With lift ticket prices creeping up, it's nice to know that there are some ways to make a ski trip more affordable. Here's one key: ski high, sleep low.
And the other? If you are flying into Salt Lake City , take advantage of its great location and reduce your carbon footprint by taking the city bus and shuttles to the resorts.
If you've flown in from sea level, you'll probably benefit by spending the afternoon and evening exploring Salt Lake City and acclimating to the higher elevation. But if you can't wait to hit the slopes, check out the free skiing after 3 p.m. at Alta . It's limited to a single lift that mostly serves beginner runs, so it'll ease you into the experience.
Get up early to catch the TRAX light rail south from downtown to the 7200 South Midvale-Fort Union station and transfer to the ski bus (Route 983). Head up Little Cottonwood Canyon  and return to Alta. (This time you'll have to pay for your lift ticket!) Ski here for the day, and catch the bus home when you're pooped. The next day, follow the same morning routine, but get off the bus at Snowbird  and ski or board there for the day.
By now you're used to rising early and riding the TRAX to 7200 South. Do it again, but this time board Bus 955 to Big Cottonwood Canyon . If it's the weekend, you might avoid some crowds by getting off to ski Solitude ; otherwise ride to the end of the line at Brighton , Utah's oldest ski resort, and still the locals' favorite, especially for snowboarding.
Pack your bags and catch a shuttle van to Park City  where you'll spend a final night at Chateau Aprés with budget-conscious skiers from all over the world. From downtown, just catch the Town Lift to ski Park City Mountain Resort . Your final day can be tailored to your legs. Pamper yourself on the lush groomed trails of Deer Valley  or head to The Canyons  for its vast territory. Park City's free buses will take you from town to these resorts.
Take the shuttle to the Salt Lake City airport and catch your plane home.