Utah or Colorado?

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It’s no secret that we favor skiing in Utah. Each year I have friends from Washington, Canada, Colorado, Jackson who all ask if I’m going to be making a trip to ski with them. It’s not that I don’t want to explore new areas and it’s not that I don’t want to ski with my buddies. Truth is every time I do want to ski somewhere else it means sacrificing easy access and generally better snow by leaving Utah.

Derek Weiss - glad he’s skiing in Utah

That’s not to say that I haven’t scored the goods elsewhere. There was the time that Jason and I went to Silverton Mountain where is snowed feet and we got “stuck” in town thanks to the storm forcing the closure of Red Mountain Pass. Then there was the time I drove to Jackson with my buddy Gabe and it snowed 12″+ each of the two days we were there.

But no matter how many trips I’ve gotten lucky on there are a number that I wished I would have just stayed home and skied Utah pow. With 10 resorts within an hour and 15 of my house and more backcountry lines than I’ll ski in a lifetime it makes more sense to just stay put. And that’s just fine with me.

But what if you can’t find 2 major mountain ranges and 10 resorts within an hour drive of your home? What if you’re one of the millions for whom skiing means getting on a plane and heading west. Then what? As much as I want to keep all the powder in Utah to myself, I think this little video may help you decide.

Got a different destination that you favor over Utah or Colorado? Speak your mind and comment below.

About Author

Kendall has long been known for his passion of the outdoors. In the past 10 years his love for skiing, particularly backcountry skiing, has defined his pursuits. He's also been active in trail running, mountain climbing, rock climbing, ski mountaineering, cycling and has recently taken up backcountry bow hunting. Aside from writing reviews on FeedTheHabit.com he also reviews products on Gear.com and is co-founder of Camofire.com

13 Comments

  1. agreed! Growing up in Seattle we had it good —- Alpental, Crystal Mountain, Stevens Pass, Mt. Baker…all within an hour or 3 from home. But if I’m going to live anywhere other than Seattle, I’m glad it’s Salt Lake. Even more accessible than Seattle’s resorts, the terrain is just as charged, and the snow is liiiiiight!! I mean, Snowbird and Alta are 25 mins from my driveway in town to the parking lot at the base of the lift. Now that’s accessible.

  2. This video is so biased towards Utah, I don’t even know where to start. First of all, Vail should by no means be viewed as the poster child for Colorado. Another thing is that the snow can be just as deep elsewhere in the state as it is in the Wasatch. Case in point: on December 21, 2007 it snowed 60 inches in 48 hours at Monarch mountain in the Sawatch Range. Can you say epic?!? Also, with hundreds of thousands of mountains in totally different and unique mountain ranges, the possibilities are endless. Why ski only one mountain range with a limited amount of terrain? Backcountry skiers in Colorado can go entire seasons without seeing anyone else on the same slope, while those in Utah have only one option. I think I’ve made a reasonable point.

  3. Skier25… thanks for your comments, and I agree with you on many levels. Pockets of great snow can be had anywhere in the Rockies. We all know how much freaking snow Silverton gets! That place flat out gets pounded.

    However, the point is accessibility. If you are flying in from Boston, New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, etc., you will be skiing faster if you choose to go to SLC. DIA is a long haul from the slopes.

    If you take the average snowfall at Snowbird, Alta, Solitude and Brighton and compare it to the average snowfall at the Colorado resorts, Utah wins that hands-down. Again, you do get pockets of crazy-deep snow anywhere in the Rockies–such as your observation at Monarch. The point is accessibility to the slopes, and Utah crushes Colorado in that regard.

    • You say “compare it to the Colorado resorts” but this is such a broad statement. If you were to compare all the other resorts in Utah to all the resorts in Colorado then snowfall would actually be about equal. Only Alta, Snowbird, Solitude, and Brighton get 500 inches of snow because they are all right next to each other, DUH! Silverton, Wolf Creek, and Loveland in Colorado also get 420 to 500 inches a year. If you’re just comparing Alta to Breckenridge then of course it will seem like a big deal, but you said all of the Colorado resorts. Do some Research. BY THE WAY COLORADO HAS BETTER SNOW THAN UTAH, IT’S MUCH FLUFFIER. JUST BECAUSE ALTA GETS 500 INCHES DOESN’T MEAN THE OTHER RESORTS IN UTAH DON’T SUCK. SILVERTON ALSO GETS 500 INCHES OF EVEN FLUFFIER SNOW!!!

      • I like fluffy snow just as much as the next guy and if you want to talk about the fluffiest, head on up to Grand Targhee… oh so fluffy. I’d daresay it’s the fluffiest, my friend.

        In all seriousness, accessibility of world-class skiing and powder is why Utah is so unique. 30 min from SLC International to chairlift… come on! How awesome is that? You simply can’t do that in Colorado from as many major metropolitan areas as you can with the SLC airport. Yes, you have Vail/Eagle airport, but nonstop flights simply don’t compare to SLC.

        Dude… nobody’s saying that Colorado doesn’t have epic snow and epic mountains. The resorts there are fantastic. Telluride is mind-blowing, Steamboat is powder paradise and Silverton dished out a once-in-a-lifetime double helping of epic powder.

        For me, it’s all about accessibility and that’s why Utah is such a great ski destination.

  4. Wow! Utah looks way better than Colorado. I think that I’ll start planning my trip there. Hope they have niteskiing!

      • That video pretty much says it all. If Colorado has such good snow and resorts, then why haven’t they hosted a Winter Olympics like Utah? I would recommend Utah over Colorado any day, and I grew up in Colorado.

        • Colorado did get the winter Olympics in the 1970’s. However the state voted them away because unlike Utah Colorado doesn’t need the publicity of the Olympics to feel good.

  5. Why does Utah always feel jealous of Colorado and have to write 1,000,000 online articles about how Colorado sucks? Only Alta and the Cottonwood canyon resorts get 500 inches of snow, NOT ALL OF UTAH DOES!!! Overall I would say the two states get the same amount of snow with maybe a slight edge for Utah simply because of Alta and Snowbird. The resorts in Summit County CO get more snow than Deer Valley or Park City in Utah. Loveland in CO gets 420 inches and Silverton and Wolf Creek get 450 to 500 inches a season as well. It is mind boggling how misinformed Utah is and how they know nothing of Colorado skiing. Yes Salt Lake City being close to Alta is a big advantage, but how does this make anything else in Utah skiing better? Utards are Dumb!

  6. That video while completely obnoxious is pretty on point.. I’m 28 now and have been watching ski and snowboard films since I was 13 years old. Its always been a known fact that: ice on the east coast, soft groomers in Co, steep deep pow in utah. Co is for skipsters and thats where they belong, in co being skipsters. While I tour my way thru the wasatch catching virgin lines out my backdoor.

    • While the Colorado resorts may be bigger, they don’t get the volume of snow that Utah does. The slam dunk is the horrible drive back to Denver when the fun ends. Especially when that 2 hour drive on I-70 turns into the longest 8 hours of your life.

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