Solitude Nordic Center. Accessible from Solitude and Brighton villages, the Solitude Nordic Center has 12 miles of groomed cross-country trails, 6 miles of snowshoe trails, and a small shop offering rentals, lessons, food, and guided tours. For $20 you can use the trails all day; for $75 you can get a private lesson, rental, and all-day trail pass. 12000 Big Cottonwood Canyon Rd., Utah, 84121. 801/534–1400;


Brighton Ski Resort. The smallest of the Cottonwood resorts just outside Salt Lake City, Brighton is nonetheless a favorite among serious snowboarders, parents (who flock to the resort's ski school), and some extreme skiers and riders. There are no megaresort amenities here, just a nice mix of terrain for all abilities, and a basic lodge, ski shop, and ski school. The snow is as powdery and deep as nearby Alta and Snowbird, and advanced (and prepared) skiers can access extensive backcountry areas. There's something for everyone here at a fraction of the cost of the bigger resorts. 8302 S. Brighton Loop Rd., Brighton, Utah, 84121. 801/532–4731; Lift tickets $104.

Solitude Mountain Resort. Since 1957, Solitude has offered Big Cottonwood Canyon's most intense ski experience. It's now anchored by a European-style village with lodges, condominiums, an upscale hotel, and some good restaurants. Downhill skiing and snowboarding are still the main attractions, with steep, pristine terrain in Honeycomb Canyon attracting the experts, and a mix of intermediate cruising runs and beginner slopes beckoning the less accomplished. You can enjoy relaxing after a hard day on the slopes at the comfortable Solitude Mountain Spa. 12000 Big Cottonwood Canyon Rd., Solitude, Utah, 84121. 801/534–1400; 800/748–4754; 801/536–5777; Lift tickets $125.

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