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Like many of its patrons, Deer Valley is extremely well-groomed. Source: Deer Valley

Deer Valley Resort is just easier. Easier to ski, easier to get to, easier to gear up for the day (free overnight ski and boot check). As a senior skier, I’m totally on board with that.

A few minutes drive or free bus from ski town Park City, UT, the base at Snow Park Lodge (7,200 feet) is the main starting point to these well-manicured slopes and to the reliable, friendly staff in their forest-green uniforms. Some will still carry your skis from the car.

Most of the skiing (snowboarders not allowed) rises above Bald Eagle Mountain (8,400 feet), putting you at Silver Lake Lodge. From here, you have access to skiing at Bald and Flagstaff Mountains with intermediate runs. Quincy Express offers short, fun intermediate trails off Northside Express like Sidewinder, Lost Boulder, and Lucky Star. Use the singles line to lap these more quickly. Veer skiers’ right on top of Bald and ski the double blues and blacks and iconic Stein’s Run overlooking the Jordanelle Reservoir off Sultan Lift.

It’s a feast: 2,000 acres of skiing over six peaks. All have a beginner or intermediate run from the top. When we were there early March, groomed runs numbered 62 out of 103, more than half.

Deer Valley Winterscape. Source: Deer Valley

Grooming status is posted on boards at the top of lifts. For the chutes and trees, do what my daughter and her boyfriend do, use a walkie-talkie. One goes first, and the other radios back, “Don’t come down here.”

After a splendid lunch at Empire Canyon Lodge (fish tacos with grilled Scottish salmon, Deer Valley turkey chili, seasonal salads, Mac and Cheese with raclette – the resort is well known for good dining — hop on Empire Express to Empire Peak (9,570 feet, highest elevation). Here you ski bumps or powder in the steep bowls. Most cruise the intermediate groomers. More options are one lift over at Lady Morgan Express.

Deer Valley is always fun… especially on a powder day. Source: Deer Valley

The mountain ops staff clear the glades for well-spaced tree skiing. This year they thinned out three new low-angle, easily accessible, glades, giving seniors a chance to ski the trees like they used to, no tree hugging. Ask a mountain host stationed at the trail map billboards for their locations.

Deer Valley was crowded on the weekend we were there (parking lot and access road full) and was close to restricting ticket sales. The 12 high-speed chairlifts keep people moving though.

Next season, it will only offer access (seven days) on the Ikon Base Plus Pass, not the Ikon Base Pass, presumably to help keep skier numbers down.

I met several older skiers on the lifts, transplants from the East, skiing on a DV senior season pass grateful, despite a recent price hike, they could freely choose the best conditions.

DV Stats

2,026 acres

Base elevation 6,570 feet; summit 9,570 feet

103 ski runs, 6 bowls, 21 chairlifts

Longest vertical, 1,380 feet off Little Baldy

Average annual snowfall: 300 inches

27 percent beginner, 41 percent intermediate, 32 percent expert terrain

Prices:

Full day senior pass, 65 and older: $134-$187 (to April 17, conditions permitting)

Season Pass (22/23 season) 65 and older: $1,995

6 Comments

  1. Spot on Tasmin. Our favorite area. You hit all the highlights for sure.

  2. Lou Vigorita says:

    Start morning on left side of Resort following the sun.

  3. That day pass seems kind of expensive.

  4. Rob Washington says:

    Great article Tasmin the only thing you missed was the Stein Erickson lodge dining room experience, very rarely do you get 4 star food and service (think flute of Napa’s Gloria Ferrier paired with a scrumptious bite of veal terrine en croute), while taking in the multicolored hues of fellow humans donning the latest ski garb, set against the backdrop of DV’s signature corduroy groomed slopes.

  5. Tamsin Venn says:

    Thanks Pat! Rob, beam me there. Lou, follow the sun for sure. Iris, most of the seniors I met there had DV season or Ikon passes.

    Here are some small factual update discrepancies. It’s Stein’s Way not Run. DV has 14 Express Lifts (not 12) – 21 total. Ikon Pass for next year is 5 days with blackouts on the Ikon Base Plus and 7 days on the Ikon Pass, no Ikon Base Pass.

    Ski on.

  6. Patti+Farkas says:

    Oh, yes, Deer Valley was long my husband’s and my absolute favorite ski area! We skied there for many years, taking the convenient free bus and storing our skis overnight gratis. We switched to Alta (a 45-minute drive) nine years ago when my husband turned 80 and became eligible for free skiing there; I used their senior half-day pass until I, too, turned 80 seven years later. Now we ski there Mondays or Tuesdays through Thursdays or Fridays every week for almost three months a year. We would love to return to Deer Valley occasionally, but those prices are WAY out of our reach now. Too bad, we really miss it.

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