Utah’s gorgeous blue skies and mountains full of winter snow are a big draw to skiers and snowboarders. If you’re kids (or even you) are just learning, some of the best beginner trails can be found in Utah. Here are the 14 best resorts, all with ski schools on site:
With three beginner lifts, Alta is one of the best locations for families, as it also features tons of expert terrain. Beginners can even get $10 lift tickets to the three: Sunnyside, Albion and Cecret with the Sunnyside @ Three program. All three are mostly green runs, with a couple of blues for when you feel sturdy enough to make on a slightly more challenging slope.
This family-owned and operated resort is also very friendly to visiting families. It’s a smaller resort but still offers 824 skiable acres – 75 percent of which are green or blue trails. The Harry’s Dream Lift takes you to the Gentle Ben green run, from the summit to midway on the mountain, where you can catch Blind Bull’s green run to the base.
Brian Head Resort
Offering more affordable lift tickets, Brian Head is spread across two mountains and provides 71 runs – 65 percent of which are beginner or intermediate. Stick to the Navajo Mountain, which is nearly all green rides.
Close to Salt Lake City, Brighton is home to tons of beginner terrain, and offers plenty of kid-friendly instruction. The Learner lift pass provides green and blue skiing off its Majestic and Explorer lifts. Another bonus? Kids 10 and under are free when with a paying adult.
One of the newer ski resorts in the state, Cherry Peak features the Longmozy, a green run that twists across the mountain. First-timers can enjoy a group lesson, rentals and a single-day pass for one low fee, as well.
A favorite for experienced skiers, Deer Valley’s well-groomed slopes are great for newcomers, as well. Bald and Flagstaff mountains host a number of green trails, and you’ll find valet service to help you get your skis and boards to the slopes, making a day out even easier.
Far removed from Salt Lake and Vegas, Eagle Point is a small mountain that is perfect for beginners. Uncrowded, 57 percent of the resort’s 40 runs are for beginners. The resort also provides a Learn Together Program for one hour of private lessons for an adult and child together.
Seventy percent of Nordic Valley’s ski terrain is dedicated to beginners; they even have a magic carpet lift to take newcomers up the slopes. The mountain is also one of the best on the state for night skiing, with the entire mountain lighted at night.
From the family-friendly town to the family-friendly slopes, one of the biggest mountain resorts is Park City, at 7,300 skiable areas. One of the longest green runs in the state is located here: the 3.5-mile Home Run.
Known locally as Pow Mow, this mountain’s name is true: it’s covered in powder in the winter. Although the mountain doesn’t offer as many green trails as others, most of its runs are intermediate for those ready to take it up a notch.
Home to the 2002 Olympic downhill races, Snowbasin proves a terrain park just for beginners. The First Timer program features lift tickets, rentals and lesson for a low price.
The Bird’s Baby Thunder welcomes new skiers and boarders, and even has a parking lots right beside it so you won’t have to trek too far with little ones. Try the blue 2.5-mile Chip’s Run from the summit to the base.
The closest mountain resort to Salt Lake City remains, surprisingly, uncrowded. New skiers will welcome wide open trails and more than 500 inches of annual snowfall.
Not just home to a film festival, Sundance’s ski trails on Mt. Timpanogos has some of the best views. Ray’s and Jay’s lifts will take you to green trails, with multiple exit points to keep newcomers comfortable.
This story was provided and adapted by SkiUtah’s Yeti. Visit SkiUtah’s website to learn more about ski and board programs in Utah.