With 22 lighted runs, including the brand new long-awaited lights at Snake Creek, Brighton Ski Resort boasts the largest amount of night-skiing terrain available anywhere in Utah. For those with afternoon arrivals or daytime plans in the city (as well as fanatics who can’t be bothered to stop just because the sun sets), night skiing is an excellent way to sneak in some extra laps. A little bit of planning and local knowledge will go a long way toward keeping you warm and smiling when hitting the slopes after sundown. And be sure to check out Brighton's COVID-19 precautions before you go.
WHAT TO BRING
Conditions change quickly as the afternoon light fades—late-evening temperatures including wind chill can plunge well below zero degrees Fahrenheit—so don’t rely on the midday forecast to plan your layering strategy. Even if the afternoon weather is on the mild side, it’s prudent to bring an extra fleece or puffy jacket, a balaclava or face mask, and your warmest gloves or some extra liners.
A clear goggle lens is by far the best optical choice for nighttime laps, as it will filter out the lowest possible percentage of light. A flat-light lens like you’d use on a stormy day is doable, but you’ll most likely regret bringing sunglasses or dark mirrored goggles as your only option.
WHAT TO KNOW
Prime night skiing conditions (other than fresh powder, obviously) happen when daytime temperatures at the resort never get high enough to allow the riding surface to partially melt and then refreeze. If it’s been warm during the day, the snow will likely firm up somewhat at night, so recently tuned edges on your board or skis will serve you well.
Take it easy for the first couple of runs while you get used to the snowpack. Even if you’ve been to Brighton before, bear in mind that things can look different under the lights, and skied-off patches or unexpected bumps may be slightly tougher to spot from a distance. When it’s time to thaw out, stop into Molly Green’s (2nd floor of the A-frame building between the Crest and Majestic lifts) for a snack and a warming or refreshing beverage. It is open, but indoor dining has tables spread further apart to maintain social distancing.
WHERE TO GO
The bulk of Brighton’s night terrain is accessed by the Crest Express and Snake Creek lifts, which offer a variety of intermediate to advanced trails under the lights. Novices can get comfortable on several blue and green runs off the Majestic chair as well as the Sunshine run off Snake Creek, while first-timers should stick to the Explorer lift until they master the basics (gear rentals and lessons are both available during night ops).
If jibs and jumps are your thing, the Candyland terrain park is accessible off the Crest chair, and connects to the main Majestic park after a short traverse through some trees. (The Majestic park can also be accessed via the lift of the same name). Candyland offers a scattering of small to medium boxes and rails, while Majestic usually has larger features up top and a mix of obstacles for all abilities further down.
GET THERE SAFELY
Big Cottonwood Canyon Road has plenty of twists and turns and can be prone to patches of black ice after sundown. A four- or all-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended, and may be required at times during significant snowstorms. Two-wheel drive cars are usually fine when the road is clear, but you should carry tire chains just in case. If you’d prefer not to deal with driving, the UTA Ski Bus offers convenient service up the canyon throughout the afternoon and early evening, with the night bus heading down from Brighton just after 8:30 p.m. If you purchase a Salt Lake Ski Super Pass, you get free round-trip travel on UTA Ski Buses. You can always call Canyon Transportation for a reliable ride to and from the resort, as well.
LIFT TICKET OPTIONS
Fresh off a midday arrival to Salt Lake and looking to spend a full day’s energy on the slopes? Consider the Super Day pass, valid from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. Night-only passes are honored from 4:00—9:00 p.m.
Also available is the Salt Lake Ski Super Pass, which gives you multi-day discounted access to all four Salt Lake resorts - Alta, Brighton, Snowbird, and Solitude.