As the saying goes, skiing is the easy part. Winter travel can be stressful, but with some planning ahead and a few logistical tips, we can help smooth out a few bumps.
Driving in snow and finding parking (more on parking in a minute) might not be the ideal start to the day for everyone. Luckily, Park City has an incredible, free bus system. There are technically two transit systems in the area and Park City Transit (white/blue buses) serves areas close to town, and as far out as Kimball Junction. There are nearly a dozen routes, and their website, as well as Google Maps, are a great way to plan your route from lodging to lift.
Two helpful rules of thumb: most routes stop by the Old Town Transit Center, and you can connect there to Deer Valley – typically to Snow Park, and less frequently to Empire or Silver Lake. Secondly, inbound buses generally head to the transit center, while outbound buses are – you guessed it – going in the opposite direction towards the route’s origin.
High Valley Transit (purple/black buses) serves outlying neighborhoods and does have a route (101 Spiro) to Deer Valley, so if you are staying in Jeremy Ranch, Pinebrook, or Kimball Junction, this is also an option. Note that “inbound” on this route is to Deer Valley. Masks are required to be worn on the buses by both systems.
A bus may not always be feasible for every group. Guests staying in Deer Valley-managed properties can utilize free resort and town shuttles courtesy of Cadillac. Let someone else handle driving and directions from the front door to the lift, restaurant, or bar of your choice. The front desk or concierge can help arrange a ride.
Deer Valley has an ample amount of parking, although it can fill up fast – especially during peak periods. Plan to arrive early – ideally before 9 a.m. when the lifts open. To encourage carpooling, vehicles with three or more skiers will be able to park in Lot 2 at Snow Park during the holidays and on weekends throughout the season. There are a total of five parking lots at Snow Park, so scoring a spot in Lot 2 is a great incentive. If you wind up in one of the further lots, there is a shuttle that circles the lot every few minutes, which is a short walk to catch no matter where you park.
When it snows all day (not if, but when – fingers crossed!) and you cannot tell which mound of white snow is your car – there’s a handy feature in the Deer Valley App that marks your parking spot on the map. Equally useful for those of us who “forget” where we parked when racing to catch first chair, the app easily finds the way back to your vehicle. This feature is extra helpful when driving unfamiliar rental wheels.
If you need to drive through the town of Park City, one tip to avoid traffic on the way into Deer Valley is heading to highway 40 and parking at the Jordanelle Express Gondola. There is less parking at the gondola, but early risers can be rewarded with an easier commute and a warm gondola ride to start the morning. Just don’t forget to ski (or ride the gondola) back to the Jordanelle base area at the end of the day. We’ve never taken our skis off at Snow Park, started walking towards the shuttle, only to realize we get to ski a couple more runs! Nope, definitely not us…
Buying lift tickets in advance is a great way to save some time and potentially money – plus ensure you can ski. Deer Valley offers advance lift ticket purchases online, and since the resort does reach capacity during holidays and peak times to preserve an uncrowded ski experience, purchasing tickets as soon as possible is strongly encouraged. Ticket pick-up is available at three kiosks located throughout the resort – at Snow Park and Silver Lake Lodges as well as in the Silver Strike area – allowing you to bypass the ticket window should there be a line.
Originally written by Nick and Laura Como for Deer Valley Resort.