Park City vs Deer Valley: Ski Resort Comparison


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 ResortBest Resort
Beginner TerrainPark City
Advanced TerrainPark City
SnowboardingPark City
Village and ActivitiesPark City
Luxury AccommodationDeer Valley
ParkingDeer Valley
Best Value for MoneyPark City
Park City vs Deer Valley ski resorts
Deer Valley Resort

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.

Please see the table below for a comparison of the mountain/ piste map statistics.

StatisticsPark CityDeer Valley
Skiable Terrain7,300 acres2,026 acres
Vertical Drop3,200 ft3,000 ft
Base Elevation6,900 ft6,570 ft
Summit Elevation10,026 ft9,570 ft
Total Runs324101
Green Circle Trails (Beginner)7%27%
Blue Square Trails (Intermediate)49%41%
Black/ Double Black Diamond Trails (Expert)44%32%
Longest Run5.6 km2.8 km
Terrain Parks70
Lifts4121
Lift Operating Hours9:00 – 4:009:00 – 4:30
Night Skiing AvailableYesNo
Park City vs Deer Valley mountain statistics
Park City Mountain Resort

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.

MonthSnowfall in Park CitySnowfall in Deer ValleyBase Depth in Park CityBase Depth in Deer Valley
November16″4″21″3″
December62″55″27″35″
January57″61″40″53″
February55″55″54″67″
March44″42″60″79″
April11″12″50″67″
Data refers to averages. Data from onthesnow.com

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 SeasonPark City OpenDeer Valley OpenPark City CloseDeer Valley Close
2021/2217th Nov4th Dec17th Apr17th Apr
2020/2120th Nov5th Dec11th Apr17th Apr
2019/2022nd Nov8th Dec14th Mar15th Mar
2018/2921st Nov8th Dec7th Apr7th Apr
Park City vs Deer Valley ski season lengths and dates
Deer Valley Resort

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.

ActivityAvailable at Park CityAvailable at Deer Valley
Village Dining8 locations15 locations
Spas/ MassagesYesYes
Cross-Country SkiingYesNo
Dog Sled ToursYesYes
Fat BikingYesNo
Horse Drawn Sleigh RidesYesYes
Ice SkatingYesYes
Snowmobile ToursYesYes
Snowshoe ToursYesYes
TubingYesNo
Activities available on-site in Park City and Deer Valley resorts

Accommodation

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 TypePark CityDeer Valley
1 Bedroom Condo$300/ nightN/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.

Flying

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/ AirportFlight Time
Los Angeles2 hours
Seattle2 hours
Atlanta4 hours
New York City5 hours
Cancun5 hours
Paris10.5 hours
London Heathrow10.5 hours

Parking

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 TypePark City PriceDeer Valley Price
Child Group Half Day$255N/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)
Park City vs Deer Valley ski school lesson price comparison
Park City Mountain Resort

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 LiftPark CityDeer Valley
Adult Weekday$182$209
Child (5-12) Weekday$116$130
Senior (65+) Weekday$126$157
Adult Weekend$223$259
Child (5-12) Weekend$149$161
Senior (65+) Weekend$161$194
Park City vs Deer Valley day lift ticket prices
Equipment Rental (Daily)Park CityDeer Valley
Ski Package Demo$51$99
Ski Package Performance$40$89
Ski Package Sport$29$74
Ski Package Junior$25$52
Helmet$12.50$21
Park City vs Deer Valley ski equipment rental prices

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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Rosie

I have been a keen skier for a number of years, skiing in different locations around the world, and have a real passion for snow sports. My favourite ski resorts are Lake Louise in Canada and Obergurgl-Hochgurgl in Austria.

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