The Wasatch Mountains of Utah are known around the ski world for three things:
- Bottomless powder
- Challenging terrain
- Unsurpassed luxury
You can find any of the first two items at any of 11 resorts that are scattered throughout the range, but you only can find the last item at one place: Deer Valley.
For the past 40 years or so, Deer Valley has set the bar high for an upscale winter Alpine experience, winning numerous industry and consumer awards for its grooming, customer service, lodging, dining, etc. along the way.
With such 4-star hotels as the Montage, St. Regis, Silver Lake Lodge and Stein Eriksen Lodge offering ski-in, ski-out options as well as top-drawer accommodation and dining options, it’s so easy not to get spoiled at Deer Valley.
Six Mountains of Fun
And once you’re on the hill, it gets even better.
Deer Valley’s 2,026 skiable acres are spread across six distinct peaks — Bald, Flagstaff, Bald Eagle, Little Baldy, Lady Morgan and Empire — with 3,000 feet of vertical accessible by efficient lift system that consists of a four-passenger gondola (with leather seats, no less) and 21 chairlifts, 12 of which are of the detachable, high-speed variety.
There are 103 named runs, many of which are groomed on a nightly basis, four bowls and 930 acres of gladed skiing. Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of Deer Valley’s runs are rated intermediate level and above, but the quality of the grooming that creates a smooth dance-floor feeling makes the trails seem a bit easier than expected. Check out the fun stuff off the Sterling and Wasatch Express lifts (Nabob, Keno and Tycoon are favorites), or the long, long Jordenelle run that parallels the gondola, or Hawkeye run off the Northside Express.
The Really Fun Stuff
That’s not to say Deer Valley is a toothless ruminant. Check out the Daly chutes and bowls off the Empire Express quad or the Mayflower chutes and bowls off Mayflower triple if you want steep — and often deep — terrain.
As befits a resort that was the site of the 2002 Winter Olympics moguls competition, Deer Valley has great assortment of delightful and challenging bump runs, e.g. Morning Star, Thunderer and Paradise off the Mayflower and/or Sultan Express lifts, Three Ply and Square Deal off the Red Cloud lift, or Champion and Know You Don’t off the Carpenter Express.
Ironically (or perhaps sadly, depending on how you look at it), a resort that hosted the Olympic freestyle events (moguls and aerials) 20 years ago and continues to host World Cup freestyle competitions on a regular basis, does not have a terrain park. Which should not be too surprising as Deer Valley is one of three resorts in the United States that bans snowboarders. (Deer Valley visitors who have boarders among their group can get their kicks at, literally, next-door Park City Mountain Resort.
Apres … and Beyond
Deer Valley is recognized as a gourmet’s oasis, with fine-dining restaurants, cozy bistros and charming eateries just about around every corner.
Some favorites include The Maraposa, for rustic elegance (think beef, elk and bison); Fireside Dining for Euro-Alpine style meals (think raclette); The Brass Tag, for fine Italian (think gnocchi and ravioli dishes), and Glitretind, for Sunday brunch (think seasonal localvore menus).