written by: Andrea Peterson photos provided by: Solitude Mountain Resort
Utah boasts some of the best powder in the nation. In fact, it was in 1985 that the state adopted the slogan “The Greatest Snow on Earth” for its license plates. This is probably why there are a total of 14 ski resorts all across Utah. So how do you choose which one to visit or frequent? To start, the Cottonwood Canyons are some of the snowiest places in the world—averaging some winters of over 500 inches of snow. And then to narrow it down even more, if you want to avoid the crowds and tourists, Solitude Ski Resort is as the name suggests, known around town for being one of the quietest and least crowded resorts in northern Utah. Can you imagine tackling 77 named runs and three bowls totaling 1,200 acres of impressive terrain? With these kinds of stats, it is no wonder Solitude is a go to for locals and those who want to feel like locals.
The Secrets of Solitude
NEW TO THE MOUNTAIN
We all agree cozying up to a fire with a mug of hot chocolate and your loved one sounds amazing, but slopeside vacations aren’t just for romantic getaways. Make it a family affair. Yes, even your little ones. Bundle them up a la Christmas Story and sign them up for Snow Sports Academy’s youth programs. There are a couple different programs to choose from. The “Fly Like an Eagle” program brings kids ages 7-13 together to develop new skills while creating lasting mountain friendship. The Big Mountain Ski team for kids ages 8- 16 exploring more challenging all-mountain runs such as moguls, steeps, off-piste free skiing, trees, mountain awareness and big-mountain race training. And the DEVO team is for kids 7- 16 who want to develop and refine their skills in a fun and competitive environment. These innovative youth programs are designed for ages 6 to 16. Spots can fill up. Sign up early.
GETTING AROUND THE MOUNTAIN
Whether you are a first timer to Solitude or just looking for some new lines to shred, don’t let the mountain intimidate you. Solitude offers Hidden Tracks, a unique guided tour that explores all those spots you hear the locals whispering about during après ski. Solitude Snowsports Academy takes advanced skiers or snowboarders with some off-piste experience on an adventure to discover new “nooks and crannies” across the 1,200 acres of world class terrain. Imagine finding a new way to crisscross down the mountain from Summit or playing around hidden spots in Headwall Forest.
Get a sneak peak of some new terrain with a half day tour or spend the entire day, first chair to last, exploring new ways to come down the mountain or scoping out unspoiled corners of fresh powder all day long. Wide-width powder skis are available at the Powderhorn and Moonbeam Rental Shops. This program is limited to participants 14 years of age or older and advance booking is highly recommended Call 801.536.5730 to reserve your spot.
Work hard, play hard. Maybe you’re not getting paid to ski, but we all know skiing is hard work—so celebrate kicking the mountains butt with some yummy bites and tasty drinks. Want a place to chill with a good view? On mountain dining at Roudhouse is a must! Offering Himalayan and Wasatch-inspired mountain food, and you can’t bea the location.Try The Honeycomb Grill in the Village. It’s windows showcase the mountain views and is perfect for a relaxing lunch and dinner. Got a sweet tooth craving? Some people say ice cream tastes even better on a cold day. Grab a delicious pizza or panini and topi it off with a hand-packed ice cream or brownie sundae at the Stone Haus Pizza and Creamery. And for those of you looking for après ski adult time in the Solitude Village, check out the Library bar or the famed Thirsty Squirrel. It has a varied selection of fine wines, a full bar and imported and local beer, as well as creative appetizers, they offer a great place to drink off the depression of last chair. Visit this link to see all dining options at Solitude.
Tips from Local Pros
Don’t take it from us, here are some tips from local pros who make Solitude their go to:
“Solitude is notoriously uncrowded, so I’m never waiting in lines, I’m hot lapping my favorite lifts (no, I’m not telling you where haha) and wind up needing a good sized lunch after burning up all that energy. All the on-mountain dining options have great food, but Last Chance is my favorite in case I choose to call it a day once that food coma hits. It is a short walk from there to the Thirsty Squirrel in the Solitude Village: full bar, great beer list, several good wine options, plus tons of TVs for games and plenty of space.”
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“Solitude is the mountain I learned to ski/snowboard on, it is wonderful, open, and a great mix of terrain that all skills can take advantage of! I love the mix of groomers and tons of fun tree runs like in honeycomb canyon! Solitude offers some of the best terrain that can accessed by short hikes that are in bounds and monitored by ski patrol! After a day of riding I love to watch some sports and apré at the Thirsty Squirrel!”