Brighton is one of the oldest ski areas in the United States, but stands the test of time with top-notch terrain and affordability.
In a state known for having the “Greatest Snow on Earth,” Brighton’s no-frills atmosphere does not disappoint. Offering anything from beginner trails to chutes, bowls, cliffs, big jumps, long rails, half pipes, and more, Brighton truly checks every box off the list of terrain variety. Brighton is one of the oldest resorts in the United States but manages to stay current with high-speed lift access, extremely easy backcountry access, affordable lift tickets, and the blessing of terrain often coated in perfect, abundant snowfall.
Brighton Ski Resort opened in 1939 as the first ski resort in the state of Utah. Almost 80 years later, skiers and riders still flock to its slopes on spring days, powder mornings, and all days in between. High-speed quads accessing world-class terrain keep this resort current and enjoyable for all guests. Brighton is also one of the few resorts to offer extensive night skiing—over 200 acres—in a part of the United States not known for resort skiing after 4pm. That, on top of weekly specials on already-affordable lift tickets makes this resort a local favorite.
One of the early adopters of the sport of snowboarding, many riders come to Brighton to ride one of six terrain parks that are constructed each year on the slopes. The main terrain park is located under the night skiing lights, so visitors can work on progressing their skills well passed dusk throughout the season.
Brighton does not offer the frills that Park City resorts and nearby Solitude and Snowbird may, but the locals prefer it that way. It’s just the mountain, abundant snowfall, exceptional terrain, and smiles. Après ski isn’t at an expensive bar, but rather the tailgate-style parking lot variety that can seem rudimentary but often draws resort guests in with charm and the friendliness of those who frequent the mountain’s slopes. It’s hard not to enjoy the rustic nature of an old ski resort only forty minutes from downtown Salt Lake.
Brighton Pros and Cons
+ Easy access to some of the best backcountry terrain in the United States complete with available single-ride lift ticket options.
+ Consistently receives high annual snowfall and extremely dry powder snow.
+ Laid-back atmosphere caters to locals and skiers not looking to break the bank.
- Little resort amenities at the base for those looking to stay and enjoy near-mountain nightlife.
- In-bounds terrain acreage considered small when compared to most other mountains in the immediate surrounding area.
Updated for Winter 2016-2017 – Roger Tufts