If You Want Flexibility

The name says it all. At Solitude, serenity reigns supreme, even in peak season. Nearby Snowbird and Alta lure the masses, and since the resort doesn't issue season passes, the locals aren't flocking here, either. But this sleepy ski area boasts abundant snow (about 500 inches a year) and a variety of terrain, from backcountry chutes to impeccably groomed intermediate and beginner runs. Punch-card lift tickets--the Solitude Axess card is $55 for 10 rides--mean you can ski till you drop, or do a few runs and head for the spa without feeling like you're wasting money (unlimited-ride lift tickets are $53 a day).

Apres-ski Spend a quiet evening soaking in the hot tub or being pampered at the unpretentious Essentials Spa at the Inn at Solitude. What it lacks in high-tech marble steam showers it makes up for in attentive therapists and exceptional treatments, such as the Winter Rescue facial ($127). The spa also offers group ($20) and private ($50) yoga classes. Plan on going out--and up--for dinner: Cross-country ski or snowshoe for 20 minutes to the cozy Yurt at Solitude for a five-course gourmet dinner ($96 per person).

Book it Just 33 miles from the Salt Lake City airport, all lodging at Solitude Village is within walking distance to lifts, trails, restaurants, and amenities. Rooms at the Inn at Solitude from $249; one-bedroom condos from $309. Go to skisolitude.com for info.

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