So you have no inclination (or cash?) to buy a lift pass, but you still want to make the most of Utah’s pristine powder. What are you gonna do all day while your friends are making new friends on the lift?
There are lots of ways to enjoy the greatest snow on earth without hurling yourself down a mountain. Put your heart, mind and ACL at ease with a few of Utah’s lesser-known snow activities happening at the resorts where all your friends are skiing:
1. Go Snowshoeing
Who says you have to stop hiking just because there’s three feet of snow on the ground? Utah is packed with snowshoeing trails of varying difficulty. From quick, charted trails to longer, steeper back-country options, snowshoeing can show you a quiet side to the beautiful Utah snow-capped mountains. Most resorts (or even REI) have snowshoes available for rent. So all you need to do is dress warm and get ready to explore.
2. Cross-Country Ski
Strap on some skinny skis and earn your turns. Cross-country skiing offers a chance to cover some pretty decent ground — and get a killer workout. There’s a certain finesse to free-heeling it, so it’s usually best to grab a quick class in the morning, and then hit the trails after lunch. But be careful: Depending on how much you enjoy utter exhaustion, cross-country skiing can either lead you into or out of its downhill counterpart.
3. Be in a Yurt
Yurts are those warm little domes of Siberian and Mongolian descent you find more and more in remote parts of the mountains. Grab your friends and snowshoe, cross-country ski or snowmobile your way to a secluded night in the woods. Most yurts sleep around eight people, and there’s nothing better than waking up in the middle of nowhere with seven of your closest friends or family in the same round room.
4. Go Tubing
Tubing takes sledding to a whole new level. Many resorts are stacked with a gentle slope partitioned off just for tubers, so you and other non-skiers can unite on a slope of your own, racing down the hill for as many hours as you can handle.
And if none of that tickles your fancy, you can hang out at the lodge, eat pizza, and keep your eyes peeled for Taylor Swift. A day in Utah’s gorgeous mountains is never a waste.