Big Cottonwood Canyon is home of two world renowned ski resorts located in the heart of Utah, Solitude Mountain Resort and Brighton Resort. Big Cottonwood Canyon is a speedy 25 minute drive from Salt Lake International Airport. Besides the endless fun offered on the slopes, there are plenty of Après ski fun to be had. Après ski is just as important as the skiing itself, right? What would a ski trip be without the memorable after activities with your friends and family. Whether it’s karaoke, food and drinks, events, or live music, this is your guide for having a good time when visiting Big Cottonwood Canyon in Utah, home of the worlds greatest snow. This guide will give you the best spots for ski après during your stay at Solitude Mountain Resort, Brighton Ski Resort, or down in the valley.
Solitude Mountain Resort
Solitude is the first resort that you will encounter when driving up Big Cottonwood Canyon. The resort offers 80 different runs, eight chairlifts, an annual 500 inches of snow spread throughout 1,200 acres of land, and three bowls. Here’s my favorite spots if you’re looking to indulge in après ski:
Food, Drinks, Entertainment & Expectations.
Solitude is home of a variety of different dining experiences. Whether you are looking for something classy or good ol’ classic bar food, Solitude provides it. For a unique classy experience, check our St. Bernard’s, the winner of 2018 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. It’s a buffet style restaurant with excellent food and drinks. For a quick bite with the family or group of friends, check out Stone Haus Pizzeria & Creamery. It’s the perfect spot to satisfy a sweet tooth or feed a large group of people. If you’re looking for a drinks and appetizers, Thirsty Squirrel is the place for you. Thirsty Squirrel offers an arrangement of local and imported beer on tap, pool tables, and large flat-screen TV’s.
Brighton Ski Resort
Brighton Ski Resort is a hidden gem for local Utahans because they do minimal advertising purposefully, making the runs less crowded for your enjoyment. It’s the only Utah resort where 100% of its terrain is accessible by high speed quads. Not only is this a hidden gem for skiing and snowboarding, but it also provides great ski après. Here’s a few local favorites:
Food, Drinks, Entertainment & Expectations.
At the base of the famous run, Milly, you’ll find Milly Chalet, a new BBQ joint accommodated with big glass windows and an awesome view. It’s a perfect place to grab some homemade BBQ and beers with a group a friends or family after a long day of skiing. If you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, check out Blind Miner Cafe for an arrangement of drinks, espresso, and pastries. It’s the perfect place to get cozy and swap stories about your day. Lastly, if you want a place with excellent appetizers and drinks, along with a magnificent views of the mountains, visit Molly Greens. Molly Greens is located slope-side on the upper floor of the Brighton Manor. Look for the A-frame roof with glass windows and you can’t miss it. I would highly recommend the chicken nachos.
Headed back to the city?
If you’re lodging down in the city, or just trying to see what Utah has to offer in the area, there’s a few places that you MUST hit.
Lone Star Taqueria
Established in 1994, Lone Star Taqueria is a Mexican food joint that has won several awards, and was featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diner’s, Drive-in’s, & Dive’s”. Sunset Magazine claims they have the best taco in the west, and I would agree. If you follow Big Cottonwood Canyon all the way down west bound, you’ll find the restaurant located on your right-hand side. There’s a big sign, along with a vibrant and unique atmosphere that you can’t miss.
Porcupine Pub & Grille
Porcupine is an all time favorite for locals and skiers. The pub is located right at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon. It’s only 12.7 miles from Solitude Mountain Resort. They offer a variety of homemade food and 24 draft beers on tap. If you want to explore what Utah Breweries have to offer, this is the place. The atmosphere in unbeatable, and welcomes everyone, even the neon skiing outfit that you just left the slopes with. The service is spectacular and food is even better. Check out their daily lunch and dinner specials, or my personal favorite and award winning homemade soup, the chicken noodle.
Porcupine doesn’t take reservations, and it can get busy, especially on the weekend. There is a bar area that you can order drinks while you wait, but if you don’t feel like waiting or have a flight to catch, Hog Wallow Pub & Patio is a 2 minute drive down the street.
The Hog Wallow Pub & Patio
Hog Wallow was established in 1947 by a World War II veteran, and is located at the base of Big Cottonwood Canyon. This pub is a must go to if you’re looking for excellent food, drinks, and live music. It’s the ultimate ski après. The typical crowd is made up by skiers, bikers, hippies, and music lovers. So if you’re worried about wearing your ski après outfit, don’t be, you won’t be alone. The live entertainment from bands consists of a spectrum of genres, including blues, rock, acoustic, reggae, bluegrass, and folk. You can find a list of upcoming performances here. The pub is considered a bar, so if you have kids, you’ll need to make arrangements as it is 21+ and older only. They have won several awards over the years, most notably from their atmosphere. The menu is made up by your typical bar choices like pizza and wings, but they are also famous for their BBQ. I would personally recommend the wood smoked baby backed ribs, they are fall off the bone and never disappoint.
Less partying, and more skiing? See what locals had to say about the seven slopes across the great state of Utah!