Prior to its development as a ski resort, Little Cottonwood Canyon was an abundant source of silver ore. A soldier discovered the mine while prospecting in the glacial canyon in 1869. Workers settled here until harsh winters and avalanches forced them to abandon the place. A hundred years later, lodge manager Ted Johnson and financier Richard Bass purchased a mining claim in the canyon and began a lodging complex.
Snowbird opened in December 1971. Today, it features nearly 900 rooms in four slopeside lodging properties: Iron Blosam, the Inn, the Lodge at Snowbird and Cliff Lodge.
Cliff Lodge, the flagship hotel, features the Cliff Spa with comprehensive exercise and spa facilities, an extensive conference center and the world's largest private collection of oriental rugs.
Besides spa services, the resort presents dining and nightlife possibilities with up to 15 restaurants and five bars. Visitors can also shop for souvenir items, ski accessories, groceries, spa products and more.
In addition to building lodges, Snowbird expanded its ski terrains and installed chair lifts now totaling to 10.
An aerial tram opened in its first year, carrying passengers to the summit of the resort's highest peak, Hidden Peak. In 2001, Snowbird was able to connect with neighboring Alta's resorts unlocking over 4,700 acres of terrain. Snowbird also built the Peruvian Express Chairlift and Tunnel, the only ski tunnel in North America, lending access to the Mineral Basin.
Snowbird showcases year-round facilities for summer and winter recreational activities. Popular winter activities besides skiing and snowboarding include snowmobiling, snowshoe tours and the Avalanche Rescue Training Center. The ski terrains are suitable for all ability levels from beginners to experts. Skiers as young as 3 years old can sharpen skills at the Snowbird Mountain School.
During the summer, visitors can explore Utah's green lands and streams by biking, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, camping, rafting and more.
Snowbird is easily accessible from Salt Lake City and is just 29 miles away from the Salt Lake City International Airport.