Solitude is the best value in American skiing. With 500” of snowfall, 300+ days of sunshine, world-class tree skiing, first-rate grooming and fantastic lodging options set in a charming alpine village only 35 minutes from Salt Lake City, it’s hard to believe the resort lives up to its moniker. However, “solitude” is exactly what you’ll find at this spectacularly uncrowded Utah resort.
A few miles up Big Cottonwood Canyons sits America’s most underrated ski resort. It’s hard to believe places as unspoiled, relaxing and downright snowy as Solitude exist. It’s harder still to believe that more people haven’t found it. Just one canyon over from Alta and Snowbird and sandwiched between Brighton, Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley, and the Canyons, Solitude is a classic case of being hidden in plain sight. There’s simply no other way to explain it because at only 35 minutes from Salt Lake City, Solitude is also one of the most accessible resorts in the country.
As alluded to above, Solitude is a fitting name for the resort as it seems to repel the big crowds that plague places like Park City, the the Canyons, and the Little Cottonwood Canyon resorts of Alta and Snowbird . A long lift line would be any lift line at all because the resort’s modern lift network easily handles skier volume even on “busy” days. The result is that when those 500 inches of dry Utah powder blanket Solitude’s slopes, untracked lines remain for days after being tracked out at Alta or Snowbird.
One obvious reasons the masses flock elsewhere is that some skiers look at Solitude’s 2037'vertical drop and 1200 acres of terrain and think “smallish.” We prefer to view Solitude as intimate. The resort is small enough to learn in a day, but big enough to ski for a week without getting bored – particularly if one takes advantage of the joint lift ticket option with adjoining Brighton resort. Solitude grooms a larger portion of its terrain that all of its competitors, save Deer Valley, making Solitude a great choice for families, beginners and intermediates.
The village that sits at the bottom of the resort’s Apex chair is small, but of a scale that fits the resort. Anything bigger would seem out of place. A handful of restaurants provide enough options to keep most skiers content for the length of their stay. The condo and hotel options are all superior 3- or low 4-star in quality and fit harmoniously into the pristine Wasatch setting. All of Solitude's accommodations are priced significantly lower than their counterparts at the surrounding big name Utah resorts.
Price brings us back to our initial assertion, that Solitude, in addition to being the best kept secret in American skiing, is also its best value. With deep snow, plenty of sunshine easy access from a major international airport, and a cozy village, Solitude should be expensive. It’s not. Solitude is big mountain skiing at a small mountain price.
When applied to a ski resort, the term “value” can sometimes connote a tired resort of lesser quality, but nothing could be further from the case at Solitude (if anything, Solitude feels like an on snow country club).
Solitude Pros and Cons
+ 500" of light, dry powder annually
+ world class grooming
+ upscale lodging at value prices
- limited beginner terrain
- limited overall acreage
- non-existant nightlife
Solitude is a victim of the stern competition it faces from the powderchaser resorts of Alta and Snowbird and the more lively resorts around Park City. Into the space that is, quite literally, between these competing resorts, Solitude has carved out a niche as a value for skiers seeking luxury lodging, powder, and uncrowded slopes.
Updated for Winter 2014-15 - David B. Cronheim