Skiing In Utah During COVID 2020-2021

After the abrupt end to the 2019-2020 ski season last March, winter lovers everywhere are eagerly anticipating the 2020/2021 ski season.  However, with COVID still a very real concern, everyone is wondering “is it safe to go skiing during COVID?”

Well the good news is that the ski industry is well prepared to deal with how to both be open and protect the health and safety of it’s guests and employees (thankfully they’ve had a good 6 months to come up with a plan).  So if you’re wondering if you can take a family ski vacation during COVID, here are some things that you need to know when skiing in Utah during COVID.

What you can expect at most ski resorts in Utah during COVID

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1. Face Masks will be required while skiing during COVID

As with most public places in Utah, face masks will be required will skiing in Utah this year.  Plan on wearing your face mask not only indoors, but also in all lines and while getting on and off the chairlift.  If you’re taking ski lessons during COVID, you’ll likely be asked to wear a mask the entire time.

2. Online Ticket Sales

Thanks to the COVID outbreak, most in person ticket sales have been discontinued at a majority of the ski resorts in Utah.  Plan on purchasing your tickets online, and in advance (some resorts like Deer Valley will not allow day of ticket purchases).

3. Reservations may be required

While not all resorts are requiring reservations to ski during the 2020 ski season, many are.  Your best plan is to get your ski plans on the calendar as soon as possible and book your tickets early.  

4. Expect Social Distancing

Love hanging out with your friends on the chairlift?  Well that’s probably not going to be an option in 2020-2021.  While not all resorts have been clear about what their rules are, many of them are saying that only families may ride together, or possibly 2 singles on opposite sides of a large chair.  Either way, lift lines are going to be longer and slower at ski resorts during COVID.  

boy skiing powder

Is it safe to ski during COVID?  

Truthfully, there are a lot of factors that play into the safety of activities during COVID, and a lot of them depend on the individual.  If you don’t have other health issues and are in good shape, skiing is considered a safe activity during COVID.  Since you’ll be wearing a mask all the time and social distancing is required, the risks of contracting the virus are relatively small.  If you want to further eliminate the risks of getting sick while skiing, plan on bringing your own lunch to avoid indoor dining.  

How do I practice social distancing while skiing?

Wondering how to practice social distancing during skiing?  Thankfully, the equipment makes it really easy to spread out, since skis and snowboards take up a lot of space on their own.  Most resorts will have markers in the chairlift lines so that you will know how to space yourself out.  One of the best things that you can do to protect yourself and others is to stay in control in the lift lines (make sure children know how to stop well before riding the lift).  Also when you are on the ski hill, make sure to give other people plenty of space, which is easy since most ski resorts have thousands of acres of terrain to spread out on.  

What kind of face mask should I wear while skiing?

We’ve put together a list of the best face masks for kids to wear skiing here.  Generally speaking, the best face masks for skiing have more than one layer to not only keep your face warm, but also to prevent the spread of viruses.  

boy skiing wearing balaclava

Is it safe for kids to be in ski school during COVID?

Ski school is about as safe for children as any other small group activity, which isn’t too promising. Expect that masks will be required at all times, and most ski schools are operating smaller classes, and some exclusively with private lessons.  If you are sending your child to ski school during COVID, make sure to send them with an extra face mask, their own sunscreen (to reapply at lunch and not share germs), and a small bottle of hand sanitizer.  Before you send your child to ski school, remind them to keep their mask on at all times (except when eating), and remind them about social distancing on the ski hill.

If you want your kids to learn to ski, but don’t feel like ski school with COVID is safe, we’ve got lots of tips on how to teach your own kids to ski.

Is is safe to travel to Utah during COVID?

Generally, Utah is one of the safer states to visit during COVID outbreak.  There is a lot of space in Utah and most of the state has been under a yellow category since the pandemic started.  Air travel to go skiing during COVID should be considered more risky, and self driving to your ski trip should be your preferred method of transportation.

Is it safe to rent skis during COVID?

If you’re looking for the safest skis to ski on during COVID, the best option is to buy your skis (learn what size of skis to buy). However, most ski rental shops have increased cleaning protocols to reduce the spread of viruses right now.

Safe Utah Ski Resorts during COVID

Some Utah ski resorts are doing an exceptional job in their preparations for a COVID ski season.  In particular, Snowbasin and Powder Mountain have done an incredible job outlining their plan to the public with lots of detail, rather than keeping things vague.  That makes these feel like the safest ski resorts during COVID.   

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Here are some specifics of what you can expect at Utah ski resorts during COVID 19

Looking for the best deals on skiing in Utah? Check here for the latest deals and programs to save money on skiing in Utah.

Alta

Opening Day: November 21
Adult Lift Tickets: $125
Child Lift Tickets: $65

Reservations Required: No
Ski School: Private Lessons Only
Childcare: N/A
Dining: Limited food options, food truck in the parking lot
Other:  Mountain capacity will be limited by the size of the parking lot

Beaver Mountain

Adult Lift Tickets: $50
Child Lift Tickets: $40
No COVID winter 20/21 information available

Brian Head

Adult Lift Tickets: $62
Child Lift Tickets: $45
No COVID winter 20/21 information available

Brighton

Adult Lift Tickets: $104
Child Lift Tickets: $60

Reservations Required:  No
Ski School:  Reservations Required
Childcare:  N/A
Dining: Download the app to order from the chairlift and pick up your food to go

Cherry Peak

Adult Lift Tickets: $40
Child Lift Tickets: $30
No COVID winter 20/21 information available

Deer Valley

Opening Day: December 5
Adult Lift Tickets: $189
Child Lift Tickets: $105

Reservations Required:  Yes, no day of ticket sales
Ski School:  Limited Capacity
Childcare:  No childcare this season
Dining: Limited capacity

Eagle Point

Opening Day: December 18
Adult Lift Tickets: $65
Child Lift Tickets: $45
No COVID winter 20/21 information available

Nordic Valley

Adult Lift Tickets: $50
Child Lift Tickets: $40
No COVID winter 20/21 information available

Park City

Opening Day: November 20 for Season Pass holders, December 8 to the public
Adult Lift Tickets: $179
Child Lift Tickets: $115

Reservations Required:  Yes.  For both season pass holders and day tickets
Ski School:  Yes, though limited options for ages 6 and under
Childcare:  No childcare this season
Dining: Limited options, mostly grab and go

Powder Mountain

Adult Lift Tickets: $95
Child Lift Tickets: $53

3 part plan with phases for green, yellow, and red conditions.
Reservations Required: No, but limited tickets are sold every day and regularly sell out
Ski School:  Yes, though limited by the phase.  Red only allows private lessons, yellow allows semi-private lessons and green allows group lessons.
Childcare:  N/A
Dining: More grab and go options
Other: Detailed scenarios for all aspects of mountain operations can be found HERE.  

Snowbasin

Adult Lift Tickets: $119
Child Lift Tickets: $59

Reservations Required:  No reservations for seasons passes, but day passes must be purchased online
Ski School:  Reduced class sized, reservations required
Childcare:  N/A
Dining: NEW ski up dining services
Other: Warming huts added on the mountain to reduce lodge congestion

Snowbird

Opening Day: November 30
Adult Lift Tickets: $145
Child Lift Tickets: $73

Reservations Required:  No, but day passes must be purchased in advance online.  Advance reservations are required for all parking at Snowbird.
Ski School:  Private Lessons Only
Childcare:  N/A
Dining: More grab and go options
Other: the new Snowbird app will let you know wait times at lifts across the mountain so you can find the least crowded areas to ski.

Solitude

Opening Day: November 20, 2020
Adult Lift Tickets: $115
Child Lift Tickets: $75

Reservations Required:  Day passes must be purchased in advance online.  
Ski School:  Reservations required, no group lessons for children under 5
Childcare:  N/A
Dining: More outdoor seating, standing tables
Other: Temporary restrooms added in high traffic areas, touchless bathroom fixtures installed, Reservations required for rentals

Sundance

Adult Lift Tickets: $90
Child Lift Tickets: $61
No COVID winter 20/21 information available