Beyond the Resorts: A Guide to Skiing Out of Bounds in Park City


This may not be shaping up to be the best winter on the books, but there are plenty of ways to keep yourself entertained. From heli skiing in Park City to resort-hopping (with some backcountry in between) around Little Cottonwood Canyon. If you want to inject a little more adrenaline into skiing this year, consider venturing beyond the resort with one of the many excellent backcountry guiding services in the Wasatch.

Powderbird Park City

Your potential ride this winter (Photo by Powderbird)

Powderbird Helicopter Skiing

For nearly 50 years, Powderbird has been whisking Park City locals and visitors to great heights for mind-blowing skiing. They operate on over 80,000 acres across the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Powderbird also charters trips to Greenland if you really want to get your adventure on. Their bases also border local ski resorts (Alta, Snowbird, Deer Valley, Park City) so that you can go heli skiing in Park City the AM, then shred the corduroy in the afternoon.

Yurts at Whisper Ridge

#yurtlife (Photo by Whisper Ridge)

Whisper Ridge

This Paradise-based company bills itself as a “backcountry resort.” What does that mean? 60,000-plus acres of private skiing, accessible by snowcat. But the real perk of Whisper Ridge is its system of 10 yurts that allow you to turn your backcountry skiing trip into a multi-day adventure. In fact, these aren’t just yurts, but yurt villages equipped with breakfast and dinners cooked by your own personal chef.

Powder Cats

We like big bowls and we cannot lie (Photo by Powder Cats)

PC Powder Cats

As the story goes, a “powder hound” flew over the Uinta Mountains by helicopter a couple decades ago and ogled a plethora of backcountry lines, full of chutes and bowls. The big three: M&M Bowl, No Name Bowl, and Eagle Bowl (all above 10,000 feet). The powder in these bowls will have you coming back year after year for more with Powder Cats. Beyond the skiing, a day out in the majestic and enormous Uinta wilderness will impart a sense of zen and wonder. Imagine total silence except for the sound of your skis ploughing through pow.

Interconnect

This Ski Utah Tour is king of convenience and also affordable—but that doesn’t mean a sacrifice in experience. The name of this guiding service says it all. When you hop on a scheduled daily tour departing from either Deer Valley or Snowbird, the guides will connect the dots between the nearby resorts and the backcountry acreage between them. You can also book a private tour to customize your backcountry experience. All tours include lunch and transportation and are only available to advanced to intermediate skiers—sorry boarders.

More Beyond the Resort ideas

Several other guiding services can take you where you want to ski in the Park City region, from Utah Mountain Adventures to White Pine Touring. Or swap your skis for snowmobiles to experience the local snow and views from a new, rowdier angle. There are many shops in Park City, Heber, and beyond that can help turn you into a sledneck (at least for a day)! Whatever way you choose to venture beyond the resort, be sure to have fun and stay safe out there.