4 more Utah ski areas will start spinning lifts this weekend

After delaying its start by a week, Snowbasin will have three lifts spinning; Deer Valley to run seven lifts. More snow in the forecast.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Early powder enthusiasts ski at Snowbasin Resort, Nov. 21, 2022. The resort announced it will open Thursday, Nov. 30, for the 2023-24 season.

Update: Nov. 28, 2023, 2 p.m. • Nordic Valley has postponed its opening day.

By this weekend, Utah’s ski season will be in full swing.

Two of the state’s most prominent resorts, Snowbird and Snowbasin, plan to begin loading skiers and snowboarders onto their lifts Thursday. By Saturday, three more ski areas expect to storm into the 2023-24 season: Deer Valley Resort, Nordic Valley and Sundance Resort.

Snowbasin announced its opening date Monday afternoon. It had been a mystery after lack of early snow forced the resort to push back its Nov. 24 projected opening. After last week’s storm and consistent snow-making efforts, however, the Ogden Valley ski area will open with a reported 10-inch base.

It will have ”top-to-bottom skiing” from three lifts — Needles Gondola, Middle Bowl Express and Littlecat Express — according to a news release. From those, skiers and boarders can access nine groomed runs and the Littlecat terrain park. The resort will also allow people to camp out in the parking lot for free Wednesday night in anticipation of opening day.

“Thanks to the incredible hard work of our teams, we are excited to open on Thursday for what is sure to be another brilliant season at Snowbasin,” Davy Ratchford, Snowbasin’s general manager, said in the release. “Our teams have been at it both day and night to make this opening possible.”

The other four resorts have had this weekend underlined since at least early fall.

Snowbird, by some tallies, has received some of the most snow of any resort in the nation over the past couple of months. With a reported 26-inch base, it plans to open terrain in Gad Valley for opening day, though the exact lifts and runs have not been announced.

Deer Valley reports it received 29 inches of natural snow this winter. However, the resort’s president and chief operating officer, Todd Bennett. wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter, that “cold temps over the last 48 hours have helped the snowmaking team considerably.” On a 13-inch base, the Park City ski-only resort plans to open nine runs off seven lifts. The lifts are Snowflake, Carpenter Express, Silver Lake Express, Homestake Express. Sterling Express, Wasatch Express and Viking.

Sundance Resort near Provo also posted Saturday as its projected opening date. Sundance has not posted a base depth. However, it will open Outlaw Express to midmountain, Jake’s Lift and all three of its conveyor lifts. Runs include Upper Stampede, Center Isle, Lower Stampede, Bandit, Outlaw Trail, Red Canyon and Lower Maverick.

“The snowblowers have been going,” spokesperson Annie Condon said, “and they’re doing a great job of shaping it on the ground. ... Our excitement is at an all-time high after last season.”

Sundance added 80 parking spots as part of its upgrades for the new season. Paid parking will be in effect starting Saturday, but cars with four or more people will be allowed to park for free. The resort will also offer shuttles to remote parking areas.

Nordic Valley planned to get rolling Saturday, but according to a press release issued Tuesday, “Mother Nature’s lack of involvement has hampered our ability to open.” The Ogden Valley ski area has not posted a base depth, but OpenSnow reported it was a mere 2 inches as of Tuesday. According to the release, it will not be selling lift tickets for dates prior to Dec. 15.

That leaves plenty of time for more natural snow to fall, including over this weekend. OpenSnow.com forecasts Nordic Valley and Sundance will see about 15 inches of snow between Friday and Sunday. Snowbird, meanwhile, could see about 2 feet of powder over the weekend, with 18 inches expected at Snowbasin and 9 inches at Deer Valley.

After this weekend, only five Utah ski areas will remain closed. They include Nordic Valley as well as Powder Mountain, Cherry Peak, Beaver Mountain and Eagle Point.

2023-24 Utah Ski Season Opening Dates

Updated Nov. 27, 2023

Alta — Open daily.

Beaver Mountain — Mid-December.

Brian Head — Open daily.

Brighton — Open daily.

Cherry Peak — TBD.

Deer Valley — Saturday.

Eagle Point — Dec. 15.

Nordic Valley — TBD.

Park City Mountain — Open daily.

Powder Mountain — Dec. 7 (night).

Snowbasin — Thursday.

Snowbird — Thursday.

Solitude — Open daily.

Sundance — Saturday.

Woodward Park City — Open daily.

— Julie Jag