Utah is known for having the greatest snow on earth, but can you believe we had never tried skiing until this winter? We finally added skiing as one of our family adventures. Our boys loved it! If you live in, or visit Utah, skiing should be on your list of activities to try at least once.
But skiing in Utah with kids can be expensive and overwhelming. Skiing prices add up quickly when you add lessons, rentals, and tickets all together. So we did a little research to help you find the best deals. We are still learning about skiing since this was our first time, but we hope this information will help you understand skiing in Utah as a family a little bit better. Here are 5 tips for first time beginner skiers in Utah.
If you are new to skiing, then you need to take lessons. We took a family lesson at Cherry Peak and in just 90 minutes, we had made a lot of progress and were able to ski basic ski runs. We definitely need more practice to become adept skiers, but lessons are the a must for first time skiers.
Most ski resorts in Utah offer a variety of lessons. And often the lessons will include the rentals and the lift tickets. Research the resorts closest to you for the best deals on lessons.
Ski Lift Tickets
Another cost of skiing is the basic ski lift ticket. In order to ride the lift to the different ski slopes, you will need a ski lift ticket. These tickets can range from $20-$200.
There are many deals for children on ski lift tickets. At most resorts, kids 5 and under ski for free. Please double check the specific resort you are visiting to see if they allow young children for free. Here are a few deals for kids under 12 that we have found.
5th and 6th Grade Ski Passport Pass: For a fee around $50 (depends on when you buy), 5th graders can ski 3 times at EVERY ski resort in Utah. 6th graders get one visit to each ski resort. This is an amazing deal if your family enjoys skiing, or if your child becomes interested in skiing. There are blackout dates, and each resort is different, so be sure to read all the details.
Epic SchoolKids Pass: This pass is FREE for grades k-5th grade and they can ski 5 times at the Park City Mountain resort. Make sure to register for this one in September/October because they do close the registration window.
Brighton: Up to two kids ages 10 & Under Ski Free Per Paying Adult
Power Kids Pass at Nordic Valley: Every child age 10 years and younger receive a FREE season pass that’s good every day. The nice thing is that this pass also works at BrianHead Resort.
Alta Sunnyside at 3: For $59, beginning skiers can access all of Alta’s beggining courses after 3 pm every day. This is a season long pass, and is a great deal for those who want to ski a lot of times.
The most expensive part of learning to ski is the equipment rentals. Every time you go skiing you need skis, boots, and a helmet. If you don’t own your own ski equipment, then you can rent it at the resorts or other ski rental shops. Purchasing ski equipment is also expensive, so it’s a tough choice on which is better for your family.
We rented equipment at the resort for the first time, since we weren’t sure if it was something we would ever do again. Rentals for skis, boots, and poles are around $40/person. We also rented helmets from a local outdoors shop because they were only $5/day instead of $15. Borrowing equipment from family or friends is a good solution when first trying skiing, too.
As far as other gear, we just wore our regular winter gear. This included snow pants, a winter coat, and waterproof gloves. We wore lots of layers underneath and found that we did shed some of our layers as we warmed up from all the hard work of skiing.
If you wear a helmet, you don’t need a beanie, but we did take our beanies to the mountains with us. We recommend goggles or glasses if you are skiing when it snows simply because the snow blowing in your face is not fun. If it is sunny, you will definitely want sunglasses or goggles.
There are 15 resorts in Utah. All of them offer lessons, rentals, and other services including lodging and food. We don’t recommend buying food at the resorts simply because it is pretty pricey. If you are trying to ski for cheap, plan on eating before or after, and bringing some snacks or your own lunch to help save on money.
We used the SkiUtah website to help us compare prices and family-friendly offerings at all of the resorts in Utah. But we went to the individual websites for each resort to find the most current information.
Skiing and/or snowboarding is such a fun adventure, and we are so glad that we gave it a try. While we don’t plan on hitting the slopes every week, this is an adventure we want to incorporate a little more into our winter outings. If you are looking for different winter activities, check out our Free and Cheap Winter Activities in Utah.