Canyons

Utah, USA

Following Vail Resort's purchase of Park City Mountain Resort and the installation of a gondola connecting it with Cayons, there is now no bigger ski area in the United States. But fortunately the resorts arent just ginormous. Canyons has got some brilliant varied terrain and a great ski school, so all levels of skiers will be happy. Although the new, combined resort is now called Park City (with Canyons all but disappearing from the name), this review outlines the Canyons side of the resort.

Scout Loves

  • The new gondola that connects Canyons with Park City.
  • 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. Reservations are required. Tickets cost $79 (on top of your day pass) and includes breakfast.
  • 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. Over the course of 2015 Vail Resorts 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. There are also two new trails accessing the resort from Pine Ridge (on the new Gondola Route)

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 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. 

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Resort Activities

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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, January 17-20 (2014).
  • President’s Day long weekend, February 14-17 (2014).

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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