Oktoberfest in Utah is one of the best celebrations of the year. It takes place up at Snowbird Mountain Resort from August til mid-October. Food, games, shops, and of course, beer, are all part of this long celebration! So, why go? What’s all the fuss about? I’ve been in Utah for four different seasons of Oktoberfest and have never been. This year was my first and this event is definitely something I’ve missed out on. Here are the five things you’ll need to do at Snowbird this Oktoberfest!
Need to Know
- When: August until mid-October, 12pm to 6pm
- Where: Snowbird Mountain Resort (Entrances 1, 2, 4)
- Admission: Free!
- Parking fees: $10 in parking lots. Free street parking.
- How to get there
- What to bring: hat, sunglasses, old Oktoberfest beer glass. Depending on the season, you may want sunscreen in summer and fall, and an extra layer or coat in late September and October. Snowbird’s lowest chairlift is situated at 7,759 feet, and the summit is 11,000 feet.
- What to expect: Lots of beer, lots of food options, games and activities for kids, small shopping tents, rides for all ages, live music and entertainment, lines for food and beer, and the potential for changing weather patterns.
Now that we’ve got the details out of the way, let’s get into the 5 things you should definitely do at Oktoberfest!
Get a Beer!
Yeah, we’re starting this list off super strong, I know! Perhaps the most essential part of the whole festival is getting a darn good beer. There’s beer all over the place – you don’t have to look very hard for it at all! If you’ve been to Oktoberfest before and have your old beer class, make sure to bring it! Otherwise, you’ll need to purchase one with your drink. They don’t have plastic cups or disposable cups, which seem to be on purpose. The grounds were insanely clean and I bet this is a good reason behind it!
In any case, you get a sweet souvenir and the prices for those glasses aren’t exorbitant (for a ski resort, that is). Admission is free and street parking is free they’ve gotta get ya somewhere! Expect to pay between $10 for the smaller mugs and up to $35 for the largest ones. That’s your entrance fee, I suppose!
Try the food!
There were all sorts of food options around the grounds. From traditional German food to brats, and bavarian pretzels, there were choices galore. Snowbird also had a number of their regular concessions open with more mountain lodge-type food like burgers and hot dogs, chicken tenders, and wraps. Mercedes and I took so long to decide what to eat here that most of the options closed and we needed to get something! So, we wound up getting a perfect burger and some beautiful chicken tenders. They were delicious, to say the least!
If I could go back to do it again, I’d make sure to get their bavarian pretzel and go to their smoked brisket stand. It smelled so good but ran out of food with a few hours to go!
Ride the Scenic Chairlift or Tram
If you’ve never taken a chairlift ride in summer, I’d highly recommend it. It’s kind of awesome! I didn’t do it at Snowbird but I’ve taken it at Deer Valley in Park City before and it was amazing. If you get the chance, take it! You can take the Peruvian chairlift up to (nearly) the top of Snowbird where you’ll be greeted with sweeping panoramic views deep in the Wasatch Mountains. It’s an experience you won’t regret taking, especially if you only have one shot!
If open air isn’t your type of experience and you want a faster way to the summit, take the tram to the top! The new blue tram has been in use and is shuttling people to the top and bottom. The red tram will soon be phased out and replaced with a new one sometime this summer or fall. I have taken the tram before in summertime and it’s kind of awesome!! I’d definitely recommend it. Of course, if I had to pick between the two options, I would opt for the chairlift. It’s a slower ride than the tram, and the open-air feel is just unbeatable. Just make sure to hold onto loose clothing and your hats – gusts of wind will definitely knock them off!
Watch the Outdoor Concert
One of the biggest draws of the whole event is the live music! There are different bands lined up for each day of the festival and they’re always pretty darn good from what I hear! There’s nothing better than sitting on the slope of a mountain, drinking a nice cold beer, eating some festival food with your friends, and singing along with the performers. I mean come on, this is what dreams are made of, correct? There’s ample space to pack in a lot of people around the main venue, so you won’t feel too crowded. You can also hear the concert from many different areas, so you’ll feel the energy throughout the entire festival.
Ride the Mountain Coaster or Mountain Slide!
The mountain coaster and mountain slide are fun activities for both adults and kids! There are minimum height requirements for riding with a parent and for riding alone, so make sure your kid qualifies before buying the ticket! Both of these activities are covered under Snowbird’s All Day Activity passes, so if you’re planning on doing multiple things, that pass may be the way to go. It’s all part of an excellent day up at the Bird! The cool thing about the mountain slide is you get a chairlift ride included – it’ll take you from the bottom of the Chickadee lift to the top, and then you get to cruise down on the slide. How fun!
The mountain coaster is located near the base of the Peruvian lift. The line generally appears long but it was moving pretty fast when Mercedes and I were watching it. This coaster takes you up and around Snowbird and sends you screaming around the lower part of the mountain! You control your speed – you can make it go as fast or as slow as you want! If you want to feel the wind whip through your hair, this is the ride for you!
Explore the Shops and Scout the Street Performers!
There are street performers and a whole street filled with small storefronts. Mercedes and I stopped to watch this juggler when he noticed my camera and said, “Hey! Take a picture of this!” and started juggling! I think he has seven balls total; that hand-eye coordination is just insane! There were a few other performers as well, most out of the way of the main events.
Near Entrance 1 and 2 was a whole street filled with small tent storefronts. We didn’t get to explore these as much as I wanted to, but there were all sorts of goods and services available! That’s something I’d like to explore more if I got the possibility. It was way too cool!
Bonus Activity for Kids!
If you’ve got smaller kids along for the ride, there’s a whole host of activities for them! Near the mountain coaster and the scenic chairlift rides are a large number of games and activities. There are trampolines, bungees, rock climbing walls, a bouncy fort, and a slide! Tiring out kids has never been easier! Getting an All-Day Activity Pass is essential if your kids are interested in these activities. They looked fun and I wish I was a kid again, just to be able to jump in a bouncy castle!
Have a Wonderful time!
This is an awesome event for people of all ages! Families, friends, and couples will all be able to find something fun to do at Oktoberfest at Snowbird. There are so many options here that one day is often not enough. One can only drink so much beer in a day as well, so, you’ll need to make multiple weekend trips up here!
You could start your day off up at Alta hiking to Cecret Lake, Devil’s Castle or Sugarloaf Peak and wind down with a beautiful day at Oktoberfest. In fact, that might be the best way to enjoy a whole day in the mountains! For other hikes in the Wasatch, check out my blogs right here.
Take care, be safe, plan a ride down, and have tons of fun. See you on the next one!
Next blog: Back to Yellowstone eventually. We’ve got a lot to cover!