If you knew tomorrow were your last day on Earth, what bucket-list items would definitely require a checkmark next to them? Hopefully that day falls during winter, and if you’re even luckier, it’ll be a bluebird day so you can enjoy these five spots to the fullest:
Mary’s Chutes @
Named after the lake that sits above these chutes and cliffs, Mary’s is one of the most accessible slackcountry (lift-accessed backcountry) areas at Brighton. Take the Millicent lift up, traverse across Milly Bowl and enter through the boundary gate. Pick a path to follow or, preferably, a friend who knows where they’re going. This is technically backcountry, so bring the appropriate gear as well.
It is very easy to get cliffed-out in this area, but the rewards are great if you’re the adrenaline-junkie type. There are plenty of cliffs to choose from—ranging from 10 to 70 feet, depending on the time of year and snow totals—along with narrow chutes, wide-open bowls and pillow lines. This is the type of area where great days are made.
8302 S. Brighton Loop Road, Brighton, 801-532-4731, BrightonResort.com
Three Kings Terrain Park @ Park City Mountain Resort
Rub elbows with some of the best freeskiers and snowboarders in the world at Park City. The Three Kings Park splits into three runs that include Park City’s world-renowned halfpipe as well as a plethora of perfectly groomed jumps, rails, picnic tables and stair features for all levels. If that weren’t enough, the Three Kings Lift goes directly over the park, so you get a full view of the good, the bad and the pros on every run.
1345 Lowell Ave., Park City, 435-649-8111, ParkCityMountain.com
CHIP'S RUN // PHOTO BY JAY DASH, POWERSHOTS
Chip’s Run @ Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort
Not everyone wants to jump off a cliff or hit a rail, but everyone can love Chip’s Run. This 2.5-mile leg-burner starts at the top of the tram and winds through Peruvian Gulch to the base of the mountain. After a 2,890-foot elevation change, you can claim to have skied Snowbird’s longest run. Chip’s allows plenty of room to mix it up, with various other runs winding in and out of it. Try bombing Primrose Path under the Peruvian Express Lift or send it down the Chip’s Face moguls.
Highway 210, Little Cottonwood Canyon, Snowbird, 801-933-2222, Snowbird.com
Strawberry Area @ Snowbasin Resort
The Strawberry area of Snowbasin is one of those places that make you feel small. The runs are wide-open, and the view from the top is breathtaking, if not terrifying. As you come down the cat track from the gondola, Ogden and the Great Salt Lake beyond are crisply visible on a sunny day. The view on the east side, toward Eden, isn’t half bad, either. Try the White Room trail to the left of the gondola for a little challenge and a good chance for some hidden powder. This is an area where you can avoid crowds, enjoy the sun and carve some wide, fast turns.
3925 Snowbasin Road, Huntsville, 801-620-1000, Snowbasin.com
Canis Lupus @ Canyons Resort
A Utah classic, Canis Lupus at Canyons is a quarter-mile natural halfpipe with steep walls, banked turns and lots of hips, whoops and bumps. To get there, take a right off the Super Condor Express and you’ll find the entrance on the downhill side of the Condor Woods. Each spring, Canyons holds a timed Canis Lupis Challenge race with a banked slalom at the top and continuing through the full length of the halfpipe. Get in plenty of practice runs before then and try the five other natural halfpipes at Canyons as well—STH, Tube, Hurricane Alley, Tunnel of Fun and Pinball Alley.
4000 Canyons Resort Drive, Park City, 435-649-5400, CanyonsResort.com