Backcountry Skiing & Snowboarding
Thousands of people each day enjoy Utah's famous backcountry — the areas outside of ski area boundaries. It is here where you can enjoy pristine powder slopes, fabulous scenery, fresh air and quiet. Those with the proper equipment and avalanche skills can best enjoy it. With Wasatch Mountain resorts and trailheads less than an hour from Salt Lake City International Airport, you'll be surprised how close Utah's backcountry really is. Beyond the trailheads there are hundreds of thousands of acres of diverse backcountry across multiple national forests and mountain ranges, should you wish to explore deeper into Utah.
For those without equipment or avalanche skills, you can take advantage of local guiding operations who can get you to the top of the long powder runs of your dreams, all with the security of avalanche-expert guides with detailed knowledge of the terrain and where to find the best goods in nearly any kind of condition. Even without avalanche skills, equipment or a guide, you can recreate safely all day in safe terrain generally less steep than 30 degrees and out from underneath steeper slopes.
Each day, hard-working ski patrols make the terrain inside of ski area boundaries extremely safe from avalanches. Those leaving the ski area boundaries or entering the backcountry from a trailhead need standard avalanche rescue gear, avalanche training and should regularly consult the Utah Avalanche Center website for critical avalanche safety information before venturing out in search of the goods. If you don't own avalanche equipment or skills, no problem. You can utilize local guides listed below that can set you up with the proper gear, keep you safe and lead you to the good stuff.
Know Before You Go
- Get the Equipment: Everyone should have a transceiver, shovel and probe on their person and know how to use them.
- Get the Training: Take an avalanche course to learn obvious clues to danger and how to read the terrain.
- Get the Forecast: Consult the Utah Avalanche Center website before heading out for critical avalanche information and education resources.
- Get the Picture: Recent avalanches on similar slopes mean dangerous conditions.
- Get out from Harm's Way: Travel one at a time on avalanche slopes and get out of the way at the bottom.
Utah Mountain Adventures (formally Utah Exum Guides) has operated in the mountains of Utah since 1993. They offer all types of guiding including backcountry skiing, boarding, mountaineering, rock climbing and ice climbing.