Snowbird, Utah

Snowbird, Utah

Snowbird is an unincorporated area based in Little Cottonwood Canyon in the Wasatch Range of the Rocky Mountains in Salt Lake County, Utah, United States. It is perhaps most famous for the Snowbird ski resort, an alpine skiing and snowboarding area, which opened in December 1971.


*Average Annual Snowfall: 500”

*Vertical Drop: convert|3240|ft|m|0|abbr=on

*Base Elevation: convert|7760|ft|m|0|abbr=on

*Top Elevation: convert|11000|ft|m|-2|abbr=on

*Skiable area: 2,500 acres (10 km²)

*Terrain: 27% Beginner, 38% Intermediate, 35% Advanced

*Number of Runs: 89

*Lifts: 1 tram, 4 quads, 6 doubles

*Miles to Major Airport: 29

*Location: Snowbird, Utah is in the heart of the Wasatch-Cache National Forest in Little Cottonwood Canyon, one mile (1.6 km) down canyon from Alta.

Snowbird ski resort has 2500 acres (10 km²) skiable and receives more than 500 inches of snowfall per year. The strong point of the resort is the aerial tram which provides access to convert|3000|ft|m|-2 vertical.

The resort covers three drainage areas, each with a unique character. The Peruvian Gulch side was the least crowded of the three until they put in the new Peruvian chairlift, but is still exceptional on a good powder day. The Gad Valley has the widest range of skiable terrain, from the slow-skiing Big Emma to steep Regulator Johnson. The third, and most recently developed bowl, is Mineral Basin --- which tends to be warmer and more open than the other two. It ranks as the second best resort in North America, being runner-up to the famed Whistler Blackcomb resort in Canada, according to Skiing Magazine.

It is adjacent to Alta Ski Area, and with a special lift ticket skiers can interchange between the two resorts via the Baldy Express lift (Snowbird) and Sugarloaf lift (Alta).


Before Little Cottonwood Canyon became popular with skiers, miners discovered deposits of silver ore within the glacial canyon. The history of Little Cottonwood Canyon and the town of Alta dates back to the 19th Century, when a soldier in the U.S. Army first prospected for silver in 1869. The tiny minerals he stumbled upon soon supported a massive industry. Little Cottonwood Canyon became one of the largest producers of silver ore in the Wasatch Mountains. Known as the Emma Mine and the namesake for the Big Emma run in Snowbird’s Gad Valley, the soldier’s find eventually produced more than $3.8 million in silver.

At its peak, 8,000 people lived and worked in the narrow canyon, which held two smelters, 138 homes, hotels, boarding houses, stores and even a railroad. The entire town was later destroyed by a series of avalanches. []

External links

* [ Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort's official Web site]
* [ Ski Utah, The Utah Ski & Snowboard Association's official Web site]
* [ Ride Utah, The Utah Ski & Snowboard Association's official snowboarding-specific Web site]
* [ Utah Office of Tourism official Web site]
*Pfeifferhorn The Little Matterhorn

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