Deer Valley

Utah, USA

Deer Valley is the ultimate in ski luxury, from its perfect corduroy groomers, to the ski valets who carry your skis from your car to the slopes, or the freshly baked choc-chip cookies at the end of the day, this resort really has thought of everything when it comes to making you happy. Sadly, snowboarders miss out – they’re not welcome at Deer Valley – and it’s this fact that makes it so attractive to many skiers. Deer Valley was recently awarded the 'Best U.S Resort' title at the World Ski Awards.

Scout Loves

  • Perfectly groomed slopes with easy fall lines will make intermediate skiers feel like pros.
  • A resort founded on the basis of first-class service and consistently delivering on its promise.
  • Deer Valley is a participant of Sustainable Slopes, committing to more environmentally sustainable resort practices.
  • Go skiing when it’s snowing and have the mountain to yourself. Due to its luxuriousness, many Deer Valley guests tend to be fair weather skiers.

Scout Tips

  • Expert terrain is fairly limited. A black diamond run here may be considered blue in some more hard-core resorts.
  • Accommodation options tend fall in the high-end category. If you are on a tight budget, you can always stay in Park City and easily ski Deer Valley.
  • Stop by the Snow Park Bakery for a drool-worthy dessert treat.
  • Deer Valley was center stage for the 2002 Winter Olympics – it hosted the moguls, aerial and alpine slalom events.

Scout Review

Deer Valley Resort is one of the 'newest' in North America, having been founded by legendary Edgar Stern in 1981. Yet it’s quickly become one of the favorites of skiers around the world. And that’s for many good reasons. Everything about Deer Valley is based on a commitment to excellence, whether it’s the ski valets and the helpful guest services or the corduroy groomers to the luxury on-mountain dining. Everything is so well considered and looked after the only thing you have to think about is where to take your next run. The luxury continues off the mountain– some of the country’s finest ski hotels are here in Deer Valley, ensuring the pampering continues well after your last turns.

Deer Valley is perfect for families. Whether you’re skiing together or putting the kids in ski school, it will be one of the easiest ski holidays you’ll ever take. The ski school is one of the biggest in the country, with more than 500 instructors, ensuring the same high level of service will be extended to helping you improve.

All of the big hotels are geared up for kids too with places such as Montage Deer Valley placing as much emphasis on your children having a great time as on you having a relaxing one.

Crowds are never a problem at Deer Valley - lift ticket sales are limited to 7500 a day. When combined with one of the country’s highest lift capacities of 50,470 people an hour – well, you do the math.

Deer Valley Skiing

The first thing you'll notice about Deer Valley is the lack of snowboarders; in fact, like Alta, they're prohibited. This, however, is a major drawcard for many skiers heading to Deer Valley, alongside the resorts' reputation for perfectly groomed runs, luxurious lodgings and resort facilities. The second thing you'll notice is the incredible grooming of the resorts piste - better than any groomer you've ever skied before! 

Deer Valley is spread across 6 mountains, with over 2026 acres of terrain to explore. It's a vast area to navigate, with multiple lift and traversing, but as Deer Valley does, their signage is second to none. You'll find terrain for all ability levels, although more tailored towards beginner to advanced skiers. First timers are best to stick around the Snow Park base, with a gentle slopes and easy progression to more difficult runs. Fabulous groomed runs, especially some of the black runs, are incredible fun for intermediate skiers, and you'll find a few off-piste options between the runs on the Northside. A few double black glades on Bald Mountain and Flagstaff Mountain are challenging for the advanced skier, and the most popular spots at Deer Valley tend to be the Daly Bowl and Chutes, which boast good snow cover and tree runs.

The resort features 22 lifts, which means lift lines are almost non-existent, even on weekends. Deer Valley takes it one step further and limits the number of lift tickets sold daily as to minimise crowds. The resort received an average 7.5 metres annually of snowfall, and while it's a bit less than other resorts in Utah, the lack of crowds means it sticks around a little longer. 30% of the terrain is also covered with man-made snow, just to top it up a bit. 

Deer Valley For Families

Deer Valley is a first class ski resort in a league of its own. Guest Service Attendants are scattered throughout the resort, ready to go above and beyond to provide any assistance or give advice at a moments notice - the Deer Valley way. Incredible service runs throughout the resort, from the ski rental technician who fits your boots, to the valet who carries your skis to the slopes, and the barista who makes your morning coffee. Located across multiple base areas, you'll find everything you need within an arms reach. The Snow Park Lodge at the main base houses the majority of the facilities, while Silver Lake Lodge located mid-mountain and the Empire Canyon Lodge also offer a great range of services for skiers and families. 

On-mountain, there are endless options for grabbing a snack or pick-me-up throughout the day, with gourmet buffet meals, fast sandwiches and paninis, and baked goods. The Snow Park Bakery even offers complimentary choc-chip cookies each afternoon, fresh out of the oven, at the base of the resort.

Childcare at Deer Valley is available for kids ages 2 months to 12 years, and conveniently located at the Snow Park Lodge. In-room babysitting is also popular among families. The award-winning ski school offers every type of lesson and program possible for kids and adults, with exceptional instructor to child ratios. Off the mountain, there aren't many activities to keep the kids entertained, however, All Seasons Adventures does offer dog sledding, snowmobiling and sleigh rides. There are plenty of family friendly activities in Park City, including the Gorgoza Park, home to super fun tubing and mini-snowmobile rides. On a down day, many families like to head to the Utah Olympic Park, which provides good entertainment for both big and little kids.

The lodging at Deer Valley is mainly luxury condos and private townhomes, with many ski-in/ski-out or barely minutes away from the slopes. Most accommodation is spread out across the resort area, with the majority located near the base of the Snow Park Village. This area is best for families needing childcare and ski school, and other resort facilities. Compared to Park City, the resort offers limited in the way of bars and nightlife, with a lot of restaurants located within the hotels and lodges. For seeking more affordable accommodation, it's easy to stay in Park City and catch the shuttle bus up to the resort area.

Deer Valley Accommodation

There are many certainties about Deer Valley and one of those is the price. This level of luxury doesn’t come cheap and the hotels here are some of the most expensive ski hotels in the country – prices easily top $1000 a night for even entry-level rooms at the high-end hotels, and that’s not even during peak holiday season.  Due to the layout of the mountain, a great deal of the accommodation is ski-in ski-out. The biggest cluster of hotels is up in the Silver Lake Lodge area (8100ft; 2469m) while other big hotels such as the St Regis and Montage Deer Valley are found in other parts of the mountain. 

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Resort Activities

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Scout Field Guide >

It’s worth making a visit to Park City downtown area at least once during your stay. As well as a bit of window shopping, there are some great restaurants and bars.

There’s a ton of activities other than skiing in the general area. From hot air ballooning to winter fishing, sleigh rides or a mountain railroad adventure, there’s something for everyone. On a down day, many families like to head to the Utah Olympic Park, which provides good entertainment for both big and little kids.

Getting There and Around

Deer Valley is situated just beyond Park City so getting there is super easy. It’s a 45-minute drive from Salt Lake City airport, which is huge and 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.

If you want to go to Park City, most of the hotels have free on-demand shuttles. However, there is also a free public transport system that operates on frequent schedules.

When To Go

Deer Valley can get frantic during holidays and accommodation prices soar still higher. The Sundance Film Festival (second last week of January) can also be a time when hotels book out.

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 6570ft / 2003m Gondolas 1 Beginner 27%  
Summit Elevation 9570ft / 2917m Express Quads 12 Intermediates 41%  
Vertical Drop 3000ft / 914m Quad Chair 1 Advanced 32%  
Skiable Area 2026ac / 820ha Triple Chairs 5      
Annual Snowfall 300in / 7.6m Double Chairs 2      
Operating Hours 9.00am –4.15pm          
             
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