Brain Head Lifts & Terrain

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded
Brianhead Trail Map
  • Vertical (ft)
    9,600 - 10,970 (1,320)
  • Average Snow Fall
    360"
  • Lifts (10)
    1 High Speed Quad
  • Ski Season
    Late Nov to mid April
  • Terrain Summary
    Terrain - 650 acres
    Runs – 71
    Beginner - 30%
    Intermediate - 35%
    Advanced - 35%

Brian Head Skiing and Snowboarding

The Brian Head Resort has 650 acres (263 hectares) of skiable terrain, which is small relative to other Utah ski resorts. For example the Brian Head skiing terrain is more than 11 times smaller than the interconnected Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons Resort, and 7.2 times smaller than the interconnected Snowbird and Alta.

The lift serviced vertical drop is also rather short at 1,320 feet (402 m), 929 feet (283m) shorter than the average for a Utah ski resort. Nevertheless, Brian Head Resort feels a little bigger than the terrain stats suggest. Perhaps this is because they pack 71 trails into the 650 acres, many of which are very short runs.

The Brian Head skiing and snowboarding is across two separate zones that are interconnected via a ski bridge. Navajo Peak has the Navajo Lodge at the main base, and the front face predominantly consists of green terrain. There are also various easy blue runs that drop down to the ski bridge. The Brian Head Peak side has the Giant Steps Lodge at the base, and the runs are mostly ziz-zaggy blue runs and short black piste.

Both sides of the Brian Head Resort show-off some great views across snow covered red rocks that southern Utah is famous for, but from the Brian Head Peak, the vistas across to the Cedar Breaks National Monument area are particularly striking.

Lifts

Brian Head Resort has 8 chair lifts as well as some magic carpets. Of the chair lifts, only one is an express chair, a quad with footrests and even a safety bar. I only mention that as a plus because some of the lifts don’t have safety bars (even though some of them are a fair way up off the ground)! I know a lot of Americans don’t like to use a safety bar (it’s uncool or something).

The first timers’ chair lift is ridiculously slow. Not even beginners need that much time to get on and off the chair or need that much rest! The Navajo #4 lift for beginners doesn’t go much faster.

Night skiing is offered on Chair #3 Blackfoot on the Brian Head Peak side on Friday and Saturday nights. This lift services a couple of green runs and the terrain parks. They don’t like to get up too early at Brian Head! Lifts only start turning at 10am on weekdays and 9:30am on weekends and holidays (or maybe it’s to cater to the Las Vegas time zone which is an hour earlier?).

Lift Tickets

There is a significant difference in prices between weekends and holidays and weekdays, so it’s particularly cheap to go skiing at Brian Head on weekdays.

Brian Head Snow

On average, Brian Head scores 360 inches (9.1 metres) of snow per season, which is very impressive for an area renowned for its deserts. There is also a little of the manmade white stuff.

The base elevation is the highest of the Utah ski resorts, and the top elevation is the 2nd highest (Snowbird has the highest), which contributes to the delightfully dry quality of the powder.

Brian Head Skiing for the Beginner

Officially 30% of the trails are for beginners so there’s lots of choice, and the quality is also very good. Most of the green terrain is on Navajo and considering that the good skiers and boarders head over to the Giant Steps/Brian Head side, beginners can learn in peace without the distraction of those fast riders zooming past them. Brian Head also has excellent progressions for beginners.

Novices can play on the almost flat area near the Navajo day lodge and parking lot, and then progress onto the Pioneer chair, and then the Navajo lift. Confident beginners can also head down to the bridge and across to the green trails near the Giant Steps lodge.

Brian Head Snowboarding & Skiing for the Intermediate

Trail stats are 35% blue, which sounds a little better than reality. Easy blues are on the Navajo side with a couple of runs serviced by the Wildflower chair lift that run the full vertical of the hill. Most of the intermediate terrain is over on the Giant Steps/Brian Head side and most of the runs are a fraction annoying because they don’t drop fall-line or the full vertical. Some terminate at a cat track or a green or black trail, so many of the actual blue runs are very short.

Terrain Parks

Brian Head has a couple of terrain parks that allow progression from the baby hits to bigger jumps. These are illuminated for night skiing on the weekends. There was possibly a bag jump there for a season but I’m not sure if it’s still there.

Advanced Skiing

The black trails don’t run the full vertical of the hill, and can be characterised as short and mogulled up. The glades are short and narrow, so if you’re not a confident tree skier, this is a nice spot to gain confidence. Some of the aspens and pines are widely spaced, whilst some are ridiculously close so don’t go there unless you’re super desperate for freshies!

Expert Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Brian Head doesn’t really have any expert terrain in-bounds, but there is some nice sidecountry for the taking, accessible via gates. Hike-to-terrain off the Brian Head Peak (approx. 450 vertical ascent) heads to skiers’ right of the resort with easy return. Some of the terrain is delightfully steep but it requires decent snow cover.