Utah makes perfect winter getaway - Eye on LA

PARK CITY, Utah We know when you pick a place to go on vacation, you want to get a lot of bang for your buck, and when we found out we could hop a quick and easy flight to Salt Lake City and hit up to 11 resorts all within an hour's drive of Salt Lake City International Airport, we knew it was time to put on the long johns and get set for a winter adventure.

Park City

In 2002, Park City hosted some of the Winter Olympic Games, and every year the little town welcomes big stars at Sundance, one of the largest independent film festivals in the United States. But the charming town of Park City has another draw. Park City's Main Street is a hip strip lined with restaurants, pubs, shops and art galleries - and its mountain is the home to three very cool resorts [Watch video].

Park City Mountain Resort

With a lift that takes you on a breathtaking ride from the heart of Main Street to the top of the mountain, it's easy to ski in the morning, ski down to Main Street for lunch and stroll the galleries, then catch the lift back up for a little more powder playtime! Featuring an Olympic size, 22-foot half pipe and 30-60 foot jumps, Park City Mountain Resort is a favorite training spot for top athletes. The family friendly resort also features their Alpine Rollercoaster and their two-person, seated Flying Eagles Zipline, which is perfect for fun with the kids.

Canyons Resort

With its signature Transitions Terrain Park, Canyons Resort in Park City draws plenty of skiers and snowboarders of a more extreme persuasion, but being Utah's largest ski area with 4,000 acres, the resort's vast terrain has something for just about everyone. Canyons is also home of the Orange Bubble Lift, Utah's only heated lift which keeps you warm and cozy as it takes you up the mountain.

Non-skiers can also get a rush on their 800-foot and 2,000-foot zip lines! And if that's not cool enough, Eye on L.A. host Tina Malave even spotted three moose while riding the lift!

Deer Valley Resort

For true-blue skiers who prefer not to share the powder with snowboarding daredevils, Deer Valley may just be for you! Friendly mountain hosts are ready to help you find the best terrains for your level, and they also offer complimentary overnight ski storage so you don't have to lug your gear back and forth. If you have Beverly Hills tastes when it comes to lodging, Deer Valley has several high-end hotels, from the St. Regis, to Utah's only five-star, five-diamond hotel named after the resort's director of skiing and 1952 Olympic gold medalist, Stein Eriksen. And if you still want more fun, Tina recommends dashing through the snow in a high powered snowmobile with Summit Meadows Adventures. It's an adrenaline-inducing adventure complete with gorgeous views [Watch video]!

Big Cottonwood Canyon

Big Cottonwood Canyon is known for its uncluttered, natural beauty. It's a place to ski deep powder and forget about your day to day stresses! Big Cottonwood Canyon is home to two pristine resorts: Brighton and Solitude [Watch video].

Brighton Resort

Being the oldest ski resort in Utah, Brighton Resort is a true locals resort with a multi-generational following. The terrain is very user friendly for all levels of skiers, but most newbies are recommended to hit Brighton first.


The name says it all! If you want to get away from the L.A. hustle and bustle, reconnect with nature and reconnect with family, Solitude is a great choice. Priding themselves on having a not crowded, unfettered ski experience, one of their mantras is "more powder per person!"

Solitude also features a little European village complete with shopping, dining, a swimming pool and an ice skating rink. And it also has its own Nordic center with 17 kilometers of tract and groomed trail that goes throughout the forest with stunning views and vistas. Try your hand at skate-skiing at the Nordic Center to burn off tons of calories!

Little Cottonwood Canyon

Little Cottonwood Canyon gets over 500 inches of the lightest, driest powder snow per year! No wonder Utah's motto is "the greatest snow on earth!" Ski enthusiasts who like steep terrain will love Little Cottonwood's two resorts, Alta and Snowbird [Watch video].


Celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, Alta is known for the steepest and deepest skiing around. But there's no need to be intimidated, over the years they've created services designed for beginners and whole families, including their free tow ropes, perfect for beginners.

Another treat for visitors is seeing the adorable rescue dogs that run around and interact with the guests as part of Alta's long legacy of avalanche control and response.

You can feel a real sense of friendly community in the town of Alta, from the ski instructors to the General Manager of the local Rustler's Lodge, who also happens to be the town's mayor.


A trip over to Snowbird starts with an aerial tram ride up to the top of Hidden Peak, which is about 11,000 feet above sea level. The terrain is a big draw for skiers with so many options to choose from, whether you want to ski some groomers or get into some steeper mountain type terrain. If your idea of fun also involves a bit of retail therapy, you can shop away at one of Snowbird's boutiques. And what get-away is complete without a little spa indulgence? Finish your trip at the Cliff Lodge Spa for a little pampering!

See the complete list of all of the places featured on this week's episode.

[Original air date: Jan. 26, 2013]

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