Park City

Sundance area expands ski lodge options

After 10 days of Sundance Film Festival indoor hyperactivity, it’s time to venture out.

Nearby Salt Lake City is unremarkable for its resorts or cuisine (pity the Winter Olympics fans), although there’s abundant historical pioneer and Mormon sites. What northern Utah offers in early February is a high-desert paradise of premiere skiing destinations.

Up the canyon from Park City, Deer Valley boasts numerous ski-in-ski-out lodges such as the Stag, the Black Bear and the Stein Eriksen (complete with two-story stone fireplace with mounted stag head).

Goldener Hirsch Inn

The preternaturally quaint Goldener Hirsch Inn is the area’s select retreat. A replica of the Salzburg, Austria, original, its 20 guest rooms have wood-burning fireplaces, antique furniture and down comforters.

Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort

But true ski aficionados head 1-1/2 hours away to Little Cottonwood Canyon for world-class skiing and abundant expert trails and terrain at the Snowbird resort or trek even higher to the powdered peaks of Alta.

Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort is extending its ski and snowboarding expanse to 500 acres in the winter season of 1999-00 with the addition of a natural bowl, called Mineral Basin. After skiing, the Cliff Spa, on the top floors of the Cliff Lodge, provides ample opportunity for destressing. High Altitude massage, Balneotherapy (hydrotherapy in kelp and seaweed with body wraps), and Alpine Salt glow are a few of the signature treatments available at the amenity-packed spa. Workout facilities, saunas, steam room, sun deck, and rooftop whirlpool help a bruised skier reclaim equilibrium.

The resort’s Snowbird Mountain school curriculum offers classes for every level of snowrider, children’s programs, and senior- and women-only ski and snowboard seminars. An outdoor heated pool and whirlpool bath promise post-ski relief. Winter rates start at $169 a night at the Cliff Lodge. The resort offers many lodging and pricing alternatives plus ski, spa and room combination packages.

Rustler Lodge

Rustler Lodge (elevation of 8,600 feet), one of Alta’s five independently run lodges, is a low-key alternative to a condo or hotel stay. There’s no need to worry about dinner reservations, since breakfast and dinner are included. There aren’t any restaurants in town, in fact, there’s no town. There’s just light and dry powdered snow for the ultimate ski experience.

Wasatch Powderbird Guides

For those who have done it all, there’s heliskiing. Weather permitting, Wasatch Powderbird Guides drops skiers and a guide onto untracked powder high in the Wasatch range back country. After a frenetic week or two of screenings, maybe testing the endurance of the body instead of the eyes will be welcome change.

Goldener Hirsch Inn

Phone: (800) 252-3373

www.goldenerhirschinn.com

Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort

Phone: (800) 640-2002

www.snowbird.com

Rustler Lodge

Phone: (800) 451-5223

www.rustlerlodge.com

Wasatch Powderbird Guides

Phone: (801) 742-2800

www.heliskiwasatch.com

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