USA TODAY, Reader's Choice: Best Ski Destination - Salt Lake City #5
The Cottonwood canyons that branch off the southwestern edge of this major metropolis offer easy access to four world-class ski resorts within 30 minutes of the airport. The big boys on the block—Snowbird and ski-only Alta—reside on the ridges of Little Cottonwood, offering epic lines and a much heralded place in ski lore. But the other two resorts in Big Cottonwood, Solitude and family-friendly Brighton, deliver equally big thrills and less crowds. Variable weather patterns deliver different amounts of snow to each canyon, and the close proximity to Salt Lake means you can target the resort that got the biggest dump each day, plan accordingly, and then après at your pick of downtown restaurants and pubs.