Ski resorts are special kinds of resorts developed for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports. In the European region, ski resorts are mostly close to towns or villages while in Northern America, ski resorts are often located at a distance from towns, making them destination resorts.
Colorado skiing resort and Utah skiing resorts are located in Northern America, USA. So which is a better skiing resort between Colorado and Utah skiing resorts?
Colorado skiing resorts are better. The Snowbird, Utah’s tallest ski area, standing at over 11,000ft doesn’t come close to Colorado’s several mountaintops having altitudes as high as 13,000ft.
The different altitudes, gradient, and snow levels vary between resorts and their location. In the course of this article, we will explore the details of both Colorado skiing resorts and Utah skiing resorts; know the number and kind of slopes found, and show that Colorado skiing resorts are better. Let’s dive in.
Colorado Resorts vs Utah Resorts for Skiing
Destination resorts like the Colorado ski resorts and the Utah ski resorts have made a name for themselves over the decades with the hosting of Olympic games, dollar tourism, and trade shows.
When it comes to accepting a better side, neither state resorts agree on the fact that the other is better. Which one is better will generally be determined by altitude, piste steepness, lightness and consistency of snow, and distance.
Colorado Ski Resorts
The state of Colorado is filled with many ski resorts making it a tourist magnet as it has the backcountry pass, Heli-skiing, and guided Snowcat.
The state of Colorado has over thirty-two ski resorts; it stands taller having the highest ski resort in the whole of the United States making it even more of a tourist attraction site.
The Colorado ski resorts are known for the seasonal games held which usually kick off by October. These games usually start with the Basin and the Loveland racing while Wolf Creek joins as an early contender.
Some of the ski resorts in Colorado are The Arapahoe Basin, The Aspen Highlands, The Aspen Mountain, The Beaver Milk, The Buttermilk, The Breckenridge, The Wolf Creek, The Loveland, The steamboat, The Purgatory, The Keystone, The Lake city ski Hill and over twenty other breath-taking ski resorts.
The Breckenridge is the highest ski resort in Colorado with a height of 3914m (approximately 13,000ft). There are 153km of slopes, of which the beginners make use of 28km; intermediates make use of 60km; while the experts use 65km.
It covers a landmass of a skiable area of over 2,000 acres and has 155 trails spread across four of its peaks. About 2926-3914m of elevation height is used during winter sport.
It has bumpy roads for an expert skier, less bumpy roads for intermediate skiers, and a smooth leveled ski area for beginners. It also has the highest visitors in the whole of Colorado. The Breckenridge is regarded as the best ski resort in Colorado.
The Colorado ski resorts have different kinds of slopes on its piste. They have the beginner’s learning slope, a steeper intermediate skier slope meant for the confident advanced learners, and the very steep slopes meant for expert skiers and snowboarders.
They also have the piste with mogul and the marked and patrolled off-piste routes only meant for experts.
Utah Ski Resorts
The Utah ski resorts will always leave you awed. Their breath-taking atmosphere and mountains would leave you begging to come back. Having an averaging annual rainfall of five hundred inches of dry powder Utah snow, it is obviously as it claims to be, the “greatest snow on earth.”
The dry and cold atmosphere of Utah produces snowflakes which are thin and crystal-like, making the snow feel very fluffy and light.
The Utah resorts have about fifteen incredible ski resorts with ten of those resorts located less than two hours drive from the Salt Lake City International Airport. With these several ski resorts available, you can easily find that one perfect resort to match your skiing needs; or maybe, even more than one.
The distance between the different ski resorts in Utah makes it easier for ski enthusiasts who would love to try different slopes. The Brian Head ski resort has perfect snow for skiing, a perfect price, and a less crowded slope. It is about three hours drive from Las Vegas.
The Snowbird, The Park City Mountain, The Brighton, The Brian Head Ski resort, The Alta, The Beaver Mountain, The Wood Park City, The Sundance Mountain Resort, and seven other ski resorts are tourist attraction sites in Utah.
With the Snowbird standing tallest amongst these resorts at 3,353m (11, 000ft), it has the highest ski slope and ski lift in Utah.
There are about 103km of slope on the Snowbird, of which 27km is for the learning or beginner skiers; a 38km slope for intermediate skiers; and 38km for expert skiers. During winter sports, the area of slope used is at an altitude of 2,365 and 3,353 m.
At Utah ski resorts, you would find the different kinds of slopes, using the Northern American marking system.
A beginner’s slope (having a level or less steep piste); an intermediate skier’s slope (having steeper piste); an expert skier’s slope (very steep piste with moguls and rough terrain (it is never used by beginners but confident intermediate skiers may try it); and an expert-only off-piste which are dangerous to non-confident non-experts because of the unprepared snow resting on the mountain in its natural state (soft, and skiers could sink into it).
Which One is Better for Beginners?
The best ski resorts for beginners can as well be the best ski resorts for expert skiers but the differentiating factor are the mellow terrain of some areas of pro ski resorts. For someone trying the piste of pro skiers for the first time, there are some basic things to watch out for in order to be safe.
Beginner skiers tend to fall over several times, so it is advisable to be covered up in several layers of clothing, wear a ski helmet, and in really cold weather conditions, some thermals such as a base layer will be really helpful.
Beginner skiers need to get the right ski size for their body stature. It is advisable that they meet a ski instructor for a guide in selecting the best fit in order to avoid the ski being overbearing. Choosing the right ski instructor is essential as it goes a long way in ensuring enjoyment of the thrills of skiing whilst being safe.
Identifying the right ski resorts and piste for beginners is all about knowing the height, slope, and terrain of your ski resort. Beginner skiers should always start with level ground skiing to master their balance on a ski, while slowly graduating into a slightly steeper piste.
The terrain of beginner skier should be smooth and mogul free. You don’t want them having cuts and bruises on their first try. The most ideal time for beginner skiers to learn should be around late April or early December which is the ski season.
However, it is best to practice on the less busy times so you can have a ski resort to yourself or share it with a few other people.
At the Colorado ski resorts, there are lots of options to choose from when trying skiing for the first time. The Beaver Creek is a perfect ski resort for beginners.
It has a large amount of green terrain at the top of the mountain where a plateau has gradual slopes. It is a nice area for children and adults to learn skiing.
In Copper Mountain ski resorts of Colorado, you get this feeling that it was built for beginners and intermediates.
Copper Mountain offers one of the easiest terrains with a long descent fall for beginners. It has a fantastic ski school and with daily lesson classes where beginners can learn more about skiing and will also have the best part of the mountain for themselves.
At the Utah ski resorts, most of the beginner-friendly mountains have a skiing school used to teach willing beginners on how to skid on smooth terrains.
The Alta, with three beginner lifts, are mostly green trails that are smooth, while others are blue runs for skiers that would prefer to try a more difficult terrain.
The Brian Head resort covers two mountains having about 71 runs of which about 65% is a beginner or intermediate runs.
In summary, the better ski resort for beginners might vary with persons. However, the Utah ski resorts are more beginner-friendly, with 14 of its resorts suitable for beginner runs.
Nevertheless, Colorado ski resorts are also great beginner skiing sites.
The different color markings for skiers are green (for beginners); blue (for intermediates); and black (for experts).
Also, beginners in these ski resorts need to know how to fall properly. Yes, nobody likes a fall, but falling on your side reduces the impact on your body and you are less likely to break a bone.
They also need to know how to get up from a fall (getting up using your knees is better than other ways as your center of gravity might be off causing you to fall over again).
More so, they should know how to ski properly using the snowplow technique, with feet almost inward and knees bent lowering body, the center of gravity is slightly at the back (leaning forward will increase speed, straightening up will decrease speed).
It is also necessary to know how to stop skiing; turning the feet inward at a distance of 1.5m apart, it will slowly bring your ski to a halt.
What is the Best Time to Ski?
The best time to go skiing totally depends on the kind of experience you want to have. You can choose to go when the shows and seasons have begun when you can catch the rays of sunlight while skiing, or when you would see fewer skiers on the steeps with you or even during the periods usually much more crowded by people.
A perfect snowfall, top-notch hospitality, and breath-taking views are must-haves for the best skiing experience. This section would be looking at the best time for skiing in the Colorado ski resorts and the Utah ski resorts.
Colorado ski resorts offer astonishing services from views to hospitality to amazing snowfalls. Having a record number of over 10 million people in a space of 5 years; it is definitely a destination site.
During the holiday seasons, prices can go way above average due to the crowd of people coming in. You may also decide to visit during a lesser snowfall season.
Nevertheless, the best time to visit the Colorado ski resort ranges from January to March. During this period, you stand a chance at getting cheaper prices, better temperatures, and the best snow conditions (cold and frosty). For most people, it would be February because of the plenty of powder falling.
Utah ski resorts are more than just for skiing. The long season starts mid-November till April. This gets lots of people coming in for the fine powder falls and unique hospitality. Some want the best deals, while all that others want is snow and more snow.
From January to March, you get the best out of the Park City ski resort, while other ski resorts like the Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, and The Cottonwood get the best ski resort time from January till April. Arriving on a particular day or month for the best experience would likely be in January.
Statistically, January has the best chances of having better snowfall than the other months. Nevertheless, Utah powder during February and March is equally high thus giving it a well-developed base.
Which one has more Natural Snow?
Natural snow is a complex crystalline structure gotten from frozen water vapor in the clouds falling to the earth.
Unlike artificial snow made from snow-making machines, through a microscope, they look more like clumps of ice and a close resemblance to packed snow. Often, skiers are unaware of the differences especially beginner skiers. It might feel the same when skiing on it.
Colorado has very nice powder, sometimes falling and reaching a depth of 200+ inches (app. 17ft). For the obvious reason of Colorado resort having a higher number of ski resorts, people who have never been to Utah might regard the Colorado natural snow as the best but that is not just the case.
Utah is also known for its great powder and natural snowfall. The Alta’s average snowfall reached a depth of 500+ inches (over 41ft) of snow. The Utah snow is widely regarded as the “greatest snow on earth” for its high voluminosity and fluffiness.
What is the one with more natural snow? It would the snowfall of the Utah ski resorts. Nevertheless, the natural snow of the state of Colorado are enough and in perfect condition for skiing.
How to make a choice
Making and picking one of the destination resorts for your family trips, beginner’s comfort, the nightlife or just other fun activities is never an easy decision.
Both Colorado ski resorts and Utah ski resorts have their own unique qualities so it depends more on the skier’s or tourist’s preference and what they wish to achieve at the resorts.
When choosing to go on family trips at the ski resorts, one must note that bigger doesn’t always equal better, that’s for family trips. These days, bigger resorts dominate the ski resort industry but notwithstanding, there are great not-so-big resorts for ideal for family trips.
They have a good reputation for hospitality and perfect terrain. An example is The Alta ski resort of Utah; having perfect events suitable for families looking for the powder days.
There are also more mega-resorts like the Snowmass in Aspen in Colorado. The Snowmass is an ideal family destination ski resort. It has a state-of-the-art treehouse for childcare and it’s the second-largest ski resort in Colorado covering about 3,362 acres of land. It gives you a ski star experience.
The best family-friendly and welcoming ski resorts are found in Colorado, Utah however also has great family-friendly ski resorts.
For beginner’s comfort, the Utah ski resorts have more terrains suited for them compared to those of Colorado. However, if you are a beginner with a love for high mountains, the Colorado ski resort is for you.
Nightlife at ski resorts are beautiful moments. The bars, clubs, pubs, and awesome lighting make one have a euphoric feeling.
The Aspen, Vail, and Steamboat; all of which are located in Colorado, have the best nightlife amongst all the ski resorts of Utah and Colorado. There are always people there for fun experiences, games to be played, bars, and clubs to visit.
The Park City ski resort in Utah comes with a lot of nightlife fun and dining, it lures tourists and skiers alike to its night-time experience. The best nightlife fun time can however be found in Colorado.
So the choice of how much fun you want your nightlife to be is up to you and your preferred location.