I skied Brighton Resort in Utah, USA and experienced some of the best snow on Earth. Located at the top of Cottonwood Canyon, Brighton Resort offers something for skiers and snowboarders who are looking for a low-key experience. Covid-19 restrictions were in place, which included wearing face masks while in line or on the chairlift, the pandemic did not deter local skiers and snowboarders from enjoying fresh snow. Dining options were a bit different, but it did not change my experience as the mountain itself is something to enjoy. There are many ski areas to choose from in Salt Lake City, Utah, keep reading to learn more about Brighton.
At over 1,000 acres, the resort offers 66 runs and multiple quads to get you up the mountain. The whole crew will find something to enjoy here, with access to ski/snowboard school, terrain parks, and even night skiing. There are three dining options and a coffee shop at the base, plus a general store at the resort entrance. Here is my full review of locals favorite Brighton Resort, which includes pros, cons, and tips for your visit:
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What I Enjoyed
Brighton Resort is known as Utah’s first ski area, which means if you ask a local where they learned to ski, most likely they will say Brighton. It is located in one of the best snow locations in Utah, creating a recipe for epic powder days on the mountain. Even as the first ski area, Brighton has kept up with the times while staying true to its local roots.
Purchasing a ticket online was simple. After paying online, I received an email confirmation with a barcode. Once I arrived at the resort, I simply scanned this barcode at a ticket box and my rfid ticket printed. I did not have to wait in line at the ticket office! This ticket is reloadable, so if you decide to add another day, you can do so easily online.
This area receives an average of 500” of snow each winter, creating premier ski conditions in Utah. Brighton has 4 high speed quads and terrain for everyone in the family. Even if you have some mixed levels in your group, you can ski here knowing that everyone will have a great time. There are plenty of greens and even more advanced runs to enjoy.
Brighton’s terrain parks are all near each other, so you can easily hit all 5 without spending time traveling to another side of the mountain. The best part is that this resort grooms only what is needed, leaving the rest of the mountain fresh for our enjoyment. And at 500” a season, you better believe we want to enjoy the freshies.
Brighton offers over 1,000 acres on 1,745 vertical feet, which gives you enough terrain to continue exploring the mountain without being overwhelmed (or done). You can easily ride every lift and choose your favorite, or work towards riding every line on the mountain.
What to Consider When Visiting Brighton
Brighton is located at the top of Cottonwood Canyon. While this creates fantastic snow conditions, it’s important for you to understand that you need an equipped vehicle to get there. In other words, don’t be the vehicle we all pass on the way up because you chose to try your luck with a front wheel drive car during a snowstorm. Tip: Ski Bus park and ride lots are available at the mouth of the canyon.
Parking is limited. The lot is typically full by midmorning, so wake up early or arrive late for night skiing. The resort is part of the Wasatch-Cache National Forest, so they do not have the ability to expand parking options. Even better: Use that Ski Bus option I mentioned earlier.
Lodging options are for the die hard skier. Slope side options are just far enough away from the main lodge but close enough to grab lunch. Keep in mind that the resort has many different options, but is located at the top of a canyon. Therefore, access to dinner or activities in the city should be reconsidered. Sleep slope side if you just want to ski all day, stay in the city (and out of the canyon) if your group wants to explore downtown SLC. Explore hotel options in Salt Lake City.
Tips for Your Trip to Brighton Resort
Save money: Purchase your day ticket online in advance or buy the Ski City Super Pass, which gives you access to Brighton, Solitude, Snowbird and Alta without blackouts and includes ski bus fares.
Arrive early to secure parking or sleep in and arrive in the afternoon to enjoy night skiing. If you opt to drive in, look for the parking attendant to guide you as they are master parkers!
The ski bus is best if you have a front-wheel-drive vehicle & it’s snowing. Only equipped 4x4s or chains are allowed (and will successfully arrive) up the canyon on snow days. Follow UT’s traction law.
Check @UDOTCottonwoods on Twitter for updates on road conditions and closures.
Have you ever visited Brighton Resort? Let me know what your experience was like in the comments.
The Basics – A Brighton Guide
Best Time to Visit:
Whenever you want, the cottonwoods always deliver.
How to Get There:
Fly into SLC International Airport.
The resort is about a 35 min drive from the airport.
Utilize Utah’s Ski Bus to ensure access. Parking is limited.
Stay on-site to avoid renting a 4×4.
USD or your credit card
Brighton Lodge – True slope slide accommodations with continental breakfast next to the Crest Express lift
Silver Fork Lodge – Cabin in the woods with full breakfast three miles from the ski resort. You will have to use the ski bus to get to the resort for this option.
What to Eat:
Coffee at Blind Miner
Garlic Burger at Molly Green’s
Who Should visit:
True ski & snowboard lovers who want to have fun in the snow.
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