Canyons

Utah, USA

Canyons, connected to Park City Mountain Resort is now part of the largest ski area in the United States, and while it falls under the 'Park City' bracket (and name), at Scout we still like to outline the Canyons side of the resort as there is so much on offer. Alongside a mammoth amount of terrain now available to skiers and snowboarders, Canyons features fantastic runs for all ability levels, a great ski school, and is the closest base to Salt Lake City, making it incredibly easy to hit the slopes.

Scout Loves

  • The great gondola that connects Canyons with Park City, offering endless terrain.
  • A hike to Murdock's Peak on a powder day – it doesn’t get much better for advanced skiers.
  • Some of the lightest, driest powder of all the Park City resorts.
  • Backcountry gates allow those with avalanche training and gear to access more terrain.

Scout Tips

  • If you’re coming for the day it can take a while to get to the slopes from the bus terminal and parking lots.
  • Canyons Resort offers skiing for all levels, but there's some decent advanced and expert terrain.
  • The village area is a concrete jungle and lacks charm.
  • Sign up for First Tracks on Tuesdays or Saturdays to get powder before anyone else. 
  • Pre-purchase your lift tickets online to save up to 35%. Or, better still, use your Epic Pass.

Scout Review

Canyons Resort is a superb ski mountain. Since Vail Resorts purchased neighbouring Park City and added a new gondola connecting the two it now covers over 7,300 acres. But Canyons Resort alone has acres and acres of terrain over nine different peaks means it would be hard to get bored no matter what level of skier you are. For advanced skiers staying in the Park City area, this is the mountain for you. From the chutes off Murdock bowl to the tree runs over on Ninety-Nine 90 or a fast burn down G-force, there’s so much variation and fun on offer. There’s even some backcountry gates that let those with the right avalanche gear and knowledge find even more terrain. Vail Resorts have made additional improvements along with the instillation of the gondola, including increased snowmaking on Iron Mountain, the expansion of Red Pine Lodge to include an additional 250 seats, and new trails. 

And true-to-form for Park City-area skiing, there are elements of luxury too. Whether it’s staying at the sublime The Waldorf Astoria or taking the heated Orange Bubble Express chair, Canyons won’t disappoint the most discerning skier.

The only downside is the village area. It’s lacking in personality thanks to roads, ugly car parks and humongous hotels scattered among the lifts. Those familiar with Steamboat will be excused for having a sense of deja vu – Canyons Resort was once owned by American Skiing Company and was a one-time sister of the Colorado resort. Both have a “Grand” hotel and the layout is almost identical. However the new owners Vail Resorts are investing and working hard to bring the village to life so it can match the excellence of the slopes above. 

Canyons Skiing

Since the 2015-16 ski season, Canyons has been interconnected with Park City Mountain Resort, making it the largest ski resort in the USA. The Vail Resort take-over meant a significant upgrade to lifts, facilities, and buildings - Canyons resort was already a fantastic ski resort but the additional development has just made it an even bigger and better place to ski! 

With over 4000 acres of terrain, there's plenty of variety for all ability levels. The majority of the resort caters to intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders, with some great fall-line cruising runs, and fantastic tree skiing. Natural half-pipes are also a highlight at Canyons (Canis Lupis) and super fun to hit. For beginners, the magic carpet area at the village base is fantastic, and parents can sit and relax and keep and eye on the little ones. The other main beginner area is near Red Pine Lodge, and skiers will need to catch the gondola up and back down for their lessons. 

Canyons is home to some amazing advanced skiing, with many double black diamond trails. Over 40% of the runs are rated black or double black, with many mogul options, and couloirs. For those who love tree-skiing, the terrain doesn't dissappoint, with wonderful gladed areas with pockets of powder, including the Mystic Pines and Peak 5 areas. For something even more extreme, the top of the 9990 Chairlift provides some nail-biting tree runs and steep chutes. Easily accessible from the resort is also some great side-country (gated access), with amazing cliff drops and alpine bowls, however, appropriate experience and safety equipment is a must.

Canyons For Families

Canyons has world-class facilities and services to cater for families. The main village is relatively small compared to its Park City counterpart, however, houses a good variety of amenities including rentals, ski school, restaurant, and convenience store. 

Park City Ski School at Canyons is a large operation, and provides a huge range of ski and snowboard lessons and multi-day programs. The ski school operates lessons for first-timers close to the main village, where parents can easily watch their little ones learn to ski. Most other lessons start from the top of the gondola near the Red Pine Lodge, which require a gondola ride up to meet the instructors. Childcare is available from the Little Adventures Children's Centre within the Grand Summit Hotel, and they offer a good variety of half and full-day programs.

Both on and off-mountain the Canyons main village has a decent variety of eateries and bars, although rather quiet compared to those found in Park City. Downtown Park City is only a few minutes away via the free bus system, so rather easy for families to head out for an evening. We recommend heading into Park City during your stay at Canyons to have a look around and explore the shops and main street.

Canyons village does offer a good amount of choice when it comes to accommodation, with options ranging from deluxe to luxury, mostly ski-in/ski-out. Families would appreciate the location and ease of access to the slopes. Canyons is particularly popular with families as the hotels and condos are so close to the ski school and childcare facilities. More economical options can be found over in Park City, where there is a larger variety of lodging for all budgets, and more in terms of restaurants, bars, shops, and resort facilities.

Take a look at the Canyons-only Trail Map here.

Canyons Accommodation

Canyons Resort has several huge hotels of varying quality. Most have condo-style rooms with kitchens so they’re easy to settle into for a week. The layout of the base area is such that most hotels are fairly close to a lift, some requiring a longer walk or short shuttle ride. Ski school is centered at the base in front of the Grand Summit hotel. Ski-in/ski-out condos and hotels are also available, providing the easiest of convenience for families to hit the slopes.

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Resort Activities

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Scout Field Guide >

Wasatch Powderbird Guides operate from Red Pine Lodge. There’s a ton of activities on offer other than skiing. From hot-air ballooning to winter fishing, sleigh rides or a mountain railroad adventure, there’s something for everyone. If you’re staying at Canyons Resort for a week, it’s worth hitting Park City at least once to check out the shopping, restaurants and bars.

Getting There and Around

Canyons Resort can easily be accessed by a quick shuttle ride from Salt Lake City airport – just 35 minutes’ away. SLC airport is a hub for many airlines, meaning there are frequent direct flights from almost every major city and plenty of small ones. Getting to the resort is easy via one of the many shuttle services with frequent shared shuttles (costing around $40pp one way) or private transfer options.

To get around the village and into Park City there is also a free public transport system that operates on frequent schedules.

When To Go

The Canyons season usually extends from late November until mid-April. February is one of the most reliable months for snow. March skiing can offer some fantastic conditions and weather.

Holiday periods that are busy are:

  • Christmas and New Year.
  • Martin Luther King long weekend
  • President’s Day long weekend

Facts & Figures

Mountain Information   Lifts   Terrain    
Base Elevation 6800ft / 2072m Gondolas (servicing ski area) 1 Beginner 10%  
Summit Elevation 9990ft / 3045m Express Six Seater 1 Intermediates 44%  
Vertical Drop 3190ft / 792m Express Quads 6 Advanced 46%  
Skiable Area 4000ac / 1618ha Quad Chair 5      
Annual Snowfall 355in / 9m Triple Chairs 2      
Longest Run 2.5 miles / 4km Double Chairs 2      
Operating Hours 9.00am –4.00pm Surface Lifts 2      
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