Snowbasin, Utah

Snowbasin’s John Paul Lodge, Utah

Grab a warm lunch at Snowbasin’s John Paul Lodge    Photo: courtesy, Snowbasin Resort

Snowfall: 400 inches
Area: 2,820 acres
Vertical Drop: 2,959 feet

It's hard not to get jealous of powder-skiing pioneers like Ed and Dolores LaChapelle, Dick Durrance, and the Engen brothers, all of whom discovered fluff turns at Alta in the fifties. Imagine being one of five people looking for face shots at a Utah resort. Luckily, Snowbasin is like that now. On a sunny Sunday afternoon a few years ago, two friends and I made approximately 1,000 laps in boot-deep fluff with nary another skier in sight. Yeah, Snowbasin, just 35 miles northeast of Salt Lake City, doesn't get quite as much snow as Alta. But the snow quality (less skier compaction) and the terrain (everything from 2,500-foot treed runs to mellow bowls to hairball chutes) make up for it. The place lacks a village, but the day lodges—built for the 2002 Olympics—are as posh as Deer Valley's. Hit it on the weekend, when the Park City resorts are overrun.

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