For many people, December means the start of the holiday season; for outdoor enthusiasts, however, it means the beginning of a ski season. Utah is home to over 14 ski resorts and is now home to the largest ski resort in the nation.
Utah is a haven for skiers and snowboarders, attracting thousands of tourists from around the world every year. One of the most popular attractions, Park City Mountain Resort, has merged with the Canyons Resort to make up the nation’s largest resort.
A Snow College freshman, Tiana Strate, enjoys spending time snowboarding during her winter break away from school.
“One of my favorite places to snowboard is Brighton Ski Resort,” said Tiana, “Snowboarding is a fun way to stay active during the cold winter months, while still enjoying the snow outdoors.”
For students, there are a plenty of places that offer discounts, making playing in the powder much more affordable. Each resort, from Beaver Mountain to Brian Head, gives college students hundreds of dollars off of season pass costs.
Utah has a ski resort that is accessible to residents in almost every region of the state. Though a majority of resorts are concentrated in northern Utah, Brian Head is as far south as Cedar City, providing even the southernmost part of the state with opportunities to ski.
If students are not looking to spend hundreds of dollars on a season, or even day pass, there are other options. In Sanpete County, students can enjoy the snow up Fairview Canyon, among other canyons, and ski or snowboard for free.
“People will take four-wheelers up Fairview Canyon, drop off a skier at the top of the hill, then let them ride the hill down,” explained Justin Alvey, a sophomore at Snow College. “There are no lifts so people use ATVs, and some even hike.”
If students do choose to ski in an area that isn’t regulated by a resort, or that is classified as “out of bounds” by a resort, they should practice extra caution and be wary of avalanches.
No matter the budget, students can find ways to enjoy the weather and fresh snow while it is here.