
4 reviews
Save Topic
Skiing and canyons?

I'm looking into planning a vacation for me and my wife and two kids (ages 13 and 10) for next year, either President's Day week in Feb or Easter week in April. I would like to combine skiing for ~3 days with day hikes in some of the National Parks like Bryce, Arches, Zion, etc. I am particularly interested in hiking in a slot canyon and seeing some arches. For skiing I would like a low key resort with short lift lines and good powder (we have enough ice in NY!). It would be a plus if it were possible to stay right on the slopes at a reasonable price. Kids are intermediate skiers, and I would prefer to snowboard, though this is not required. We could fly into SLC or LV or anywhere else, and have nine days total. Any suggestions? I was thinking it might be better to ski two days first, then visit the parks, then ski one more day, in order to break up the skiing and not be too tired. Thanks!

Park City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah, Winter Sports
Level Contributor
18,593 posts
425 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Skiing and canyons?

A few thoughts. I would recommend keeping the ski portion intact as one unit and not come back for just one day. There's a lot of infrastructure (rentals, etc.) involved in a ski trip and why do it twice. Do 3-4 days skiing then 5-6 days exploring parks. Also, note that Easter is super late this year. The resorts are going to try to hit it but it will not be pretty. President's Week will be much better. Advice here is to put your parks portion over the actual President's Weekend - NOT the ski resorts. They will be far, far busier that weekend than the parks. I would also not recommend Las Vegas as a gateway. Salt Lake City puts you 30-45 minutes from the ski resorts and four hours from the parks.

For the parks portion, I recommend Moab with Arches and Canyonlands. There's a lot more to do there, especially for the kids, many more hotels, restaurants, etc. You can also hit Little Wild Horse Canyon about 90 minutes away for a slot canyon hike. Note that February is not a great time to do that. Just expect cold (shadows), snow, ice and water. Still, it's very do-able. Just be prepared for colder weather and have dry clothes, shoes, etc. back in the car.

Suggested plan:

Day 1 - Arrival

Days 2-4 - Skiing

Days 5-8 - Parks

Day 9 - Departure (FYI, if you do an afternoon departure you can drive back from Moab that day)

Have fun.

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah
Level Contributor
4,531 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Skiing and canyons?

Solitude Ski Resort would be a good option to look into. Very low key and they have a very small and new mountain village. I haven't eaten at any of the restaurants there however, but Silver Fork Lodge is nearby too. While it's not the largest resort around, it has excellent snow quality and as the name implies the crowds will be smaller than those in Park City or Snowbird and Alta. Check for cabin rentals in Big Cottonwood Canyon too.

Then Moab would be the best option from SLC. It will put you near Arches National Park and Canyonlands where there are tons of hiking trails. A day trip could be Goblin Valley and Little Wild Horse Canyon. You'll have winter outdoor gear so hiking shouldn't be a problem. Have dry socks, shoes, etc, in the car.

Another option would be flying into Vegas and staying at one of the Southern Utah ski areas like Brian Head or Eagle Point. They won't have as much snow as the Salt Lake resorts but are just options to look into. They would put you in very close proximity to Zion and Bryce. There are slot canyons on Scenic Byway 12, but they are down dirt roads, which would be an issue if there is moisture. Obviously Arches has more arches, but there are some in southwest Utah as well. Sounds like a very fun trip.

NY
Level Contributor
28 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Skiing and canyons?

Tumble and Shake,

Thanks for the advice. Little Wild Horse Canyon looks outstanding- just what I am looking for. Now the big question in my mind is: Can I find a time of year to both ski and hike? If I go in February the skiing should be great-- but will all the hiking be in snow? I don't suppose the elevation magically give snow at the ski resorts and no snow in the parks? Or is this OK and the parks are just as pretty in the winter and hiking is possible in the snow? Would we need snowshoes?

If we go the week of April 14th, I expect the trails will be free of snow, but is there a ski resort that is very likely to have good quality snow that late?

Thanks again for any help you can give- it's much appreciated.

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah
Level Contributor
4,531 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Skiing and canyons?

It really depends on the year. In mid-April, a few ski resorts near SLC should still be open. The first week of April definitely. But as I said, each year is wildly different. A couple of years ago Snowbird stayed opened until the 4th of July.

Last year it was 70 degrees in early March. The slopes were spring skiing. But then, a couple of weeks later, it started snowing again. I had a powder day in mid April, which isn't uncommon.

You might consider a trip near St Patricks Day. Should still be good snow quality in the Wasatch, but definitely warming up. Could get some great powder days though. And then in the desert, the temps could already be in the mid 60s. Ive had times where I've been skiing one day and then in shorts and a t-shirt, hiking in Southern Utah the next day. Mid March might be a good as time as any to get good skiing and moderate temps down south where the average daily high will be about 20 degrees warmer.

5. Re: Skiing and canyons?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 03 October 2014, 05:20