Brian Head Resort

While Brian Head Resort has recently gone through major renovations to modernize their amenities and base lodges, they still take an old school approach to running the mountain. Which means Brian Head has everything you want of a Utah ski resort – champagne powder and expertly groomed runs-minus the crowds, the lift lines and ticket prices that don’t break the bank. The resort prides itself on providing a relaxed, super friendly ski experience perfect for first timers and families. Don’t be surprised if you’re greeted with a “how’s it going?” or a “hey there, what up?!” because staff recognize you from your visit. Here you’re just like family- minus the head noogies.

The Highlights

  • Covering over 650 acres, the Resort has two connected mountains, Giant Steps and Navajo, offering 71 runs and 8 chair lifts.
  • The newly branded terrain parks named collectively The Training Grounds feature a construction theme with 20 plus new features. Training Grounds consists of two progressive park areas, Detour and Bypass, allowing visitors to improve their park skills with a state-of-the-art set up.
  • Brian Head Resort has partnered with Snow Operating LLC, to bring you Terrain Based Learning™. Simply put, Terrain Based Learning™ uses shaped and sculpted snow to make learning to ski and snowboard easier, quicker, and more fun.
  • Here’s the real scoop-powder days at Brian Head are truly awesome. With very few hard core locals to ski it out, you can ride fresh powder run after run. It’s not uncommon to be riding powder days after the storm has passed.

Just the Mountain Facts

  • Average Annual Snowfall: 360”+
  • Vertical Drop Serviced by Lift: 1320’ Hike-able: 1548′
  • Base Elevation: 9600’
  • Top Elevation: 10,970’
  • Hours of Operation: 10 am to 4 pm (Mon – Fri) 9:30 am – 4:30 pm (Sat, Sun & Holiday)
  • Skiable Acres: 650
  • % Beg. Terrain: 40%
  • % Int. Terrain: 40%
  • % Adv. Terrain: 20%
  • Number of Runs: 71
  • Snowboarding Allowed: Yes
  • Acres Snow making: 215
  • Child Care on Premise: No
  • Adaptive Program: Yes
  • Lift-Service Tubing: Yes
  • Miles to Major Airport (LV): 210
  • Terrain Parks: 3

Summer In Brian Head

Entertain your inner adrenaline junkie with zip-line, chairlift rides, and disc golf and bungee trampoline. If you are up for a physical challenge, spend the day at the climbing wall and then ride your cares away at the alpine tubing. The mountain bike season is short but sweet and generally begins mid-June and runs through mid-October. Round trip shuttle service is available by local shuttle companies to take you to over 200 miles of backcountry and downhill trails and the Brian Head Resort chairlift provides access on weekends to incredible trails featuring ups, downs, jumps, bank turns and freestyle elements.

Must See & Do

Hiking

There are excellent hiking trails in the mountains around Brian Head with breathtaking views and scenery that everyone can enjoy.

Hidden Haven
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A moderate trail winds through a wildlife study area then traverses a granite rock fall to a 20 foot waterfall. Use care the last 100 feet due to the uneven surface where trail is not established. Distance is one mile round trip, is considered moderate and takes approximately ½ hour to an hour.
Trailhead is located between mile markers 8 & 9 on National Scenic Byway Hwy U-143

Twisted Forest
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This moderate hike is a high elevation hike with a sheer drop-off at the end of the trail, so use caution. Unique features of this hike are the Bristlecone Pine trees and the view into Cedar Breaks National Monument. Distance is one mile round trip and takes approximately one hour.
Trailhead is located on Summit Canyon Rd, keep to the High Mountain Road side.

Rattlesnake / High Mountain Trail
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A The trail follows Cedar Breaks National Monuments boundary fence west across a large alpine meadow and stands of spruce and fir. It continues along a fence, opening into a small meadow and to the edge of the rim looking into a beautiful view of Cedar Breaks and Ashdown Gorge. It descends into a side hill of mixed conifers and into a grass and aspen drainage, crossing Stud Flat, a large west facing bare slope. Then it enters a thick stand of mature spruce and fir, switch backing to Rattlesnake creek below. Paralleling the creek for about 1.5 miles until reaching the intersection with High Mountain trail. At this point you can hike back up to your car on the Rattlesnake trail, or continue on up the High Mountain Trail. Distance is 5 miles and takes approximately 6 hours.
Trailhead is located just outside Cedar Breaks National Monument north entrance and is part of the Ashdown Gorge Wilderness managed by the U.S. Forest Service.

Vista Trail / Family Adventure Trail
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The Family Adventure Trail is a series of activities on the Vista hiking trail. The hiking trail starts at the top of the Giant Steps Express chair lift. From the top, hikers will wrap around the backside of the Brian Head Peak, and enjoy views of Cedar Breaks National Monument. The trail then skirts the edge of our snowmaking pond, crosses the slopes of Giant Steps 2nd step, and ends up at the base of Giant Steps Lodge. The Family Adventure Trail activities include: a gemstone sluice; gold panning; agate mining; fossil digging; and a clue-to-clue treasure hunt. Each child is given a map, a treasure bag, and is allowed to keep one item from each station. The Family Adventure Trail takes about 3 hours. There are several rest areas on the way down as well.
There is a fee of $12 adults and $8 children or seniors for the Chairlift.

Mountain Biking

Experience incredible mountain biking at the Brain Head Mountain Bike Park and Activity Center, voted “one of the best, unique and most unusual mountain bike vacation resorts” by Mountain Bike Action magazine. Bikers can access over 200 miles of single and double track trails, with a wide array of options in trail length and technical ability. Bike rentals and gear are available. Learn more at www.brianhead.com.

Scout Camp
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Distance: 11 mile loop.

Considered intermediate it has two short strenuous climbs and terrain generally rolling. This mostly challenging dirt single-track trail navigates through forests of mixed spruce and aspen, intertwined with small meadows of native flowers.

Bunker Creek
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Trail Type: Point-to-Point. Difficulty: Moderate to Advanced trail (mostly downhill, but some rocky descents and loose gravel). Season: Summer through early Fall. Distance: 12 mile point-to-point, shuttle is recommended. Time: 2 – 3 hours depending on skill level.

Picture-perfect single track mountain bike trail through spruce and aspen forests along Bunker Creek. There are two forks to this trail – the Right Fork (which is actually on your left coming from the top) is less technically challenging. When the forks come back together, head downhill on the double-track jeep road for a fast, smooth, roller-coaster ride.

Trailhead/Location: From Hwy U-143 between Cedar Breaks National Monument and Panguitch Lake, head North on Sidney Valley Road and proceed until the road dead-ends into the trailhead. High clearance vehicle is recommended for trailhead access. Most riders leave a vehicle where the trail meets Hwy U-143 just West of Panguitch Lake or use shuttle services provided by one of the Brian Head outfitters. Another option yo access this trail is from the Sidney Peaks Trail, beginning at the Brain Head Peak Road trailhead area, riding the Sidney Peaks Trail, and continuing on Bunker Creek.

Dark Hollow
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Trail Type: Point-to-Point. Difficulty: Moderate to Advanced (mostly downhill, but some rocky descents and loose gravel). Season: Summer through early Fall. Distance: 14.5 miles. Time: Varies depending on skill level.

From Southern Utah’s highest point, this trail is one of contrasting surrounds. From the alpine tundra, the trail drops 5,000 feet through lush forests to red rock desert surrounding Parowan.

Trailhead/Location: From Hwy U-143 between Brian Head and Cedar Breaks National Monument, head East on Brian Head Peak Road for about a mile to the Trailhead. Most riders leave a vehicle at Second Left Hand in Parowan Canyon or use shuttle services provided by one of the Brian Head outfitters.

Lower Ponds
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Trail Type: Loop. Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous (some loose rocky terrain, a few short climbs and one 2.5 mile climb). Season: Summer through early Fall. Distance: 11.5 miles round-trip. Time: Varies depending on skill level.

Trail combines ridgeline single track with a downhill ride through changing forest clusters amongst wild flower meadows and ponds. Follow the Sidney Peak trail to the intersection with Dark Hollow and turn right on the Lowder Ponds trail (also the Marathon Trail). Continue on the Marathon Trail (there’s a sharp left about 1.5 miles down) all the way to Sidney Valley Road. Then climb Sidney Valley Road back to the Sidney Peaks Trail to loop back to the trailhead.

Trailhead/Location: From Hwy U-143 between Brian Head and Cedar Breaks National Monument, head East on Brian Head Peak Road for about a mile to the Trailhead.

Skiing & Boarding

Brian Head receives over 360 + inches of famous Utah powder every year. The resort features Utah’s highest base elevation of 9,600 ft. with a lift served vertical drop of 1,320 ft. from Giant Steps. Brian Head Resort has improved its mountain experience with renovated lodges, new tubing hill, new night skiing options, and magic carpet surface lifts. The resort offers over 650 acres, with eight chairlifts and 71 runs. Your can also take flight at the revamped terrain parks that offer countless features for all skill levels.

Snowtubing

With two tubing hills located at both Giant Steps and Navajo Mountains, this winter activity is great for the whole family. Surface lifts provide easy access to the top of the hill with 600 ft. and 550 ft. long courses. For quality assurance and to secure a tubing session, please call 866-930-1010 for reservations or check www.brianhead.com for more information.

Night Skiing & Boarding

Offered Thursday – Saturday on the Blackfoot lift. This new location offers longer runs and lighted terrain park options at the Bypass Terrain Park. Enjoy Brian Head Resort at night with affordable ticket options.

SCENIC CHAIR LIFT RIDES

In the summer the Resort’s chair #2 is available to hikers, bikers and sight seers in search of Utah famous red rock vistas. Vista hiking trail starts at the top as well as many of the mountain bike trails. Bring a jacket because it gets cool at 11,000 feet.  Open on weekends, generally early July through mid September. Go to www.brianhead.com for schedule and rates.

Local Fave

Brian Head Resort owner John Grissinger is a real “hands on” owner and is famous for his Kansas City barbecue.

Kids Stuff

Hike down the face of Giant Steps along the Adventure trail. Pan for gold and dig for dinosaur bones along the way.