Trip Report: Park City in an All-Time Record Snow Year

park city trip report

Trip Details:

Weather Conditions:

  • Day 1: 0″ (Approximately 3 feet earlier in the week)
  • Day 2: 0″ (but still… 23″ over the past 72 hours)
  • Day 3: 5″
  • Day 4: 16″ (allegedly… we’ll get to that)

Travel Day

Traveling to SLC is always a breeze.

I put in a full work-day on Friday, hopped on an evening flight from MSP to SLC, and was at my friend’s Park City condo before 10 PM.

Can’t beat that! It’s a huge reason why getting to Park City is one of easiest tasks in skiing.

To say I was excited for this trip was an understatement. After a tough 2022 ski season for Utah, 2023 came back with a vengeance, to the tune of more snowfall than ever.


A week before I got there, Park City reported that they broke their all-time record for snowfall in the history of recording snowfall. By March 22nd, a resort that usually sees about 250 inches of snow per year had officially passed the 500 inch mark, and it wasn’t even April yet!

This toppled the previously held record from the 1980s, making 2023 the snowiest ski season in the past half-century of recorded snowfall on the mountain.

By the time I showed up, barely a week after Park City announced 500 inches for the season, the resort had packed on another 80 inches, bringing the season snowfall up to 580 inches and counting.


Ski Day 1: Bluebird in a Record Year

Defying all odds of the season, this bluebird Saturday actually hadn’t seen any new snow. But considering the approximately 3 feet received over the past 2-3 days, I wasn’t the least bit concerned.

Especially as I took the Town Lift up the mountain to views like this:

park city bluebird april

My friends were still sorting out their rental gear and the like, so I ended up skiing by myself all morning.

I started with a run off Thaynes, which proved to be more moguls than I was in the mood for, before heading over to Blueslip Bowl. Surprising nobody, the mountain was skiing very powdery under the Saturday blue skies. In fact, Blueslip – normally a double black – felt more like single black difficulty because the huge snowfall amounts seemed to have flattened out the whole run.

blueslip bowl

I then headed over to McConkey’s Express and spent a few laps on Sundog and the easier edge of McConkey’s bowl (looker’s right).

Next was the Pioneer Chairlift, and I got some fantastic turns off runs like Comstock, Sampson, and 10th Mountain. (Piooner is one of the oldest and slowest chairlifts on the mountain, so traffic is always lower.) As it turns out, I was glad I snuck in the trip to Pioneer lift… This section of the mountain was closed for the rest of my trip, and a friendly liftie later confirmed that it would remain closed for the rest of the season.

From there, I headed to the legendary Jupiter Bowl, where the seasons’ record snowfall really started to become obvious.

The first clue was this hilarious scene, where folks were hanging out in the 15+ foot tall hole left over from digging out the chairlift.

dug out jupiter lift
Jupiter Lift with so much snow it had to be DUG OUT!

And on the ride up Jupiter, at one point where the lift usually towered 10-20 feet over the ground, skiers could actually touch the snow with their feet!

Pretty crazy to see…

I put in a few laps on Jupiter’s very soft and pretty steep moguls, then headed down to the King Con / Silverlode / Mothelode area.

By the afternoon, my beginner ski friends had all their gear and were ready to rock, so I spent the rest of the day cruising some easy greens with them.

Day 2: Full-on Spring Skiing

Day two had some surprising conditions… the morning started out crusty before turning into sticky slush by the afternoon.

My friend and I started the day off the Town Lift again, then slowly worked our way over to the Canyon’s side to again meet our beginner friends, who planned on skiing the High Meadows learning area before venturing into some of Park City’s easier blues nearby.

Along the way, we caught even more crazy views of the record snowfall. All of the residential roads in The Colony were carved out of 15+ feet walls of snow, and this massive mansion was completely buried in snow:

the colony canyons snow

It takes about an hour and a half to work your way from Park City to the heart of the Canyons side of the mountain, so we were skiing with our beginner friends by about 11 AM.

Overall, I was much more impressed with these green runs than the (much busier) greens on the Park City side, and so were my beginner friends. Maybe it had something to do with being Sunday, but the whole area was much more relaxed and beginner-friendly.

By the afternoon, my friends were ready to try out their first blue ever! We went with Snowdancer, as the other easy blue (Kokopeli) was ungroomed for the day.

The beginners had a blast taking in the views but decided they were ready for a lunch break, so me and four of our group’s more advanced skiers headed over to Super Condor to ski the more advanced terrain.

super condor view
View from Super Condor

Super Condor is always one of my favorite lifts on the mountain, and we had a great time flying down Apex Ridge and venturing off into some of the steeper blacks, like Aplande and Snow Draw. Unfortunately, the day’s 40 degree temps were taking its toll on the snow, which was getting oddly soft and slushy, so we did our best to find some better snow before calling the day early, around 2:30 PM.

Day 3: Sleeper powder day!

park city powder

We woke up on Monday to a snow report claiming 5 inches of new snow, but while heading up the Town Lift, we saw folks on the Payday groomer plowing through at least boot top snow.

We headed up Bonanza and down Parley’s Park/Carbide Cut, which was skiing more like 10 inches of fresh. We all hooped and hollared and met up at the chairlift with huge grins on our faces… today was going to be an awesome day!

Most of the upper mountain was still closed for avalanche mitigation, (Jupiter and McConkey’s) so we spent the next few runs lapping Sunnyside, Glory Hole, Fool’s Gold, and Motherlode Meadows. This was a full-fledged powder day, and all these runs were awesome.

Unfortunately, in the powder excitement, my ski tips dug into an unexpected mogul, and I took a spectacular belly slide down Fool’s Gold. To my surprise, my Pete Rose impression was enough to crack my GoPro chest mount, and despite our best efforts to find a credit card size camera buried underneath a foot of snow, it was… unsurprisingly… like a needle in a haystack. I kissed my trusty GoPro goodbye, along with all of the trips un-backed-up videos so far. 🙁

This sad news was counterbalanced with some good news that McConkey’s was now open, so we headed over to check out McConkey’s Bowl and Sun Dog, which were both skiing fantastic, as expected.

mcconkey's buried
Most of the mountain’s signs were buried from the record snow.

By about 2 PM, my buddies had to head back to catch their evening flights, and I spent the rest of the day lapping McConkey’s, Bonanza, and Silverlode. (Protip: The Powder Keg/Hidden Splendor area seems very overlooked on a powder day.)

Day 4: Powder Goodbyes

Tuesday morning woke up to a reported 16 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours. Judging by how amazing yesterday’s 5 inches skied, I couldn’t even begin to fathom what I was in for today.

I hustled out and grabbed first chair before 9 AM, but to my surprise, the snow report was a dud.

The alleged 16 inches skied more like four, and as one guy on the chairlift complained, “It feels more like they got two feet of WIND today.”

It’s true – the wind was brutal, and relentless, and I spent the morning shuffling between Motherlode, Silverlode, and Thaynes trying to find the goods. (Jupiter remained closed for avalanche mitigation.)

Side Rant: Not sure why, but Park City is one of the only mountains I’ve ever visited that doesn’t publish a snowstake webcam on their website, nor do they write a snow report, so it’s almost impossible to check the day’s mountain conditions in advance.

Eventually, I settled on King Con, which was a little more sheltered from the wind and seemed pretty overlooked. I ended up skiing what felt like 6-8 inches of variable snow on the very overlooked, and aptly named Seldom Seen black run, before splitting time between Monitor, Eureka, Liberty, and maybe my favorite run of the day – Courchevel.

king con powder
View from the King Con chairlift

I snuck in a few laps off the Silverlode chair (Lost Prospector and Prospector) before it was time to start packing up for my evening flight. I skied down the Town Lift, unclicked my boots in front of High West Saloon, and had a delicious lunch and a cocktail before saying my goodbyes.

Evening Flight & Final Thoughts

park city trip report

My flight ended up being delayed for an hour, over which time I spent reminiscing about the trip and the memories made with friends.

Not discussed on the skiing side of this trip report is what a fantastic ski town Park City really is, and how much fun we had checking out new restaurants and bars every night. Special shout outs to High West Saloon, Chimayo Mexican Food, and Baan Thai, all of which were delicious, plus a few wine bars and live music venues where I had a few too many drinks to either remember or report on.

P.S. – RIP, my GoPro.

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