Snowbird

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Home Prices: Condos mid $300’s to the millions. The canyon itself has few homes, so most people wanting to live near the ski resorts live in east Draper. Snowbird does have timeshares and massive Airbnb’s as well as terrific year-round hotel/lodges.

Before Little Cottonwood Canyon became popular with skiers, miners discovered deposits of silver ore within the glacial canyon. The history of Little Cottonwood Canyon and the town of Alta dates back to the 19th Century, when a soldier in the U.S. Army first prospected for silver in 1869. The tiny minerals he stumbled upon soon supported a massive industry. Little Cottonwood Canyon became one of the largest producers of silver ore in the Wasatch Mountains. Known as the Emma Mine and the namesake for the Big Emma run in Snowbird’s Gad Valley, the soldier’s find eventually produced more than $3.8 million in silver. At its peak, 8,000 people lived and worked in the narrow canyon, which held two smelters, 138 homes, hotels, boarding houses, stores and even a railroad. The entire town was later destroyed by a series of avalanches.

Snowbird resort is a year-round ski and summer resort located in the heart of the Wasatch-Cache National Forest. The resort first opened in December 1971.
Snowbird shares the canyon with neighbor Alta Ski Area. Both receive over 500 inches (12.7 m) of snowfall per year, with a single storm capable of producing over 100 inches due to lake effect enhancement from the Great Salt Lake, making it the greatest area of snowfall in the mainland United States outside the Cascades. Unlike the humid and wet snow of the Cascades near the Pacific Ocean, Snowbird being in the arid Great Basin is known for its unusually dry and powdery snow.

Skiing at Snowbird usually closes on Memorial Day in late May while the occasional ski year can last as long as the Fourth of July. Snowbird has a skiable area of 2,500 acres (10 km²) with a vertical drop of 3,240 ft (990 m) from the summit of Hidden Peak, which has an elevation of above 11,000 ft (3400 m). Hidden Peak is serviced by an aerial tram from the lodges. Over the last few decades, Snowbird and most other Utah resorts have become ‘year round’ resorts offering hiking, biking, yurt camping/dining, tram/chairlift rides, alpine slides and zip lines, Oktoberfest, concerts and more.

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