Solitude, 12000 Big Cottonwood Canyon, Solitude, UT 84121 (tel. 800/748-4754 or 801/534-1400;, is a friendly, family-oriented resort that hasn't been "discovered" yet, so lift lines are virtually nonexistent. The snow is terrific, and it's easy to reach -- just 28 miles from downtown Salt Lake City in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Like its next-door neighbor, Brighton -- which is connected to Solitude via the Solbright Trail -- Solitude enjoys excellent powder and few crowds. Its 1,200-plus acres of skiable terrain range from well-groomed, sunny beginner and intermediate trails to gently pitched bowls and glades. The mountain is well designed, with runs laid out so beginners won't suddenly find themselves in more difficult terrain. Intermediates have wide-open bowls in which to cruise and practice their powder skiing, several excellent forest runs, and some great bumpy stretches on which to hone their mogul skills. Advanced skiers have many long fall lines, open powder areas, and steeply graded chutes.

Solitude is the state's only downhill ski area with a world-class Nordic center out its back door: The University of Utah and U.S. Olympic teams train here. The resort also has an ice-skating rink.

Three high-speed quad lifts, one fixed-grip quad, one triple, and three doubles service 64 runs and three bowls. Runs are rated 20% beginner, 50% intermediate, and 30% advanced/expert. The resort is open from early November to late April, daily from 9am to 4pm. With a summit elevation of 10,035 feet and a vertical drop of 2,047 feet, Solitude receives an average snowfall of more than 500 inches.

Lift Tickets -- All-day passes cost $62 for adults, $42 for seniors 70 and older, $39 for kids 7 to 14, and those 6 and under ski free. Afternoon half-day adult lift tickets are $52.

Lessons & Programs -- Solitude's ski school offers group and private lessons. Adult group classes (lift ticket included) are $65 for a half-day, $90 for all day; call for rates for customized private lessons (tel. 801/536-5730). The Moonbeam Ski & Snowboard Academy, for kids 4 through 12, offers an all-day learn-to-ski program, including lunch, lift ticket, and rental, for $125; the afternoon-only program is $70.

Warm-Weather Fun -- Solitude remains open in summer, offering chairlift rides, mountain bike and scooter rentals, 18-hole mountainside disc golf, and a place to hike or just kick back and watch the wildflowers grow.

Where to Stay & Dine

The Inn at Solitude (tel. 877/517-7717; is a full-service luxury hotel, with 46 rooms and nightly rates from $269 to $449 during ski season (lower in summer). Its restaurant, St. Bernard's, offers fine dining with a menu from Europe's Alpine regions. Breakfast and dinner are served.

The resort also manages numerous condo units, including condos with three bedrooms plus den, with ski season prices ranging from $260 to $835.

Adjacent to the Apex Chairlift and with terrific views of the mountain, the day lodge Last Chance Mining Camp offers hearty lunches, and après-ski refreshments. The Moonbeam Lodge has a cafeteria for breakfast and lunch and a pub for dinner and libations. Kimi's Mountainside Bistro is nestled on the canyon floor and offers gourmet dinners and weekend brunches. The Thirsty Squirrel is a pub in the base village with an in-house sushi bar open weekend nights. Also in the village is Stone Haus, serving pizza and ice cream for lunch and dinner.

For an unusual experience, reserve dinner at the Yurt (tel. 801/536-5709), in the forest above the main lodge. You can either cross-country ski or snowshoe through the evergreens to get to your elegant five-course gourmet meal for $100 per person, served at a table set with linen, silver, and crystal. Dress is casual, but the meal isn't. Advance reservations are recommended after mid-October.

Room tax in this area is 13.6%.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.