Top-rated terrain, 500 inches of snow annually and legendary back-country access have made the Brighton Ski Resort a favorite of Utah skiers and snowboarders since 1936.
Brighton Ski Resort stays true to its slogan “It’s all about the snow” by keeping amenities to the basics, but it has perks that families will appreciate, such as allowing kids age 10 and under to ski and ride for free. Brighton is an Ikon Pass destination.
Brighton is also notable in that 100 percent of the terrain here is accessible by high speed quads, allowing families to ride up together. The skiable area is 1,050 acres, with a summit elevation of 10,500 feet and a base elevation of 8,755 feet with a vertical, lift-serviced drop of 1,745 feet. Altogether there are five quads, one triple and one magic carpet accessing the 66 runs and four terrain parks. Because Brighton is at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon, it gets some of the best of the snow in an area that already boasts the greatest snow on earth.
Brighton Ski Resort has a snow-sports school that offers daily group lessons, private lessons and workshops for beginners to experts. The resort has a ski and snowboard rental shop on the second floor of the Brighton Center, though the shop does not rent goggles, jackets and outerwear. Other rental options can be found in the Salt Lake City area.
Keep in mind that there is also an option to purchase a ticket that combines access to Brighton and its neighbor, Solitude Mountain Resort . Brighton has a few slope-side dining options and limited lodging, though more variety can be found in nearby resort areas and in Salt Lake City.
Brighton is generally open from mid-November to mid-April. Some note that the best time to ski this area of the canyon is in March, when crowds have dissipated, temperatures have warmed and the snow is still plentiful. Brighton also has the most night skiing in Utah, with three lifts to 200 acres and the main terrain park open until 9pm., Monday to Saturday, from December to March.
Adult tickets at Brighton Ski Resort start around $94, depending on the time of season; children ages 11 to 16 are $60. Kids age 10 and under ski for free with an adult who has paid. Military discounts and half-day tickets are available. Tickets can be purchased at the ski area, but for the best pricing and the latest rental and lodging packages, consider booking online in advance.
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About 21 percent of the runs are beginner; 39 percent are intermediate; 25 percent are advanced and 15 percent are rated expert. Beginner runs and most intermediate runs are groomed nightly, though many of the expert runs are left untouched for skiers and boarders who prefer deep powder.
Brighton Ski Resort’s hotel selection isn’t vast, but the one slopeside lodge here is a great option for proximity and is easy on the wallet. Just a few yards from the Crest Express Lift, the Brighton Lodge has a rustic, alpine-retreat feel in its 20 rooms that include a continental breakfast during the winter season. Guests also have the option of going off-resort to the Silver Fork Lodge & Restaurant , about 3 miles from Brighton in the Big Cottonwood Canyon. There is a free shuttle that transports guests to and from the resort. Breakfast is included in a lodge stay. Another choice is Mount Majestic Properties , which has a selection of luxury homes near the resort.
As with lodging, Brighton only has a few options. In addition to catering to the après-ski crowd, Molly Greens serves up hand-tossed pizzas and nachos. Skiers and boarders can also stop in at the Alpine Rose, a cafeteria with a sun deck that offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as grab-and-go snacks. Off-site, the Silver Fork Lodge & Restaurant also serves up hearty breakfasts, lunches and dinners until 9:30pm.
Brighton prides itself on being low-key, and Molly Green’s Pub aligns with that vibe, offering a cozy space with large windows a roaring fireplace. Another option is the Silver Fork Lodge, a common stop for skiers on the way home for the day, where generous post-skiing fare is eaten alongside a cold beer as tales of great powder days are revisited. Skiers and boarders could also chose to hit up one of the bars at the nearby Alta or Solitude ski areas which can offer additional variety for bar-hopping.
Brighton is at the top of the Big Cottonwood Canyon, about 35 miles from Salt Lake City International Airport, which has daily flights from major U.S. hubs – many of the flights arriving before noon, so skiers can make the most of their first day. There are several shuttle companies that operate from the airport or guests can rent a car.
If driving, take the 1-80 West from Salt Lake City to Route 215 and take Exit 6, and drive just past Solitude to the top of the canyon. Once here there is no transportation needed to get around Brighton Ski Resort, but for guests wanting to explore the other resorts in the area, the UTA ski bus service runs between Brighton, Alta, Snowbird and Solitude every 15 minutes during peak hours and regularly all day through the ski season.
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