Alta Ski Resort

Boasting an average of 13m of fluffy Utah snow each winter, Alta is one of the world’s finest destinations for powderhounds – unless you’re a snowboarder however, as this is one of the few remaining skier-only mountains.

Alta’s location nestled at the craggy end of Little Cottonwood Canyon is the reason why it receives so much snowfall, storms simply get stuck at the end of the valley and dump inch after inch of snow on to the slopes of the resort. As a result, you’d be seriously unlucky not get a powder day during your stay, on which the 2614 acres of terrain (you can add in a further 2500 at the linked resort of Snowbird) really comes into its own.

The location also makes it super easy to access from Salt Lake City – the drive takes less around forty-five minutes – as well as the other resorts in the Wasatch Mountains, making this an ideal stop on a multi-resort trip.

Our Alta Resort Ratings

  • Beginner ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  • Intermediate ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
  • Advanced ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Snow Reliability ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Fast Lifts ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
  • Resort Activities ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
  • Après ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
  • Value ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Pros

Huge amounts of snow – over 13m each winter

Some fantastic tree skiing and world-class steeps

Incredibly easy to get to from Salt Lake City

Cons

Little beginner terrain and few pistes

Can become cut off during snowstorms

Still doesn’t allow snowboarders

Alta Skiing and Snowboarding

Although there are some decent green runs served by the Sunnyside and Albion chairs, this really is a mountain for advanced skiers. If you’re looking for groomed pistes for a morning warm up then head to the long blues off the summit of the new Supreme chair or the long winding blue that runs the length of the Collins lift.

The main attractions however are undoubtedly the steep bowls, sharp gullies and tree runs littered across the mountain. These are usually powder-filled and most can be accessed directly from lifts, with the runs off the venerable Wildcat chair holding cult status amongst Utah powderhounds. Short hikes or traverses only open more terrain such as the Devil’s Castle area to skiers right of Sugarloaf and perhaps the jewel in Alta’s crown, the Mt Baldy Chutes. When you then add in the terrain over at Snowbird, it is clear that this is one huge playground for advanced and expert skiers.

  • Total Pistes: 2614 acres
  • Beginner: 15%
  • Intermediate: 30%
  • Advanced: 55%
  • Lifts: 6
  • Altitude: 2600m – 3374m

Alta Piste Map

The local area map can be downloaded here.

Alta Resort

As most of Alta’s visitors come up for the day from Salt Lake City, there is limited accommodation up on the mountain. However, there are several lodges at the foot of Alta’s lifts and further self-catered accommodation in between it and Snowbird down the valley. We’d recommend staying up at the resort’s base to avoid the drive up from Salt Lake each day – plus it means that you’re guaranteed to be able to ski on a powder day when the access road may be blocked!

This is a true skiers resort and all visitors come here for the slopes so there is little to do away from the hill. Après is limited, but the Peruvian Lodge is the place to go post skiing – after a powder day or in the spring sunshine the atmosphere can get very lively.

How to get to Alta

The drive up from Salt Lake City is incredibly easy, taking around forty-five minutes on a quick run – just watch out for powder day queues. It is also very easy to reach via the UTA public buses, which run regular services from the TRAX railway stations for $4.50.

  • Salt Lake City airport: 1 hour

Alta Contact Details

Good For

Ability
  • Advanced
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
On Slope
  • Fast Lifts
  • No Queues
  • Snow Reliability

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