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Brian Head, UT Apr 6-7, 2023

Amie H

Angel Diva
I flew in/out of Las Vegas for this trip. Rental Car area there is not the easiest. IYKYK. Spent first and last night on the Strip (thanks to comps,) and one night at Brian Head.

Day one: up early, left Vegas up I-15, beautiful drive (even prettier on return drive.) Not a horrible drive up the mountain road to Brian Head. Had to park at Giant Steps (much larger lot than Navajo.)

Navajo Peak is serviced by two main lifts - Navajo Peak Express and Wildflower (Chair 1) and then the beginner area chair and surface lifts. It only has blue and green runs, and the blues are very mellow. The Brian Head Peak/Giant Steps mountain area is larger (both acreage and altitude) and offers more terrain variety and park features. Only one High speed lift there (Giant Steps).

Took the free shuttle to start my day at Navajo. Absolutely beautiful day weather-wise, and crowds weren't too bad. Lots of families with kids. It was the Thursday before Easter.


After my mistake riding Chair 6 to nowhere, I stayed on Navajo Express and Wildflower lifts. I started to get irritated on the slowness of that Wildflower chair. In general the entire resort could use some infrastructure upgrades. Many of the chairs are old and S L O W .

Despite that, I had a great day and finished the day skiing back to Giant Steps Lodge parking area:

 

Amie H

Angel Diva
Day Two: spent the night at Brian Head Lodge. It was OK for the price. It had a mini fridge and microwave in the room, which was convenient for me, especially since I had to get some work done on my laptop. Check-in was a bit of a hassle. Their online booking system is really cumbersome. I did end up with a room, not the most convenient/accessible, but it was fine. It's not slopeside, but its maybe a 2 minute drive to the two BH parking lots, and it runs a shuttle bus, as well.

The plus of staying there was the independently run Noorish Spa inside the hotel. My therapist, Chelsea, was kind and did a great job. I enjoyed my spa treatments and the amenities, though the spa's hot tub was under repair :(

The hotel, itself has a pool and hot tub, but it was full of kids so I skipped it. It also has a bar/grille area, but as per usual, I brought my own food, so I dined in my room.

macncheese.jpg
Hey, it was Lent! But believe me, with those two hot sauce packets, it was pretty tasty.

Next morning, I made a cup of tea, packed up and checked out. It was comical the level of hassle to get my luggage out. The layout of the hotel is poor for managing gear/luggage.

Parked at Giant Steps again, intending to ski that side of the mountain. Well, the wind had a different idea! Rode Chair three a few times and Giant Steps Express. It was crazy up at the top, so I was advised by other skiers who were frequent visitors, to head to Navajo, as supposedly they get less wind-whipped on that side. So, I did a few runs from the top, then headed over.


It wasn't as windy at Navajo, but it was noticeably more crowded than Thursday. I rode one or two trails I hadn't done the day before. Then after a few hours, had a small snack (it was Good Friday, no full meal/no meat allowed for me)

By early afternoon, I was heading back to Vegas. Once there, I freshened up, made a modest meal in my room: vegetarian Ramen made with a travel kettle I brought with me. Then I made a last minute decision to book a ticket that night to see Donny Osmond who has a residency at Harrah's. I chose the cheapest ticket but...right as the lights came up, an usher tapped me on the shoulder.
"Just you?" she asked. "Come with me."
And she led me to the 2nd row to fill a seat! Sometimes it pays to dress up! (She had previously led a couple in t-shirts to only one row ahead of where they were sitting.)
So I got to see my preschool/kindergarten crush, Donny, up close lol. It was a fun way to end the day and another Utah connection in my trip! :wink:

PuppyLove.jpg
 

badger

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I've been to Brian Head four times. My first visit was by myself, blizzard first day, resort was closed. Being by myself made it worse. Decided I'd never go back.

NEVER SAY "NEVER". I have returned three more times and have enjoyed Brian Head immensely for several reasons.
1. How do you beat parking and then walking fifty feet to four available lifts?

2. Easy to navigate. Of course it's a small resort, but it is laid out well, could not get lost if you tried.

3. Fun. The terrain can be varied , easy to access and bail out of if you wish, and the movement created by the way the runs curve and roll is a hoot no matter your skill level...but super fun at high speed if no one else is our there.

4. No One Else Out There. Brian Head is usually free of crowds and lines. Weekends may be busier but even then, I have yet to find Brian Head anywhere nearly as crowded as other resorts on a WEEKDAY.

5. Dining on mountain offers the usual fare, however there is a really good restaurant on the second floor of the main lodge. Locals drive there just to have a meal. Bathrooms are accessible easily.

6. Location is beautiful.

7. Perfect for beginners . As @Amie H mentioned, she is covering skier terrain in her reports primarily to let people know about good options for skiers starting out or developing first skills. Brian Head is a great place for learning. The mountains --two two them-- offer slopes for everyone but the super advanced or expert...but that terrain is available if you hike.

Thanks Amie for covering this little gem.
 

Amie H

Angel Diva
@badger I thought: wonderful spot for a family with young and/or beginner skiers. Hard to get lost is correct. The snow was very nice. And, wow, tickets, lodging, etc some of the lowest prices I've ever experienced out West, so again, family-friendly.

A few of the lifts are old w no bars (such as Chair 3 on Giant Steps side,) and when the wind kicked up, my chair was *swinging * side to side. It was a bit unnerving. But the 2 main chairs at Navajo were fine. Chair six in learning area bar-less but its fairly low.

Unfortunately the Friday before Easter was somewhat crowded as many schools were off that day (as was I from work!) But I was able to keep away from the more popular areas and still had a great day and got great parking both days of my visit.

It felt like a Midwestern resort to me: unpretentious, inexpensive, family-oriented.

I was curious about the "George" lodge (not owned by resort, I assumed) near Chair 1. Any good?

Would I go back: yes, maybe...I had a lot of hassle w both my flight & rental car. LAS is not my favorite and I disliked my Strip hotel, too. A bit ironic, bc I do enjoy gambling, but much prefer other jurisdictions for that.

I started doing "novice skier oriented" videos because, really, I'm trying to convince my dad to travel with me to ski again! After watching my videos and consulting a trail map, he is convinced that he could have a fun day at Mt Rose, Reno - another place with a vast beginner area. Brian Head he might like, as well.
 

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