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Wasatch Backcountry Skiing- Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons


The Wasatch is an easy trip from Seattle with numerous inexpensive direct flights and plenty of lodging in SLC and Sandy.   One thing we learned was that the ski bus is excellent so save the money on the expensive 4-WD rental and take the ski bus, which also frees you up to ski between Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons without worrying about returning to a car.  I've had the pleasure of making trips in 2016 and 2017. 

The Wasatch Backcountry Ski Map ( available on desktop and mobile app is an excellent resource to help navigate, though it contains no description about specific tours or objectives - but does highlight hundreds of zones.  Generally a bulk of backcountry skiing happens between Little and Big Cottonwood Canyon, which run parallel to each other from west to east. Then running North to south are a handful of Drainages "Forks" that contain numerous lines. and connect the canyons. We did a couple point to point tours including a big loop where we took a lift at Ssolitude and eventually skied back into Brighton, and another where we left Alta in Little Cottonwood Canyon and came out to the Reynolds flat bus stop at Big Cottonwood Canyon - with this approach you can avoid the south facing aspect back to Alta  and get a bonus 1000' of decent in. 

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