9 Incredible Utah Ski Resorts For Families: A Locals Perspective

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If you’re planning a ski vacation, why not go somewhere claiming to have “The Greatest Snow on Earth”?  In Utah, you’ll find no shortage of ski resorts, and the best part is that most of them are incredibly accessible. There’s really no place quite like it.

If you’re looking to take your family on a ski trip, Utah should be at the top of your list for destinations to consider.  Not only are most of Utah’s resorts super close to the airport, but many of them get over 500” of light fluffy snow every year.  Combine that with Utah’s family friendly atmosphere, and you’ve got the perfect place for a family ski trip.  

Why Should You Ski In Utah?

kids on ski chairlift

I may be biased since we live in Utah, but I’m fully convinced that Utah is the absolute best place to ski in the United States. In fact, it’s one of the main reasons that we live where we do is because it has so many of the best ski resorts for kids. Here are a few great things about skiing in Utah with kids.

  • Easy access to Utah ski resorts and very little traffic (especially compared to neighboring states)
  • Utah has a family-friendly ski atmosphere at all resorts
  • Utah gives you amazing advanced ski terrain right next to beginner ski terrain, making it perfect for families with multiple ski abilities
  • Affordable prices for Utah ski lift tickets and lessons, with many resorts offering free skiing for kids
  • Kids ski free at many resorts
  • Many resorts offer childcare
  • Skiing in Utah is close to major cities allowing you to stay in affordable lodging without paying resort prices for everything
  • Resorts stay open well into the Spring
  • So many trails for cross country skiing

Affordable Family Ski Lodging In Utah

Most of the ski resorts in Utah are incredibly close to multiple cities, so you can have a wide range of places to stay when you ski in Utah with kids. Below, we’ll also share our top suggestions for budget accommodations in the area of the ski resort, since we know that costs for a family ski trip can add up quickly. We know that finding the best place to ski in Utah also depends on getting the best deal on family ski lodging in Utah and getting the best Utah lift ticket prices.

Below, we’ll be sharing our top affordable lodging near each resort, but here are some of the best of the best places to stay, with lots of ski-in, ski-out options:
Best Deer Valley Ski Lodging
Best Ski Lodging in Park City
Top Lodging Near Snowbird and Alta

Salt Lake City Ski Resorts For Families

If you are looking to find the best ski resorts in Salt Lake City, don’t limit yourself. Every single ski resort listed below can be reached within 1 hour of Salt Lake City and Brighton, Solitude, Snowbird, Alta, Deer Valley and Park City are all within 30 minutes of Salt Lake City. Unlike skiing in other states, all of the best skiing in Utah is within close proximity of each other.

skiing Utah powder day

What Type Of Utah Family Ski Vacation Do You Want?

If you’re looking for the best family ski resorts Utah offers, think carefully about what your family needs are and what terrain you want to ski. I am fully honest when I tell you that Utah has a little bit of everything when it comes to skiing. If you want a high prices luxury ski resort in Utah, we’ve got that for you at Deer Valley. If you want to ski some great advanced terrain while the kids head to ski school, Snowbird is your place to go. If you want to stretch your ski dollars and take a family ski trip to Utah without breaking the bank, head to Nordic Valley for Utah’s best budget ski resort for families.

Nearly all Utah ski resorts get good snow and have decent ski school programs, so think carefully about budget, lodging options that work best for you, and how close you want to be to other activities when choosing your family ski resort in Utah.

Best Utah Ski Resorts for Family

Here are our top 7 favorite family ski resorts in Utah, to suit a wide variety of ski styles and vacation needs. Each of these resorts can be considered the best ski resort in Utah in one way or another, it just depends on what you are looking for.
For detailed information on all the best Utah ski deals, head here.

#1 Solitude – Best Hidden Gem Skiing for Families

Location: Big Cottonwood Canyon, Salt Lake City, Utah

Adult Ticket Price: Regular | $115/ Peak | $125
Child Ticket Price: Regular – Junior (8-12) | $69 Youth (5-7) | $45 Peak – Junior ( 8-12) | $75 Youth (5-7) | $49

Solitude is an IKON Pass Destination

Full-Day Ski Lesson for Kids:
Explorers (7-12) Regular = $150/ Peak = $175
Junior Explorers (5-6) Regular = $160/ Peak = $190

Top Budget Lodging:
Courtyard by Marriott at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon
Most Convenient Lodging:
Condo at Solitude Base Area

skiing during covid ski lift

Solitude is exactly what the name suggests. Calm, peaceful, and easy-going – the resort offers the perfect place for a family to reconnect and get away from the hustle & bustle of daily life. It also happens to be our family’s personal favorite Utah resort and you’ll find us skiing here weekly throughout the winter (stop us and say “hi”!)

This rustic Utah resort also lies off the beaten path and is a bit smaller than other Utah skiing destinations, so it never gets too busy, which is so fantastic when skiing with kids. Don’t mistake that the resort is smaller than some of the mega ski resorts for any sort of inferiority.  Solitude has a bit of everything and a good amount of advanced terrain to keep mom and dad happy too.  

Boy skiing getting off a ski lift

Beginning skiers will enjoy spending most of their time on the Link and Moonbeam lifts.  These lifts have the majority of the beginner ski trails on the mountain and they both start right at the Moonbeam lodge so you’re perfectly situated to be able to run inside for a hot chocolate break. There is not a huge amount of beginner terrain at Solitude, so this is a resort that’s best suited for intermediate and expert skiing families.  

kids skiing Utah

If you’ve got intermediate skiers, Eagle and Apex are where you’ll want to ski.  My kids spend a good amount of their time tearing it up on those lifts and I love that I can let them ski there, while I’m skiing the beginner terrain with our youngest and they can easily come and check in with me.  

For advanced intermediate skiers, the Summit lift is a little slice of heaven.  The lift is a bit higher than the other lifts I’ve just mentioned so it tends to get more snow and it stays fresh longer.  If you’ve got a kid who just wants to SKI HARD (and on hard terrain), Honeycomb Canyon is the place to be.  The skiing is steep and the powder is deep.  Solitudes Honeycomb Canyon is the stuff Utah ski dreams are made of.  

All of this terrain variety makes it one of the best ski resorts for families!

But the thing parents will be delighted to hear is that children under 6 ski for free, making Solitude a good Utah budget ski option. Plus, it’s one of the few family-friendly resorts in Utah that has a base village so all restaurants, lodging, and evening activities are within walkable distance. The laid-back atmosphere and lack of crowds make Solitude one of the best ski resorts in Utah for families, and many people we know take annual family ski trips here because of that.

#2 Snowbird Utah Ski Resort – Mix of Extreme and Beginner Ski Terrain
All around best ski resort near Salt Lake

Location: Little Cottonwood Canyon, Salt Lake City Utah

Adult Ticket Price: Adult | $160
Child Ticket Price: Youth (7-12) | $101
Kids (6 and under) | Free

Snowbird is an ICON Pass destination

Full-Day Ski Lesson for Kids: Age (4-6) | $235
Age (7-15) | $195

Most Convenient Lodging:
Cliff Lodge

Snowbird is considered a relatively advanced family-skiing resort due to its steeper slopes and less forgiving terrain high on the mountain. It attracts extreme skiers from all over the world, but what most of them don’t know is that Snowbird is absolutely packed full of great beginner and intermediate ski terrain. Overall it’s the best ski resort in Salt Lake City.

If you’ve got a beginner on your family ski trip to Utah, you’ll want to start out on the Chickadee lift, which is right next to the lodge making it super convenient.  Wilber, Mid Gad and Baby Thunder lifts all have great skiing for beginning and intermediate skiers, so even though Snowbirds claim to fame is it’s steep terrain, it’s a huge resort with something for everyone, and has some of the best skiing in Utah for beginners.

best places to stay at Snowbird

There are plenty of games and activities for kids to try, such as tubing and snowshoeing. And after a long day, parents can relax in the Care Spa while kids are occupied at skiing school – perfect! 

Snowbird and Atla are considered sister resorts since they’re literally right next to each other.  However, they’re not sectioned off from each other. At Snowbird and Alta, you can get that European feels of skiing from one resort to another, only a few minutes away.

If you’re looking for a resort to really challenge the advanced skiers in your family, while still having a great place for beginners, Snowbird is as good as it gets! If you want challenging terrain, Snowbird is the best skiing in Utah.

#3 Alta – Best Skiers Only Utah Ski Resort

Location: Little Cottonwood Canyon, Salt Lake City, Utah

Adult Ticket Price: Online = Adult | $82-119 Window = Adult | $125 
Child Ticket Price: Online = Child | $52-62 Window = Child | $65

Alta is an IKON Pass destination

Full-Day Ski Lesson for Kids: Beginner Age (4-12) | $160
Advanced age (4-12) | $150  Advanced age (7-14) | $155

Most Convenient Lodging:
Snowpine Lodge

kids skiing grand targhee

Speaking of Atla, tucked away in the Little Cottonwood canyon side by side with Snowbird, it’s another resort with a soft spot for families. Ask any avid skier about Atla, and they’ll have a fond story to tell about their stay here. Considered a veritable paradise of winter sports, Atla attracts thousands of skiing enthusiasts to its slopes every year.

While Snowbird and Alta are literally next door to each other, Alta has a much more rustic and laid back feel to it.

Take note though, Alta (like Deer Valley) only allows skiers – sorry no snowboarding allowed, making this the perfect place to take a Utah ski lesson!  

If you’re looking for the cheapest way to learn to ski in Utah, Sunnyside at 3 program allows you to ride the Sunnyside beginner lift from 3-4:30 daily for only $15/day or $49 for a season pass.

Atla, steeped in history, has a more classical feel than Snowbird but isn’t any less delightful for families. If you’re staying in the lodging at Alta, there is a game room and outdoor pool for the younger kids to enjoy while the older kids can relax in the kid-friendly hot tubs. Meanwhile, parents can pop over to the on-resort Gulch’s après-ski pub or kick back in the spa.

#4 Powder Mountain – Least Crowded Utah Ski Resort for Families – Best Small Ski Resort In Utah

Location: Powder Mountain Rd, Eden, Utah

Adult Ticket Price: $99
Child Ticket Price: Age (7-12) | $55

Full-Day Ski Lesson for Kids: TBA

Best Budget Lodging:
The Lodge at Powder Ridge Village

Powder Mountain is often referred to as Utah’s best-kept secret. Its expansive 8,000 acres of snow-covered fun is a go-to spot for locals to ski Utah. Its rustic village may be quiet and next to tourist-less, but that’s what makes its many slopes, glades, and hills great to learn on. We consider Powder Mountain to be the best place to ski in Utah if you want to avoid the crowds since they limit the number of lift tickets that they sell each day. While you can find ultra-small mom-and-pop ski resorts in Utah where there aren’t many crowds, this is the place to go if you want amazing Utah skiing AND small crowds.

Powder Mountain is also an excellent Utah ski resort to teach kids to ski at. There are several half-day, full-day, and one-hour courses that teach kids of all levels to ski and snowboard in Utah. But if you want to take a full day to explore wide and far as a family, you don’t need expert skills to do so. Lifts cover 3,000 acres of the resort while another 3,000 can be covered by snowcat ski access.

The Powder Club and Powder Tykes programs available at the resort offer a wide range of fun activities for kids to dive into. Also, there’s no need to worry if you’re a large family. At Powder resort, you can book accommodation with up to six beds!

#5 Deer Valley Resort – Best Luxury Skiing For Families

Location: Park City, Utah

Adult Ticket Price: $189
Child Ticket Price: (Ages 0-4) | $45 (Ages 5- 12) | $120

Deer Valley is an ICON Pass destination

Full-Day Ski Lesson for Kids: N/A (Half-day) | $180/$190/$200

Most Convenient Lodging:
Stein Erikson Lodge
Best Budget Lodging:
Park Regency Resort

At Deer Valley Resort, you’re in for a first-class skiing experience. Your whole family will enjoy being pampered while getting to zip through some of the most well-kept and finest slopes around – there’s a reason the skiing section of the winter Olympics were once hosted here, as well as yearly competitions on the national ski circuit.

Receiving regular 5-star ratings for both staff and lodgings, Deer Valley offers only the best (with prices that go along with that). You’ll be treated to a valet system by which an employee will help you carry your heavy gear to whatever slope you wish. Moreover, there is a complimentary shuttle and car that’ll take you wherever you wish you in the resort.

Deer Valley Resort offers beautiful lodgings and spacious condos for families to ski Utah that look out over the rolling slopes. On-resort Ski School at Deer Valley also offers ski lessons and daycare for younger kids and more intensive classes for older kids. Deer Valley has one of the best ski schools in Utah, though do come prepared to pay a premium and tip your instructors well.

With all of this luxury, you’ll also be paying five star prices at Deer Valley. If you want to ski Deer Valley on a budget, opt for staying in the affordable and sleepy town of Heber City and driving 10 minutes to get the Deer Valley Jordanelle Gondola.

#6 Park City Resort – Best Ski Terrain Variety in Utah

Location: Park City, Utah 

Adult Ticket Price: (Ages 13+) | $133
Child Ticket Price: (Ages 5 -12) | $69

Park City is an EPIC Pass Destination

Full-Day Ski Lesson for Kids: TBA

Most Convenient Lodging:
Marriott Mountainside
Best Budget Lodging:
Park City DoubleTree

Park City Resort is famously renowned for its world-class terrain, sophistication, and accessibility – even being ranked as America’s most accessible resort. Adding to its long list of praiseworthy features are its Olympic caliber runs and canyon-side skiing (a favorite among families.) It’s also the largest ski area in North America.

READ: Skiing Park City with Kids

Park city ski crowds

If you’re looking for a ski town experience, plan on staying in Park City, since it’s the best ski town in Utah (actually, one of the few since most Utah resorts for skiing are just outside the city). If you plan on skiing Park City, soak up the charm of the town, but also know that the slopes are often the most crowded in the state. If you’re looking for a hard core ski trip, this likely isn’t the spot for you. If you want a little bit of everything, you’ll love it here.

What makes Park City Resort irresistible to families for a Utah ski vacation is that the town of Park City runs right through it, so everything about a family ski trip to Park City feels absolutely charming. Seriously, ski teenagers and tweens alike will love exploring historic downtown Park City while the rest of the family can kick back canyon-side. There’s also the option of enjoying the nearby amenities of the two ski-in ski-out villages (at Park City mountain village and Canyons Village).

Boy having fun skiing in the snow shred dog

If you’re looking for some apres-ski family fun in Utah, Park City has a little bit of everything. Whether you’re interested in the mountain coaster,horse-drawn sleigh rides, dog sledding, and even snowmobiling are sure to put a smile on the whole family’s faces! Park City Ski School for kids has group lessons for ages 4 years old up until 14 years old.

#7 Snowbasin – Best “Locals” Skiing In Utah

Location: Snow Basin Rd, Huntsville, Utah 

Adult Ticket Price (13 – 64): $149-$169
Child Ticket Price: (7 – 12) : $99-$119

Ski Park City Free With Certain EPIC Passes

Full-Day Ski Lesson for Kids: TBA

Best Lodging Near Snowbasin:
Compass Rose Lodge

kid skiing in utah

Snowbasin may have hosted the Olympic speed events, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be great for a Utah family ski trip as well. Seriously, no need to worry about challenging or frightening terrain; of course, your little daredevils have the option of zipping through them, but, for those safer skiers, there’s also plenty of great beginner and intermediate terrain at Snowbasin Utah.

READ: Family Skiing at Snowbasin

beginner skiing snowbasin

For beginners, you’ll want to have them start on the Little Cat lift, but Becker is a good step up once they’ve mastered the basics of skiing.  This is also a great beginner skiing area for teens since there’s a little terrain park there.

Intermediate skiers at Snowbasin will love skiing on both the Wildcat and Porcupine lifts since they both access a HUGE amount of terrain. If you have kids who want to pack in a lot of skiing in a short amount of time, the Wildcat 6-man-chairlift gets you up the mountain FAST!

Snowbasin kids ski school

If your kids want to brush up or improve their skills, certified instructors are available to help them do just that! Snowbasin’s stylish look can even be enjoyed from the many on-mountain lodgings or one of the three Gondola lifts in place. Also, while you’re at the Snowbasin main lodge, make sure to check out the lodge and the restrooms in the basement.  They are seriously out of this world amazing and will put all other resort restrooms to shame!

snowbasin ski parking shuttle

#8 Brighton Ski Resort – Best Terrain Park Skiing and Riding In Utah, Best FUN Ski Resort For Kids

Location: Big Cottonwood Canyon, Salt Lake City, Utah 

Adult Ticket Price: (Ages 13+) | TBA
Child Ticket Price: (Ages 5 -12) | TBA

Brighton is an IKON Pass Destination

Full-Day Ski Lesson for Kids: TBA

Most Convenient Lodging Near Brighton:
Powder Hound Chalet
Top Budget Lodging:
Courtyard by Marriott at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon

Tree skiing powder day kids

If someone in your family loves to spend time on the terrain park, then Brighton is the place you’ll want to be on your Utah ski trip. Brighton has some incredible terrain features that will challenge even the most advanced riders, yet they also have smaller terrain features for beginners, spread throughout the ski resort.

READ: Skiing Brighton With Kids

Brighton Ski Resort With Kids

Kids will also love the fun atmosphere at Brighton ski resort for kids. It’s got lots of easy trails through the trees, complete with windy paths and of course lots of jumps.

While many people are drawn to Brighton for it’s terrain features, to me Brighton represents family skiing. 35 years ago, my grandparents started taking me to Brighton every winter with all of my cousins to learn how to ski. Brighton has some amazingly gentle beginner terrain, so it’s the perfect place to learn how to ski or ride. It’s also one of the few Utah ski resorts that still has a brown bag lunch area (in the A frame lodge).

Beginning skiers will love the Explorer and Majestic lifts. When your kids are getting a little bit braver, make sure to take them down the Scout run where they can test their reactions and focus in some of Utah’s best beginner tree skiing terrain. For experts, you’ll absolutely LOVE the steeps of Great Western lift as well as the incredible views from the top.

Most locals consider Brighton the best place to snowboard in Utah.

Nordic Valley – Best Cheap Utah Ski Resort For First Time Skiers, Best Utah Ski Resort For Beginners

Location: Eden, Utah 

Adult Ticket Price: (Ages 13+) | TBA
Child Ticket Price: Under age 12| FREE

Full-Day Ski Lesson for Kids: TBA

Best Budget Lodging near Nordic Valley:
Wolf Lodge Condos or Nordic Valley A Frame

Nordic Valley skiing with kids

If you want to take a budget family ski trip to Utah and you’re not already experienced skiers, Nordic Valley is the place that I recommend.

Read our full review of skiing Nordic Valley with kids!

first time skiers at Nordic Valley resort with kids

In fact, when we have friends and family come to town who are learning to ski or teaching kids to ski in Utah, this is the place we go. We chose Nordic Valley because it’s incredibly affordable (lift tickets often go on sale for less than $25 per ticket. That means that you can take a big family skiing here for an entire day for less than $100, which is basically unheard of. Our family of 7 would only spend $75 TOTAL on lift tickets on a discount day like that! In contrast, most other Utah ski resorts have lift ticket prices well over $100 per person!

While the terrain at Nordic Valley is nothing spectacular, if you’re just learning to ski, you don’t need anything special, and this really is the best beginner skiing in Utah for the price. In fact, I think that if you pay big resort prices when you’re just learning to ski, you’re OVERSPENDING! Our kids love skiing here because it’s small and that allows me to give them independence that we can’t give them at other bigger resorts. All our kids are solid intermediate and advanced skiers and still enjoy a ski day at Nordic Valley with friends. If you want to ski for cheap in Utah, Nordic Valley is the best place to go.

family skiing nordic valley utah together

When is the best time to visit Utah for skiing?

The Utah ski season usually runs from mid-November until early April. Typically, the skiing is the best in January and February. Since Utah resorts get so much snow, Spring Skiing is alive and well here and you’ll find a few resorts like SNowbird often open into May or June.

Where should we stay: on-mountain or off-mountain during our Utah ski trip?

This decision often depends on your budget and convenience. On-mountain accommodations offer easy access to the slopes but can be pricier, while off-mountain options might require a short drive or shuttle ride.

If you’re skiing at Snowbird, Alta, Solitude or Brighton, we recommend staying on Mountain (or right near the base area) for weekend visits, since traffic up Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons can get CRAZY!

How do we get to the ski resorts from the airport?

Salt Lake City International Airport is close to many ski resorts. Shuttle services, car rentals, and private transfers are available to take you to your chosen resort. For most families skiing in Utah, having a rental car is the easiest option.

How do we prepare for the altitude when skiing in Utah?

Utah’s ski resorts are at high altitudes, which can affect some visitors. It’s advisable to stay hydrated, get plenty of rest, and take it easy on the first day to acclimate. Read all about how to avoid altitude sickness and climate properly.

What kind of clothing should we pack to ski in Utah?

Layering is essential. Pack waterproof and insulated ski jackets and pants, thermal underwear, mittens, beanies, and quality ski socks. We’ve written all about what to have kids wear skiing here! As Utah locals, these are the exact things that we have our kids wear. Don’t forget sun protection, as the sun can be intense at high altitudes, even in when it’s cold outside! To simplify your packing process, grab our ski trip packing list.

Do we need a car rental for a Utah ski trip?

Generally, we recommend having a car rental for your Utah ski trip, unless you’re staying at the base of the mountain. Utah skiing is close to the areas major cities and there are lots of options for evening dining and entertainment that are only available if you have a car. Utah has a basic ski bus to a handful or resorts, but generally, their public transportation isn’t amazing. The one exception is Park City, which has a free (and typically VERY CROWDED) bus that runs throughout town on a reliable schedule.

Written by Jessica Averett

Hi, I'm Jessica! After meeting my husband on a chairlift, we now live in the mountains of Utah with our 5 kids. As a former ski instructor and mom, I'm here to help you make your family ski trips as easy, and FUN, as possible!