Sundance Secrets: Why The Festival Is A Good Time To Ski

by Mark W.

Every year around the middle of January, Park City becomes one of the most crowded place on earth. Why? Because the Sundance Film Festival is drawing film lovers from around the globe.

Lines for shuttles and busses non-existant at other times of the year can be 40-people deep. And the drive from Main Street to Kimball Junction, which normally takes about 10 minutes, can last more than an hour. Every hotel room is booked. Liquor stores sell out. And restaurants have two-hour waiting lists.

But heres an interesting fact: The ski slopes are anything BUT full during the film festival. Believe it or not, that holds true even for Sundance, which has plenty of space to ski that time of year. Skiers and snowboarders can often find corduroy-groomed snow at noon.

So thats one secret vacationers should know about just in case they want to enjoy something other than Sundance while theyre in town. But here are a few more Sundance-navigation secrets that might help you escape the crowds and enjoy your vacation.

First, never take the Kimball Junction exit. You will end up bumper to bumper with Sundance traffic, traveling about two miles per hour all the way through Park City. Instead, go a mile further east on I-80, take the next exit toward Heber and then turn at the Park City exit. That less-familiar route will get you close to the bottom of Main Street.

Second, bring your own eats. Every restaurant in town will be full. However, if you want to eat out, the locals secret is Chubascos on Prospector Square. Delicious Mexican food with the best salsa bar in the west. Best of all, the Sundance crowd doesnt know about it.

Third, if you dont want to bother finding ways around Sundance, hit the legendary resorts of the Cottonwood Canyons or make the drive to the Ogden area and luxuriate in the amenities of Snowbasin or be amazed by the natural snow at Powder Mountain.

Yes, Utah is a wonderful place to be during the Sundance Film Festival. But you may enjoy it more if you choose a good seat on a lift.