I love summer, but sometimes the heat is too much! Snowbird Resort is an easy getaway when we want something fun to do in the cool mountain air. The resort is a short drive from Salt Lake City – making it an easy weekend getaway or day trip for our family.
Snowbird Summer Resort was a cool 75 degrees (F) on our most recent Labor Day visit.
Here are our favorite things to do at Snowbird in the summer, plus tips for making the most of your visit.
Ride the Aerial Tram
If you do nothing else at Snowbird, ride the Aerial Tram to the top of Hidden Peak. The tram will take you to the top of the mountain where you will be treated to panoramic views of the Wasatch Range.
If your family enjoys mountain biking or hiking, Hidden Peak is the start of the new Big Mountain Trail, and other bike and hiking trails down the mountain. When we visited Snowbird a few years ago in July, two snowboarders joined us on the tram because there was still enough snow on parts of the mountain for them to board down. It was nearly 100 degrees (F) in the Salt Lake Valley, and we made snowballs that day.
Get more bang for your buck by planning to spend more time at the top of the mountain. Wear jackets because it can be chilly on hidden peak, even on a summer day. Pack a picnic. Go on a hike. Take lots of photos.
Ride the Peruvian Chairlift back down
From the top of Hidden Peak, hike a half-mile down the Peruvian Gulch trail to the Peruvian Chairlift. It's included in your summer Aerial Tram ticket.
Near the lift, there is a tunnel that gets skiers and hikers to the other side of the mountain. You can walk all the way through and learn about the history of local mining and skiing from displays along the way and then walk back through to return to the chairlift.
My tween was in high-drama mode on Hidden Peak, and I was the lucky parent to climb onto the Peruvian Chairlift with her. But then… The mountains were serene and beautiful. We could see wildflowers in bloom and a babbling brook beneath our feet. Everything about our ride down was a special shared experience. As we approached the end, she said, “That was nice. I'd like to do it again.” The rest of us agreed with her. So we switched kids and rode the Peruvian up and back down again.
Consider the Bird Bundle
Snowbird's All-Day Activities Pass includes unlimited access to these fun activities, which may also be purchased on a single-ride basis:
- Mountain Coaster
- Alpine Slide
- Vertical Drop
- Summer Tubing
- Ropes Courses
- Climbing Wall
- Bungee Trampoline
- Aerial Tram
- Peruvian Chairlift
- Inflatables (for young children only)
The Mountain Coaster and Alpine Slide are the most popular activities. In my opinion, the Mountain Coaster is by far the most fun. It's fast and thrilling, but safer from crashes than the Alpine Slide. My kids love the Vertical Drop.
The Bird Bundle is best suited for families with school age children and teens. There are activities that toddlers and preschoolers can do, but not many that their parents can do with them. At ages 7 and 10, my children loved it all.
Several of the activities, including the alpine slide, ropes course, and climbing wall have minimum height, weight or age requirements.
Ways to Save
Snowbird offers big thrills, for a price. Here are a few ways to get your Snowbird activities for less.
- Buy online. Save 10% or more when you purchase your tickets in advance at snowbird.com.
- Go on a weekday. It's less expensive than weekends.
- The Bird Bundle allows you unlimited access to all the activities for a budget-friendly price.
- The Aerial Tram is one of 13 top Salt Lake City attractions included in the Salt Lake Connect Pass. One year, we purchased the 365-day pass and did 1-2 activities every month.
The Mountain Coaster, Alpine Slide and other activities can only accommodate a small number of participants at one time. Wait times can feel long when there are more than 20 people in line. You can avoid long lines if you plan to arrive before Snowbird opens and you are among the first to ride.
On our most recent visit, we booked Bird Bundles for the first time slot of the day (11 AM). We arrived soon after 10 AM, picked up our wristbands at the ticket window and strolled over to the Mountain Coaster. It was 10:40, so we decided to be the first in line. Two other families quickly lined up behind us.
Just five minutes later – 15 minutes before the official opening – the Mountain Coaster opened. We were the first to ride! After that, we headed for the Alpine Slide where we waited only a few minutes. One hour later, we waited 20 minutes for the Alpine Slide and then 45 minutes for the Mountain Coaster.
Pack a picnic
Packing a picnic is budget-friendly, flexible, and often healthier than eating out. It's also the sort of thing that just feels right on a summer day in the mountains. We usually pack a cooler full of picnic supplies to Snowbird. We fill our day packs when we arrive or eat at the car when we finish our activities.
If a picnic is not practical for your family, Snowbird has several family friendly on-site restaurants where you can get pizza, burgers, sandwiches and more.
Pack sunscreen, water, and jackets
Snowbird Summer Resort sits at 8,000+ feet and Hidden Peak is 11,000 feet above sea level. At those altitudes, the sun is intense and the oxygen is thin enough to make many visitors feel a little woozy. Use sunscreen and drink plenty of water to help prevent sunburn and altitude sickness.
Summer temperatures are often a cool 60-70 degrees (F) at the resort, and even cooler at Hidden Peak. It's a wonderful escape from hot summer temperatures in the Salt Lake Valley, but you might want a jacket. I didn't wear mine, but my children were comfortable in theirs all day long.
Check the calendar for special events
Snowbird hosts a variety of special events throughout the summer, including outdoor movies and Oktoberfest. Check the Snowbird calendar to see what is going on during your visit.
Consider spending the night
Snowbird has several lodges open in the summer, and on our first summer trip, it was convenient to just walk back to our room at Cliff Lodge after Free Family Flicks. My family played in the pool the next morning during my massage at Cliff Spa. My husband and I enjoyed date night at El Chanate while the kids had Tram Car Pizza and a movie upstairs in our room. Cliff Lodge can provide child care through its licensed day care facility.
Consider leaving the kids home
I left Snowbird thinking my husband and I should return soon for a romantic getaway. Luxury rooms, fine dining, Cliff Spa and outdoor adventure make Snowbird an excellent destination for romance, or a weekend away with friends. Whatever getaway you're planning, Snowbird Summer Resort is one of Utah's premier destinations.
We love Snowbird in the summer! The air is cool and clean. The activities are lots of fun. The scenery is gorgeous.
Snowbird is a fun summer day trip from Salt Lake City. I hope that our experience helps your family plan a fantastic visit.
Good to Know
Where: Six miles up Little Cottonwood Canyon, near Salt Lake City, Utah.
When: June through September, weather permitting.
How Much: Prices vary, depending on age and activity. See Snowbird's website for pricing on all activities.
How Long: A half or full day
Amenities: lodging, dining, shopping, guided activities
Disclosure: On our first visit, Snowbird Summer Resort hosted our family at the Cliff Lodge and Cliff Spa and provided all-day activities passes so that we could experience the resort and review it for other families. We have visited several times since at our own expense. All opinions are my own.