Firsthand Report: The Canyons at Park City, Utah 7
Author thumbnail By Connie Lawn, DCSki Columnist

The Canyons is the top of the World! This area is fantastic! As I write this, I am looking at tons of snow falling outside the window. I understand it is 78 degrees in Washington. Here at the Canyons, the weather has alternated between intense, blinding Alpine sun, and whiteout conditions, which last for nearly an hour. Then, the sun breaks through again. During the whiteout, it is scary - hard to tell the difference between the slopes and the sky. But, the trails are marked with orange polls, which help keep skiers from flying into space.

So much snow is falling, it must be impossible to measure. At one point, I skied off a cornice on a double blue trail called “Bad Lands.” The snow in that spot was up to my thighs. Fresh, virgin powder was everywhere. Some skiers and snowborders went off into the woods or backcountry runs, but they did not have to do it to find the powder. It is overwhelming. Quite a challenge for an Eastern skier, who just flew in from Washington in the morning. The advertisements are true - You can really leave Washigton in the early morning, and be skiing in the Utah resorts in the afternoon. Now - some statistics. The Canyons is one of the newest resorts in the region, and is still growing. It has a “mere” 146 trails, making it the largest resort in Utah. It also boasts 3,500 acres of skiable terrain - not counting the backcountry areas. There are 16 lifts, but not all of them were running in this, the last week of the season. But, there was no need - none of the lifts had any lines.

An important thing to remember - do not judge the peak conditions by what you see at the base! My husband Charles had to urge me up the gondola - I was put off by the wind and blinding conditions. But, the sun shone in certain sections and at the summit - even if it was blinding and wind-driven in others. By the way, the base elevation is 6,800 feet, with the summit topping out at 9,990 feet. Be prepared for altitude sickness, especially if you have just come in from Washington.

While The Canyons will sadly close on the 12th of this month, it is scheduled to open again by Thanksgiving. The lift prices are slightly less in the early season - about $62 a day; then they climb to $65 in high season. But, there are always specials you can get - especially those tied in with lodging, airlines (if they are still flying), ski clubs, or senior or junior discounts. The best ski packages are available at midweek. Check out And, always check out websites before visiting any ski area.

By the way - I am visiting this magnificient state of Utah while the fierce fighting is raging in Iraq. The contrast is depressing and vivid. But, we are so lucky we are able to make the choices, and visit areas such as this. It reinforces how much we have to be grateful for, and shows why we have to fight to protect this great Nation, and wonderful lifestyle.

Good luck to all. Connie Lawn, “The Skiing White House Reporter”

Photo provided by The Canyons Resort.

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About Connie Lawn

When she wasn't skiing, Connie Lawn covered the White House as a reporter since 1968.

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Reader Comments

April 4, 2003
I'm jealous. I understand the Tahoe area, at least Kirkwood, got a big 2' dump in the last day as well. Have fun.
April 4, 2003
Yeah yesterday at the Canyons (april 3) we had received 8-10" overnight and during the day got 14" more! We were out of course and my grl and I found lots of fresh! Pow pow pow pow pow! On the north face off off ninety-nine 90 lift I got into waist-high pow near the cliff bands and chutes .. awesome! Lots of untracked stuff, parking lot was half full, awesome tree skiing ... mand I am still glowing ... and we get another foot or so tonight!! OHHHH YEAHHH!!!!!!!
Kevin R
April 4, 2003
So exactly what time can one expect to leave DC and be ready to ski? Where are the best (i.e. cheapest) but closest places to stay... etc. etc. etc!
April 4, 2003
Great Report Connie! I liked the journalist tag at the end! Hope you enjoyed the snow, I'll be water skiing within an hour! )
Connie Lawn
April 4, 2003
Jarrett - thank you for your comments. We are all so lucky to have this website to contribute to.
Kevin - We left BWI airport on a 7 am SW Airline Flight (ugh). Nonestop, only about 208$ a person. We were on the slopes at the Canyons by noon, Utah time! We are staying at the Raddisson, and got a good rate. I will look further at special rates. Yours, Connie Lawn
April 4, 2003
Although I'm not in the Big Leagues yet, I'm doing my part as a photog to capture the homefront. I've got two of my favorites from our area in the navigation bar of my web site right now:

I hope to be with the AP, Reuters, or a major publication such as the Washington Post after college. enjoy Utah!
April 6, 2003
Connie, if you get a chance, please drop me an email at

Thanks! Jarrett

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