Conveniently located just 32 miles from the Arrivals terminal at SLC International Airport, The Canyons Resort is not only one of Utah’s most accessible ski areas, it’s also the largest. Boasting a whopping 3700 acres of varying terrain that gets buried under an average 355 inches of annual snowfall, The Canyons is a limitless playground for skiers and snowboarders of all ability levels.
Locals know that “the goods” on a powder day can be scored by making the networked journey from the base area up Flight of The Canyons gondola to Red Pine Lodge, on to Tombstone chair and across to the summit of 9,990 Chair (known simply a “Ninety-nine-ninety” to the local crowd). Following big storms, the ski patrol does avalanche control work from the crack of dawn (hear that booming of dynamite charges? That’s the sounds of your powder day being safely laid out!), and the ropes drop early to get this ominous pocket of the mountain open to the public. Here, find ample steep tree lines that funnel into open bowls. Windward storms accumulate loads of that famous Utah powder in the numerous gullies and aspen groves, tempting expert and advanced riders to stay high on this gem of The Canyons Resort.
Intermediate skiers will love cutting their teeth in the less daunting, but no-less-powder swept Tombstone Express and Dream Catcher drainages, which offer up a more mild approach to cruising through those beautiful quaking aspens or mastering carving turns on the spacious groomed tracks. New skiers and snowboarders can take advantage of The Canyons’ internationally staffed Ski and Snowboard School line-up, which includes professionally certified instructors that choose to teach here, and arrive from all over the world each winter to take advantage of The Canyons’ excellent learning environment.
When it’s time to take a breather, make tracks for the on-mountain dining opportunities that range from basic day lodge menus at Red Pine Lodge or The Sun Dial (think burgers, pizzas, soups) to the upscale fine dining to be found at Lookout Cabin, seated on the ridgeline just atop Golden Eagle lift.
Off of the snow, luxury beckons at the brand new Dakota Lodge, which opened August 2009. Rejuvenate sore muscles with a massage, and bask in the spirit-renewing litany of spa treatments at the renowned Golden Door Spa. After perusing the numerous shops in this cozy winter village, the perfect day is capped off with a great dinner, and here at The Canyons you won’t want to miss dining over 5-star culinary creations at Spruce, the high altitude counterpart to San Francisco’s award winning restaurant of the same name.
*all photos by Dan Campbell-Lloyd, courtesy of The Canyons Resort