Family Ski Resort Guide | Solitude Mountain Resort

By Local Lexi Sep 8, 2021
With a family-friendly feel and terrain of every flavor, Solitude is the place where skiers and riders come to hone their lifelong love of making snowy memories
Family Ski Resort Guide | Solitude Mountain Resort

Like many Utah resorts, the slopes of Solitude Mountain Resort first caught the eyes of silver miners when mining activity in Big Cottonwood peaked in the 1870s. Rugged silver miners first gave the area its name in the early 1900’s. 

Legend has it that the impetus for creating Solitude arose when the original owner was prevented from using the restrooms at Alta which were reserved for lodge guests. Robert M. Barrett went and purchased a huge chunk of land in Big Cottonwood Canyon in 1956. Solitude Mountain Resort began spinning chairs in 1957 with two chairlifts. You can learn more about Solitude's storied history and unlikely founder by visiting our article here

Nowadays, Solitude is famous for its steep, fall line tree skiing, deep snow, sweeping groomers, approachable beginner terrain and unbeatable powder stashes in Honeycomb Canyon. With two distinct villages, Solitude has great dining options, cozy nooks to relax and ample slopeside lodging.

Solitude has the feel of a local’s mountain. Friendly faces abound and you’ll often hear gleeful cackles in the lift line from the regulars stacking laps. Even though powder hounds congregate here to worship the greatest snow on earth, Solitude is often praised for its unpretentious vibe.

The Solitude Nordic Center is located between Solitude and Brighton resorts and offers snowshoeing and cross country skiing trails. The 13 trails cover 12 miles and offer terrain from easy to moderately difficult. The Nordic Center also abuts six miles of snowshoeing trails for those who want to take it slow and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Lessons, clinics, and workshops are offered throughout the winter.

Solitude Mountain is located just 29 miles from downtown Salt Lake City and it is possible to ski between Solitude and Brighton. Approximate driving times (in favorable driving conditions) and distances are listed below: 
Salt Lake City: 29 miles – 40 minutes
Ogden: 65 miles – 1 hour, 10 minutes
Provo: 54 miles – 1 hour, 10 minutes
Logan: 110 miles – 2 hours
St. George: 311 miles – 4.5 hours



In a 5th Grader’s Words:
“You can get candy and go on the chair rides, then do some jumps and there’s hot chocolate too.”
Ridge, age 10

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Skiable Acres: 1,200 Acres
Vertical Drop: 2,030 Feet
Number of Runs: 77, 13 Nordic Trails, 6 Snowshoe Trails
Terrain: 10% Beginner, 40% Intermediate, 50% Advanced, Nordic Center
Chairlifts: 8 and 1 Conveyor Lift
Night Skiing: No
Deals for Kids: Children 4 and younger ski for free

Solitude Mountain Resort is the first resort you’ll encounter when heading up Big Cottonwood Canyon. It’s the western neighbor to Brighton Resort and the two resorts connect via the SolBright connector trail.

Pro Tip: If you need to purchase day tickets, do so well in advance. Solitude was not selling day tickets at the window during the 2020-2021 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those with a season pass or a partner pass can simply show up and scan their pass when boarding the lift.

Solitude is famed for its laid back and family-friendly atmosphere and it’s a great place to learn or hone your skills on skis or a board. Families just getting started should opt for the Moonbeam Lodge to get oriented and begin their day. Turn right into the first Solitude parking lot to locate the Moonbeam Lodge. If you are planning on visiting Solitude on the weekend, it is recommended to arrive early as the lot fills quickly.

Newbies can head for the Link Chairlift near the Moonbeam Lodge. This lift has the gentlest terrain and the spot to learn the basics is the Easy Street run. The Moonbeam Express is ideal for more confident riders and the myriad trails in and around the trees offer big fun for young children. Try the Same Street run, a winding green for good fun. Home Run and Last Run are steeper blues to work towards. The Apex Chairlift harbors access to slightly longer blue runs and it is a bit steeper in spots than Moonbeam. For a peek into the Link and Apex chairlifts from a kids perspective, watch Growing a Skier at Solitude.

Intermediates will find ample blue runs to explore off the Eagle Express chairlift. Wanderer offers excellent views and a gentle, winding path back to the base area. If your child is ready to tackle a black diamond run, Rhapsody is a short and steep (often mogul covered) pitch accessible from the top of Eagle.

Advanced and expert skiers will find more challenging runs off the Powderhorn and Summit chairlifts, with Honeycomb Canyon being the perennial favorite of powder hunters. Dynamite is a steep yet fun blue run to inspect the terrain accessible from the Summit Express.

You can ski between the Moonbeam Base Area and the Solitude Village by using the Link Chairlift or riding the complimentary shuttle.



Big Cottonwood Canyon can experience road delays in the event of big storms or necessary avalanche mitigation. You should always check the road conditions in inclement weather and never attempt a drive up either of the Cottonwood Canyons without proper tires or chains and and AWD or 4WD vehicle. For current road status, you can check the UDOT Cottonwood Canyons Twitter account.

Pro Tip: Don't plan to get away with renting a cheap and crappy rental car. Just trust us on this, you're going to need a 4WD or AWD vehicle. It can snow an inch per hour up Big Cottonwood Canyon and unprepared visitors often cause hours-long traffic jams by sliding off the road. If driving down steep grades in a howling blizzard with whiteout conditions isn't your jam, consider public transport or one of the many shuttle services.

Note that in 2019-2020 Solitude made changes to their parking policy. Solitude charges a fee for guests to use their parking lots in the winter. This initiative has been spearheaded by Solitude to encourage guests to use public transit and carpool to help alleviate congestion problems in the canyon. It will be $25 to park at Solitude, however to encourage ride sharing, vehicles with two occupants pay $15, cars with three occupants will be charged $10 and carpools with 4 or more riders will be charged just $5. Parking passes are available for the entire season. All season passholders will be provided with free access to the UTA busses. For those looking to carpool or ride the bus, there are two lots at the base of Big Cottonwood Canyon. Note that parking is ONLY available at Entry 1. You can find current information here

In the winter months, the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) runs daily service from November or December until March or April. Routes 953 and 972 service Big Cottonwood Canyon at 15-minute intervals during peak hours from West Valley, Midvale, Downtown, Cottonwood Heights, and Sandy. Check the UTA website for a current schedule and read our Guide to Riding the Ski Bus.




Solitude has two main base areas, the Moonbeam Base Area (Entry 1) and the Solitude Village (Entry 2). The Solitude Ski and Ride School and rental shops each have locations at both base areas. Note that the upper Solitude Village from Entry only offers covered parking designated for lodging guests. The best beginner terrain is accessed via the Moonbeam Base Area. The Moonbeam Lodge is a fantastic place to get ready for lessons, warm-up, grab a snack or post up to wait for kiddos to finish shredding. The greatest diversity of dining options and the Thirsty Squirrel bar will be found at Solitude Village.





The Solitude Snowsports Academy is located in the Moonbeam Lodge. They offer high-quality lessons with small class sizes in a variety of formats. Solitude is well-known for its wonderful program—it's where I learned to ski—and the wide variety of lessons and programming available. For this reason, Solitude is one of the best places to learn to ski or snowboard in Utah! To learn more or book a lesson you can visit Solitude's website

Pro Tip: Advance reservations are REQUIRED for equipment rentals.

Adult Ski & Ride Lessons
Private or group lessons are available for guests over the age of 14. Private lessons can be arranged to focus on specific skills or desired areas of improvement. Holiday rates apply during peak times. Adult group lessons are determined by ability level and include student-led goal setting and personalized feedback. Weekday lessons cost significantly less than weekend lessons.

Women on Wednesdays
Adult Women who wish to learn in a stress-free environment can join Solitude’s Women on Wednesdays clinic series. Professional female instructors lead clinics for women of all skill levels. (No snowboarding clinics are available at this time.) Call to reserve a spot.

Adaptive Lessons
Solitude partners with the National Ability Center to provide fun, meaningful, and educational adaptive skiing lessons. Adaptive equipment for rent and any special requests can be arranged with Solitude. Call the resort to make a reservation. Adaptive lessons are structured as a private lesson format. 

Teen Group Lessons
Solitude’s fosters teens on the mountain for all ski and ride abilities for ages 13-17. Creating a team-based learning environment is the top goal for Solitude's fun instructors. Lesson packages with a lift ticket and equipment rentals are available. 

Fly Like an Eagle Kid's Program
Solitude runs a program for kids aged 7-13 to sign up for a session of three classes to foster progression, learn new skills and meet new friends on the hill. Kids are grouped by ability level and over the course of the session will learn to ski or ride in all types of snow conditions while working with the same coach and group of kids for the duration of the program. A number of sessions are offered during the season. 

Explorers (Kid's Lessons)
Kids aged 7-12 years old can enjoy a full or half-day lesson in a small group setting with 4 other children. Personalized attention helps kids improve their confidence on snow. Each lesson will be packed full of fun games and a positive learning environment keeps kids excited about skiing or snowboarding. Students begin in the morning by heading out at 10:00 AM.

Private Lessons
Private lessons for skiers and snowboarders also include the affordable option to add a family member or a friend for just $25.00. For ages 7+, private lessons can be booked in one, two and three-hour blocks or a full day lesson. Note that group lessons are not available for young children and kids aged 3-6 will need to book a private lesson. Lessons aged 3-4 are offered for 1 hour and lessons for 5-6-year-olds are 2 hours.

Hidden Tracks: A Guided Service
Explore the diverse, world-class terrain of Solitude with a unique guided tour. Advanced skiers or boarders over the age of 14 who are comfortable riding off-piste can book a full or half-day tour. Advance reservations are recommended.

Hidden Tracks Private Tours
Book a private tour with a Solitude expert! If powder stashes are your jam this is a fail-proof strategy to discover Solitude's secrets. Instructor guides will show you the best nooks and crannies during a three hour tour. Advanced skiing or snowboarding skills are a must and participants must be 14+ or older. Add family members or friends for just $25 per person. Upgrade your kit with a pair of rental powder boards at Powderhorn Rental Shop.

Nordic Lessons
Over 20 kilometers of trail can be accessed via the Solitude Nordic Center. Group or private lessons are available in addition to clinics and snowshoeing tours. 




Canyon Fever
Find logo items, gloves, goggles, gifts, and snacks daily at both the Solitude Village and the Moonbeam Base Area.

The Village Store
Open 24 hours, The Village Store is a general store located in the Solitude Resort Lodging check-in area in Solitude Village. Beverages, snacks, and basic groceries can be found here along with a state-owned liquor store.

Solitude Mountain Resort Rental & Repair Shops

Located in the Powderhorn Adventure Center in the upper Solitude Village and at the Moonbeam Lodge, the rental and repair shops offer a full line of ski and snowboard equipment from top brands as well as repairs. Demo packages are available. Online reservations for rentals from Rossignol and other popular brands are available.

Pro Tip: Advance reservations are REQUIRED for equipment rentals.

 Solitude offers the following rental gear:
  • Full Package (skis or snowboard, boots, and poles)
  • Boots
  • Helmet
  • Poles
  • Snowshoes
  • The Nordic Center
Accessible from the Solitude Village, the Nordic Center offers rentals for both skate and classic styles of Nordic skiing. Half and full-day rental packages are available and performance gear upgrades are offered. The Nordic Center rents the following equipment:
  • Skate Skis
  • Classic Skis
  • Poles
  • Boots
  • Chariots (tow-behind sleds for children)



If you’re keen on first tracks, Solitude has a plethora of lodging options from condominiums to townhomes, lodges, and private homes. Ski-in and ski-out access is available from the The Inn at Solitude. Lockers are provided to all lodging guests as well as access to hot tubs, heated outdoor pools and the fitness center, game room, and movie theatre at Club Solitude. Visit Solitude’s website to view lodging specials and package deals.

The Inn at Solitude
Soak up the feel of old Bavaria in this comfortable lodge that offers the amenities of a nice hotel. Enjoy ski-in and ski-out access from the center of Solitude’s village. Guests can enjoy exclusive activities such as early lift access and wine tastings.

Creekside Condominiums
Enjoy slopeside lodging with stunning vistas complete with ski-in and ski-out access. Units are available in one, two, and three-bedroom floor plans and include amenities such as rooftop hot tubs, gourmet kitchens, balconies, and wood-burning fireplaces. 

Crossings Townhomes
For groups or families looking for a bit more space, the multi-level townhomes at the Crossings provide stunning views and your own, contained space. Fully stocked kitchens, fireplaces, hot tubs, balconies, a heated garage, and laundry are just some of the amenities at the Crossings Townhomes.

Eagle Springs Lodges
Inspired by the beauty of Tuscany, the one, two, and three-bedroom accommodations at Eagle Springs incorporate stone and timber construction to create a cozy and rustic atmosphere. These condominiums feature private balconies, gourmet kitchens, gas fireplaces, and underground parking.

Powderhorn Lodge
The natural elegance of Solitude is captured in the spirit of the Powderhorn Lodge. One, two, and three-bedroom condominiums include kitchens, fireplaces, and access to an outdoor hot tub.

Private Homes
A select number of private, luxury homes set the scene for an unforgettable stay at Solitude. The homes, located steps from Solitude Village, offer close access to the chairlifts, privacy, and luxurious amenities.

To match its ample lodging, Solitude also boasts diverse dining options for resort guests. The wide variety of food and drink will be sure to please the pickiest of children. There are several eateries spread across the mountain and throughout the Solitude Village.

For a convenient option, the Moonbeam Lodge has a full-service cafeteria offering breakfast, lunch, and après food selections. This is likely the quickest and easiest option for families. The Roundhouse, up on the slopes, offers amazing Indian food as well as Wasatch-inspired mountain fare. If you crave some spice, the Last Chance Southwest Grill serves chili, tacos, soups, and nachos out of the Last Chance Lodge near the base of the Apex Express Chairlift.

For dining in the Solitude Village you’ll find three bars, fine dining and delicious pizza. St. Bernard's, located in the The Inn at Solitude, features a buffet of European fare for dinner and a continental breakfast. Stone Haus Pizzeria and Creamery serves breakfast, lunch and dinner on a diverse menu featuring burritos, pizzas, panini sandwiches and more. This is an easy option for kids with a casual dining atmosphere and quick service. Lunch and dinner is available in the Honeycomb Grill as the closest eatery to the slopes near Apex Express. Enjoy big views and a dynamic menu of contemporary American cuisine, craft cocktails and a tempting wine list.

For adults on the hunt for après, the Argenta Pub, on the second floor of the Moonbeam Lodge, delivers cold beer, appetizers and a cozy après atmosphere. The (in)famous Thirsty Squirrel located at the heart of the Solitude Village offers hearty appetizers, good times, a pool table and live music. The Library Bar adjacent to St. Bernard’s boasts a varied and fine wine list, creative appetizers and a solid beer selection. Settle in the oversized chairs and enjoy the upscale atmosphere and unparalleled views. Patrons of all three après spots must be 21+ in age. 



Solitude does not offer childcare. However, children as young as three can be enrolled in private lessons. Kids aged 7 and up may join a kid's group lesson.





For a memorable visit, consider these unique points of interest when planning a trip to Solitude.

Silver Fork Lodge
Before pulling into Solitude, consider a hearty breakfast at the historic Silver Fork Lodge and Restaurant which opens at 8:00 AM 7 days a week. Brunch here is superb! The mining history in the area dates back to 1850 when a sprawling tent city housed miners and sawmill workers. The northwest corner of the Silver Fork Lodge was once a general store. This is also a great lodging option.

Solitude Avalanche Dog Demonstration
On select days throughout the winter season, the Solitude Ski Patrol will provide a demonstration with a pack of their amazing avalanche dogs. This opportunity should not be missed as it provides an interesting first step into avalanche education and fosters a deep appreciation for the skills and training honed by ski patrol and their pups. Kids enjoy this chance to learn about the dogs and will also have the opportunity to watch the dogs perform a mock rescue. Visit the Solitude website for dates and times.

Solitude Nordic Center
Over 20 kilometers of groomed trails await Nordic enthusiasts at the Nordic Center. The beautiful scenery and fresh mountain air of Solitude can be appreciated with a jaunt on skate or classic skis. Lessons, clinics, and rentals are available for those who want to learn or hone their skills. Snowshoe rentals and guided tours are also available to explore the many trails around Solitude.


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