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Brighton Vs Snowbird Skiing (Resorts Compared)

Brighton Vs Snowbird

Skiing is one of the best ways to enjoy the winter season, and there’s no shortage of amazing ski resorts to choose from. Brighton and Snowbird are two popular options for those looking to hit the slopes in Utah.

Having had the opportunity to ski at both resorts, I’ll compare Brighton vs Snowbird and share my experience and insights to help you choose the best resort for your next ski trip.

Brighton Vs Snowbird

The main difference between Brighton and Snowbird is that Brighton is great for beginners, cheaper, and is not as crowded as Snowbird.

Snowbird is larger, offers better terrain and better snow, gets the most snow, and is better suited for advanced skiers. Plus Snowbird has a better lift system.

Also read our comparison of Snowbird vs Park City

Let’s take a look at these in greater details:

Size and Elevation

Brighton and Snowbird are both sizable resorts with plenty of terrains to explore. 

Snowbird, however, is significantly larger, boasting over 2,500 acres of skiable terrain compared to Brighton’s 1,050 acres. 

Moreover, Snowbird’s summit sits at an impressive 11,000 feet, while Brighton’s summit is just over 10,500 feet. While both resorts offer great skiing experiences, Snowbird’s sheer size and elevation gives it an edge.

Terrain

When it comes to terrain, both resorts have their unique offerings. Brighton is known for its extensive tree skiing, with plenty of runs weaving through glades and forests. 

The resort also has a solid terrain park with various features and jumps for freestyle skiers and snowboarders. 

Terrain

On the other hand, Snowbird is well known for its steep and challenging terrain, including its infamous Cirque area which some people claim to be one of the most challenging runs in Utah.

However, Snowboard only has one terrain park, while Brighton has multiple.

Best for Beginners and Intermediates

Brighton Resort has a huge number of beginner and intermediate runs, making it easy for beginners to get comfortable on the snow.

Around 61% of the resort’s runs are marked for beginners and intermediates and offers plenty of green and blue runs to choose from.

Snowbird, on the other hand, is better suited for intermediate to expert skiers, with only about 33% of runs classified as beginner or intermediate.

Best for Advanced and Expert Skiers

If you’re an advanced or expert skier, Snowbird is the clear winner. The resort has some of the steepest and most challenging terrain in Utah, including its infamous Cirque and Mineral Basin areas.

Around 35% of the resort’s runs are marked as advanced or expert runs, making it the perfect destination for thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies.

Best for Advanced and Expert Skiers

Brighton, on the other hand, has much less challenging terrain, making it better suited for more relaxed skiers.

About 39% of its runs are classified as advanced or expert, but considering the number of runs available, that’s still not too much.

Snow Quality And Snowfall

When it comes to snow quality, Snowbird has the edge. The resort is known for its legendary powder, with an average annual snowfall of around 439 inches and the elevation of its highest peak at 11,000 feet.

While still receiving around 404 inches of snow every year, Brighton doesn’t quite match Snowbird’s powder quality and quantity due to its lower elevation.

Also read our guide on skiing in Utah in March

Longest Ski Season

Brighton typically opens in mid-November and stays open until late April, giving skiers and snowboarders plenty of time to enjoy the mountain. Additionally, the resort offers night skiing on select runs, extending the season even further.

Snowbird, on the other hand, has an even longer season, thanks in part to its high elevation and abundant snowfall. 

The resort typically opens in mid-November and stays open until late May or early June, giving visitors an extra month or more of skiing and snowboarding compared to many other resorts. 

The resort’s Tram and Peruvian Chairlift run until Memorial Day, allowing skiers and snowboarders to access the mountain’s higher elevations and more challenging terrain.

Ski Lifts

Snowbird has a better lift system than Brighton. 

Snowbird takes lift rides to the next level with its comprehensive lift system boasting 14 total lifts, including 7 high-speed quads, 4 double chairs, 2 surface lifts, and one tramway! 

The thrilling ride on this tram is an absolute must – giving riders unparalleled views while exploring some of Snowbird’s most intrepid terrain.

Snowbird has a better lift system than Brighton. 

At Brighton, they have 8 lifts including 4 high-speed quads, 2 surface lifts, a triple chairlift, and an attached quad – each providing a distinctive view of the mountain. As you ascend up the slopes, marvel at the remarkable landscape around you, from snowy trees to far-off peaks. 

And with its rapid lifts, you’ll have more time for shredding down the mountainside instead of queuing in line.

Cheapest Resort

When it comes to cost, Brighton is the more affordable option. A full-day lift ticket at Brighton costs around $68, while a full-day lift ticket at Snowbird will set you back at around $92. 

Additionally, Brighton offers various discounts and deals throughout the season, making it a great budget-friendly option. Snowbird usually runs these discounts too.

Accommodation

Both Brighton and Snowbird offer a range of accommodation options, from hotels to condos to vacation rentals.

However, Snowbird being more popular has a more upscale feel, with several luxury options. Conversely, Brighton has a more laid-back and casual atmosphere, with a mix of budget-friendly and mid-range options.

Also read our guide on the closest resorts to Dallas

While both resorts have something to offer, the accommodation options at Snowbird can be more expensive, so budget-conscious skiers may want to consider staying at Brighton.

Verdict

Overall, both Brighton and Snowbird are excellent ski resorts with plenty to offer. 

Brighton may be the better choice if you’re a beginner or intermediate skier looking for a more budget-friendly option. The resort’s extensive network of green and blue runs and affordable lift ticket prices make it an ideal destination for those just starting out. 

However, if you’re an advanced or expert skier looking for challenging terrain and legendary powder, Snowbird is the clear winner. The resort’s steep runs and abundance of powder make it a top destination for thrill-seekers and experienced skiers.

Whether you choose Brighton or Snowbird, you’re sure to have a fantastic time on the slopes. 

Both resorts offer unique experiences and plenty of opportunities for adventure, making them top destinations for any skiing or snowboarding enthusiast.

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Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.

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