SKI Magazine Reader's Poll Places Utah Ski Resorts in Top Spots

Posted by Sean Matyja on Thursday, December 21st, 2023 at 9:00am.

skier at brighton ski resort in utah

Ski Magazine has recently posted the results from its reader survey, and after tallying the results, here are the Top 30 Resorts in the West (2024). The top two will surprise you for sure! We always expect to see our Utah resorts rank well, and this year us no exception, with seven Utah ski resorts in the Top 20.

No. 17: Brighton Resort, Utah
If you have not yet been to Brighton, for sure plan a visit. This is a small mom-and-pop style resort, with amazing terrain, and tons of snow. It may not be the steepest resort, but for sure is one of the most fun. Brighton does not have much for dining, shipping, nightlife or lodging, so keep this on your list as a good day-trip option.

No. 15: Park City Resort, Utah
Park City was ranked 30 last year, likely due to troubles with post-pandemic staffing and un-opened terrain. They bounced back in a big way, so congrats to the PCMR team! Years ago, Park City Resort and canyons Resort combined into one giant mega-resort. Park City is a huge mountain offering something to skiers and boarders of all abilities. As noted by one of the reader comments: “Huge mountain with great terrain variety. Authentic ski town vibe with great food and nightlife available."

No. 13: Snowbird Mountain Resort, Utah
Snowbird is not your typical family vacation destination. This is a big, tough, technical mountain with amazing snow, ideal for die-hard skiers and boarders. They do have some decent options for lodging in the base village, but you will not find much for an après-ski or nightlife scene. If you ski hard, this is an amazing place.

No. 9: Deer Valley, Utah
Deer Valley fell a few places in the rankings this year, likely due to the invasion of the Ikon Pass users coming up from Salt Lake City on big powder days when the Cottonwood Canyons were closed. Although crowds were a bit larger, make no mistake, Deer Valley is still Deer Valley. They offer perfectly groomed runs, attentive and friendly guest service, great dining options, numerous on mountain lodges, untouched "secret" tree skiing, and of course, no snowboarders. This year Ikon Pass holders will need to secure a reservation in advance, which should help with the crowds. And, over the next couple years, Deer Valley will nearly triple in size with the expansion of the new terrain recently announced earlier this year.

No. 7: Alta Ski Area, Utah
There is probably no better true skier's mountain, than Alta. Each year, Alta receives some of the most and best snow (over 900 inches in 2022/2023) on its excellent advanced terrain. There is limited lodging and dining, and après-ski is pretty much nonexistent. This is an ideal place for a day trip from Park City and Deer Valley, but be sure to arrive early as driving the canyon and finding parking can be tough if you leave home too late.

And now for the Top Two ski resorts in the West:

No. 2: Snowbasin Resort, Utah
Snowbasin’s amazing on-mountain attributes are complemented by its majestic lodges with delightful dining option. The resort doesn’t have any lodging at its base so it is typically fairly quiet during the week. There are rarely lift lines after the initial morning opening and there is plenty of great terrain. The Ikon pass has added more skiers to the mountain, especially on big powder days. When the Salt Lake City Cottonwoood Canyons are closed due to avalanche conditions, many SLC based skiers then head up to easy-t0-get-to Snowbasin. While "the basin" generally does not get as much snow as the Cottonwood Canyon resorts, it does get its fair share, and the terrain and lack of crowds sure makes this a special place.

No. 1: Powder Mountain, Utah
Powder Mountain is an old-school mom and pop style resort, with little lodging and no nightlife. This is a true alpine designation for skiers and boarders simply looking to get some turns in. The ski area has been in and out of the rankings and was a surprise hit for the coveted #1 spot this year. If you’re looking for five-star dining or a rocking après scene, this may not be the place for you. What people love about Powder Mountain is the old-school vibe, lack of crowds, expansive terrain, limited day ticket sales, affordable food options, and the rare ability to find powder days after a storm. Parking is a bit tough here, and they still have many older fixed-grip chairlifts - but the lack of change is what many locals love.

Here is the full list from Thirty to Number One!

No. 30: Keystone Resort, Colo.
No. 29: Loveland Ski Area, Colo.
No. 28: Whitefish Mountain Resort, Mont.
No. 27: Heavenly Mountain Resort, Calif.
No. 26: Copper Mountain, Colo.
No. 25: Breckenridge Ski Resort, Colo.
No. 24: Palisades Tahoe, Calif.
No. 23: Winter Park Resort, Colo.
No. 22: Lake Louise, Alb.
No. 21: Whistler Blackcomb, B.C.
No. 20: Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Colo.
No. 19: Beaver Creek, Colo.
No. 18: Revelstoke Mountain Resort, B.C.
No. 17: Brighton Resort, Utah
No. 16: Steamboat Resort, Colo.
No. 15: Park City Resort, Utah
No. 14: Vail Mountain, Colo.
No. 13: Snowbird Mountain Resort, Utah
No. 12: Arapahoe Basin, Colo.
No. 11: Telluride Ski Resort, Colo.
No. 10: Big Sky Resort, Mont.
No. 9: Deer Valley, Utah
No. 8: Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyo.
No. 7: Alta Ski Area, Utah
No. 6: Mammoth Mountain, Calif.
No. 5: Taos Ski Valley, N.M.
No. 4: Aspen Snowmass, Colo.
No. 3: Sun Valley, Idaho
No. 2: Snowbasin Resort, Utah
No. 1: Powder Mountain, Utah

Sean Matyja - Realtor® / Associate Broker
Mobile: (435) 901-2158 | Email: 

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