The Solitude Nordic Center, located just between Solitude and Brighton Ski resorts, offers cross-country skiers and snowshoers a gorgeous setting to enjoy their sports. The area is perfect for anyone not interested in using the nearby lifts at the resorts to do their work for them and boasts nearly 13 miles of maintained trails that crisscross the mountain landscape. The groomed tracks are set up for skate skiing as well as classic cross-country and make up most of the routes available. There are five trails specifically for snowshoes. These non-groomed treks dip into the aspen groves, and one of them circles around Silver Lake. Check out the trail map here
If you are looking for a lot of sun, you will want to stay in the Lake Flat tracks. They are the flat, open paths just out of the back of the rental center. You will get more wind here than in the trees, but you get the most sunlight here. The tracks to the northwest have a bit of incline to them and meander through the cabin-filled forests, so they are heavily shaded but more secluded.
This area is really quite beautiful, and it is highly recommended even for those who normally like to alpine ski. You can really take in the grandeur of the surrounding mountains at this slower pace. You get great views of Mount Wolverine, Peak 10420, and USA Bowl across the way, and this is a serious workout. Keep an eye out for moose because they love the Silver Lake area. In the summer the Nordic Center shuts down, and it is free to hike around the area on a multitude of trails. The Silver Fork Lodge is a great place to have breakfast or lunch, and it is located just a short distance down the road.
Click to see the price breakdown to rent equipment. You only need to pay the access fee if you have your own equipment ($18 full-day or $14 half-day for cross-country and $7 for snowshoe). They are open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. From Solitude Village there is a shuttle departing at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.