Ski Solitude

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Ski Solitude

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 (9)
    4 high speed quads
    2 quads
  • Ski Season
    Mid Nov to mid April
  • Terrain Summary
    Size – 1,200ac
    Runs – 82
    Longest run – 3mi
    Beginner - 10%
    Intermediate - 40%
    Advanced - 50%

Solitude Mountain Resort Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Firstly you’ll want to ski Solitude because it features the fabulous Cottonwood Canyon dry powder, which falls at an average of 500 inches annually. Whilst the Solitude Mountain Resort sounds really small, the terrain packs a lot into the 1,200 acres (486 hectares) and has lots of nooks and crannies. 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 Sunrise 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 if needs be.

Solitude Mountain Resort Lifts

Solitude only has 9 chair lifts, of which 4 are detachable quad chair lifts. There are also 2 fixed grip quads, 1 triple, 1 double chair and a magic carpet. The lift layout is a bit clunky or devoid in parts. For example, the Honeycomb Canyon has some great terrain but it takes multiple lifts to get around to do laps of it. Possible lengthy traverses plus the long Honeycomb Return trail which may be ungroomed adds time, and if you add in a bootpack then laps really take a while.

Lift Tickets

Solitude lift ticket prices have gone up significantly in recent years, although the prices are not a patch on what Deer Valley or Park City charges for a day ticket.

SolBright passes enable dual access to Solitude and Brighton within the one day, and it costs a fair bit more than a Solitude lift pass.

Many visitors to Solitude use their Ikon Pass which provides unlimited access to Solitude. An Ikon Pass also gives restricted days at Brighton (7 days for Ikon Pass holders and 5 days for Ikon Base Pass holders), Alta and Snowbird, and it includes UTA ski bus transport. It's possible for Ikon Pass holders to access both Solitude and Brighton in the one day.

Solitude can also be accessed using the Ski City Super Pass which covers Alta, Snowbird, Brighton and Solitude. This multi-day passes (e.g. 3 to 10 days) provide 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

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 can vary somewhat across the resort when the sun’s out. The top elevation of Solitude is a little bit lower than neighbouring Brighton, Alta and Snowbird, but similar in altitude to Park City. 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 fantastic 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.

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.

The Solitude Mountain Resort is a great place to learn to ski or ride powder. There are so many spots to nick off the track and into the trees for an experiment before returning to the piste. Under the Apex chair is great for this.

Sometimes steep black runs such as the Challenger run off Eagle are groomed and great for some fast (or really fast) GS turns.

Terrain Park

Terrain park lovers 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 (for upper advanced), and snow quality is often much better there. Further around, the double black 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.

A 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 an expert 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.

In the other direction, runs such as Navarone and Here Be Dragons are nice. 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!

Many of the great expert runs are in Honeycomb Canyon. A high traverse off the Summit chair leads to endless options for lines, and as to be expected, increased effort equals increased reward especially if you take the Fantasy Ridge bootpack.

Backcountry

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