A little-known backcountry gem
Tons of snowboarders
I skied Brighton on February 8th. We had been treated to 8" the night before, and 9" this morning. There was a terrific base out there already, and now 18" of fresh.
We skied up Millicent bowl until it was nothing but chopped powder. Then we broke into two groups...some of the guys went into the backcountry off the traverse above Millicent bowl, and we headed over to check out Exhibition bowl. We were treated to waist deep in some spots, and it was terrific. We broke for lunch in the parking lot and enjoyed the gorgeous sun light to warm us up. After that, we headed over to the Snake Creek chair to pull some cool-down laps in the trees there. The snow was phenomenal...deep, soft, and fluffy. I had fresh tracks through the not-so-steep trees for all the runs in there.
The rest of my group went to the bar for the rest of the day, and I headed over to Great Western. I ironically met up with the first group that broke off earlier that morning. They had been through the backcountry gate off the top of Great Western and said the snow was terrible: wind-blown and hard. They were also about spent for the day, so we lapped Rein's Run and Endless Winter. The snow was chopped up, but still soft and deep. The run-out on Lonestar was terrific too...lots of little terrain features to play around on after some hard turns. We stayed here until last chair, then headed back to the parking lot.
Molly Green's is the only real apres ski location at Brighton (except the back of your truck with some beers). It's a private club, so you have to buy a membership for $5, which covers everyone at your table. A small price to pay for cheap pints of Squatter's after a day of skiing. If you want to ensure you get a table, make sure you show up before last chair.
Brighton is my second favorite resort in Utah (Alta being the first). I love the small, quaint resort. While it has a huge park scene and the crowd that goes with that, they mostly stick to Brighton's park and stay away from the rest of the terrain, leaving it open for pillaging. And Brighton's not terribly steep, either, which is OK for me when situations get tight (like with the trees and cliffs). The tree skiing at Brighton is some of the best I've experienced as well, and any terrain off the Millicent chair is well worth the lift ticket.