Checking out a new ski resort is always a little bit overwhelming — especially if you’re skiing with kids. I’m here to take the guesswork out of skiing Solitude with kids for you. The great terrain and smaller crowds that you’ll find at Solitude make it a perfect family ski resort. So instead of spending your first morning on the mountain bumbling around and unsure where to go, I’m going to give you an exact breakdown of the best runs to ski with kids on each lift at Solitude.
If you have a beginner skier, Link is the place you’ll want to be. It’s an easy-to-load two-seater chair that’s perfect for beginners. The gentle slope is the perfect place to teach your kids how to stop and turn before they move on to more challenging terrain. I also love the easy access to Moonbeam Lodge for bathroom breaks or the occasional hot chocolate stop.
This is the best place to start skiing with a family when you first arrive at Solitude. There are lots of beginner runs that are the perfect place to warm up or test out your kid’s skiing skills before you let them try more challenging terrain.
If you’ve got kids who are still in the beginner stage, Same Street is the best run to start them on as it’s the most gentle slope and can funnel you into the terrain under Link chairlift. Little Dollie and Tude-Dudes are parallel to each other, so it’s the perfect place to let your kids try skiing on their own. They can be skiing on Little Dollie, while you ski down Tude-Dudes (peeking at them through the trees to see how they do). They’re short runs that are perfect if you have a kid who wants to try skiing on their own when you’re not ready to give them full run of the mountain. This is a great way to give your kids a little bit of independence while still keeping them close by and in an area where you can watch them.
Apex is the perfect step up from Moonbeam. Abba’s Alley is the easiest run off of Apex, and it’s perfect for kids just graduating from the Moonbeam area since it funnels them into familiar terrain below. For kids looking for a little bit of a challenge, let them try heading down Fleet Street — or, if you’re looking for a fun cruiser with the family, head down Summit Access West to the Dynamite run. My kids are constantly finding small jumps and little trails off Dynamite that they absolutely love, and it’s a fun cruiser for everyone to ski together.
Eagle is another one of our family’s favorite ski lifts at Solitude. It’s a perfect place to let our older kids ski on their own, knowing they can easily come and check in with us in the Moonbeam area while we’re skiing with the younger kids. The easiest way down from the top of Eagle is Sunshine Bowl. Although the slope can be a little bit steep, there is a cat track on the skier’s right at the top that will take you south along the hillside, which is a great option for kids who are a little bit intimidated by the long slope of Sunshine Bowl. If your kids want to try out some black diamond terrain, make sure to give Rumble or Grumble’s steeper slopes a try. These runs are great since they start out as black diamonds but soon shift into a blue square when the terrain gets less steep.
For kids who are still getting comfortable on blue terrain, our favorite route off Eagle Express is to take them down Sunshine Bowl, over to Wanderer, and down to Serenity.
Sunrise is probably the least-crowded lift on the entire mountain and is often totally forgotten about. If you have kids who are still in the beginning intermediate stages, the Summit Access East trail is a great way to funnel them onto the gentle slope of Dynamite below. Sunrise is also a great area to let the kids explore some good intermediate terrain without the crowds that can sometimes be prevalent on some of the faster lifts. Our kids especially love skiing North Star and Sensation with lots of tree skiing opportunities all throughout the area
Summit is an absolute blast to ski with kids, and they’ll love that they get to go all the way to the top of the mountain, while parents will love that the terrain doesn’t have to be overwhelmingly difficult. The easiest way down Summit is down the Dynamite run. While this run can get a little bit crowded at peak times, if you ski it close to the beginning or end of the day, you can often have the run almost to yourself.
There are several cirques off of Summit Express that are excellent expert terrain if your kids are ready for that — or if one parent needs a little bit of a break to ski on their own. Traverse the ridgeline just north of Summit, while the kids ski down Dynamite, and drop into some nice double-black terrain while the kids are cruising down on a blue below.
Powderhorn is our go-to lift when we need to sneak in a few harder runs with just Mom and Dad, or when one of the older kids needs a break from skiing with the family. Don’t discount Powderhorn because it’s not a high-speed lift. It accesses some of the best introductory black diamond terrain for kids. Our go-to runs when kids are starting on Powderhorn are Diamond Lane (usually groomed) and Concord (usually ungroomed).
One of my favorite things about Powderhorn II chairlift is that most of the runs funnel you right down into the Moonbeam terrain area, so it’s a great place to sneak off for a run or two and easily meet up with the family on the Moonbeam lift.
Honeycomb Canyon is my absolute favorite place to ski with kids at Solitude once they can ski expert terrain. All of the terrain here is for expert and advanced skiers only. However, the wide-open bowls and well-spaced trees are the perfect place to introduce kids to this type of terrain if you feel their skills are up for the challenge. All of the runs are incredibly long since you do have to ski almost to the bottom of the mountain, so you’ll really get a lot of vertical feet in, and a lot of time on skis. While the easiest way is just to go down the gully of Woodlawn, Buckeye Junior is also a great run for introducing kids to the black diamond terrain in Honeycomb Canyon.