Canyons is an excellent resort to choose for a first ski holiday. The resort has wonderful beginner terrain, perfectly groomed and served by easy-to-use lifts and a highly regarded ski school. Fiorst time skiers aged 15 or older can enrol in the specially designed Learn to Ski package which includes a full-day lesson, lift ticket and equipment rental all for one low (considering all that’s included in it) price. The day is spread over six hours from a 9.15am start at the ski school’s meet point with a one hour lunch break. A Canyons only lift ticket is available, enough for most beginners and novices, and a saving on the cost of the joint pass with Deer Valley and Park City Mountain Resort.
Canyons offers a vast ski area spread over 4,000 acres with more than 180 trails spread over nine separate mountains and served by 19 lifts – almost all of the them high-speed, high-capacity chairlifts. These figures speak for themselves, it’s a huge ski area that has plenty to keep even the most demanding skier satisfied – the fact that you can move around so quickly and efficiently thanks to the superb lift network, and that the light fluffy powder snow, trademarked in Utah as “the greatest snow on earth” is beneath your feet are just added bonuses.
Almost half of the terrain at Canyons is graded ‘expert’ with a superb mix of almost every type of challenging ski run, including plunging pistes and five powder filled bowls. Canyons ski area keeps getting bigger too. For winter 2010-11 the resort added 300 acres of newly lift-served terrain with the addition of a new detachable quad, the Iron Mountain Lift, at the southern-most part of the ski area. The newly accessible northwestern facing terrain added ten new runs including expert graded tree skiing. One excursion not to be missed is the chance to ski five virtually lift-linked Utah ski areas in one day, hiking, where necessary, the short distance between the boundaries of each.
In fact the three Park City resorts could nearly physically link together their lifts and runs with minimal effort and investment to make North America and one of the world’s biggest ski areas, but despite decades of talk about it, there’s little sign of that being likely to happen in the near future.
Snowboard / Freestyle Skiing
Canyons takes its facilities for boarders (and indeed freestyle skiers) very seriously with a site dedicated to the subject matter at – you’ll find this packed full of pictures and videos that are worth much more than the proverbial 1000 words. But for the record the resort operates one world class terrain park, a whole 1.2 miles (nearly 2km) long and you’ll find six natural half pipes dotted around the ski area. These pipes are relatively unique to Canyons in the way that they are officially integrated in to what the resort haws to offer at least. Particularly popular among the best riders are the pipes located in the steep double black diamond terrain below Murdock Peak and another near the gladed terrain of Escapade Woods, also rated double-black. Add to this the superb freeriding opportunities on Utah powder and the wonderful choice of high speed uplift and you have a winning combo for boarders. The resort’s snowsports school is a certified Burton ‘learn-to-ride’ centre meaning tuition is of the highest standard.
Canyons is entirely a downhill ski and snowboarding centre with no cross country skiing on site. There are however several cross country ski centres a short distance away. These include the White Pine Touring Centre (+1 (435) 649 6249) where there are 20km of trails suitable for both skating and classic styles of cross country skiing. There are loops of around three, five and ten kilometres in length, suited to all standards from beginner to advanced and with rentals and tuition available on site. There are several other centres in the area, for example The Homestead (+1 (888) 327 7220) about 20 miles from Park City, which has 12km of cross-country trails.
Canyons receives almost 400 inches (10 metres) of some of the lightest fluffiest snow on earth on average each winter. However it also has increasingly extensive snowmaking capabilities, recently constructing a 20 million gallon reservoir to more than double capacity.