* Photo Courtesy of Ski City
Salt Lake City is known as Ski City, USA for a reason. An eclectic city with a multitude of attractions that include: restaurants and bars, breweries, sporting events, cultural events and more, it draws people from all over the country. Visitors take advantage of these attractions but, even more so, Salt Lake City's proximity to Little Cottonwood Canyon and Big Cottonwood Canyon. There, four world class ski resorts garner an average annual snow total of 500" and are within a 30-40 minute ride from downtown Salt Lake City. With snow totals like that and a host of other attractions it should come as no surprise that skiers and snowboarders come in droves to stay here.
The Cottonwood resorts Alta, Snowbird, Solitude and Brighton are some of Utah's best. Each regularly makes appearances on Ski Magazine's top ski resort lists, with all four getting a piece of the pie this year. Accolades like this have a lot to do with the top notch skiing and snowboarding that they are all known for. With great slopes comes great post shred responsibility (I think that's how the saying goes). Skiers and riders need a great place to après ski, right? Of course they do and the Cottonwood Canyon resorts have it in the form of these four classic après ski bars.
Thirsty Squirrel – Solitude Mountain Resort
Anyone down to shoot some pool?
Photo Courtesy of Ski City
If you have been to Solitude then chances are you have been to the Thirsty Squirrel. It has been dubbed The Après Bar there for a reason. Located in Solitude Village, the Thirsty Squirrel is regularly filled at the end of the day with locals and visitors alike. There are even appearances from our four legged friends as the ski patrol and their avalanche dogs often show up when their work is done.
$7 will get you a shot and a beer as you unwind and test your skills in pinball, shuffleboard and darts. Or, just simply swap stoked up stories over pints of craft beer from one of their eight taps and some live music. The Thirsty Squirrel is Solitude's quintessential ski bar. A true fan favorite that will have you feeling right at home whether you are local or just visiting.
Side note: This year, several of their taps are dedicated to worthy causes in partnership with two Utah breweries. For every pint sold of its Yard Sale Winter Lager, Uinta Brewing makes a donation to Protect Our Winters. For every pint sold from a Moab Brewery tap handle in the Thirsty Squirrel, Moab makes a donation to Wasatch Backcountry Rescue avalanche dog training program.
Molly Green’s – Brighton Resort
Dancing the night away at Molly Green's
Photo Credit Brighton Resort
Après Ski doesn't get more classic than a ski in ski out bar housed in an A-Frame lodge at the base of the mountain. That's Molly Green's to a tee. When you finish your day on the slopes, head right upstairs to the second floor of the Brighton Manor. There you will find a rustic stone fireplace that sits adorned with their famous moose as the centerpiece of Brighton Resort's classic après ski bar.
Oh the stories that moose could tell. From the rumors of this once being a brothel to the lively post pow scene that has developed throughout the years, there would be no shortage of tall tales. Tales that are only aided by the excellent food, amazing selection of craft beer and the awesome patrons who tell them as they partake in it all while warming up by the fire.
Side Note: Brighton is one of the most family friendly resorts in all of Utah. Lower lift ticket prices, free skiing for kids 10 and under and a solid mix of terrain has attracted families for generations. Between this and Molly's, Brighton has the next generation of skiers growing up on the right track.
Alta Peruvian Bar - Alta Ski Area
Snow day vibes at the Alta Peruvian Lodge.
Photo Credit: Alta Ski Area, Alta Peruvian Lodge
The old school vibe and sick terrain that Alta is known for carries over into their après ski classic, the Alta Peruvian Bar. Also known as P-Dog, it's local dive bar meets rough around the edges après. Great views of the sick terrain you just shredded inspires the many high fives and stories of the day while local bands whip the crowd into a frenzy.
Free popcorn is there for the taking, but, remember, it's not meant to be dinner. For almost 50 years, P-Dog has served great food and local craft beers and spirits to all who have paid "the liveliest place at Alta" a visit. If Molly's moose has stories to tell, the Peruvian's Bison could give it a run for it's money. It has truly seen it all.
Sipping Hot Toddies at the Sitz.
Photo Credit: Alta Ski Area
Side Note: Looking for a bit of a quieter scene, try the Sitzmark in the Alta Lodge. Another local favorite where you can watch the sun set on Superior while sipping a tasty Hot Toddy stirred up for you by local ski legend and Alta pro Dan Withey.
The Tram Club - Snowbird
Cheers to a great day at Snowbird.
Photo Credit Matt Crawley
Just a hop, ski and a jump...well maybe don't skip or jump in your ski boots, you'll probably slip. Located two flights of stairs below the Tram on the first floor of the Snowbird Center, you will find Snowbird's famous Tram Club. Roll up in your wet ski clothes at this sports bar meets après ski classic post ski bar.
Sports Bar meets après ski at the Tram Club.
Photo Credit Matt Crawley
The Tram Club is and institution and has arguably the best deal around for après ski. How do you beat $5 for a beer and a shot? Drink specials like that can definitely lead to a rowdy crowd and some seriously fun times. But that's what you can expect as you hang and swap stories with the tram wheels are spinning right in front of you. That and the spicy cheese fries which are the avi bomb of the appetizer world.
Side Note: Snowbird's newest restaurant, SeventyOne, opened in August of 2019 and is a true throwback to the year it is named after. 1971 is when Snowbird opened and the decor of this retro chic restaurant is a tribute to that time. Swanky and cool with a full menu and outdoor dining, this new hot spot is worth your consideration.