Perhaps a bit less well-known than their siblings in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Brighton and Solitude are excellent ski resorts with fantastic terrain for every skill level and some of the best snow in the country. The fact that they’re not quite as famous as Alta and Snowbird has the very positive effect of keeping the crowds away, which is just fine and dandy with the locals. Brighton Ski Resort is a ski area located in Big Cottonwood Canyon, 30 miles from downtown Salt Lake City, Utah.
What Makes It Great
Not many people know this, but Brighton Ski Resort was founded in 1936 and was the first ski resort in Utah and one of the first in the United States. In 2012, Brighton was voted to have the 2nd best snow in North America, losing the top spot to its neighbor Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort.
Known for its cliffs, chutes, and bowls, Brighton is truly a locals’ ski resort. The resort offers a variety of deals throughout the year that allow locals to ski cheaply, including terrific student discounts. It's also known for its extensive backcountry access, and visitors can purchase single ride lift tickets to reach the backcountry access gates at the top of the resort. The resort also offers free skiing for kids and expert lessons for any age.
Brighton is on public lands; all of the resort's land is part of the Wasatch-Cache National Forest. This means that the whole resort is open to the public year-round, though tickets must be purchased to use the lifts. Brighton also has some of the most extensive night skiing in the Western U.S., with over 200 acres, three lifts, and the main mountain terrain park. Night skiing is offered from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday, from early December through early April.
In summer and fall seasons, there are extensive hiking and mountain bike trails that begin at Brighton and wander up past the glacial lakes above the resort. Brighton has several dining options for hungry skiers, though hours depend on seasonality. Silver Fork Lodge, a mile down Big Cottonwood Canyon, is a local favorite and a regular stop for snowplow drivers and canyon sheriffs.
Who is Going to Love It
Brighton offers fun, challenging terrain for skiers and snowboarders of every ability level.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Parking is free and plentiful.
Lifts run daily during the winter from 9am to 4pm.