Snowbird vs Park City: Ski Resort Comparison Guide


If you’re looking to go skiing or snowboarding in Utah, then Park City and Snowbird are two excellent resorts to consider. In this article I’ll be directly comparing the terrain, snow quality, villages, accommodation, value for money and much more so you can decide which to visit on your next ski trip.

Park City vs Snowbird Ski Resort

Park City is almost three times larger compared to Snowbird and has much better terrain for beginner and intermediate skiers and snowboarders. Snowbird is cheaper, quieter, has better snow quality and the most challenging terrain for experts. Park City has a better village and après ski.

Aspect of the ResortBest Resort
Largest Skiable AreaPark City
Most Suitable For Beginners Park City
Most Suitable For IntermediatesPark City
Most Suitable For ExpertsSnowbird
Least CrowdedSnowbird
Snow QualitySnowbird
Village and Après SkiPark City
On-Mountain DiningPark City
Easiest to Travel ToPark City
Cheapest Lift TicketsSnowbird
Park City vs Snowbird ski resorts
Park City Mountain Resort

Skiable Terrain and Experience

Park City has almost three times more skiable terrain compared to Snowbird. Park City also has 7 terrain parks, whereas Snowbird only has one. Snowboarding and night skiing is available at both Snowbird and Park City.

For Beginners

Park City is typically a better resort for beginners. Although it has a relatively low share of green circle runs (7%), the mountain is huge so there’s still plenty of terrain. It specialises in groomed runs and isn’t as steep in comparison to Snowbird which can be quite challenging.

For Intermediates

For intermediate level skiers and snowboarders, Park City is typically the better option. It has a much larger mountain with 49% of its terrain dedicated to intermediates whereas Snowbird only has a 38% share of intermediate terrain and the mountain is far smaller. The intermediate terrain on Park City mountain is also less daunting compared to Snowbird if you are transitioning from green circle runs.

For Experts

Snowbird is often favoured by advanced and expert level skiers and snowboarders. It has loads of very steep and challenging terrain and more experienced riders will appreciate the higher snow quality that Snowbird offers.

Which is Less Crowded?

Park City typically is busier compared to Snowbird and suffers from longer queues. The only time Snowbird gets super busy is when its a powder day as advanced and expert skiers and snowboarders will flock to the resort.

Check out the table below for a full comparison of the Park City and Snowbird mountain stats.

StatisticsPark CitySnowbird
Skiable Terrain7,300 acres2,500 acres
Vertical Drop3,200 ft3,250 ft
Base Elevation6,900 ft7,760 ft
Summit Elevation10,026 ft11,000 ft
Total Runs324169
Green Circle Trails (Beginner)7%27%
Blue Square Trails (Intermediate)49%38%
Black/ Double Black Diamond Trails (Expert)44%35%
Longest Run5.6 km4.0 km
Terrain Parks71
Lifts4113
Lift Operating Hours9:00 – 4:009:00 – 4:00
Night Skiing AvailableYesYes
Snowboarding AllowedYesYes
Park City vs Snowbird mountain statistics
Snowbird mountain

Snow Quality

Snowbird has much better snow compared to Park City, especially for powder. The base depth on Snowbird can be almost double that of Park City later into the ski season. Snowbird also receives much more snow throughout December to April.

MonthSnowfall in Park CitySnowfall in SnowbirdBase Depth in Park CityBase Depth in Snowbird
November16″19″21″19″
December62″87″27″46″
January57″90″40″70″
February55″84″54″91″
March44″70″60″104″
April11″61″50″96″
Data refers to averages. Data from onthesnow.com

Ski Season Dates

Snowbird has a long ski season due to the amount of snow it gets. Park City on the other hand has a pretty average ski season for a resort in Utah. The ski season usually starts a week or so earlier in Park City, but Snowbird typically stays open for a month longer into mid-May.

Please see the table below for the previous ski season dates.

Ski SeasonPark City OpenSnowbird OpenPark City CloseSnowbird Close
2022/23*18th Nov30th Nov16th Apr14th May
2021/2217th Nov1st Dec17th Apr1st May
2020/2120th Nov30th Nov11th Apr19th May
2019/2022nd Nov29th Nov14th Mar15th Mar
2018/2921st Nov24th Nov7th Apr27th May
Park City vs Snowbird ski season lengths and dates *predicted dates for 2022/23
Park City Mountain Resort

Comparing Villages

Park City definitely wins in terms of its village and experience off the slopes.

Park City consists of two main villages: Park City Mountain Village and Canyons Village which are both reasonably small. Thy both have 4 dining locations and a variety of shops; you can also visit the Historic Main Street for some more options. The spa is located in the Grand Summit Hotel in Canyons Village.

Snowbird has a pretty small village with a few restaurants, shops and spa. It’s pretty quiet and there’s not too much going on here in terms of nightlife. If you’re going to be spending a considerable amount of time off the slopes, I’d recommend Park City.

On-Mountain Dining Options

Park City has many more on-mountain dining locations compared to Snowbird. Both resorts have a good number of base restaurants, but the mid-mountain dining on Snowbird is very limited.

Check out the tables below for a summary of the locations. These are all located on the mountain, and not at the base.

Park City On-Mountain Dining

On-Mountain DiningTypePriceCuisine
Sun LodgeSelf-Service$Mexican
Miner’s CampSelf-Service$-$$Casual Varied 
Tombstone BBQSelf-Service$$BBQ
Red Pine LodgeSelf-Service$$ Casual American
Cloud DineTable Service$$American
Summit HouseTable Service$$-$$$American 
Mid Mountain LodgeTable Service$$-$$$Contemporary
Lookout CabinTable Service$$$Fine Dining
On-mountain dining available in Park City

Snowbird On-Mountain Dining

On-Mountain DiningTypePriceCuisine
Mid GadTable-Service$$ Casual American
On-mountain dining available in Park City
Snowbird ski resort

Location and Traveling

Snowbird and Park City are roughly a 1 hour drive away from each other. Snowbird is located south-west of Park City. Here is some information on how to get to these resorts by plane and by car.

By Plane

The closest airport to Park City and Snowbird is Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) and the transfer time is very similar with shuttle buses available to each location.

  • Airport Transfer Time to Park City: 45 minutes
  • Airport Transfer Time to Snowbird: 40 minutes

By Car

  • During the holidays and from Friday-Sunday, parking at Park City needs to be reserved which costs $25 per day in the ski season which means you are guaranteed a space. After 1:00pm parking is free.
  • Free parking is available at Snowbird on a first-come-first-serve basis. If you want to guarantee parking you can make a reservation for $25.

Although driving to Park City and Snowbird from most major locations takes a similar amount of time, the journey is much easier to Park City.

LocationDrive to Park CityDrive to Snowbird
Salt Lake City, UT40 mins35 mins
Provo, UT55 mins55 mins
Ogden, UT1 hour 10 mins1 hour 5 mins
Evanston, WY1 hour 5 mins1 hour 30 mins
Price, UT2 hours 10 mins2 hours
Drive time to Park City and Snowbird

Proximity to Other Ski Resorts

Snowbird is just 5 minutes away from Alta which is another ski area with plenty of advanced and expert terrain. You can purchase joint Alta-Bird tickets to get a discount if you plan on skiing both mountains.

Park City is just 5 minutes away from Deer Valley, however the resorts are not related so you will need to purchase separate tickets to visit them both.

If you’re looking for more information on the nearby resorts, check out these articles:

Ski ResortDrive Time to Park CityDrive Time to Snowbird
Alta55 min5 min
Deer Valley5 min55 min
Snowbasin1 hour 10 min1 hour 15 min
Powder Mountain1 hour 30 min1 hour 45 min
Solitude25 min35 min
Brighton25 min40 min
Sundance40 min
Drive time to other popular ski resorts in Utah

Accommodation Options and Price

Park City offers a wide variety of hotels, condos and chalets to suit different party sizes. The accommodation in Snowbird is more limited as there are only hotels and condos available, however they are usually cheaper compared to Park City.

If you are looking for cheaper accommodation, try the surrounding area too. Alta is very close to Snowbird and has some great value condos and hotel rooms. It can be a little harder to find a bargain in Park City, but you will be able to save some money if you don’t stay in the village.

Park City Mountain Resort

Ski School Lessons and Prices

The private ski school lessons at Snowbird are considerably cheaper compared to Park City. Park City offers half-day group lessons which are the cheapest option available. Snowbird only offers full-day group lessons at the time of writing, however these are cheaper compared to the Park City equivalent lessons.

Please see the table below for more information.

Lesson TypePark City PriceSnowbird Price
Child Group Half Day$255N/A
Child Group Full Day$299-$339$225-$283.50
Adult Group Half Day$195N/A
Adult Group Full DayN/A$275
Private Half Day$809 (for 1-6 people)$540 (for 1-5 people)
Private Full Day$1099 (for 1-6 people)$882 (for 1-5 people)
Park City vs Snowbird ski school lesson price comparison

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.

Park City Mountain Resort

Lift Tickets and Equipment Rental

Lift tickets are much cheaper at Snowbird compared to Park City, especially when visiting during peak periods. However, skiing and snowboarding equipment rental is cheaper at Park City.

Example lift ticket total cost for 2 x adults and 2 x children (weekend)
Park City: $744
Snowbird: $512

Please see the tables below for more information.

Ticket Price Day LiftPark CitySnowbird
Adult Weekday$182$145
Child (up to 12) Weekday$116$87
Senior (65+) Weekday$126$123
Adult Weekend$223$160
Child (up to 12) Weekend$149$96
Senior (65+) Weekend$161$136
Park City vs Snowbird day lift ticket prices
Equipment Rental (Daily)Park CitySnowbird
Ski Package Demo$51$77
Ski Package Performance$40$67
Ski Package Sport$29$57
Ski Package Junior$25$50
Helmet$12.50$15
Park City vs Snowbird 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?

If you’re an advanced skier or snowboarder and love powder, then you won’t beat Snowbird. It has the best snow, cheapest tickets and most challenging terrain. It also is usually the least crowded of the two mountains.

However, if you’re looking to spend some time off the slopes and in the village then Park City will offer the most complete experience. The village and après ski is much better and it is a bit easier to travel to. Park City is also the best option for less experienced skiers and snowboarders.

Here are some more articles you might find useful:

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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