Downtown Salt Lake

Skiing the World: Exploring the diversity of Utah's mountain ranges

By Tim Newcomb, Sports Illustrated -- As the winter season descends upon us, we'll take you around the globe to explore some of the best mountains in the world for skiing and snowboarding. First, we'll break down the best slopes in the state of Utah.

You can hit the major resorts near Salt Lake City—we’ll get to those in a moment—or you can figure out which one of the 11 mountains less than an hour from the city most strikes your fancy. Here's a look at just some of the bounty that Utah skiing has to offer:

SOLITUDE
Distance from Salt Lake City: 37 minutes
Vertical: 2,047 feet
Snowfall: 500-plus inches
Runs: 40
 
With more than 1,200 acres of terrain in one of the snowiest canyons in North America, Solitude offers terrain for all levels of skier. A European-style village aims to give ski-in/ski-out ease.

BRIGHTON
Distance from Salt Lake City: 40 minutes
Vertical: 1,745 feet
Snowfall: 500 inches
Runs: 62
T
he family-friendly mountain allows kids 7 and under to ride for free. This focus on affordability and Krista’s Park, a terrain park designed for female riders, makes this a family destination.

SNOWBIRD
Distance from Salt Lake City: 40 minutes
Vertical: 2,900 feet
Snowfall: 500 inches
Runs: 85
 
Expect an evenly split choice at Snowbird, with terrain divided in thirds for the beginner, the intermediate and the advanced.

ALTA
Distance from Salt Lake City: 37 minutes
Vertical: 2,020 feet
Snowfall: 551 inches
Runs: 116
 
Another ski-only destination, Alta is known for the quality and quantity of snow across a wide variety of terrain and scenery.