Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded
Solitude Trail Map
  • Vertical (ft)
    7,994 – 10,488 (2,494)
  • Average Snow Fall
    500 inches
  • Lifts (8)
    4 high speed quads
    2 quads
  • Ski Season
    Mid Nov to mid April
  • Terrain Summary
    Size – 1,200ac
    Runs – 80
    Longest run – 3mi
    Beginner - 10%
    Intermediate - 40%
    Advanced - 50%

Solitude Mountain Resort Ski and Snowboard Terrain

“Their ignorance, your bliss” sums up the joys of the terrain at the Solitude Mountain Resort. You’ll also want to ski Solitude because it features the fabulous Cottonwood Canyon dry powder (an average of 500 inches annually), but the best thing is that you only have to share it with a handful of people. This probably isn’t the case during peak holiday periods, but otherwise there is no one around and Solitude Mountain Resort becomes powder hound nirvana.

It’s amazing the terrain that is packed into the 1,200 acres (486 hectares). Some may perceive that the terrain is predominantly gentle, because Solitude Mountain Resort has a great reputation as a family ski area. This is definitely not the case, as there is also plenty of really challenging terrain. There is a natural segregation of terrain for differing ability levels when you ski Solitude, which may be a disadvantage for groups who want to stay together but have riders at opposite ends of the skill scale. Conversely this is an advantage for many others who are happy to ski with their “own kind”.

For snowboarders there are a couple of flat spots within the Solitude Mountain Resort. Coming out of the Headwall area in particular will require super speed to avoid a hike. Alternatively befriend a nice skier and get a tow out.

Interconnected with Brighton

The Solitude Ski Resort and Brighton Ski Resort are inter-connected. The SolBright run loops from the top of the Summit down to the Roller Coaster lift, and enables access to and from Brighton which offers another playground of 1,050 acres. The Brighton Resort is rather different to that of Solitude, and is a haven for snowboarders and park riders.

Depending upon avalanche risk and weather conditions, the SolBright run may not always be open. It is marked as a blue run, but sometimes it is ungroomed and/or covered in powder and becomes more challenging and worthy of black run status. Non-advanced riders can access Brighton via bus.

Solitude Mountain Resort Lifts

Solitude only has 8 chair lifts, of which 3 are detachable quad chair lifts that service the lower part of the mountain and the main intermediate runs. Most of the other chairs are slow old clunkers and the two main chairs that advanced riders use are ridiculously slow. The Summit double chair takes 10 minutes, and only covers half the vertical of the hill. The lift layout is rather clunky in parts. The Honeycomb Canyon has some great terrain but it takes multiple lifts to get around to do laps of it. The long Honeycomb Return trail also adds to the lap times because it’s often not groomed.

Lift Tickets

Lift tickets are reasonably priced, and it only costs a little bit extra to purchase a SolBright pass which as the name suggests, enables dual access to Solitude and Brighton.

Solitude limits the number of day tickets and season tickets sold, but considering the few riders on the hill, especially on weekdays, it’s hard to imagine that they’d ever reach the quota!

Solitude can be accessed using the Ski City Super Pass which covers Alta, Snowbird, Brighton and Solitude. This multi-day pass provides some small savings whilst still allowing flexibility to choose any of the four resorts. The pass also covers the cost of the TRAX light rail and UTA buses, and provides discounts for equipment rentals.

Solitude Snow and Weather Conditions

Solitude enjoys huge snowfalls of quality dry Utah powder, and even though there is an average of 500 inches annually, the resort also has snowmaking facilities on 12.5% of the terrain for some of the high-traffic areas.

Most of the lifts have a northern orientation, but many of the slopes aren’t aligned to the lifts and snow quality varies somewhat across the resort. The top elevation of Solitude is a little bit lower than neighbouring Brighton, as well as Alta and Snowbird, but similar in altitude to Park City and Canyons. The slight differences to the other Cottonwood Canyon resorts really only impacts the Solitude snow quality when the freezing levels are very marginal, which isn’t that often.

Considering the steep pitches and copious snow, avalanche risk is present in-resort, and despite great patrollers, it wouldn’t hurt for those tackling the double blacks to carry a backpack with avalanche safety gear.

Ski Solitude - for the Beginner

Solitude Mountain Resort doesn’t have an abundance of beginner terrain, but it’s very good and largely segregated from other areas, which makes it less intimidating for those learning.

Ski school has a magic carpet for novices but most first-timers start on the incredibly gentle Easy Street which is serviced by the incredibly gentle Link chair. The gradient of Easy Street is so slight that on powder days you almost have to pole down the hill!

The next progression is the super wide runs off the Moonbeam Express, and there is a little greenie fun off the Sunrise chair.

Solitude Skiing for the Intermediate

For a medium sized resort, the Solitude ski area has a plethora of intermediate terrain and there is plenty next door at Brighton too. Easier blue runs are typically off the Sunrise and Apex chairs, whilst more challenging blue runs are off the Summit and Eagle Express lifts.

This resort is a great place to learn to ski powder. There are so many spots to knick off the track and into the trees for an experiment before returning to the piste. Under the Apex chair is great for this.

A few runs are rated blue-black depending upon grooming status, so timid skiers should check the run status before venturing down (e.g. Honeycomb Return). Sometimes the steep Challenger black run off Eagle is groomed and is great for some fast (or really fast) GS turns.

Terrain Park

The terrain park is a “baby” park that is so easy that even novices or oldies will feel unintimidated to have a play. Riders looking for some serious hits should head over to Brighton ski resort or go to Park City Mountain Resort.

Advanced Skiing Solitude

Solitude generally caters better for mid to high end rather than low-end advanced riders. The obvious black runs off the Powderhorn chair such as Paradise offer plenty of space but get bumped up quickly.

Much better skiing and snowboarding can be found in the gladed areas that afford awesome fall line skiing and opportunities for freshies. Black Forest is outstanding, as is Headwall, and snow quality is often much better there. Traversing out right of Headwall can provide some outstanding lines, which are somewhat steep for a single diamond black run (and would be rated a double black at one of the Park City resorts). If there is not a lot of cover, the traverse itself can be gnarly! Further around, the Evergreen area requires a hike (if it’s open), and is probably the place to go with someone “in the know”. It’s easy to get lost and with lots of cliffs, this is the place not to get lost.

The favourite is the Navarone run. If you stay close to the Honeycomb Return lift it is really only single black territory, and the run has beautiful lines through the trees. There is the occasional drop off (hence the double black status), so if you’re not a super-dooper rider then go slowly.

Expert Skiing and Snowboarding

Solitude Mountain Resort has a good range of treats for experts. The double blacks off the Powderhorn lift have a good aspect and are superb when there is decent snow coverage. Milk Run is the steepest of the bunch and the area is littered with cliffs (most are roped off) and in parts it’s seriously steep and gnarly.

Most of the great expert runs are in Honeycomb Canyon. A high traverse off the Summit chair leads to endless options for lines, but as to be expected, increased effort equals increased reward. Some of this area can be accessed from the Honeycomb Return lift (which eliminates the long lap back around to the top of the Summit chair) with runs such as Navarone and Here Be Dragons. The latter requires a left traverse past well marked cliff tops, which leaves the palms and pits a bit sweaty. Some easier lines can be found through here, but generally the slopes are challenging and tight. Some of the gradients are steep, but hey with deep dry powder, no run is that steep!

For the Powder Hound

This is a fantastic powder hound mountain considering it has the same quality and quantity of powder of the Little Cottonwood Canyon resorts, but without the associated crowds. Opportunities to ski fresh tracks abound.

There is some fantastic backcountry skiing from Solitude, but the snowpack can be fickle. As always, only those with avalanche safety gear and know-how should venture out.