Aside from Snowbird’s crazy snowfall, there’s one factor that brings people to the mountain more than any other:
Snowbird is a place that’s blessed with some of the longest, steepest, and amazing runs of any mountain. Which can create a difficult problem…
Of all of Snowbird’s amazing runs, which are best?
Fresh of yet another trip to The Bird (I just can’t stay away from the place!) here are my picks for the all the best runs at Snowbird, whether you’re looking for easier greens or expert steeps.
P.S. – If it helps to follow along, here’s a link to the official Snowbird trail map.
- The Best Green Runs at Snowbird
- The Best Blue Runs at Snowbird
- The Best Advanced Runs at Snowbird
- The Best Expert Runs at Snowbird
The Best Green Runs at Snowbird
While I’ve said before that Snowbird definitely isn’t a beginner’s mountain, there’s a couple green runs at The Bird worth mentioning.
Chickadee is a tiny, super mellow beginner’s section of the mountain just off the Snowbird Center and near The Cliff Lodge.
With a lift that’s only 130 feet tall, this is definitely one part of the mountain designated for the first time “Never Ever” skiers.
In my opinion, this is the only real green run at Snowbird, and I’d argue that much of it would be classified as a blue at many other mountains.
In any case, Upper Bigger Emma is a wide open blue groomer, which eventually funnels into the slightly more mellow pitched Middle Emma and Lower Emma, which are both rated green.
Both parts of this run are totally wide open, which make for a pretty good learning environment for beginners.
The Best Blue Runs at Snowbird
Snowbird isn’t exactly an intermediate mountain either, but it definitely offers several great blue runs.
4. Baldy Blues to Lupine Loop
Admittedly, most Snowbird visitors only use the Baldy chairlift to get to Alta. But this lift also has some underrated blue terrain that I like to call “The Baldy Blues.” This includes the three blues that fan out from the top of the lift – Claim Jumper, Lucky Boy, and Bird’s Nest.
All three runs funnel into Lupine Loop, which is a beautiful and scenic adventure that weaves through tree patches and overlooks stunning Utah mountains.
Upper, Middle, or Lower Bassackwards are all some of the most popular blue runs on Snowbird’s front side, and for good reason.
Together, this blue groomer is as long as you want to make it. You can either limit your trip to Upper and Middle Bassackwards, which allow you to lap the Gad 2 Express lift over and over again, or you can zoom past the Gad 2 chairlift and continue all the way down to the base, via Lower Bassackwards.
The three runs combine for over 2,000 continuous vertical feet of winding terrain.
2. Junior’s Powder Paradise
In my opinion, the best blue terrain in all of Mineral Basin is Junior’s Powder Paradise Run, and boy is this paradise!
This is the section of the wide open Mineral Basin that’s most often groomed, which makes for amazing cruising down the unbelievably scenic backside of Snowbird.
Even better, there’s several different routes down from here, so adventurous intermediate skiers will never get bored. If you’re feeling particularly spicy, there’s even tons of blue moguls and powder patches to venture into.
1. Chip’s Run
Ah yes, Chip’s. If the Snowbird Center and its Aerial Tram is the main heartbeat of this world-class resort, then Chip’s Run is its main artery.
This winding blue groomer runs for miles and miles, and it never seems to end. Which makes sense, considering that both the Aerial Tram and Peruvian Express are two of the largest lifts in North America.
If your idea of fun involves lapping nearly 3,000 continuous feet of vertical, then you can’t miss the iconic Chip’s run.
The Best Advanced Runs at Snowbird
As I mentioned in my full Snowbird review, The Bird really starts to open up as a world class resort once you reach the upper-intermediate to advanced skill set.
At this point, there’s tons of amazing runs to choose from, but here are the 5 best.
5. Lower Primrose Path
The Peruvian Gulch area is a total playground for the advanced skier, with endless offshoots for extra challenge off Chip’s Run / Rotman Way.
For the longest and most consistent steepness, Lower Primrose Path is always a good bet.
But one reason why this area of the mountain is so special is that it’s great for those wanting to “choose their difficulty” or “choose their own adventure.” If you just want to dip your toes into the black diamond steepness, runs like Chip’s Face, Phone 3 Shot, and even Hot Foot Gully are fun little side excursions off the blue groomers.
If you like long bumps, Gadzooks is a higher trafficked frontside black that usually offers consistent mogul skiing all the way down.
And since it’s accessed directly off the Gad 2 chairlift, you can lap it over and over again for maximum leg burn!
3. Road to Provo / Knucklehead Traverse
There’s nothing quite like a rope drop on Road to Provo.
After big snows, ski patrol often leaves this area closed for avalanche mitigation, which means the powder tends to pile up. But once ski patrol gives the green light, Road to Provo is sure to lead you to some of the best open bowl pitches on the whole mountain.
The further you head down the traverse, the less tracked out the snow. Which is why I prefer to head down Knucklehead Traverse and usually get a few runs off Bonar’s Pass or the Rasta Chutes, which are usually some of the best bets for untracked powder at Snowbird!
2. Mineral Basin
Staring out at the 500 acre expanse of Snowbird’s backside, the toughest decision an advanced skier will have to make is which juicy route to take!
This is another spot that isn’t a single run but rather rather an entire area worthy of exploring. (Which is exactly why this site has a full Mineral Basin Guide.)
In any case, advanced skiers will love all the black diamond terrain near the lift line. High Stakes has the longest and most continuous vertical, while the areas off Lupine Loop, such as Double Down, often see less traffic. But my personal favorite might be the short but sweet White Diamonds or Silver Dipper.
1. Regulator Johnson
There’s definitely no black diamond run at Snowbird that’s as iconic as Regulator Johnson. When it’s groomed, it’s one of the fastest, steepest groomers anywhere. And when it’s not, that’s usually because there’s been a big powder dump, which makes Regulator one of the best spots on the entire mountain for beautiful open bowl skiing.
Either way, this is an incredible run. (And one of my personal favorites anywhere!)
Definitely check out SlopeLab’s full guide to Regulator Johnson.
The Best Expert Runs at Snowbird
At it’s core, Snowbird is an expert mountain. The Bird brings more steep expert terrain than just about anywhere on the planet, which made narrowing down this list really, really hard!
Admittedly, I cheated a bit, which is why many of these “runs” are actually areas with multiple options. Oh well, happy exploring!
6. Pipeline Bowl & Baldy’s Bowl
Here’s a little local secret that’s not on the trail map.
A local was telling me about these two bowls, located off the Road to Provo traverse. Apparently, expert skiers like to hike directly up the bowl to these two wide open spaces.
While this area doesn’t have the most vertical, it definitely brings tons of powder.
5. Bookends Bowl
The preferred experts spot at Mineral Basin is the Bookends Bowl, located on the farthest section from the chairlift. To get there, you’ll take a long path along Bookends Traverse, but you’ll eventually be rewarded with 5 different double black diamond routes, each one nice and steep with plenty of obstacles through the trees.
4. Thunder Bowl
Really, I could have put any part of the often-overlooked boundary runs located off the Gad 2 chairlift. But one of the most popular is the Thunder Bowl.
To get there, you have to do some work and hug the ridge line, but you’ll be rewarded with an amazing expert area that always has powder and is rarely skied by visitors.
3. Gad Chutes
Gad Chutes is located off the Cirque Traverse, just past Pucker Bush.
But really, this is just one of several of Snowbird’s best chutes off the Traverse. For more exploration, continue along the traverse to the steep and narrow Barry Barry Steep, Wilbere Bowl, or Wilma’s.
2. Dalton’s Draw and Mach Shnell
If you’re looking for maximum continuous steepness, it doesn’t get any better than Dalton’s Draw or Mach Scnell.
These two double black runs are located at the very end of the Cirque Traverse, which means they plunge all the way down to the base village below, in one consistent shot.
1. Great Scott & Silver Fox
Okay, okay, I couldn’t pick just one.
These two runs are located off the very top of the Cirque Traverse, and they’re two of the most iconic runs at Snowbird for a reason.
- Upper Silver Fox is named after Snowbird’s founder, Ted Johnson, and was supposedly his favorite line on the entire mountain. It offers consistent fall line steepness, and then funnels down into all the other amazing paths along Peruvian Gulch.
- Great Scott, on the other hand, is a steeper, narrower chute that’s often considered the steepest overall run at Snowbird.
Choose your path, or don’t. Because chances are, you’ll be back to ski both of these legends more than once!