An under-the-radar ski destination in the ’80s and ’90s, Utah was once the best-kept secret of ski bums, a place where those who craved fresh powder but had slim wallets could bunk for the season and shred as much as they liked. Thanks in part to the 2002 Winter Olympics and the annual Sundance Film Festival, Utah’s powdery terrain now gets the acclaim it deserves. Couple that with booming population growth and an influx of celebrities, and Utah’s snowy paradise is officially on the map. (We even have our own “Housewives” series now.) However, with attention comes massive crowds and skyrocketing prices — day lift tickets have hit a whopping $300 at some larger resorts. Add on hotel rooms, food, rentals as well as the new parking reservation and canyon entrance fees introduced to help mitigate crowds, and a day on the slopes can take a chunk out of your bank account.
So where does one go to affordably enjoy “the Greatest Snow on Earth”? It’s still possible to live the Utah ski bum life, though it might take a little more effort. A short road trip away, five resorts exist outside the hubbub of Salt Lake and Park City mania, keeping day-pass prices cheap and lodging reasonable, while still boasting impressive terrain and world-class snow.