Snowbird has finally gained approval for their mountain coaster and have released design plans and placement plans.



Snowbird's Mountain Coaster | Design Plans And Placement

Roller coaster in winter

The new face of Snowbird? NOT QUITE

Talk of the mountain coaster at Snowbird has been going on for quite some time.   The debate is over though, Snowbird recently gained approval to move forward with the amusement park like attraction.   Since then, design plans have been released to the public.

History of Snowbird’s Mountain Coaster

  • Several years ago Snowbird considered a coaster in the Wilbur area – Denied
  • About a year ago Snowbird proposed the coaster at the base of the iconic peak Mt. Superior – Overwhelmingly Denied
  • Snowbird began lobbying to have County Ordinances rewritten to allow development of more summer activities – This could help to allow much needed mountain biking trails
  • April 2012, Snowbird announces a new location for the mountain coaster in the Peruvian Gulch – Typical, start big then downsize to gain approval
  • In early May 2012, Snowbird gains approval to build the mountain coaster – Although still with minimal approval from Environmental groups, better than on Mt. Superior though

The following design plans were obtained from the Salt Lake County Planning Commission on May 10th, 2012

  • Overall vertical gain of the Coaster will be 160 feet
  • The downhill track will be 2,120 feet with 1000 feet of up-hill track
  • The average downhill slope will be 11.5% with a maximum of 20% (SO SCARY!!!)
  • The track will contain 3 bridges over cat-tracks and access roads and 1 tunnel under the cat-tracks and access roads.
  • The entire coaster will be built on Snowbird’s Privately owned land, not Forest Service Land.
Full aerial view

Full aerial view of the mountain coaster

The way the coaster is designed and will be built would allow in the future, depending on its success, for the coaster to be extended uphill to make for a steeper and longer ride.  Although not set in stone, the coaster may also be used in the winter depending on daily weather conditions.

West half of mountain coaster

Another view showing more detail on land impact

The base area of the coaster will be located directly behind the existing Peruvian Express lift shack.

Aeriel view of east half

Another view showing more detail on land impact

Instead of concrete footings, the majority of the track will be installed using minimal impact soil stakes driven deep into the ground.

One of the major controversies was the public did not want to have a large visual impact from the Little Cottonwood Canyon Highway, which is a Scenic Byway.  This appears to be solved since the coaster is almost entirely in the “shadow” of the Cliff Lodge.  Construction is set to begin either this fall or the spring of 2013 provided the world doesn’t end before then.

With all the controversy over, and the coaster facts set in stone, what is your final opinion?  Would riding the coaster change your opinion?

  • Ian

    Oh my heck! People Mountain Coasters are built to blend in with the environment. A ski lift makes more noise than these make. These are pretty much silent. Its not an amusement park coaster. These are built for mountain sides! Get a freakin clue.

  • Kevin

    The last thing I want on a ski mountain is noise pollution, which this will likely add. Ironically I just moved far closer to snowbird…. and would have liked to sneak over there a few times a year… but I’ll pass if they have some loud coaster in operation during the ski season.

  • ugh

    terrible article with ridiculous use of a ROLLER COASTER image. we’re talking a mountain coaster that is rarely above ground level and relies on gravity to create movement.

    Choosing this image and failure to clearly delineate between a roller coaster and mountain coaster fueled the opportunity for ignorant fools to post about ‘puke’, ‘noise’ and how bro-brah is too epic to visit a place that’s an “amusement park”.

    I would suggest visiting a ski resort that has one of these (both the author and the moron posters above me) before making up one’s mind. Also, it would help to gain a basic understanding of ski resort finances and the impact ancillary activities can have on keeping a resort viable.


  • Pingback: Amusement Business News – Wednesday, May 30, 2012 | Amusement Business Today

  • DOC

    Not starting at the base of Mt Superior and crossing over the LCC road-Sweet. Stupid carnival atmosphere created for non skiers at the USA’s best ski resort-lame.

  • Kyle Watson

    You have to be kidding. Thats not only sad but pathetic. The last thing i want to see or visit is a ski resort with a roller coaster. I hope they lose business. Boycott Snowbird send a message to any other resorts dumb enough to consider this.

  • O'Doyle Rules!

    Pfft. Maybe if they put in a Go kart track, lazy river, fortune teller, fudge shoppe and a Ripley ‘believe it or not’ I’d be interested.

  • Ghost Climber

    I grew up skiing Alta and Snowbird in from 1968-1980. Little Cottonwood is an amazing place. It really saddens me to know it’ll now be home to an amusement park. Shame on Snowbird. I’ll avoid going there now for quieter areas.

  • 4 evergreen

    Is a roller coaster what you go to the MOUNTAIN for? If so you are a poser or your mountain doesn’t get enough snow! Roller coasters are for disney land, I get plenty of amusement from riding powder I guess people who go to Snowbird dont.

  • Charles

    Not sure if “scary” is spelled incorrect on accident or if just being stupid on purpose..

  • paul

    Why o Why does Unofficial continue to use the shittiest writers around for their posts??! Guess you get what you pay for.

    • Anonymous

      And If you tray and tell them that something is wrong they attack you… and from what I have heard from the rumor mill (i know, i know, shady) they actually make decent money from post… Which is sad because there are hundreds of broke english/journalism graduates at ski resorts that would take pride in a job like this…

  • Karl

    I visit Snowbird each year from the UK and one of the things I love most is that it’s a non-pretentious resort where people go to ride ‘steep and deep.’ With the introduction of the Peruvian tunnel, revamped Mountain Hosts, the Little Cloud Quad and the Alpine Coaster I fear Snowbird is becoming too commercial and family friendly which I only hope doesn’t spoil a unique mountain/snow experience.

  • BP

    If it is where I think it is, correct me if I am wrong, it shouldn’t impact skiing much at all? I don’t know much about all of the environmental aspects, but as far as being in the way it doesn’t look like much of a problem. It is their private land, and I wouldn’t ride it anyways, but if its out of the way might as well let them have it?

    • Kyler Roush

      The impact on skiing would hardly be noticed. Where it crosses ski paths (cat tracks) there is either a bridge or a tunnel.

      To me it seems great. No impact on skiing, visual, and very minimal environmental impact as the land is already developed.

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