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The Greatest Snow On Earth!
That’s what Utah has become famous for, and here you can learn how to ski more, for less money. If you’ve spent much time skiing before, you know that the cost to go skiing, can add up really quickly! Between the lift ticket prices, equipment rentals, outerwear, food, and lodging, you can easily spend hundreds of dollars a day…per person.
Over the years, we’ve learned tons of tricks that have made skiing really affordable, which is critical for our big family of 7. So whether you’re in town on vacation or a local, a ski expert or a novice, you’ll find lots of tricks below to help stretch those ski dollars farther!
Utah Lift Ticket Prices and Discount Lift Tickets in Utah
If you’re looking to save some money on your next ski trip, it definitely pays to do your homework. As you’ll see below, you can get lift tickets for as low as $40 and they can cost as much as $189.
Gone are the days of just showing up at the resort and purchasing your lift ticket at the window.
Lift tickets are almost always more expensive if purchased at the ticket window, so for the best lift ticket prices, make sure to buy your lift tickets online in advance. When you buy your lift tickets online, you can get steeply discounted tickets (up to a 70% discount) by going during the week or at off peak times to help you save even more money!
Great Deals on Utah Skiing
Alta is located in Little Cottonwood Canyon and is known for it’s steep terrain and deep powder. Alta is one of the few resorts that is limited to skiers only (no snowboards allowed).
Alta is once again helping locals to learn to ski every day with their Ski at 3 program. The cost is only $15 for 1 day or $49 for a season pass.
Ski every day from 3:00-4:30 on the Sunnyside and Albion lifts
Beaver Mountain is a smaller family focused resort located in Northern Utah. It has great deals on kids ski school as well as low rates for students through college.
Brian Head is the biggest resort in Southern Utah and is located near Cedar City Utah. It’s a favorite of Southern Utah University students, especially with their fantastic learn to ski deals.
Brian Head also offers night skiing on Friday and Saturday evenings for only $25
Brighton will always have a soft spot in my heart, since it’s where I learned to ski when I was a kid. Our family took full advantage of the kids ski free program as we took over the hill with 30+ cousins, aunts and uncles, and my grandparents. Yes, Brighton was super family friendly 30 years ago, and it still is today!
Located at the end of Big Cottonwood Canyon, Brighton is in a great location for anyone in the Wasatch Front. Known for it’s terrain features and family friendly areas, there is a little something for everyone here at Brighton.
In addition to offering free skiing to kids 10 and under, Brighton also offers fantastic deals on night skiing throughout the week, making it one of the most affordable ski areas in the state.
Here are some of the top night skiing deals at Brighton (as of 1/2020) according to their site:
MONDAY: Four night lift passes and one large pizza for $120. Online ONLY – GET PIZZA DEAL HERE.
WEDNESDAY: Receive a $25 Brighton Wednesday Night Lift Ticket Coupon with any value meal purchase from Subway Restaurant (some restrictions).
THURSDAY: Snow Sports School Thursday Night Lessons; Get a two hour lesson + a night lift ticket for $55!
FRIDAY: Join us for X96 night every Friday! Get a night ticket for $25 when you show us your X96 digital coupon. Text the word Brighton to 33986 for your digital coupon.
Cherry Peak is located in Northern Utah and is one of the newest ski resorts in the state, and is also one of the cheapest all around. Window ticket prices are just $40 and ski school lessons start at only $45.
Deer Valley is an upscale ski resort where luxury, great snow, fine dining, and upscale accomodations converge. It is often considered the paramount of fine skiing in the United States, and with good reason.
Deer Valley is a ski only resort, so snowboarders will need to go elsewhere.
Eagle Point is a newer ski resort near Beaver Utah. They are making a name for themselves by offering affordable lift tickets, and ski-in ski-out accommodations at a fraction of the price of bigger resorts. If you’re looking to avoid the crowds while you ski, Eagle Point is a great option for you.
Nordic Valley is a smaller resort that’s a bit of a locals secret. Ticket prices are wonderfully low, with night skiing tickets only costing $37 from 3-8pm. Terrain is limited, but is great for learning on.
New for the 2020 ski season, all kids ages 10 and under get a free season pass. Ski school lessons start at $49 as well. If you’re looking to get your family started skiing at an amazing price, this is a great option.
Park City is the largest ski resort in the United States, thanks to it’s purchase of The Canyons Resort. This mega resort is owned by Vail Resorts, so season pass holders can enjoy benefits at other Vail Resorts, helping make ski vacations significantly more affordable.
If you’re looking for one resort that has a huge combination of ski options, dining, shopping and entertainment, a stay in Park City won’t disappoint. One great advantage for out of town visitors is the town of Park City offers a free shuttle, so you don’t even need to rent a car to visit here.
Located just up Ogden Canyon, Powder Mountain feels really remote, while still being just a short drive away. If you don’t like crowds, you’ll love Powder Mountain, since they limit the number of tickets sold each day, so it never gets too crowded.
Powder Mountain also has some of the best night skiing deals in all of Utah, helping to make family skiing even more affordable.
Tuesday Family Night
6 Tickets for $80 (Blackout Dates Apply)
Wednesday Ladies Night
Ladies Night Tickets $15 (Blackout Dates Apply)
Wednesday – Thursday College Days
Show your valid College ID to get Day Tickets for $48 and Night Tickets for $17. (Blackout Dates Apply)
The views from Snowbasin are some of my favorite of all the Utah resorts. From the top, you can look down into the Morgan Valley or down the other side into Ogden and down into Salt Lake on a clear day. Home of the 2002 Downhill event, you’ll find no shortage of amazing, steep terrain at Snowbasin. At the same time, they have a wonderful beginner area, complete with a beginner terrain park that gets kids super excited about skiing from the every beginning. While you’re there, make sure to check out the bathrooms – it sounds weird, but they’re probably the nicest ski bathrooms you’ll ever see.
If you like steep terrain, and lots of powder, you’ll love Snowbird. I skied Snowbird all through college and actually met my husband on a chairlift there, so it’s pretty special to me!
While Snowbird boasts great steep terrain, there are also beginner areas that kids will love too. Snowbird also offers lots of great ski and stay options throughout the year, so if you’re looking for a getaway, check here!
I almost don’t want to tell you about Solitude, because it may be one of the best kept secrets in all of Utah (which is why our family keeps getting our season passes here).
Solitude has the steep terrain and powder to rival Snowbird, but with significantly fewer crowds. Located up Big Cottonwood Canyon, Solitude is another great option from Salt Lake City.
We rarely wait in a lift line more than a few minutes, and the runs never really feel crowded (except during Christmas). Solitude also has plenty of intermediate and some beginner terrain as well, so it feels like a great fit for our family of developing skiers, since we can find something that everyone will enjoy, all really close together.
Solitude also has some of the best on mountain dining options where you can enjoy themed restaurants with everything from Himalayan food to mexican, to burgers and salads that will rock your world.
Sundance is the only resort located up Provo Canyon, and is just a short drive to get up to the resort. While Sundance doesn’t boast any high speed lifts, it feels nice and quaint, and very family friendly. We’ve taken our kids several times and their themed trails through the trees have been the biggest hit that they keep begging to go back and ski.
Sundance also has night skiing several nights a week, including 2 for 1 night skiing on Wednesdays.
Utah Ski Resort Locations
When you’re choosing the best Utah ski resort for your trip, location can pay an important role in deciding where to go. However, it may be worth a drive if you can get a great deal for your family ski trip at somewhere a little farther away from home.
If you don’t want to travel far, here are my suggestions:
If you’re in Southern Utah, you’ll probably want to stick to Brian Head and Eagle Point to avoid a major drive. If you’re in Northern Utah, make sure to check out Beaver Mountain and Cherry Point ski areas. If you’re on the Wasatch Front, you’ve got the most options, with 10 resorts within an hour of Salt Lake City.
Utah ski resorts where kids ski FREE
Utah is an incredibly family friendly place to ski, and local resorts are encouraging kids to hit the sloes early with kids ski free deals in Utah. Most resorts in Utah allow kids to ski free until they turn five, but there are even a handful that allow kids to ski free until they are 7, and Brighton and Nordic Valley lets kids ski free until they turn 11! Here are all the kids ski free deals you can find in Utah.
Kids 5 and under get a free season pass with the purchase of an adult season pass
Brian Head Resort
Kids 5 and under ski free with a paying adult
2 kids 10 & under ski free with a paying adult
Kids 5 and under ski free with a paying adult
Kids 6 and under ski free
Kids 10 and under receive a FREE season pass
Kids 6 and under ski free
Kids 6 and under ski free with a paying adult
Kids 4 and under ski free with a paying adult
Kids 5 and under ski free
How to save money on Ski accommodation in Utah
As soon as you start looking for accommodations for your ski trip in Utah, you’ll notice that Utah is unique compared to most other ski destinations. Mostly this is because the entire state is in the mountains. For starters, 10 of Utah’s 14 ski resorts are located within an hours drive of Salt Lake International Airport.
If you’re looking into accommodations for a ski trip and want to save money, consider staying away from the ski base area. Honestly, it’s one of the best ways to cut costs on a ski trip. For our family of 7, it would cost us over $1000 per night to stay at the base of Park City Mountain Resort. For only $175 and a 30 minute drive, I can stay at a 4 star hotel near Salt Lake City. That’s a lot of money and it adds up fast.
Luckily, there is rarely traffic getting around Salt Lake City, so getting to and from the ski hill isn’t a major issue. If it snows, expect more traffic and plan on leaving about 45 minutes early to help beat the crowds (yes, on a powder day, EVERYONE wants to ski, because it’s so incredibly convenient!)
How to save money on food for a ski trip
The best way to save money on food for a ski trip is to bring your own. And no, that doesn’t mean that you need to sacrifice quality and live on PB&J. Our favorite ski trick is to fill an insulated bottle with boiling water and this amazing soup mix before we leave the house (seriously, no prep work needed). We grab a loaf of french bread at the store, and a few oranges to round it all out. By lunch, the soup is thick and creamy and we head to the car for a warm lunch that only costs us about $1 a person for the whole meal. To feed our family on the mountain easily costs us $100!
We use this bottle for our soup and it’s never once leaked and keeps everything super hot (soup stays hot from morning until dinner time!) I also love that it’s big enough for enough soup for our big family of 7!
We also throw in some energy bars into our pockets for that inevitable time that someone is so hungry THEY MIGHT DIE. Our kids are currently obsessed with these soft peanut butter bars as well as these ones that taste like a brownie (but are still packed full of awesome, energy boosting ingredients).
What are the best ways to save money while skiing?
If you want to make skiing affordable, there are several things that you can do that will end up saving you A LOT of money.
- Be selective about where you ski.
The best way to save money on your skiing is to be selective about where you ski. If you’re just getting started with skiing or your kids are learning, skip the big expensive resorts and search for small resorts that are within a few
hoursdrive. You can often save 50% or more by going to a smaller and less popular resort. Check out our list of secret family ski resorts in the Rockies if you need a place to start.
- Teach your own kids to ski.
Yes, you can teach your own kids to ski, and we’ll show you how in this article. If you’re trying to decide if you want to teach your kids to ski yourself or put them in ski school, make sure to head over here and read our thoughts on ski school.
- Buy packs of tickets instead of day passes.
Start looking in the fall for deals where many resorts will offer 4 or 10 packs of tickets as heavily discounted prices. These are often transferable so getting a couple could work for the entire family. If you can’t find those, buy your tickets online at Liftopia, where you can get some pretty amazing discounts off the resort prices.
- Find a resort where kids ski free.
While most resorts allow really young kids (often 5 and under) to ski free, there are a few outliers where kids up to age 10 (like at Brighton Resort in Utah) and even 12 in some cases (Mount Bachelor and June Mountain). Doing a little research can save tons of money.
- Buy season passes.
If you’re planning on skiing several days in one season, buying a season pass is often much cheaper in the long run. In the
off season, many resorts have steeply discounted season passes that are considerably cheaper than a week of skiing would be. This is how our family of 7 is able to ski so many days every year. It’s also nice to have season passes if you have young kids, so you don’t feel like you just wasted a ton of money when your kids only last for 2 hours of skiing before you go back home.
- Buy your ski equipment.
Ski gear lasts A LONG time. My husband and I have both been skiing on the same ski boots for over 15 years, and our skis aren’t much newer. We generally buy skis for our oldest son (we typically buy used and spend about $75-100 for a full set up) and then we pass those down through the other 4 kids in our family. The major exception is
kidsski boots. We absolutely LOVE Roces adjustableski boots and think they’re a much better value (and quality) than used boots.
- Look for deals for first-time skiers.
Lots of resorts will have special deals for first-time skiers. These vary but may include free lift tickets, discounted lessons, and deals on ski rentals. January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month so look for the best deals then.
- Buy good outerwear.
I know that they’re just kids and you don’t want to spend a fortune, but when it comes to outerwear, you get what you pay for.
We’ve done some pretty serious gear testing over the years, so if you want high quality gear, make sure to check out these reviews:
The Best Waterproof Coats for Kids
The Best Snow Boots for Kids
The Best Waterproof Gloves and Mittens for Kids
If you want any chance of coats, snow pants, and gloves lasting more than one season, buy high-quality gear.
I learned this lesson the hard way when I used to buy mittens for our kids at Costco every year for $20. Around February, they would start leaking and not being as warm and so I’d go buy everyone another pair, putting about $40 towards gloves each season per kid. Now we buy gloves that are a bit more expensive the first time around and they last for YEARS.
If you’re looking for great outerwear for the whole family that doesn’t break the bank, I can’t say enough good things about Boulder Gear. Our whole family wears their gear and we absolutely love it. We’ve been using their outerwear since our kids were little and it’s some of the best quality for the price that we’ve ever found (+ their
kidsgear has a grow system so the kids can wear it for several years)
Best deals on Ski School in Utah
If you’re looking for great deals on ski school, Utah is the place to be! Some of the most notable deals can be found at Cherry Peak, Beaver Mountain, Nordic Valley and Brighton (the Thursday night skiing deal).
If you’re just learning to ski, it doesn’t make too much of a difference where you go to ski school, so I recommend going somewhere that you can get a great deal (and then afford more lessons!)
If you’re an intermediate or advanced skier and want to take lessons to learn how to ski a certain type of terrain, pick a resort that has a lot of that type of terrain. When you sign up for lessons and when you first meet with your teacher, tell them what your goals are for the lesson, so you can really learn the skills that you want to work on.
Read this article if you’re trying to decide if you should put your kids in ski school or teach them yourself!
Many Utah resorts offer amazing deals on ski school during the month of January for Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. Read this article for a full list of resorts and the ski school deals that they are offering.
Still not sure if you’re ready to hit the ski slopes as a family? Read Everything You Need to Know About Skiing With Kids.