Sustainability | Solitude

By Yeti May 2, 2023
Solitude Mountain Resort is no stranger to environmentalism and they continue to put in big efforts toward making a positive change for the planet.
Sustainability | Solitude

Solitude Mountain Resort’s history of stewarding of the high-alpine landscape it occupies in Big Cottonwood Canyon goes back to well before environmentalism’s current popularity. In the 1970s, for example, Solitude’s then-owner Gary DeSeelhorst spearheaded the construction of the canyon’s 17-mile sewer line, solving water quality issues that had plagued the area’s residents, wildlife and fragile ecosystems for decades. Big Cottonwood Canyon now provides one of Utah’s cleanest water sources for not only those who live and visit the canyon, but thousands of people living along the Wasatch Front as well.


Now, a few of the ways sustainability is a part of Solitude’s everyday operations include:

  • Contracting Momentum Recycling to divert as much of the resort’s generated waste from the landfill as possible, including food waste, which is captured and then delivered to Wasatch Resource Recovery for conversion to renewable energy.
  • Supporting the Cottonwood Canyons Foundation’s stewardship and education efforts, including serving as a host site for its interpretive Ski with a Ranger tours and Nordic Nights cross-country skiing and snowshoeing tours.
  • Paying for all season passholders and Ikon pass holders to ride the UTA Ski Bus and implementing a paid parking system, thereby significantly increasing guest carpooling and boosting bus ridership by 250%.
  • Purchasing wind and solar credits through Rocky Mountain Power’s Blue Sky program to power all chairlifts.
  • Partnering with the Sageland Collaborative to study the Black Rosy-Finch, one of the least understood birds in North America.
  • Replacing faucets, toilets and light bulbs as needed with low-flow and LED models, respectively.
  • Engaging staff and volunteers in an annual, post-winter-season canyon road cleanup from Redman Campground to the resort’s Moonbeam entrance. 


    In 2021, Solitude doubled down on its commitment to sustainability both locally and on a more global level. The resort hired its first sustainability coordinator who since then has been working toward several projects aimed at efficiency and carbon reduction, including the installation of Big Cottonwood Canyon’s first electric vehicle charging station. That same year Solitude’s parent company, Alterra Mountain Company, joined forces with its resort conglomerate competitors—Vail Resorts, Boyne Resorts and POWDR—in the Climate Collaborative Charter, a shared commitment around sustainability and the ski industry’s first unified effort to combat climate change.

    For more about Solitude’s sustainability-focused efforts and events, visit