Deer Valley is located to the east of Salt Lake City, in the “Wasatch Back” near to Park City. The resort is distinguished by its upscale facilities and service, and has the distinction of having come top in SKI magazine’s reader resort survey an unprecedented five times in a row, from 2007 to 2011. It must be doing something right – so how did we rate the skiing?
Skiing is the operative word, since Deer Valley (along with neighbouring Alta, as reviewed recently) does not allow snowboarders. It also has a policy of limiting daily ticket sales to 6,500, so as to allow everyone to have plenty of space. We were there on a week day, and with even less pressure on numbers it felt very uncrowded indeed, and we didn’t have to wait for a lift all day.
Entering the resort from the parking lot, you pass through a beautifully fitted out set of locker rooms in which to leave any kit you don’t want on the slopes – it feels more like an upmarket private sports club than a ski resort! The lifts are nearly all modern and fast, and the on-mountain dining (particularly the Silver Lake Lodge cafeteria) is excellent.
On the day we visited, there hadn’t been any fresh snow for a few days, so we weren’t really able to sample the off piste potential. However, what we did do was ski the groomers hard all day, which was great fun! With few people around, and beautifully groomed wide trails, it was possible to really open up on runs, and enjoy the sheer exhilaration of fast skiing. At the end of the day, we managed to squeeze in 3 laps down “Nabob” in the last 15 minutes before the Sterling Chair closed, each time blasting down an almost deserted piste.
Compared to some of the more “down to earth” resorts in Utah, Deer Valley might be a bit too manicured for some. But you can’t fault its attention to service, its fast lifts and its uncrowded slopes. If you want to ski hard on some perfectly groomed snow, this is the place to do it !