We love charging though fluffy Utah powder and later kicking back in the ski town that surrounds the epic ski mountains. With easy access from the airport and Salt Lake City, Park City, is a great place to visit any time of the year. With hoppin’ summer activities, it’s a year-round destination so you can also have fun once the snow melts. But when is the best time to ski or snowboard in Park City? You can use this month-by-month guide to pick the best time to visit Park City Ski Resort and Deer Valley, both located in Park City, Utah.
Our Month-By-Month Guide to the Best Time to Ski Park City, Utah
Do you want to catch a fun event, watch fireworks, increase your chance of finding fresh powder or find the least crowded time to ski? It may sound blasphemous to some powder hounds, but maybe you'd rather ski in sunshine, with groomed runs and warmer temperatures. No judgments. While my wife, Flora, and my snowboarding tween son, Tad, love blasting through fluffy powder, my toddler, Lily, and I are on the beginner side and prefer spring skiing and corduroy runs. That means there is no best month for all skiers and riders. We are all different. But here's how to narrow down the best time to ski or ride for you.
Our month-by-month guide to the best time to ski Park City, Utah, can help you determine the right time for you, whether you are heading the Park City Mountain Resort or Deer Valley. Park City on average gets 355 inches of snowfall, a large portion of it falling December through February.
No matter which month you visit, December through April, try to be there for the first Friday of the month for First Fridays. Beginning at 2:30 p.m. in Canyons Village, enjoy live music, ice sculpting, a complimentary donut bar (#NomNom), a photo op and then a Fireworks display at 5 p.m. Did we froget to mention that it’s free? We love taking advantage of free entertainment. Keep in mind that special events may not be available during the pandemic. Croak! We look forward more mountain fun in future years.
You can start skiing early in the season thanks to new snowmaking technology. So even if snow is not yet falling from the sky, you can gain more access to terrain across the mountain with 500 acres of snowmaking. The Park City Mountain Resort usually opens late-November about the last 5 to 11 days of the month. So unless you are planning to ski around Thanksgiving, you don’t have a lot of ski day options this month. If you plan to ski Deer Valley, froget about skiing in November as that destination does not usually open until early December.
December kicks off the winter months and the core ski season. About half of the annual snowfall will dump over the next three months. You’ll see snowfall increase as you get later into the month. Early December will be the least crowded, with the biggest crowds arriving between Christmas and New Years. You can expect highs in the 30s and and lows between 0 and 10 degrees. You don’t want to miss seeing Santa come down the Town Lift or catching the Torchlight Parades at either Park City Mountain Resorts or Deer Valley. If you are there for New Year's Eve, you can take in the free fireworks display in Canyons Village.
January is by far the busiest month, with not just skiers in town for the snow but film fans attending the Sundance Film Festival. That can make lodging and rental cars in high demand during the festival and holiday weekends. Check the calendar for the next festival dates. The 2021 festival was Jan. 28 through Feb. 3 and 2020 was Jan. 23 through Feb. 2 in case you want to guesstimate the next year either to attend or avoid. The MLK weekend also can bring on the crowds. Expect highs in the 30s and lows between 0 and 10 degrees.
Utah locals can take advantage of first-time ski experiences at Deer Valley. The Ski Utah Learn to Ski Clinic usually takes place on a Saturday afternoon in late Jan. 25. The lesson, lift ticket, and ski rental equipment are included in the affordable (about $50) package. The program is geared toward Utah locals learning to ski for the first time who are 13 years or older. A valid Utah driver’s license or ID is required.
This is the peak month for skiing in Park City with a solid base and plenty of fresh snow. The holiday times, such as President's week will bring the most crowds. Book Park City lodging, rental car and lift tickets/Epic pass reservations (if necessary) early for the best prices. Bundle rental car and lodging together to unlock further savings! You can expect morning crowds at the base of the mountain. But Park City does a great job of dispersing people around the huge mountain to reduce lift lines. Expect highs in the 30s and and lows between 0 and 10 degrees. If you are a ski fan, watch the world’s best freestyle skiers compete in the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup at Deer Valley as they make their way down Olympic runs from the 2002 games.
You can find some good deals on skiing in March. As the mountain warms up a bit, snow conditions are still great. The crowds start to dwindle meaning more mountain and physical distancing space for you (funny that we never considered this before the pandemic). Temperatures climb into the 30s and 40s during the day, but the nights are still chilly, dropping into the 20s. You’ll see more mountain bikers and hikers emerging as spring arrives. March and April bring the Spring Gruv & Pond Skimming concert series. It's an entertaining event in which skiers in costume attempt to skim over a pond. Will they make it? Many won't but it's toadally fun to watch them try. If only they brought their lily pad.
Early April usually marks the end of the core ski season. Depending on the conditions, you are looking at a closing date somewhere in the first half of the month. The closing date for the 2020-2021 season at Park City Ski Resort is scheduled for April 4, 2021. Deer Valley closes April 11, 2021. The ski mountains usually close in the first half of the month. Easter weekend usually brings spring skiing, sunny skies, free concerts, the Easter Bunny and egg hunts.
OK, you won’t be skiing in summer, but you can still tube without the snow! Here’s what you can do if you find yourself in Park City during the non-ski months. Some parts of Utah get pretty hot in summer, so other Utah residents enjoy visiting Park City for the 20-degree drop in temperature and all the recreation they can handle.
With over 400 miles of mountain bike trails, an alpine slide and the mountain coaster, Park City is hoppin’ good fun in the warm months. Park City Mountain Resort offers miniature golf, a climbing wall and bungee trampoline. The tadpoles will jump with excitement over the kids' zip line, rope course and warm weather tubing. You may wonder why you even need snow. Tadpoles can pan for gems, crystals, minerals and fossils at the base of Park City Mountain. The lifts access hiking and mountain biking. Most hiking trails in the areas are family friendly. You can golf or take a scenic gondola ride. Don't froget to catch the fireworks on the 4th of July and to check out the entertainment at the summer concert series and Deer Valley Music Festival. The Kimball Arts Festival takes place on Main Street in August.
Hopfully, our month-by-month guide to skiing Park City has helped you pick the best time to visit. I have a few more tips and some ways to save on a Utah ski trip and to save money on flights to Utah ski resorts so that you're outfitted for success (and savings) on the mountain. We frogs are always excited to save some “green” and pass the tips to you. If you need to book lodging at ski resort hotels or purchase the Epic Pass, good at Park City, or the Ikon Pass, good at Deer Valley and other awesome ski resorts just a hop, skip and a jump away from Park City (such as Solitude, Brighton, Alta and Snowbird), be sure to check out our hoppin’ deals.