Just came back from SLC yesterday; visited Brighton/Solitude on Monday and did Snowbird yesterday, a 14" epic powder day! I visited Powder Mountain last year. I can't comment on what the conditions may be in March, but here are my thoughts:
Brighton/Solitude: Great for an intermediate rider, not too many people, and it has high-speed quads for the entire mountain, which means you'll have a pretty efficient day. Not that big (by Utah's standards) but big enough for one day. Solitude is nice too, but I would pick Brighton over Solitude. If you would like to hit up both on the same day, they have a Sol/Bright pass for $78.
Powder Mountain: Super quiet and serene, no crowds, and you'll easily find stashes. Terrain seems to be mostly intermediate. Bad part is it's far away, quite a bit farther than Snowbasin, which you'll pass along the way up. In addition to the long drive, they only have one d-quad for the entire mountain, which means you won't get as many runs in. If you have to have relatively untracked seas of powder, then PM is a good choice.
Snowbird: Was lucky to ride yesertday, Feb 8th, the best day of the season so far, according to locals. Epic Epic Epic!! Cons: took 2 hrs getting into the damn place, and the mountain was pretty tracked out by 11 AM. I swear the entire state of Utah converged upon Snowbird yesterday. Lines were out of control (esp for tram and Mineral Basin) And it was a Tuesday!
Get your tickets at local sporting goods stores. If you're staying downtown or near the airport, hit up Canyon Sports or Utah Ski and Golf? which is right next door for cheaper tix.
As far as an all wheel drive rental car goes, unless it's positively dumping, just get a smaller car. If you're going to drive up to Brighton or Snowbird, and the roads are iffy, just leave your car at the Wasatch Park and Ride and take the Ski Bus. You won't need an AWD vehicle to get around in the city, and the roads are pretty well plowed up to the mountains.
Last edited by SilverK20A3; 02-09-2011 at 09:23 PM.