There is nothing better than when out-of-town friends finally come to visit you in Utah. You’ve been talking up the mountains, the snow, and yes, the beer, for years. We were lucky enough to have the Steves in town: Steve Bergan and Stephen Mitchell of Seattle. When you finally have guests, you want to ensure that you are showing them the best that Utah has to offer. You can give them the option of getting up to Solitude Mountain Resort for some first tracks, or sleeping in and still getting a full day of skiing, since Solitude is so close. We and the Steves slept in.
We started the (surprisingly) short drive up Big Cottonwood Canyon. If there is one of Salt Lake City’s infamous and unpleasant inversions happening, nothing is better than getting up to the bluebird skies of Solitude. All of my out-of-town guests usually settle in for what they assume will be a long journey up the canyon. Nope, it’s only about 20 minutes.
With all of the mountain resort options to choose from in Utah, Solitude is a perfect choice for your out-of-towners, especially when you have a group that ranges in skill levels from black diamonds to green circles. Novices can cruise down Easy Street, and graduate to ski runs like Little Dollie off of the Moonbeam Express chairlift, while some of your more advanced skiers and boarders can pepper in a few runs off of Apex Express, Powderhorn, or Eagle Express chairlifts. We have all had days when we intend to ski with friends, but inevitably get separated and have an unintentional solo ski day. There is no better place for your group to do a few different runs and then easily meet up than at the base of Moonbeam Express chairlift. When you don’t see them that often, you don’t want to lose any of your Steves on the hill.
If your out-of-towners are foodies, you can also impress them with the cuisine at the Honeycomb Grill or a dinner in the Yurt. However, if you are looking for low key après-ski, there is nowhere better than the Thirsty Squirrel with some pitchers of Solitude Golden Ale. You can continue to prove to your friends that there is not only beer in Utah, but there is also good beer. If you find that you have spent quite a few hours at the Thirsty Squirrel the night before, mix it up with some mid-day drinks at Last Chance Lounge. Their selection of beer from local breweries will continue to impress your friends, and have them continuing to ask how to pronounce “Uinta” and “Wasatch.”
And then to top the day off: One last cold run and a quick drive back to a hot shower, warm dry clothes, and a crockpot of chili at the house.