Solitude, Utah: Rank 16 West, 1997

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Lonely maybe, but you'll never be bored at this terrain-packed hideaway tucked high up in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Hit Diamond Lane for a steep groomed run first thing in the morning, and then if the snow is good (and when is it not?) head to Honeycomb Canyon for a taste of the backcountry. There's good intermediate terrain from mid-mountain down, and enough powder shots to keep you smiling. Solitude's laudatory terrain and the growing buzz about Utah skiing helped the resort jump from No. 26 to No. 16 this year. Readers differ on Solitude's character. "Very steep and very fast!" one declares. "A nice change of pace¿quiet andromantic," another says. Après-ski options are as limited as the snow is bottomless. Count on a great meal at the Creekside restaurant in the Euro-styled Village at Solitude, which includes a small but welcome lodge. Or ride the snowcat sleigh to the mid-mountain Roundhouse for a romantic five-course gourmet dinner.

What's New Night luging on Easy Street; slopeside townhouses added to the Village at Solitude.
A Good Deal Early season rates at the Lodge at Solitude,$110/ night for up to four people, Nov. 1-27, breakfast included; (800) 748-4SKI.
Medals Gold Snow Quality, Terrain, Challenge, Value, Weather, Accessibility; Silver Grooming.
High/Low Rank Snow Quality (4); Après-Ski (57).
Don't Miss Powder stashes that last days after the storm.
Reader Remarks "Best value and expert terrain with no crowds." "Tough access back to trails after Honeycomb Canyon."