The Best Summer Activities in Utah Ski Resorts
We’ve already given you an in-depth overview of ski resort jobs during the winter, but what if you’re looking for summer work? While Utah resorts have a rightfully earned reputation for being premier destinations for winter activities, they’re often overlooked as summer vacation stops.
That’s a shame because many of the best ski towns in Utah also offer a spectacular array of summer activities. Read: these summer activities means thousands of job opportunities for seasonal and year-round employees.
So, with that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite summer events, all happening this summer at Utah’s best ski resort towns.
Utah Ski Resorts Are Just as Fun in the Summer
Utah ski resorts offer literally thousands of fun and exciting summer activities. Each of those requires dozens, if not hundreds, of opportunities for seasonal jobs. All of these are great Utah ski towns to live in, so pick your favorite and get going!
Not sure what’s where? Check out our Utah Ski Resort Map to get oriented before reading on.
Alta & Snowbird
Alta and Snowbird are known for low-frills, big-mountain skiing, and deep powder, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to do in summer as well. Once the snow melts, Little Cottonwood Canyon transforms into one of nature’s most diverse wildlife and wildflower displays on earth. This makes for spectacular hiking and mountain biking, and plenty of jobs surrounding both activities.
Alta & Snowbird Summer Activities
Alta’s summer season is likely to kick off in late May. Snowpine Lodge and Alta Lodge are open all summer long. Hiking is a central focus for most visitors, and there’s plenty available.
Alta management began opening the Sunnyside Lift in summer to decrease the number of cars accessing the campgrounds up there. This lift provides great, easy access to great hiking as well. Summer dates for hiking and accessing the Albion Basin don’t start until late June however.
Another local favorite is Alta Mountain Music on Saturdays at the Albion Grill, a beautiful outdoor venue that hosts live music (Blues, Reggae, Bluegrass, Folk, and Funk) every Saturday from 3-6 pm.
We also love the Wasatch Wildflower Festival, held for two days in late July (also two days in Big Cottonwood Canyon a week earlier). This is a great opportunity to learn more about Wasatch area wildflowers and to take place in dozens of local activities.
As fall approaches, head over to Snowbird for its Oktoberfest celebration, which generally runs from late August through Mid-October. Last year over 60,000 people attended what Men’s Journal named one of America’s 10 Best Oktoberfests!
The Local’s Scoop
Here are some more Alta summertime ideas from Hannah Dorff, the Sales, Marketing & Revenue Manager at Snowpine Lodge.
On Your Day Off:
Brunch in style with friends at Swen’s restaurant inside Snowpine Lodge, each Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. The weekend menu features a selection of brunch favorites including Hamachi Crudo, Corned Beef Hash, Ricotta Pancakes, Avocado Toast and more in a lively setting while overlooking the surrounding alpine scenery.
A Hidden Gem:
With bountiful outdoor activities, Alta’s hidden gem is Stillwell Spa, the area’s only full-service, luxury spa. Treat your skin to a Bright and Radiant facial, Mountain Bliss relaxing massage, or venture to the oxygen bar for some high-altitude recovery or a soothing soak in the indoor grotto.
It’s easy to forget about Beaver Mountain, up at the northernmost part of Utah, but you’ll be missing out if you do. “The Beav” offers beautiful scenery at affordable prices and plenty of fun summer activities.
Beaver Mountain Summer Activities
Beaver Mountain’s best-known summer attraction is probably its music festival, a two-day event in mid-August. Beaver Mountain Music Festival has a terrific lineup of ~30 artists, including 13 national touring acts in 2018. The festival focuses on “funky jams, indie grooves, booming bass, and blistering bluegrass.” There’s also an adult playground, maintain bike trails, a mini-half pipe, and art installations.
Tickets are only $45, but book early. They’re only selling 500 at that price. Camping reservations will start on April 1st.
Down in the southwestern part of Utah lies another hidden gem, one of the best ski towns in Utah, Brian Head. Despite its southern location, Brian Head is actually Utah’s highest resort, with a base elevation of 9,600 ft. Since we know you’re wondering, Brian Head was the name of a government surveyor. So there, now you know.
Brian Head Summer Activities
Opening Weekend is officially June 21-23, and the activities get busy immediately. For opening weekend, Brian Head Resort offers tons of fun family activities, including mountain biking, a rock climbing wall, a tubing hill, archery, hiking, chair lift rides, and even a bungee trampoline.
Just one weekend later, Brian Head Resort offers its Main Event Weekend, which has all of the above plus live music (bands are TBD).
The weekend activities continue pretty much every weekend, including a 4th of July Bash, the 2nd Annual Classic Rock N’ Ride, and the 5th Annual Car Show. All of these are great opportunities to pick up some extra work if you’re there for the summer. Or, if you’re lucky, grab a job with weekends off and enjoy all the action!
Brighton & Solitude
Find us a prettier backdrop of summer scenery than Big Cottonwood Canyon, and we’ll grab a summer job there ourselves. Between these two somewhat different resorts there’s plenty to do in the area. Brighton definitely stays true to its quiet roots, but that’s just fine with hikers heading to Brighton and Silver Lakes Trailheads. And there’s plenty of family fun down in Solitude.
Brighton & Solitude Summer Activities
Brighton hosts one of Cirque Series’ six mountain running events. These races are hardcore tests of fitness and determination and are not for the faint of heart. They also donate $1 of each registration fee to Protect Our Winters, so you can have fun and save the planet at the same time. Pretty good deal.
We mentioned it above for the Little Cottonwood Canyon version, but the Wasatch Wildflower Festival takes place on a separate weekend in Big Cottonwood Canyon. It offers plenty of fun, family-oriented activities, including guided walks.
If you’re into disc golf, Solitude offers one of Utah’s finest high-altitude Frisbee golf courses. Hike up to gain free access, or purchase tickets to ride up the chairlift if you’re lazy.
As the crow flies, Cherry Peak is right next door to Beaver Mountain, but you’ll have to drive around through Logan to get from one to the other. The family-friendly mountain is open year-round, and there’s always something fun to do.
Cherry Peak Summer Activities
The Cherry Peak Redneck Waterslide is one of the more unique attractions among Utah ski resorts in the summer. It is just like it sounds, a super long slip n slide that runs down a section of the mountain. For $15 you can get an all-access day pass that includes the Ultimate Bungee, Shoot & Shower, and 2 water slides.
There’s also a great Summer Concert Series. Last year’s concert featured Restless Heart, Clint Black, and Smashmouth. Check the Cherry Peak website for this year’s details.
Other summer activities include horseback riding, disc golf, mountain biking and more.
Summer at Deer Valley really kicks off in mid-June and runs through mid-September. Arguably Utah’s fanciest ski resort, it is certainly one of the best Utah ski towns in the summer. The proximity to Park City and its ample housing makes it also one of the best Utah ski towns to live in year-round as well.
Deer Valley Summer Activities
2018 marked Deer Valley’s first-ever Deer Valley Concert Series, and it was a great success. The series featured Jason Mraz, Gavin DeGraw, Phillip Phillips, Lukas Nelso & Promise of the Real, Gov’t Mule, and The Decemberists. For 2019, Deer Valley has already booked an awesome June 30th show: Michael Franti & Spearhead followed by Ziggy Marley. Don’t be surprised if you see us there as well!
Deer Valley’s music offerings don’t stop there. It will also host two other series at its Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater: the Deer Valley Music Festival presented by the Utah Symphony, and the Grand Valley Bank Community Concert Series presented by Mountain Town Music. For music lovers, Deer Valley is definitely the place to be this summer.
As a full-service ski resort, the offerings extend well beyond music. Deer Valley offers nearly 70 miles of mountain bike trails spread over six mountains and covering 3,000 feet of elevation change! If that sounds a little intimidating, give Deer Valley’s Mountain Bike School a chance to help you get up to speed.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Deer Valley’s other activities are too many to list, but you can read about horseback riding, paddleboarding, fly fishing, and more on the Deer Valley Summer Activity Page.
Eagle Point is a small resort in southern Utah, near the town of Beaver. It’s known for short lift lines and reasonably priced accommodations, and for being a terrific place to learn to ski or ride. While a bit remote, the trip is worth it, even in the summer. The quiet calm persists throughout the year, making it the perfect place to connect with mother nature.
Eagle Point Summer Activities
Eagle Point’s lack of crowds makes it an outstanding venue for biking, as shown by its local race the Tushar Crusher Bike Race. Named for the Tushar mountain range, the race features a 60/40 gravel to tarmac gravel split and offers riders some stunning backcountry scenery. This year’s race is scheduled for July 13th.
The resort also offers plenty of trail running, hiking, and wedding activities, all of which contribute to the resorts need for summer employees!
Nordic Valley’s close proximity to Ogden makes it a perfect place to look for a summer job, given Ogden’s size. At only 30 minutes away, and with no snow to deal with, you can lock down a reasonably priced apartment in a big town, and spend your days working in the wilderness.
Nordic Valley Summer Activities
To start, check out Nordic Valley’s Apollo Lift Service, which will take you to the top of the ski resort for only a $12 day pass ($15 for bikers). From there you can hike the Pine View or other local trails. Note: bring your equipment because Nordic doesn’t rent it. Other fun activities include a bungee trampoline and disc golf. Disc golf rentals are only $10, and a great way to take in the views while having some fun.
Nordic has its own music offering, the Saturday Night Concerts series, that runs from 6-8:30 pm weekly. We’re looking forward to the lineup this year!
The Local’s Scoop
Here are some more Nordic Valley summertime ideas from Margie Toone, General Manager of Alaskan Inn.
On Your Day Off:
Activity #1: Enjoy the great outdoors by going fly fishing in the Ogden River. It’s easy to catch trout here and a fun new experience if you’ve never tried it. Plan a day trip, or camp at Magpie Campground or Memorial Park for a few days.
Activity #2: Go mountain biking on the various beautiful trails in and around Ogden Canyon. There are many great trails to ride, but for a challenging workout, try the Skyline Trail – it is long and difficult at times, but as a reward, it has terrific views. If you don’t own a mountain bike, you can rent a bike for the day at The Bike Shoppe.
Check out the new Huntsville Square! It is a development of shops surrounded by Pineview Reservoir. Rent paddleboards for the day from our rental shop, and grab a bite to eat from one of our two new restaurants. There’s also an awesome public astronomical observatory to check out, and the Compass Rose Lodge close by.
Park City is the major ski hub of Utah, given its proximity to Park City Mountain Resort, the Canyons, and Deer Valley. Summers are just as exciting, making it one of Utah’s best ski towns to live in year-round. No ski resort is cheap to live in, but Park City’s proximity to Kimball Junction (and even eastern Salt Lake City) makes it a great destination for summer living given the extra housing just a short drive away.
Park City Summer Activities
One look at Park City Mountain’s summer activity offerings, and you’ll realize why you need to live there rather than visit. There’s just not enough time. The resort boasts 20 miles of cross-country mountain biking trails (and countless others nearby) and some of the finest hiking you’ll find anywhere in Utah.
For the kids, there’s the Park City Adventure Park, where a day pass gains access to 12 activities spread across Park City Mountain Village and Canyons Village. Don’t miss the alpine coaster or the zip line.
For golfers, there’s also a putting course at Canyons Village, and the brand new Canyon’s Golf Course, opening May 24, 2019.
For the rest of the scoop, check out Park City’s Summer Activities page. We promise you’ll stay busy.
Powder Mountain calls itself Utah’s Best Kept Secret, but they’ll probably have to change that slogan now that Business Insider has named it #2 in its “25 Best Ski Resorts in North America” survey. No worries, lack of crowds was certainly one of the reasons it scored so well. There’s still plenty to do in the summer and plenty of job opportunities for someone looking to spend a season there.
Powder Mountain Summer Activities
Powder Mountain offers over 18 miles of trails for hiking and mountain biking. A good starting point is Hidden Lake Lodge, where you can find bike rentals and other retail offerings. Bike rentals run from $39-$75/day depending on suspension. And when you’re done riding, check out Tacos, Beers & Bikes for the best tacos in the area.
If you’re looking for a bike race, Powder Mountain will host the 3rd Annual El Doce at Pow Mow, a 12-hour mountain biking event. Definitely not for the faint of heart.
Snowbasin is a terrific option for anyone looking for a seasonal job and is likely one of the best ski resort towns in Utah because it is so close to Huntsville and Ogden. While Huntsville might be too expensive, there are plenty of affordable options within Ogden, a 30-minute drive from the resort. And believe us, it is worth the 30-minute commute. The beauty of Snowbasin in the summers is second to none.
Snowbasin Summer Activities
Snowbasin’s gondola is an obvious place to start for hiking and mountain biking enthusiasts. A day ticket for hiking costs only $14, while for mountain biking is $25. We’d recommend checking out Snowbasin’s mountain biking school for the noobs.
Our favorite Snowbasin activity is Blues, Brews & BBQ, Snowbasin’s take on the ubiquitous weekly outdoor music series. It runs every Sunday from 12pm-5:30pm.
For those looking for a real athletic challenge, Snowbasin also hosts the Spartan Race. These extreme obstacle course races are fun to attend, and even more fun with friends. There are several different experience classes, so don’t let the climbing wall scare you. You can do it!
The Local’s Scoop
Here are some more summertime ideas from the locals at Mountain Luxury Lodging.
On Your Day Off:
Activity #1: Each Sunday from June 23 – September 8, Snowbasin Resort hosts mountain-top brunch with spectacular views and fresh mountain air. Ride the gondola up to Needles Lodge and enjoy 4-star cuisine. The chef’s unique creations will be available in both buffet-style and staffed stations including carving, omelet and crepe stations. The brunch is held from 10 am until 2:30 pm. Reservations are recommended.
Activity #2: Hot Air Ballooning and the Ogden Valley Balloon Festival One of the most unique experiences in the Ogden Valley is viewing the beauty from above. Hot air ballooning is by far the coolest way and can be done either at the Balloon Festival or a private balloon ride. The festival comes to Eden each year for an entire weekend. This year during the Balloon Fest, the sky fills with radiant colors that soar over Pineview Reservoir, providing spectacular views both from the ground and in the air!
Fishing at Causey and Pineview Pineview is a popular fishing spot with warm water and award-winning fish to catch. Tiger muskies are the most renowned of the reservoir, the largest ever caught here is 49 inches long (over 3 feet!). Other catches in Pineview include largemouth bass, perch, crappie, and more. Causey’s calm waters are home to rainbow, brook, and cutthroat trout. Be sure to catch the salmon spawning each fall as their brilliant red and orange colors fill the creeks above Causey. Ice fishing is available at both reservoirs.
Sundance Mountain Resort
Last but certainly not least, Sundance is located to the southeast of Salt Lake City. Another of Utah’s great ski resorts, it sits close enough to the towns of Orem, Sandy, and Provo, that housing won’t be an excuse to miss a summer there.
Sundance Summer Activities
Sundance Summer Theater plays off of Sundance’s film festival roots. This year it will present Mamma Mia! in partnership with Utah Valley University. For those who don’t know, the play is a jukebox musical based on the songs of ABBA.
Sundance Mountain Music kicked off in 2018, and we expect it to return in 2019 based on last year’s reception. Last year it featured Belle and Sebastian, a Scottish band popular in the UK. No word on this year just yet.
If you’re starting to sense a cultural theme, well that’s Sundance for you. Of course, Sundance has its own Summer Concert Series, a weekly FREE concert series held on Sundays. The Sundance Food Truck typically shows up as well, so don’t miss it.
For the less artistic, Sundance still hosts all the adventurous activities you’d find at any major resort, including a nearly long scenic zip line tour. For more information, definitely check out Sundance’s Events Page. You won’t want to miss a thing.
Enjoy all the Action with a Summer Job in Utah
Ready to jump into the action? All this activity creates thousands of job opportunities each summer in Utah. So figure out which area best suits you and get out there. You won’t regret it.
What’s your favorite summer activity in Utah?
About our contributors
Hannah Dorff, Snowpine Lodge
Hannah has been working at Snowpine Lodge as the Sales, Marketing and Revenue Manager since April 2018. In her spare time, Hannah enjoys outdoor activities including hiking, biking, snowboarding and skiing.
Andy Primbs, Mountain Luxury Lodging
Andy is a marketing director at Mountain Luxury Lodging, offering a variety of properties for sale throughout Eden, Huntsville, and Liberty, Utah.
Margie Toone, Alaskan Inn
Margie is the General Manager of the Alaskan Inn, a secluded B&B featuring twenty-three Arctic themed suites and cabins.