Solitude Mountain is the location of a local ski resort in Utah. The mountain has sixty-four named runs and three bowls. There are over twelve hundred acres of terrain with such a variety of vertical lift the marketing promise is that there is something for everyone. The brochure boasts, "On Solitude you'll find wide-open powder bowls, runs that wind through glades of trees, steep chutes, and gentle cruising boulevards. Honeycomb trail is the longest descent and is three and one half miles from top to bottom. Twenty percent of the runs are geared toward the beginning skier; fifty percent are for intermediate, and thirty percent are designated for the advanced/expert skier.''
With an average snowfall of five hundred inches a year, Solitude also maintains the ski slopes by making snow if it is needed. This allows Solitude to supply additional coverage in high-traffic areas and provides a consistent snow experience throughout the season.
Located in the small village of Solitude, this mountain can be found by driving out of Salt Lake City, Utah and heading twelve mile up Big Cottonwood Canyon. The winter season typically opens mid November and runs through mid April depending on the weather. Lodging and dining facilities on the mountain are open year-round. The general hours of operation are from 9am to 4pm. Check with the resort for special events throughout the year including night skiing hours and unique summer activities.
Solitude mountain statistics follow: Top elevation is 10,035 feet (or 3,059 m) at the Summit Chair Top. Bottom elevation is 7,988 feet (or 2,435 m) at the Eagle Express Chair Bottom. The village elevation, where you will find most of the lodging and dining options, is 8,175 feet.
There is a vertical drop of 2,047 feet (or 624 m). The mountain encompasses over twelve hundred acres of land and in 2008 there were eight lifts on the mountain. With a combination of quads, triples and double lifts, the uphill capacity is 14,450 riders per hour.
Besides all the winter sports, there are many summer activities on the mountain, such as mountain biking, disc golfing and the ability to hike a huge number of trails.
The ski area opened in the fall of 1957 with two chair lifts providing access to the front of the mountain. A rich anecdote in Solitude's history explains how Robert M. Barrett made his fortune as a Moab uranium miner during the early 1950s. When moved to Salt Lake City he took up skiing and pursued his passion at Alta, (Solitude's rival ski resort).
When he was told that restrooms at Alta could only to be used by guests staying overnight at the lodge because the small resort had to transport waste down the canyon, Barrett was furious. Spurred by his irritation with Alta's restroom policy, Robert Barrett purchased every piece of land available in the canyon adjacent to Alta and started construction on Solitude in 1956.
Today Solitude Mountain provides a majestic focal point for the small European style Alpine resort. This intimate village was designed to keep the serene mountain ambiance intact. Current advertising promises that the "complete lack of over-crowding assures nothing and no one will ever stand between you and your Solitude.''