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Old 12-17-2009, 05:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default salt lake city by myself - ski bus vs car rental

hi guys!

so I'm planning a trip out to SLC end Jan/early Feb by myself to ride.
I've seen people recommend 4X4s, but I'm wondering if I can get by with a regular car, and if it's really crazy, take the ski bus? does that sound like a doable plan, or do they stop the buses if it gets really snowy?

I'd rather have a car than take the bus for independence reasons, and would like to check out snowbasin as well as the closer resorts.

thanks!
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by kswissreject View Post
hi guys!

so I'm planning a trip out to SLC end Jan/early Feb by myself to ride.
I've seen people recommend 4X4s, but I'm wondering if I can get by with a regular car, and if it's really crazy, take the ski bus? does that sound like a doable plan, or do they stop the buses if it gets really snowy?

I'd rather have a car than take the bus for independence reasons, and would like to check out snowbasin as well as the closer resorts.

thanks!
Unless it's a crazy storm, you'll be OK with a regular car. Have you driven in snow before? Plenty of us have 2WD cars and get around just fine. For some of the resorts here, you can drive your car to the base of the canyon and then take a bus up or hitchhike (that's what I do). But I would say look at the weather forecast beforehand and make your decision then. If it's going to dump like crazy, get the 4WD. If it's going to be just your average storm, you'll be fine with 2WD and the bus as a backup.

Hit me up when it get's closer to your trip and I'll let you know what the conditions are like.
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Old 12-17-2009, 09:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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getting around town you will be fine but the canyons are technically 4x4 or chains only from oct to march .... it takes a good sized storm for them to enforce it but I can see a rental or insurance company giving you hassle if you took a 2wd car up there and got in a wreck. buses never stop goin up the canyon unless the canyon is closed to all traffic ... snowbaisin has no bus service so if you planned to take that trip itd either need a 4wd or clear weather
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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getting around town you will be fine but the canyons are technically 4x4 or chains only from oct to march .... it takes a good sized storm for them to enforce it but I can see a rental or insurance company giving you hassle if you took a 2wd car up there and got in a wreck. buses never stop goin up the canyon unless the canyon is closed to all traffic ... snowbaisin has no bus service so if you planned to take that trip itd either need a 4wd or clear weather
Not trying to insult you but I disagree partly . On some rare days it's an absolute 4x4 or chains situation. But I probably did over 30 trips up to Bird in my 2WD car no problem during one season. Granted, I did have some nice snow tires.

But burritosandsnow is right, the buses pretty much always run up certain canyons so you'll have a good backup. Maybe get the 4x4 to ensure you have no problems
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the responses guys, this helps out a lot! I guess I'll play it by ear - check the weather report a week or so before coming, and switch my rental if need be. Would love to get the 4X4, only it's 2 times the price of the 2WD. 2WD with the buses as backup sounds like a good idea to me! Will stick to Solitutde/Brighton if need be.

You know, maybe I'll just stick with the buses, no rental car at all? Have you guys ridden them? I'd be going midweek - M-Th, so less crowded than the weekends, I'd expect? Do I just get on with my board, boots, and gear already on?

Thanks again!
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the responses guys, this helps out a lot! I guess I'll play it by ear - check the weather report a week or so before coming, and switch my rental if need be. Would love to get the 4X4, only it's 2 times the price of the 2WD. 2WD with the buses as backup sounds like a good idea to me! Will stick to Solitutde/Brighton if need be.

You know, maybe I'll just stick with the buses, no rental car at all? Have you guys ridden them? I'd be going midweek - M-Th, so less crowded than the weekends, I'd expect? Do I just get on with my board, boots, and gear already on?

Thanks again!
The buses going up the canyon aren't that bad, but can get crowded on the weekends. Weekdays should be OK. But depending on where your hotel is, you may still want a car to get around the valley. Honestly, unless it's a crazy storm, you'll also be able to drive up the canyon as well.

Bottom Line: Get the 2WD. Worst case scenario, you'll be parking at the bottom of the canyon and taking the bus up.
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Old 12-18-2009, 04:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Keep in mind the old rule....what goes up, must come down......if you go up and it's nice and then a storm hits your screwed.....do the 2wd and plan on the bus.....make sure its front wheel drive though....
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Old 12-20-2009, 01:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You know, maybe I'll just stick with the buses, no rental car at all? Have you guys ridden them? I'd be going midweek - M-Th, so less crowded than the weekends, I'd expect? Do I just get on with my board, boots, and gear already on?
You shouldn't have any problems going mid-week on the ski bus. You just get on with your gear already on, they have racks on the bus for your board. If you're only wanting to check out the SLC resorts (Brighton, Solitude, and Snowbird) you could pass on renting a car and use only the bus.

We did that last year for our trip. We stayed at the Super 8 in Midvale. There's a couple restaurants, a grocery store, a Sonic, and some other stuff within very close walking distance. The ski bus stops at the corner, its about half of a block from the Super 8. You can get a SLC Super Pass at the front desk, which is $56 a day. It covers your lift ticket to any of the 3 resorts, plus your ski bus fare there and back. You just show your pass at the ticket window at the resort and they give you a lift ticket. You don't have to pick what resort you're going to ahead of time, so you could buy a 4 day pass, board at each of the 3 your first 3 days, and then go back to your favorite the last day. It was perfect for us, and after going to a few Colorado resorts the year before, Utah was much better.

Just make sure you know what time the last ski bus leaves from the resort. Some of them don't run past the time the resort shuts down the lifts, so you do need to keep an eye on time.

Last edited by kyle_1252002; 12-20-2009 at 01:45 PM.
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