#25 in Best Ski Resorts in the USA
Solitude Mountain Resort – a reference to the name of the area’s original mining claim – is an intimate, 1,200-acre ski and snowboard area in the Big Cottonwood Canyon of Utah’s Wasatch Mountains, distinguished from nearby resorts by short lift lines and some of the most challenging and picturesque off-piste terrain in the U.S. Divided into two base areas – Moonbeam and Village – Solitude Mountain Resort is an easy 45-minute drive from Salt Lake City International Airport.
Solitude has a summit elevation of 10,035 feet from a base elevation of 8,005 feet with a 2,030-foot vertical drop. Altogether, Solitude has 77 runs and five terrain areas accessed by eight lifts, including four high-speed quads and two quad chairlifts. Glade skiing is available on Honeycomb Canyon, Headwall Forest and Evergreen – there are also 13 Nordic trails set aside for guests. The Solitude Nordic Center also has classic cross-country skiing , skate skiing as well as snowshoeing as an option. Snowmaking covers about 150 acres here.
There is no night skiing at Solitude, though there is ice skating in the village as well as guided backcountry tours. Solitude Mountain Resort has the snow sports academy that offers lessons and programs, as well as the Hidden Tracks day clinic for advanced skiers and snowboarders with some off-piste experience. Solitude has two ski and snowboard rental locations – one at the Village and one at Moonbeam – and these also offer repair and tune-up services. Other than that, ski and snowboard rental options are plentiful in the Salt Lake City area. Solitude is an Ikon Pass destination.
The base areas do have dining and lodging options,- these are primarily at Moonbeam – as well as a licensed daycare center.
Solitude is generally open in late November to early December, depending on conditions, and closes mid-April. Many note that January through April is the best time to take advantage of the high snowfall average in the Big Cottonwood Canyon, with warmer temperatures and less crowding from March onward.
Adult tickets at Solitude Ski Resort (an Ikon Pass ski resort) range from $109 to $119, depending on the time of season; children ages 5 to 12 are $75 to $85. Kids age 4 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, online or by phoning 855-285-1054 or 805-360-5702.
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Of Solitude Mountain Resort’s 77 runs, 10 percent are ranked beginner, 40 percent intermediate and 50 percent are ranked advanced or expert.
There are several ski-in/ski-out hotel options at Solitude, though keep in mind that more affordable lodging can also be found in Salt Lake City, just 30 minutes away. For complimentary wine tastings and early lift access, The Inn at Solitude offers Bavarian-style rooms in the Village with ski-in/ski-out access from the 46 hotel units. The elegant Powderhorn Lodge has one- to three-bedroom condominiums with gas fireplaces and full kitchens as well as an outdoor hot tub and access to Club Solitude fitness center. For large groups needing extra room, a good option is the Crossings Townhomes , with multi-level town houses with fireplaces and private balconies, as well as a washers and dryers and jetted hot tubs.
From quick bites before you head up the mountain to fine dining with a spectacular view of the peaks, there are plenty of restaurant options at Solitude Mountain Resort. For a lantern-lit winter dining experience, try an evening at The Yurt at Solitude, where a four-course dinner is prepared in a Mongolian yurt after a guided snowshoe journey through the forest. At the base of the Moonbeam Express, the Moonbeam Lodge has breakfast options as well as post-skiing fare like burgers or grilled salmon with chimichurri sauce and house-made soups and chili. For appetizers and craft cocktails, stop in at the The Library, inside The Inn at Solitude, and sink into their oversized chairs with an old fashioned before heading to dinner at the European-inspired St. Bernards.
Solitude Mountain has a few great places to stop in for a drink at the end of the day or as a breather in between runs. Try Argenta at the Moonbeam Lodge for a range of beers, or head to the famed Thirsty Squirrel in Solitude Village, near the Apex Express lift, for a round of shuffleboard with a cocktail in hand. For a glass of wine with a view, The Honeycomb Grill also has charcuterie boards with artisan meats and cheeses as well as poutine with smoked pulled mustard pork.
Solitude Mountain Resort is easily accessible from Salt Lake City International Airport, 34 miles away. There are several shuttle companies that operate from the airport or guests can rent a car.
If you’re driving, take the 1-80 West from Salt Lake City to Route 215 and take Exit 6. Once here, there is a shuttle that transports guests between the two bases. Otherwise the resort is pedestrian-friendly and easily walkable.
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