The two largest canyons within the mountains that tower above Ski City—Big and Little Cottonwood—are your access routes to Salt Lake’s famed ski resorts—Brighton/Solitude in Big Cottonwood and Alta/Snowbird in Little Cottonwood. Each canyon has its own vibe, derived from its unique landscape, which in turn influences the vibe and feel at the resorts that make use of the terrain.
While the two canyons have a lot in common (generous heapings of The Greatest Snow on Earth), their differences create two distinct "neighborhoods," each with the same uniqueness of character you’d expect moving from the East Village to the West Village in Manhattan—minus the bodegas and car horns.
Staying in the Mountain Resorts area ensures you'll have that classic alpine experience—the craggy vistas, the front-door ski access, the feeling of being pampered yet having escaped modern civilization. And if you get tired of all that serenity, the city's just a short drive away. Here's your guide to staying in each canyon:
Big Cottonwood is a wider canyon, with more gradual walls, meaning Brighton and Solitude feature accordingly wider ski and snowboard runs and, for the most part, more gradual inclines. Find out where to ski, eat, drink, pamper, play, and stay in this neighborhood.
Little Cottonwood, on the other hand, is much more narrow and steep, which informs Alta's and Snowbird’s deserved reputations for steep and, for the most part, narrow runs. Find out where to ski, eat, drink, pamper, play, and stay in this neighborhood.