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Brighton Resort

It dumped 24 inches in 24 hours. The road to Snowbird and Alta is closed and the traffic pileup is excruciating. It’s no wonder readers rank Brighton Resort No. 4 in Access. A quick left and you’re on your way to “great snow, and no crowds even on weekend powder days.” The Brighton parking lot will look jammed but the jibbers stick to the three terrain parks, leaving plenty of acres to play in without commotion. Locals who ride here remain loyal. Unlike a California surf scene, there’s a “friendly atmosphere” and a “laid-back vibe.”

Value ranks high (No. 4). Kids under 7 ski free, and weekday nightskiing is usually half off thanks to one local promotion or another. Night or day, kids live it up on the endless whoop-dee-do’s that weave through the lower trees, and intermediates build egos off the Millicent Chair. The resort is spread out, and readers complain about doing “the whole cross-country thing to get around.” Expert skiers know that inbounds can be a bit tame. But head out one of the many backcountry gates to steep pitches and the lightest, driest power in the state. Brighton will forever get dinged for its lack of lodging and après action. Still, take a seat at Molly Green’s for the best daily food specials in the Canyon. —Jill Adler

What’s New: Three new snowcats make for better grooming and terrain parks.

Mandatory Run: Elk Park Ridge off the Great Western Chair. If the vertical doesn’t get you, the views will.

Don’t Miss: The “best nightskiing in North America. Ski double-diamond tree runs at night!”

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