Park City are located very close to one another in Utah but offer pretty different skiing experiences. I’ll be directly comparing the terrain, snow quality, ski seasons, villages, accommodation, value for money and more in this article so you can decide which is the best ski resort to visit.
Deer Valley vs Park City Ski Resort
Park City is a much larger ski resort compared to Deer Valley with more terrain for all abilities. Park City also offers cheaper accommodation, lift tickets and equipment rentals and is the only resort which allows snowboarding. Deer Valley is usually quieter and has the best luxury accommodation.
|Aspect of the Resort||Best Resort|
|Beginner Terrain||Park City|
|Advanced Terrain||Park City|
|Village and Activities||Park City|
|Luxury Accommodation||Deer Valley|
|Best Value for Money||Park City|
Ski Map and Terrain
Park City is a much larger resort compared to Deer Valley with 7300 acres of skiable terrain compared to just 2026 acres in Deer Valley. Park City has 342 runs compared to Deer Valley’s 101 runs, and 41 lifts compared to Deer Valley’s 21 lifts.
Park City is one of the largest resorts in the world after it merged with Canyons in 2015.
Most of the terrain in Park City is for intermediate, advanced and expert-level skiers and snowboarders and it has just 7% of its terrain dedicated to beginners. Deer Valley has a pretty even split of beginner, intermediate, advanced and expert terrain making it a good option for mixed ability groups.
For beginners, Deer Valley is a better option compared to Park City. It has more Green Circle runs and usually attracts more novice skiers. There is some good beginner terrain on Park City Mountain, but there just isn’t as much of an emphasis.
Both Park City and Deer Valley have some difficult terrain reserved for advanced and expert skiers, but extreme riders will find more of a challenge at Park City due to the steeper vertical drop and longer runs available.
Important Note: if you are a snowboarder than Park City is your only option. Deer Valley is a ski-only mountain and does not allow any snowboarding. Park City is also the only resort with terrain parks and night skiing. If you want to know more about the reasons why Deer Valley does not allow snowboarding, check out this article.
Please see the table below for a comparison of the mountain/ piste map statistics.
|Statistics||Park City||Deer Valley|
|Skiable Terrain||7,300 acres||2,026 acres|
|Vertical Drop||3,200 ft||3,000 ft|
|Base Elevation||6,900 ft||6,570 ft|
|Summit Elevation||10,026 ft||9,570 ft|
|Green Circle Trails (Beginner)||7%||27%|
|Blue Square Trails (Intermediate)||49%||41%|
|Black/ Double Black Diamond Trails (Expert)||44%||32%|
|Longest Run||5.6 km||2.8 km|
|Lift Operating Hours||9:00 – 4:00||9:00 – 4:30|
|Night Skiing Available||Yes||No|
Snow Quality and Ski Season Length
Park City has better snow quality towards the start of the season but from January-April, the snow quality is fairly comparable between Deer Valley and Park City. Here is a table comparing the average base depth and snowfall for each resort by month.
|Month||Snowfall in Park City||Snowfall in Deer Valley||Base Depth in Park City||Base Depth in Deer Valley|
Park City usually has a slightly longer ski season compared to Deer Valley. Park City typically opens in mid-late November whereas Deer Valley usually only opens in early December. Both resorts generally close for the season in mid-April.
|Ski Season||Park City Open||Deer Valley Open||Park City Close||Deer Valley Close|
|2021/22||17th Nov||4th Dec||17th Apr||17th Apr|
|2020/21||20th Nov||5th Dec||11th Apr||17th Apr|
|2019/20||22nd Nov||8th Dec||14th Mar||15th Mar|
|2018/29||21st Nov||8th Dec||7th Apr||7th Apr|
Village, Restaurants and Other Activities
Park City consists of two main villages: Park City Mountain Village and Canyons Village which each have 4 dining locations. Both villages also have a variety of shops and you can also visit the Historic Main Street for some more options. The spa is located in the Grand Summit Hotel in Canyons Village.
Deer Valley’s village is smaller but you will be able to choose from plenty of shops and even more restaurants. It is also usually less busy and has a more relaxed feel which is great for families.
Here’s a list of activities available on-site at each resort. Remember that you can travel between these villages as they are only about a 5 minute drive away from one another.
|Activity||Available at Park City||Available at Deer Valley|
|Village Dining||8 locations||15 locations|
|Dog Sled Tours||Yes||Yes|
|Horse Drawn Sleigh Rides||Yes||Yes|
The accommodation in Park City is split across two areas: Park City Mountain Village and Canyon Village. Canyon has the best luxury accommodation, whilst Park City is a bit older. The accommodation in Park City is a bit cheaper compared to Deer Valley.
The accommodation in Deer Valley is split across three areas: Snow Park Base, Silver Lake Mid-Mountain and Empire Pass Upper-Mountain. Each of these locations has hotels and lodges. Deer Valley has the best luxury accommodation in the area and you’ll be able to choose from plenty of on-slope lodges.
Here’s a summary of the average accommodation prices in January.
|Accommodation Type||Park City||Deer Valley|
|1 Bedroom Condo||$300/ night||N/A|
|2 Person Hotel Room||$400/ night||$600/ night|
|2 Bedroom Lodge||$600/ night||$800/ night|
|3 Bedroom Lodge||$1000/ night||$1200/ night|
|5 Bedroom Lodge||$2000 night||$2500/ night|
Location and Traveling
Park City and Deer Valley are right next to each other so although you can’t ski between them, they are just a 5 minute drive or 30 minute walk apart from one another. Hence, there really isn’t anything to compare here. However, here is some information about getting to the area.
The closest major airport to Park City and Deer Valley is Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) which is approximately 45 minutes away by shuttle bus.
|City/ Airport||Flight Time|
|Los Angeles||2 hours|
|New York City||5 hours|
|London Heathrow||10.5 hours|
Deer Valley has free parking at the 5 base areas and a free shuttle to Snow Park Lodge. Alternatively, you can park for free at Jordanelle Express Gondola or pay for underground parking at Silver Lake Lodge.
Parking at Park City needs to be reserved which costs $25 per day in the ski season. After 1:00pm parking is free.
Proximity to Other Major Locations
Here is the average drive time from key locations to both Park City and Deer Valley:
- Salt Lake City: 40 minutes
- Snowbird Ski Resort: 50 minutes
- Alta Ski Area: 55 minutes
- Provo: 1 hour
- Wyoming: 5.5 hours
- Idaho: 6.5 hours
- Denver: 7.5 hours
Ski School Comparison
Both Deer Valley and Park City offer private and group ski lessons for adults and children. One resort isn’t cheaper than the other overall, it really depends on what lesson type you’re booking.
For group lessons, Park City is typically cheaper. For private lessons, Deer Valley is marginally cheaper for half day sessions and Park City is cheaper for full day sessions.
Please see the table below for example prices.
Costs are based on the most recent ski season at the time of writing and are subject to change. Please check the resort websites for up to date prices. Prices are in US dollars and based on off-peak season prices.
|Lesson Type||Park City Price||Deer Valley Price|
|Child Group Half Day||$255||N/A|
|Child Group Full Day||$299-$339||$350|
|Adult Group Half Day||$195||$255|
|Private Half Day||$809 (for 1-6 people)||$795 (for 1-5 people)|
|Private Full Day||$1099 (for 1-6 people)||$1280 (for 1-5 people)|
Tickets and Rentals
Park City offers significantly cheaper lift tickets and equipment rental compared to Deer Valley. Lift tickets are approximately 10% cheaper for adults, and even cheaper for seniors and children. Equipment rental is also roughly half the price at Park City compared to Deer Valley.
Please see the tables below for more information.
|Ticket Price Day Lift||Park City||Deer Valley|
|Child (5-12) Weekday||$116||$130|
|Senior (65+) Weekday||$126||$157|
|Child (5-12) Weekend||$149||$161|
|Senior (65+) Weekend||$161||$194|
|Equipment Rental (Daily)||Park City||Deer Valley|
|Ski Package Demo||$51||$99|
|Ski Package Performance||$40||$89|
|Ski Package Sport||$29||$74|
|Ski Package Junior||$25||$52|
Prices quoted above are based on the most recent ski season at the time of writing and are subject to change. Based on daily rates when buying in-advance online for tickets and on the day for rentals (better value for money offers are available when booking for multiple days). Prices are in US dollars. Please check the resort websites for up to date prices.
Which Resort is Best?
Since Park City and Deer Valley are located just 5 minutes away from each other, many visitors choose to go to both resorts during your stay. However, if you are only visiting one resort, here are some things to help you may your decision:
- Park City is the best resort for beginners and mixed abilities.
- Park City offers the most difficult terrain so is often preferred by advanced and expert skiers.
- Park City is the only resort which offers snowboarding, park terrain and night skiing.
- Park City offers the best value for money tickets, accommodation and rentals.
- Deer Valley is smaller and quieter than Park City, giving it a more relaxed vibe.
- Deer Valley offers the best luxury accommodation.
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