Winter Activities

Brighton Resort Logo

Brighton Resort

Brighton Resort is located at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon in Brighton, Utah, just a 40 minute drive from Salt Lake City. Brighton Resort first began ski operations in 1936 and is one of the oldest skiing/snowboarding resorts in North America. Brighton receives more than 500 inches of snowfall each year and has thousands of acres of beginner, intermediate and advanced terrain. It’s no wonder Brighton is a favorite choice for family skiing fun; it’s also where many locals have learned to ski and snowboard!

Brighton Resort and Cottonwood Lodging Company are focused on family. Local Utahns have consistently voted Brighton Resort the #1 SKI RESORT for “Child and Family Friendly Terrain” and as the BEST VALUE Utah Ski Resort. Brighton Resort has a wide range of skiing terrain – 1,050 skiable acres in all, ski lifts for all skill levels and superior high-speed quads for the entire family to ride. One more bonus – Brighton is the only Salt Lake area resort that offers skiing from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm, available Monday-Saturday during the winter.

Brighton’s ski and snowboard school is recognized nationally for its quality instructors and kids programs. There is a reason why almost all of Utah’s school ski programs choose Brighton. Brighton Ski Resort offers a full range of ski and snowboard rentals and demos. Need clothing, accessories or souvenirs? Be sure to visit Brighton Mountain Sports.

With Brighton’s quad lifts the entire family can ride the ski lifts together. Even advanced ski and snowboard enthusiasts are accommodated with Brighton’s open boundary policy where alpine skiers and snowboarders have unlimited access to truly unique backcountry skiing in both Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons. If terrain parks are your thing – Brighton boasts three parks for riders and skiers of all abilities. There is something for everyone at Brighton.

Brighton Resort is a small, friendly village that is safe for families and a haven for people that just want to ski or snowboard. For those who enjoy Nordic or cross country skiing, The Solitude Nordic Center can be found just past the entrance of Brighton, and has Nordic and snowshoeing trails that connect to Solitude. The Nordic Center also rents a variety of skis and snowshoes. Across the street, the Brighton Store and Cafe provides a unique dining and shopping experience. In what was once the Brighton dance hall, visitors can enjoy a meal off the grill, or buy snacks and souvenirs. Other dining options at Brighton include the Alpine Rose Cafeteria, Molly Greens Pub, and the Milly Chalet. Brighton is only 25-30 minutes from Midvale, Sandy or Salt Lake City where more restaurants, shopping, and nightlife activities are available.

Brighton is steeped in a rich history. Originally homesteaded in 1852 by William H. Brighton, the Brightons made a business feeding the miners traveling from Park City to Alta and eventually opened the Brighton Hotel in 1874. Over the years, Brighton became a booming mining and timber town, stage stop, and summer retreat for many of Salt Lake’s early families of means and wealth. By 1936, the Alpine Ski Club (now the Wasatch Mountain Club) rallied to put Brighton’s first T-Bar in place to pull skiers up the mountain. After that, Brighton Resort was officially named Utah’s first ski resort!

If you are searching for a memorable family vacation experience with all the comforts of home combined with the safety of your own neighborhood (plus some gorgeous mountain scenery), Brighton Resort is perfect for you. Family values without the big price tag make Brighton Resort and Cottonwood Lodging Company the perfect combination to guarantee an amazing vacation.

Solitude Mountain Resort Logo

Solitude Mountain Resort

Cottonwood Lodging Company offers ski-in/ski-out private homes, cabins and condo rentals servicing Solitude Mountain Resort. Solitude is a family friendly ski resort located just two miles from Brighton Ski Resort and is located just 12 miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon. While Solitude Mountain Resort is only five minutes from Brighton Ski Resort, it has a very different atmosphere. At the heart of Solitude is a Bavarian-styled pedestrian village with a range of amenities including shopping, restaurants and recreational activities. The Village at Solitude provides an excellent location for a family ski or snowboard vacation.

At Solitude, you and your family will leave the hustle, bustle and stress of everyday life behind. Here you are in a world where the chirping of birds replaces the honking of horns, where the subtle sound of skis on powdery snow replaces ringing telephones and where the crisp fresh Utah mountain air replaces city smog.

The kids? Don`t worry. Remember, no stress. Solitude is a safe and wide haven for skiers of all skill levels. Have young ones? Cottonwood Lodging Company will not only help you find a reliable babysitter, but we can also assist you with other services such as laundry, catering, massage and grocery delivery when you stay in one of their private family vacation rental homes.

When you come to Solitude Mountain Resort, you will notice a calming air, seclusion, intimacy, a peacefulness that defines this unique village located in the Wasatch Mountains. Solitude is a place to refresh, rejuvenate and re-establish family ties and friendships.
Solitude Mountain Resort is as expansive as Brighton Ski Resort. It has 8 chair and quad lifts, 64 total ski runs and 1,200 skiable acres of wide open bowls, tree lined ski runs, steep chutes and very well groomed and gentle cruising slopes. Much like Brighton Ski Resort, Solitude is so expansive and with its new quad chair lift for beginning and intermediate skiers the skiing terrain is never crowded. There are no lines! Like Brighton Ski Resort, Solitude receives over 500 inches of new snow each year.

For skiers that desire to know a bit more about the Wasatch Mountains and the expansive beauty of the Utah back-country, Solitude offers a Back Tracks program complete with a guide, lunch and anything else you think you`ll need.

Activities in Solitude Mountain Resort

Solitude offers family and fine dining. One of the most popular places to eat and drink is at the local watering hole, The Thirsty Squirrel. And don`t forget, the nightlife of Midvale, Sandy and Salt Lake City are only a few minutes away.

In the heart of Solitude Village, family fun begins at Club Solitude which features large screen movies in a separate media room, a gaming room, outdoor heated pools and hot tubs. Other activities include ice skating, Nordic skiing, story telling and puppet shows.

To accommodate your family and to help you spend as much time skiing as possible, you can purchase your ski lift tickets via the new online ticketing system that enables you and your family to proceed straight to the lift thus avoiding lengthy lines.

Location: 12000 Big Cottonwood Canyon Road
Solitude, UT 84121
Phone: 801-534-1400

Alta Ski Resort Logo

Alta Ski Resort

Enjoy skiing? Looking for an authentic relaxing, get-away-from-it-all, fun-filled family ski vacation? It would be a mistake to not come to Utah to enjoy the best snow in the world. One of the best skiing experiences can be found at Alta Ski Resort, Utah. Alta Ski Resort provides authentic, family ski experience. Fly into Salt Lake City, travel east to Brighton or Solitude where Cottonwood Lodging Company will find you a perfect ski in / ski out Utah vacation home rental.

Basing your ski vacation fun in either Brighton Ski Resort or Solitude Ski Resort allows you access to all four of what some consider to be the greatest ski resorts in North America: day commute to Alta Ski Resort, located in Little Cottonwood Canyon and one of the world`s premier and best known ski resorts where there are 2,200 skiable acres of terrain with a base elevation of 8,530 feet rising to 10,550 feet for a vertical gain of over 2,000 feet.

Like all three of its surrounding ski resort neighbors in the Wasatch Mountains, Alta Ski Resort receives more than 500 inches of new snow each year and is one of the oldest ski resorts in the United States. Alta is considered to be an old school, authentic skiing experience with its soul firmly entrenched in alpine and Nordic skiing and nothing else. Its slogan for years sums it up: “Alta is for skiers.” As such, it still maintains a skiers only policy that precludes snowboarders. Advanced and extreme skiers love Alta`s challenging off piste terrain and ungroomed steeps.

Alta seems to go out of its way to provide the personal, unobtrusive, purist experience to its guests. As a result, Alta was the last resort in Utah to install a quad lift and did not upgrade its single and double chairs for many years. And snowmaking machinery was not incorporated into the infrastructure until 2000.

Alta, Utah History – Mining and Snow

Alta has a similar history to its ski resort neighbors, Brighton, Solitude and Snowbird. Each has roots firmly entrenched in mining and timber. Alta was established in 1871 to support the silver mining operations in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Over the next half century, the mining business flourished and died, reawakened then was extinguished for good after the turn of the century.

In 1935, the United States Forest Service hired noted skier Alf Engen to lead an expedition into the now-Alta area of Little Cottonwood Canyon to determine its potential as a ski resort. Development efforts for the Alta Ski Resort began in earnest in 1937 spearheaded by Joe Quinney, a prominent Salt Lake City lawyer. In mid January 1939, Alta Ski Resort opened for the first time with the promise for a great skiing experience and with only the second chair lift to be offered in the entire country – named the Collins chairlift. Full day passes in those days were $1.50.

Location: 10010 Little Cottonwood Canyon Rd | Alta, UT 84092
Phone: 801-359-1078

Park City Mountain Resort

Park City Mountain Resort

Park City Mountain Resort in Utah is located in the Wasatch Mountains about 45 minutes from Brighton and Solitude Ski Resorts and about a half hour from Salt Lake City. Located within minutes of Park City are Deer Valley Resort and The Canyons Mountain Resort.

Park City Mountain Resort offers well-appointed retail stores, on-mountain and off-mountain restaurants, bars, galleries, state-of-the-art ski equipment rental/repair facility and the Town Lift Bridge that affords skiers a breathtaking panoramic view and access to Old Town directly from the mountain.

For more fun, vacationing families can enjoy sleigh rides, snowmobile tours, and tubing Both skiers and snowboarders are welcome at Park City Resort and the Canyons Ski Resort. Deer Valley Mountain Resort has a skier`s only policy.

Park City Mountain Resort is also a haven for summer outdoor enthusiasts offering hiking, rock climbing, horseback riding, golf, mountain biking and the ZipRider, an alpine slide that flies through the air.

For those wanting a fun, exciting yet relaxed family vacation, Cottonwood Lodging Company will reserve well-kept and affordable Utah vacation home rentals in Brighton or Solitude where you can also enjoy the pristine nature of the outdoors. Commute a few miles to Park City Mountain Resort, The Canyons Mountain Resort or Deer Valley for a busier adventure then retreat back to the simplicity of Brighton or Solitude, the way nature intended it.

Things to Know About Park City Mountain Resort

Unlike its neighbors Alta, Snowbird, Brighton and Solitude, Park City Mountain Resort is not located in Big or Little Cottonwood Canyon so it receives only 350 average inches of snow each year. Brighton and Solitude, by comparison, receive over 500 inches of new snow annually. Park City Mountain Resort offers 3,300 skiable acres with a vertical drop of 3,100 vertical feet from a summit elevation of 10,000 feet. Brighton and Solitude Ski Resorts are located in the Wasatch National Forest. Because of this, commercial development is limited creating a sense of balance with nature – rather than urban sprawl. Many winter and summer sports enthusiasts prefer Brighton and Solitude because they cherish waking up to a view of fresh snow-capped pine trees, a grazing moose and the sounds of birds warming in the rising sun.

Park City Mountain Ski Resort has 9 bowls and 100 ski trails and offers 14 chair lifts – 4 detachable 6-person chair lifts, 2 detachable quad lifts, 4 triple chair lifts, 4 double chair lifts and one magic carpet. A magic carpet is a surface lift that resembles a conveyor belt whose friction is responsible for transporting skiers up shallow hills only. Park City’s skiable acreage offers fertile terrain for all skiing skill levels with 18% of the terrain suitable for beginner skiers, 44% for intermediate skiers and 38% for advanced skiers.

Location: 1345 Lowell Avenue | Park City, UT 84060
Phone: 435-649-8111

Snowbird Resort Logo


Snowbird is a neighbor to Alta Ski Resort in Little Cottonwood Canyon nestled in the heart of the Wasatch Mountains. Just one mile separates the two ski resorts. In 2002, Snowbird began offering both a joint day pass and a joint season ticket to allow skiers complete uninterrupted access to terrain on both Snowbird and Alta mountains by accessing the new Mineral Basin lift which is owned by Snowbird on the back side of Snowbird`s Hidden Peak and Alta`s Sugarloaf mountain. Access to this lift and other inter-resort entrances are reserved for skiers only as a result of Alta`s skiers-only policy.

For your lodging and accommodation needs, though, use the experience of Cottonwood Lodging Company and our service-oriented touch to find you and your family the perfect private Utah vacation home rental at the Brighton or Solitude Ski Resorts which are conveniently only 40 minutes from Snowbird and Alta in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Cottonwood Lodging Company vacation rentals are well maintained, offer excellent proximity to trails and lifts and are homey, cozy and superb havens to enjoy and care for your family. Cottonwood Lodging Company will arrange for your every need whether it is babysitting, laundry services, in-home cooking, lift tickets to any of the four surrounding resorts and so much more. Your responsibility is to relax and enjoy your ski or snowboarding vacation. Cottonwood Lodging guests come back year after year. Find out why!

Snowbird welcomes snowboarders unlike Alta, which has a skiers-only policy. Snowbird is known for its advanced terrain and is a favorite with extreme skiers and snowboarders.

Things to Know About Snowbird

Snowbird is a year round ski and summer resort and is considered to be among the best ski resorts in the world. Like its neighbors Alta, Brighton and Solitude, Snowbird receives over 500 inches of new dry, powdery snow each year thanks to the lake effect. It has 2,500 skiable acres and a vertical drop of 3,240 vertical feet from the summit of Hidden Peak that claims an elevation of 11,000 feet.

Snowbird offers 10 chair lifts – 3 high-speed quads, 7 double chair lifts, and one surface lift in addition to an aerial tram. If you buy the $69 joint day pass, you will have access to 26 chair lifts and tows accessing over 4,700 skiable acres between Snowbird and Alta. Snowbird`s skiable acreage offers terrain for all skiing skill levels. However, Snowbird`s challenging steeps and huge bowls are a favorite with advanced snow sport enthusiasts.

Location: 9385 Snowbird Center Trail
Sandy, UT 84092
Phone: 801-933-2222