Question Salt Lake City Ski Bus

Sean Sunley

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Has anyone used the Ski Bus to get from Salt Lake City to the resorts? Is it workable? Can you make do without a car?
 

tr+h

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I am told you don't need a car around Park City.

When are you heading there? We are heading there and arrive Jan 1st and were hoping to use the same.
 

p2p

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Has anyone used the Ski Bus to get from Salt Lake City to the resorts? Is it workable? Can you make do without a car?
Are you talking Cottonwood Canyon resorts or PC? For the Cottonwoods I've often used the buses on days I didn't want to (or couldn't for some reason) drive up the canyons. If you need to catch other buses to connect to the ski bus routes and depending on where you're staying, try doing an interchange at one of the Park and Rides outside the canyons - e.g. 6200S S Wasatch or 9400 S 2000 E - rather than the park and ride at the mouth of the canyons - on a busy day trying to get on at the canyon mouth can border on the impossible. This strategy is also useful if you have a car but its not suitable for travel up the canyons or you simply don't want to drive.
Be prepared for a LONG slow trip back down at the end of the day when lots of fresh about!
 
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p2p

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Yes the Cottonwood Canyon Resorts. Is traffic bad only on weekends/holidays? How long is LONG?
In my experience bad traffic days are more geared around powder days / temporary canyon closures for avalanche control etc. (And I tend to try and avoid skiing resorts on Saturdays anyway). The comment about the prospect of a long trip back down is that without the flexibility of your own car you're more likely to hit the peak times when EVERYONE will be having a slow trip down - it's just that you might be a bit more uncomfortable standing in a bus in your ski boots! Can easily take over an hour to get down Little Cottonwood Canyon road when some numpty downstream has overestimated their car's abilities or their own and brought traffic to a standstill.
 
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Budgiesmuggler

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Very much preferable to have a car to get from park city to cottonwoods. It’s a fair drive
 

MarzNC

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Very much preferable to have a car to get from park city to cottonwoods. It’s a fair drive
Pretty sure there is a bus for a day trip from Park City to Snowbird or Alta. I know there was about 5 years ago. There was a women from Australia who had ridden over and was in the same Alta Adult Mountain Workshop that I was in. She was pretty freaked out about the fact that Alta didn't have any safety bars back then. The instructor/guide made sure that she finished in time to catch the bus back to Park City.

The good thing about SLC is that there really isn't much traffic to worry about. Meaning when not on the LCC canyon road.
 

MarzNC

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There are very few seats in a UTA Ski Bus. Must have exact amount in coins or bills. The driver does not make change. Can buy tokens at Smiths (local supermarket chain) but have to get a pack (10?).

For the return ride, can be a good idea to board at Albion if skiing Alta at the end of the day. Pay attention to the schedule. Not a good idea to miss the last bus.
 
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ocker

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Used the Ski bus on four trips to Utah skiing Alta, Snowbird, Brighton and Solitude. Stay at Midvale where the bus starts from so always get a seat on the morning bus. Most of the time we get a seat on the way back. If not at first then always after the park and ride.
  • Best to get a ski city super pass, includes ski pass and bus pass in one discount the more days the bigger the discount. Can also use the pass for unlimited trips on all UTA trains and buses in Salt Lake.
  • 2018 for the first time I am not buying the super pass. I have bought a Early Bird mountain Collective pass which gives me 2 days free skiing at Alta, 2 days free at Snowbird and 2 days free when I go on to Telluride, extra days are 50% discount. It works our cheaper overall because I am on the seniors discount as well. When I arrive in Salt Lake I am going to the UTA office to get a UTA seniors pass and will load enough value on it for all my bus and Trax trips when I am there. I go every second season so easier to have a pass and re-load when I get a Mountain Collective pass instead of the super pass.
  • I use the Trax to get to and from the airport to midvale. Much cheaper than a taxi for one person.
  • Have never missed the last bus, it is pretty late about 9 pm and lifts close at 4 pm. Only time I was cutting it fine was when my skis were stolen at Solitude after 4:30 and I had to wait for the police to arrive to lodge the report. I had to rush to get the 6 pm bus or wait 2 and a half hours for the last one.
 

Sbooker

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Used the Ski bus on four trips to Utah skiing Alta, Snowbird, Brighton and Solitude. Stay at Midvale where the bus starts from so always get a seat on the morning bus. Most of the time we get a seat on the way back. If not at first then always after the park and ride.
  • Best to get a ski city super pass, includes ski pass and bus pass in one discount the more days the bigger the discount. Can also use the pass for unlimited trips on all UTA trains and buses in Salt Lake.
  • 2018 for the first time I am not buying the super pass. I have bought a Early Bird mountain Collective pass which gives me 2 days free skiing at Alta, 2 days free at Snowbird and 2 days free when I go on to Telluride, extra days are 50% discount. It works our cheaper overall because I am on the seniors discount as well. When I arrive in Salt Lake I am going to the UTA office to get a UTA seniors pass and will load enough value on it for all my bus and Trax trips when I am there. I go every second season so easier to have a pass and re-load when I get a Mountain Collective pass instead of the super pass.
  • I use the Trax to get to and from the airport to midvale. Much cheaper than a taxi for one person.
  • Have never missed the last bus, it is pretty late about 9 pm and lifts close at 4 pm. Only time I was cutting it fine was when my skis were stolen at Solitude after 4:30 and I had to wait for the police to arrive to lodge the report. I had to rush to get the 6 pm bus or wait 2 and a half hours for the last one.

There is no ski bus running in SLC this season due to no snow.
 

Gregah

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Related logistics question - I will be taking the skibus on Jan 2020 Alta / Snowbird trip. I intend to wear normal boots on the bus and take my ski boots in a boot bag. I understand there are day lockers at these resorts but I can't find their cost or get a feel for their abundance or scarcity. Anyone used the lockers at these resorts? Was it a scramble to secure one or were there plenty to go around? Cheap or exy? Thanks.
 

MarzNC

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Related logistics question - I will be taking the skibus on Jan 2020 Alta / Snowbird trip. I intend to wear normal boots on the bus and take my ski boots in a boot bag. I understand there are day lockers at these resorts but I can't find their cost or get a feel for their abundance or scarcity. Anyone used the lockers at these resorts? Was it a scramble to secure one or were there plenty to go around? Cheap or exy? Thanks.
There are places to leave a boot bag for free on the ground floor of Goldminer's Daughter at the Wildcat base. Also lockers but I've never look to see how much they cost. Haven't ever seen anyone use one. Pretty sure you pay every time the locker is opened. Old style, not electronic.

There is a locker room on the ground level of building that has the Albion Grill on the Albion side. Found them a few years ago when I finally noticed the restroom sign. I doubt they get used that much. Locals who park at Albion boot up at their car. Travelers usually park at Wildcat. What I've heard is that the advantage of taking the bus to Albion is that at the end of the day, you board first so more likely to get a seat.

I only noticed that Ski/Bag check was available at Albion base last season. Have no idea whether that's relatively new or not. Haven't stayed in SLC for Utah skiing in a few years. But will be doing just that come February. Mostly because Ikon gives access to Solitude, Brighton, and Deer Valley in addition to Alta and Snowbird.

Pay attention to when lifts close at Alta. If you want to ski back to the Wildcat side from Supreme, also need to know whether or not the cat track from the top of Sugarloaf is open.

Albion lockers - 1.jpg
Albion lockers - 2.jpg
 
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MarzNC

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Forgot I took a picture of boot bags at Wildcat. This is a space just inside the door (on the right) that goes outside, just opposite the base of the Collins lift. I usually put mine up on top of a locker, but that isn't as much of an option as several years ago.

Wildcat bootbags - 1.jpg
 
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Sbooker

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Forgot I took a picture of boot bags at Wildcat. This is a space just inside the door (on the right) that goes outside, just opposite the base of the Collins lift. I usually put mine up on top of a locker, but that isn't as much of an option as several years ago.

Wildcat bootbags - 1.jpg

That doesn’t look like much of a ski resort!
I hear the facilities are more luxurious over the hill at Deer Valley.:)
Just jokes. I love the Alta terrain and I love the Alta snow but I really love the Alta vibe.
 
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MarzNC

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That doesn’t look like much of a ski resort!
I hear the facilities are more luxurious over the hill at Deer Valley.:)
Just jokes. I love the Alta terrain and I love the Alta snow but I really love the Alta vibe.
Although Alta gets called a "ski resort" it's really a "ski area" that is a collection of interdependent businesses. Alta Ski Lifts owns the lifts, the buildings on the mountain, and ski school. The five slopeside lodges are completed independent. The food on the mountain are long time lease arrangements, each with different menus. VERY different vibe that Snowbird next door where one company owns a lot of the slopeside lodging, the food service, and everything on the slopes.

So you haven't been to DV yet? That's one reason I got Ikon last season in addition to the MCP. Only Full Ikon for 2019-20. Plan to go back to DV midseason for a day or two. Better food at a higher price than Alta. Although having lunch around Alta at Rustler, Collins Grill, or Snowpine feels upscale for a reasonable price. The best place for a sit-down lunch is Alta Lodge because it's very relaxed, pretty quick, and can be cheaper than eating on the mountain.
 
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Sbooker

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Although Alta gets called a "ski resort" it's really a "ski area" that is a collection of interdependent businesses. Alta Ski Lifts owns the lifts, the buildings on the mountain, and ski school. The five slopeside lodges are completed independent. The food on the mountain are long time lease arrangements, each with different menus. VERY different vibe that Snowbird next door where one company owns a lot of the slopeside lodging, the food service, and everything on the slopes.

So you haven't been to DV yet? That's one reason I got Ikon last season in addition to the MCP. Only Full Ikon for 2019-20. Plan to go back to DV midseason for a day or two. Better food at a higher price than Alta. Although having lunch around Alta at Rustler, Collins Grill, or Snowpine feels upscale for a reasonable price. The best place for a sit-down lunch is Alta Lodge because it's very relaxed, pretty quick, and can be cheaper than eating on the mountain.

I was joking about Deer Valley. I've never been there and only know it by reputation. I'll likely never go there - I can't see how it can be anywhere near as good as Alta/Snowbird (less snow and groomed to within an inch of it's life I'm told?)
Thanks for the tip on Alta Lodge. We normally get something at Alf's or Watson's. We'll be sure to check it out.
 

tonks

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There's lockers at Snowbird. I think they were $US6/day in 2018. There didn't seem to be any shortage. I just took a daypack and threw my shoes in that. I stayed in Sandy and caught the bus up everyday. Was a zero stress way of getting up and down the canyon each day.
 
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MarzNC

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There's lockers at Snowbird. I think they were $US6/day in 2018. There didn't seem to be any shortage. I just took a daypack and threw my shoes in that. I stayed in Sandy and caught the bus up everyday. Was a zero stress way of getting up and down the canyon each day.
For Snowbird, my friends and I park at the Creekside Lodge instead of the Tramdeck main base. A few lockers there but also possible to leave stuff under a bench. Of course best to arrive pretty early.
 
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MarzNC

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I was joking about Deer Valley. I've never been there and only know it by reputation. I'll likely never go there - I can't see how it can be anywhere near as good as Alta/Snowbird (less snow and groomed to within an inch of it's life I'm told?)
Thanks for the tip on Alta Lodge. We normally get something at Alf's or Watson's. We'll be sure to check it out.
You may miss some good opportunities if choosing where to go simply on reputation. Some people think Alta is only fun for experts. A friend is an experienced instructor who taught at DV. I got tips on where an advanced skier can have good fun on a powder day because most DV guests stick to groomers. Of course, someone who is looking for chutes and long steep bump runs and/or tight trees . . . should go to Taos. :)

Taos gets deep powder too, my 2019 Ski Week group in knee to thigh deep untracked, older man in red was around 6 ft tall
TR Taos hike 07Feb2019 - 3.jpg
 

Sbooker

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You may miss some good opportunities if choosing where to go simply on reputation. Some people think Alta is only fun for experts. A friend is an experienced instructor who taught at DV. I got tips on where an advanced skier can have good fun on a powder day because most DV guests stick to groomers. Of course, someone who is looking for chutes and long steep bump runs and/or tight trees . . . should go to Taos. :)

Taos gets deep powder too, my 2019 Ski Week group in knee to thigh deep untracked, older man in red was around 6 ft tall
TR Taos hike 07Feb2019 - 3.jpg

Point taken. I’ve checked out many mountains that the cool kids don’t rate - and I’ve had a good time at each one. For example we had a few days at Northstar a few years ago and whilst it lived up to it’s reputation of being ‘flat’ we had a ball.
I’ve not been to Taos and I’m not likely to get their anytime soon unfortunately. With our dollar the way it is Canada is likely to be our port of call after next years trip to western USA. We do intend to visit Alta on that trip though.
 

MarzNC

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Point taken. I’ve checked out many mountains that the cool kids don’t rate - and I’ve had a good time at each one. For example we had a few days at Northstar a few years ago and whilst it lived up to it’s reputation of being ‘flat’ we had a ball.
I thoroughly enjoyed Northstar the last time I was there in 2010. I was just starting to ski trees and those on the backside of Northstar were fun, and not intimidating. Have similar feelings about Power Mountain, which some advanced skiers poo-poo as too tame. I'll take 7000 acres of fresh tracks at a ski area with limited day tickets over the frenzy on a powder day at Snowbird any time.

With our dollar the way it is Canada is likely to be our port of call after next years trip to western USA.
One reason I'm hanging about here is that sooner or later I'll make it to Canada. Have collected enough ski clothing to deal with the somewhat colder temps than the Rockies in Utah or Colorado. Can't get much colder than it was in Montana last winter. :)

For me, the issue of getting to Canada that it's a long drive for my ski buddy from NM. He hates to deal with airports and flying, especially with ski gear. We ran into a crew of four men at Big Sky who were doing a ski safari from SLC to Big Sky to Revy, and then back south to JH, before flying home from SLC. They were leaving Big Sky that afternoon for Helena.
 

sly_karma

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Yes the distances of winter driving involved are substantial. 18 hour drive from SLC to my place on good roads, obviously it can be a lot longer if the weather doesn't cooperate. And you must drive past a lot of perfectly good ski hills along the way. Nonetheless some of my Apex friends buy a Mtn Collective pass and do a two week road trip south each season. Four people in a crew cab or a big SUV is pretty comfortable and pretty economical too compared to four airfares.
 
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