I have drove:
- rear WD & front WD cars around Rochester/Buffalo/Syracuse NY during winter
- farm tractors (with & without tire chains)
- 4x4 SUVs and 4x4 pickup trucks (sand,mud,snow) in MD/VA/WV/PA/NY
- 2WD pickup (with tire chains) in MD/VA/WV
- drove many of my partner's bass fishing rigs up the snowy/icy ramps.
Last time I rented a 4x4 Suburban, it was at Lake Tahoe for one week back in March 2002.
JohnL - Hope this helps answer your questions.
Didn't mean to diss your winter driving skills. "Rochester/Buffalo/Syracuse NY during winter" was all I needed to hear. Given the winter-driving skills of the majority of DC-area drivers, I have to be a bit careful in my response.
You'll get some better answers from those on this board who used to live in Utah or now live in Utah. I'll give you some input in case they don't respond in time.
The road up to Park City/The Canyons is a major interstate and I've always found it to be well-plowed. There is a serious climb, but no switchbacks. Alta/Snowbird is probably the most serious drive of the bunch, but it is a shorter drive. If the roads are really bad to Alta/Snowbird, you can stop and park at one of the several shuttle bus stops you'll find on the way up to the mountains. Same for Solitude/Brighton.
I would say a standard mini-van would be adequate. If the cost differential is not excessive, go for an SUV as added driving insurance.
I'm going to SLC this weekend and I'll be skiing Snowbasin/Powder and Alta/Snowbird. It's a bare-bones trip snuck in last second; I'm renting a compact car. In the event of major snow, I'll get up to the mountains one way or another...
[This message has been edited by JohnL (edited 02-18-2004).]
The Cottonwood canyon roads are usually no particular problem either; Your biggest problem in a good snow year like this will be that, if they have a dump after a week or two of mild weather, portions of the road will be closed for avalanche control. And, if you hit a snowy week, they will want you to have snow tires. They also have message signs saying that chains are required that get turned on occassionally, but I've never seen it enforced. As mentioned by John,et al, if you want to go up the canyon on a day like that, just park in lot at the base of the road (the lot for Big Cottonwood is right by the light at Wasatch Blvd; for Little Cottonwood, it's on the left side just as you enter the canyon proper.) Disclaimer: I have never taken the bus - we always drive. But in theory it looks like a good idea. (On a somwhat related note, if you have a day that is REALLY dumping, you probably will have a very, very hard time skiing in the Cottonwoods because visability will near zero. If you go up on a day like that, Brighton has the most tree lined trails which will be the most doable. But you'd probably be better off at Canyons, Park City or even Deer Valley if there's a blizzard.)
You can also get to Snowbasin fine now that the Trappers Loop highway and new Snowbasin connector road is open. The only area that often requires 4wD is Powder Mtn. The road is STEEP and less well maintained. You can hit it several days after any snow and, without 4wd, you may or may not get up. And then, of course, you need to come back down as well....
I hope you enjoy your trip - I'm going to be there as well on the 26th - 28th.... Hopefully it will dump towards the beginning of the week!
[This message has been edited by tommo (edited 02-18-2004).]
also with a minivan.. $500 smackers including the various taxes and fees and all sort of stuff. Hertz i think.
any suggestions on cheaper?
If it's a powder day (or just after), what's the best non-4wd way to get to Powder Mountain? Is the road up to Wolf Creek for the shuttle not too bad? Do you have to be staying at Wolf Creek to take the shuttle? Or are there any unofficial hitch-hiking spots where 4wd cars pick up stranded powder-hungry skiers?
If I'm staying just off 12th St. in Ogden, is the quickest way to Snowbasin using 1) the 12th St. to 39 (past Powder) to 167 to access road or 2) I-15 South, to 84, to 167, to access road?
Thanks in advance.
You'll love UT - if you've never been their, I highly recommend the "small" areas. You'll save lots of money and the skiing is as good (better, really) than at the high cost "resorts". Also, hit Smiths and Dan's grocery stores for discount tickets. (There's a Smith's just north of North Temple at about 6th north, 12th West and a convienent Dan's on Foothill/Wasatch about 1 mile north of I-80)
Wow, everyone's goin' to UTAH - COOL! Sounds like you're staying in downtown Ogden - great place..... I would take Ogden Canyon to either Snowbasin or Powder Mtn. For SB, whether it's snowy or not, go past the old road to Snowbasin towards Huntsville, turn right on Trappers Loop, and then take the new road in. That would be much easier, if nothing else, than looping all the way south to the interstate and much prettier as well.
For Powder Mtn, the road is very good up and a bit past Wolf Creek. I suspect you could park there in the Golf Course lot and catch a shuttle up, but I've never done that myself. There are also some places a bit further up the road where you could attempt to hitch a ride, but that's a bit sketchy (there's just not a whole lot of people going up there except on the weekends!) Personally, I'd go to Snowbasin until the road is OK to PM instead of futzing around with hitching. I mean, how wrong can you go with 2500 empty acres, 30 feet of snow, 3000' vertical, 2 gondolas, and the most flat out insane downhill course on the continent (that they let you ski at whatever speed you've got nerve for)? Then head up to Powder a couple days later....when it will still have untracked snow....
Have a GREAT trip...tm Oh yeah, and try eating at Gray Cliffs lodge on the north side of the Ogden Canyon road. Two trout, fresh out of the river, with salad, sides, desert, etc... for about $12. Nice people - great place and one of the best deals around.
[This message has been edited by tommo (edited 02-18-2004).]
anyway, SANDY/Mid-vale, that's where we are staying...
There's always UTA!
They will also come pick you up at the airport. They charge rates comperable to what you'll get everywhere else but like I said you know exactly what vehicle you'll have waiting for you when you get there.
I would post the name of the company here but I want them to remain relatively unknown so when I go up there next time they'll have some vehicles in stock.
I got a rental minivan for 375.00 for the week thru Alamo (using alamo rate code and alamo promo code combined thru southwest airline).
I will be in SLC area FEB 23 thru March 1st. I will fly in on Monday before Noon, drive to park city to get free lift with proof of the flight ticket. ( parkcityinfo.com QuickStart promo thing)
Again on Wednesday before noon, I will pick up my son from the airport and drive to Park City for free lift ticket for my son.
Again on Thursday before noon, I will pick up a friend from the airport, and then drive to park city.
That's one reason for renting the minivan as my schedule doesn't really allow me to use the UTA on most days. The UTA schedule seem to be limit on SAT and SUN from the Wyndham hotel/Best Western Plaza hotel area near the temple in SLC.
But again thanks guys! See ya if I see ya!
If after 2-3 days we simply cannot stand this set up, we'll rent a car...
So that's $500 savings (Hertz '7' person mini-van) minus the $5 bus fees... whatever they come out to be.
The only thing you will miss with UTA is Park City (which, depending on your opinion of the resorts there, isn't missing much).
Any bus that goes to Alta, Solitude, Brighton, Snowbird [my personal fav], or Alta gets an A+ in my book. Not to mention the ride up is awesome, and it is really nice being on a bus with other riders (good pre-resort atmosphere).
I stay in that best western everytime I am in Utah.
The only problem is the crappy location in relation to food, etc...
There is also a residence in across the street, which I believe has cheaper rates per week... but I can never remember the name when I book trips :-\.
So with a car booked (ie. not having to worry about being on a bus line), I used Priceline and www.biddingfortravel.com (a forum that compiles results from Priceline purchases, so you know what you might get) to get $30/room/night at the Homestead Studio Suites - a 2-star hotel with kitchenettes in the Valley area of Salt Lake - only 23 miles from Snowbird.
Also, you can get discount lift tickets from Canyon Sports (www.canyonsports.com), and, a free ticket at Park City with a same-day airline boarding pass and the coupon from
We're taking off from BWI on the Southwest non-stop at 8:25am, and plan to be skiing _for free_ at Park City by 1pm.