The Greatest Snow on Earth

BY MARIA TETTAMANTI

We’d argue that’s in Park City—but there’s also a range of activities off the slopes to enjoy as winter slips into spring.

Ready to hit the slopes? Of course you are! After all, is there anything more resplendent than slaking one’s thirst with an après ski drink set amongst a backdrop of soaring mountain peaks and powdery snow? I think not. And when you tack on the fact that Park City is now home to North America’s largest ski resort—a whopping 7,300 acres of terrain, to be exact—consider the snow-laden city as a must see and ski during the months of November through April. Plus, any seasoned skier will tell you Utah is blessed by the powder Gods.

Over the past five years, big changes have been sweeping the slopes of the Western mining town and its neighboring glorious Wasatch Mountains. The Big Kahuna of them all? When world-class Vail Resorts officially connected Park City Mountain Resort with Canyons Village in November 2015 along with $50 million in capital improvements. A zippy Quicksilver gondola now swoops back and forth between the two properties in swift nine minutes much to the delight of skiers and snowboarders of all abilities seeking legendary bluebird days—and more than 300 (yes, 300!) groomed runs.

When staying in the quintessential ski town, seek out accommodations at the Grand Summit Hotel (which will be notably receiving renovations this April through mid-summer). Nestled in the heart of Canyons Village at Park City, the true ski-in/ski-out hotel boasts contemporary rooms and is just steps away from North America’s only chairlift with heated seats named the Orange Bubble Express, no less. After a day hitting the grueling trials and bowls, rest those quivering limbs with a recovery massage at Park City Boutique & Spa and be sure to Zen out in the toasty steam room.

For dinner, head over to The Farm (canyonresort.com). Replete with a rustic feel, the Chef Manuel Rozehnal menu is brimming with items sourced from local farms and artisan purveyors. The must-have eats? Made-from-scratch pretzels with house-made caraway mustard, as well as the out-of-this-world charcuterie and cheese plate. Best of all? It’s just walking distance from the hotel.

Also not to be missed on your travel itinerary is a jaunt to buzz-y (pun intended) High West Distillery & Saloon (highwest.com). Touted as the only ski-in/ski-out distillery in the world, High West sits on historic Old Town’s Main Street. A city-run free shuttle bus ride away from Canyons Village, quaff the locally loved haunt’s house-made whiskey and sink your teeth into the flaky chicken potpie for a sinfully delicious exploit.

March and April are actually some of the best times to ski here—the days are longer so the sun stays out later, translating to more slope time. But the glorious mountains offer a smorgasbord of outdoor pleasures once the glistening snow melts away. From hiking to cycling to horseback riding to golf to hot-air ballooning to rock climbing to zip lining to bird watching, there’s something for every outdoors-y type here (literally). As for those of you with a more lackadaisical approach to vacationing, well, you can always sit back with a good book and swig hot toddies by a crackling fireplace. Just be sure to soak in those sweeping views. As if you needed any convincing…

 

Pull a Powder

Just in case you’re looking to hit the city as winter transitions into spring, here are a few activities to consider indulging in when you want to chill off the slopes.

• APRÈS SKI TIME. Shake off the ski boots and chill out with a cocktail at one of the many bars and lounges peppering the area surrounding the slopes. Nosh while you sip or just enjoy live entertainment (Deer Valley Resort’s Snow Park Lounge offers it on spring weekends).

• UTAH OLYMPIC PARK. A US Olympic training site, the park now serves as a year-round competition and training ground for athletes—fun to observe—plus it houses the Alf Engen Ski History Museum and 2002 Eccles Winter Olympic Museum. You can also race down the track in a bobsled or take in Intro to Luge camp.

• FOX SCHOOL OF WINE’S WEEKEND SERIES. Running from February 5-April 1 at the Silver Baron Lodge, this laid-back wine-tasting class is referred to by locals as “educational happy hour” and is all about having fun while learning about the world of wine. (You must be 21 or older to partake.) For information, visit foxschoolofwine.com.

• CIRQUE ÉLOIZE SALOON. Montreal-based Cirque Éloize brings classic cirque arts magic to town in the form of theatrics, dance, acrobatics, live music and just plain silliness, with a Wild West theme. The show runs February 21-22, several times daily. Tickets are $29; visit parkcity.institute.

• 2017 BLACK DIAMOND WINTER CLASSIC. This year marks the 16th anniversary of this experience, which brings together some of the country’s top gymnasts February 23-26; for more information, visit bdgwinterclassic.com.

For more information, visit www.parkcitymountain.com.

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