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Solitude is one of our all-time favorite family ski resorts in Utah. When we first moved to Utah, 4 years ago, we were incredibly particular about where we got season ski passes for family skiing. We were looking for a ski resort that wasn’t overly built up, had a local hill feel, small lift lines, and most importantly had a wide variety of terrain from beginner to expert to suit our large family.
It wasn’t long before we settled on skiing at Solitude as a family and absolutely fell in love with skiing there. It became our families second home and we often found ourselves there a few times a week to escape, relax, and have fun, since it’s one of the best places to ski in Utah with kids. Now, I’m here to share with you EVERYTHING that you need to know to ski Solitude with kids and have a fantastic time.
What Ages Is Solitude Best For?
What Kind Of Terrain Will You Find At Solitude?
Skiable Acres: 1,200 Acres
Vertical: 2,494 Feet
Total Number of Ski Runs: 82
Terrain: 10% Beginner, 40% Intermediate, 50% Advanced
Chairlifts: 8 Chairlifts and 1 Magic Carpet Surface Lift
Family Ski Deals: Kids 4 and under ski free
There is a pretty wide variety of ski terrain at Solitude, though the expert terrain makes it stand out above the others. Since my husband and I are both expert skiers (yes, we actually met on a chairlift), this was a major bonus for us.
The amount of beginner terrain is somewhat lacking, so while beginner terrain is available, Solitude really stands out for its intermediate and advanced terrain.
Not sure what type of terrain your kids should ski? Read all about “How To Know When Kids Are Ready For Harder Terrain”
Getting Around At Solitude
There are two base areas at Solitude, the Moonbeam Base Area and the Solitude Village. The Moonbeam area is where the ski school is located, has a rental shop, a great lodge and is really focused on SKIING. The Solitude Village is where you’ll find lodging, most corporate offices and more dining options. There is a shuttle van that can take you between the two villages and their close proximity makes it easy to access both. For beginners, you’ll want to spend your time at the Moonbeam base area, since that’s where the only beginner terrain is.
Solitude Lift Ticket Prices
Skiing at Solitude can be surprisingly affordable, especially when compared to some of the bigger resorts in Utah. Lift tickets are almost always significantly cheaper when purchased online and with as much advance notice (we’ve seen them for up to 50% off when purchased online). Solitude is also an IKON Pass resort, so it can be a great place to ski if you already have an IKON Pass, so you can ski for free. Truthfully, we think it’s one of the best deals for skiing in Utah and our favorite mid-range budget ski area.
Here are some of the Utah lift ticket prices at Solitude:
Kids 4 and under always ski free at Solitude (but still need a lift ticket from the ticket office)
All day Adult: $159
All day kids 5-12: $129
Tickets only available in person at the ticket window:
Link Lift (for first timers): from $45
Beginner pass (Moonbeam and Link): from $69
Half day adult: from $100
In 2022, they also had a deal where you could show your season pass from another resort and get a Solitude pass for only $69, so that’s a great deal for visitors.
Parking At Solitude
In order to park at Solitude, you’ll need to pay. The cost is $20 per car, but if you carpool, you can get a discount. If there are 4 or more people in your car, the cost is only $5 per car. The trick to getting the carpool discount is to find a parking lot attendant (this is easiest when you first get into the parking lot), and ask them for a discount voucher. You pay for your parking at the machines at the front of the parking lot, so you’ll need a discount code before you get there.
Solitude often has lots of tailgaiters, so it’s a perfect plact to bring your own ski lunch!
Riding the Bus To Solitude
The UTA Ski Bus goes from Salt Lake up to Solitude, and can be a great option to reduce canyon congestion. While we absolutely LOVE the idea of the ski bus, they’re often overcrowded and whenever we take it, we end up waiting over an hour in line to get on the bus. This is an okay option if you’re just with adults or teens, but we DO NOT recommend taking the ski bus with little kids. The buses are often standing room only and the long drive up the canyon when the weather is stormy can make that a hard way for kids to start their ski day.
Child Care at Solitude
Prior to the demise of the 2020 ski season, Solitude offered a drop in childcare. While that was suspended for the 2021 season, to my knowledge, it is now available again. If you’ve got little ones, you can always consider teaching your toddler how to ski as well!
Ski School at Solitude
Over the years, my kids have taken LOTS of ski lessons at Solitude. While the daily lessons are good, the area that Solitude Ski School really shines is with their multi-week lessons. For these lessons, kids have the same group and same instructor for several weeks in a row and it’s a great way for them to progress FASTER in their ski skills.
If you’re visiting and don’t have the option to sign up for a multi week program, I highly recommend calling the ski school, scheduling 2-3 consecutive ski days and asking about getting the same teacher for each day. Group lessons start at age 4, and one of our favorite parts of Solitude ski school is that they have a designated lesson group just for teens (whereas most other resorts just group teens with the adults).
Ski Rentals At Solitude
It’s simple to rent your ski gear directly at Solitude, though know that it will be more expensive than renting at at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon or somewhere in Salt Lake City. There are rental shops at both the Moonbeam base area and at Solitude VIllage where you can rent skis, boots, poles and even helmets. If you forget other gear or need something warmer, both Moonbeam lodge and Solitude Village have retail shops that sell ski gear.
Where To Ski With Kids at Solitude
The terrain that Solitude has the least of, is beginner terrain, but what they do have, we absolutely LOVE. Link and Moonbeam are best for kids who are beginners. Once kids are intermediate skiers, have them expand to Sunrise, Apex, and Eagle lift as well.
For beginners who are just learning to ski, start out on the Link Chairlift at the Moonbeam base. This is the best place to ski while learning to ride the chairlift and beginners should stay there until they can stop well and link turns reliably.
Moonbeam is the next step up from the Link lift and is good for advanced beginners. The first slope at Moonbeam is a bit steep (especially compared to Link), so make sure that you’re really good at stopping and turning before heading up here. Same Street is the easiest way down and what we recommend until you’re more confident skiing harder terrain.This run funnels into the LInk lift, so it gives kids a familiar way to end their ski run.
When kids are ready to try and be a little bit more independent, try out the Tude Dudes and Little Dollie runs. They’re relatively short, but the best part is that they’re right next to each other, so you can ski one, let the kids ski the other, and it’s easy to keep an eye on them through the trees. This is a great place for kids to practice their independence and for you to still keep a closer eye on them.
This high speed quad lift is the lowest one on the mountain, but since it’s at the far side of the resort, it gets much smaller crowds than other areas. Even if the lines appear to be long, stick it out, because this high speed Utah lift makes things go quickly and lines move along very fast. Eagle is the place to ski if you want some solid intermediate and advanced terrain. If you’ve got a timid skier, you can always take them on the cat track that leads south out of Sunshine Bowl to help them get to easier terrain (Sunshine bowl is often crowded, and often gets icy, so it can be intimidating for kids). This is not a good place to ski with beginners, or for intermediate skiers without much experience.
This little triple chair is one of the least crowded chairs on the mountain ALL THE TIME, and is perfect for skiing with kids who are advanced beginners or intermediate skiers. We love that it accesses more untouched areas of the mountain, and there are very few other lifts that funnel into its runs, so if you want to truly escape the crowds with kids, this is the place to ski.
Insider Tip: Keep an eye out for Moose under the Sunrise lift as there are a few that live in this area! Such a cool sight from above!
If you’re in Solitude Village, you’ll get pretty familiar with the Apex Lift, since it’s the lift that will take you out of the base area. From here, you’ll mostly get access to intermediate terrain, and there’s a pretty good variety for different levels of intermediate skiers. If you find yourself near Apex, and you have a beginner with you, the best option is to start hiking west toward the top of the Link lift where you can access easier terrain. This is slightly uphill, so walking in boots is often easier than trying to side step up the hill.
Summit is our favorite lift for introducing kids to HARD terrain and for getting a lot of vertical feet in. On a powder day, Summit will be PACKED, but otherwise, the lines here move pretty fast. The best way to access the Summit lift is to head up Apex and then ski down to Summit. Backdoor and Dynamite both have some steeper and often mogul filled sections at the top, so that’s a great place to introduce kids to that terrain.
Powderhorn is our secret stash and is our go-to place for when one of the kids (ahem, mom and dad), want a couple of quick harder runs. There are lots of blacks that are a great introduction to expert terrain, but they’re pretty open, which makes them easier to navigate. The most difficult aspect of Powderhorn is the steepness, so make sure you’re comfortable with steep terrain before skiing here. Our go-to runs when kids are starting to ski on Powderhorn are Diamond Lane (an area that’s usually groomed) and also Concord (usually ungroomed).
Honeycomb Canyon is undoubtedly the best skiing on the mountain, but its remote location means that it doesn’t get skied out fast, and is never really crowded. You’ll need to be an expert skier to ski here, but if you like steeps, powder, and the occasional cliff, this is one of the best places to ski in Utah. To get to Honeycomb, take the SUmmit lift up to the top, ski Honeycomb down and then take the Honeycomb return to get out.
Best Places To Eat At Solitude with Kids
There are lots of great options for places to eat at Solitude and over the years, we’ve tried all of the restaurants. Here’s what you’ll find at each of them and some of our favorite dishes!
The Moonbeam lodge has some of the easiest access, since it’s at the base of the Moonbeam beginner area. This is a great place to stop in for a hot chocolate or a treat throughout the day, as well as a meal at lunch time. Our favorite meals there are teh mac and cheese with bacon and caramelized onions, the burgers, and the flank steak is also pretty great at the Moonbeam Lodge. If you’re looking for a sweet treat, the carrot cake is incredible!
Insider Tip: Find a table close to the fireplace, and then when no one’s there, let your kids eat on the hearth while they simultaneously warm up!
Last Chance Grill
Last Chance at Solitude is right at the base of the Apex lift. Here, you’ll find Southwest inspired food, and often bigger lunch crowds than at Moonbeam. We love that the portions at Last Chance are generous, and even though they don’t have a kids menu, the taco plate with three tacos, and the burrito, are both great sizes for sharing. If your kids are picky eaters, this is a great place to eat since everything is made to order and it’s easy to ask the cook staff to get their meal JUST RIGHT!
Stone Haus Pizzeria and Creamery
The Stone Haus is not technically located on the mountain, but you can literally walk there in under 2 minutes, so it’s a great lunch option, or perfect for dinner if you’re staying at the Village. The pizzas are good (not great), but always seem to hit the spot with our kids. We often have to wait 30 minutes or more for a full pizza, so we recommend sending one person in to order, while everyone else takes another run, and then meeting up to come inside and eat.
The creamery at Stone Haus is pretty great and is our kids favorite Apres ski stop on a spring skiing day.
The Honeycomb Grill is perhaps the best food on the mountain, though it will require you to plan ahead. Reservations are recommended, but eating here is worth planning your day around. At the Honeycomb Grill, you’ll find dressed up versions of typical grill favorites.
They are also the only place on the mountain with an actual kids menu (though you may have to ask for it), and the prices are pretty good too. For kids, our favorites were the burger and the chicken tenders (both come with fries and have generous portions), but for adults, the bison chili is hard to beat, with the pork chops a close second.
What else do you want to know about skiing Solitude with kids? Leave your questions below, or ask them in our Skiing With Kids Facebook Group. As you can see, Solitude is a fantastic family friendly ski resort, that has something for the whole family.