ALTA SKI AREA
There are ski lockers at Alta that are rentable for the season. The waiting list for these lockers is 50 years long, and getting one is like pulling a Colorado River permit through the Grand Canyon. Utah is home to a lot of hardcore skiers, many of whom ski Alta. Andat Alta, if you have a locker, you're one of the hardest-core—you have what we like to call “Alta-tude.”
Alta-tude is the manifestation of a complicated pleasure-pain principle. The resort is one of America’s oldest and is home to some of Salt Lake’s most spectacular terrain, much of which cannot be accessed by lift. And the lift-accessed stuff is steep, challenging terrain—it will push the beginning skier, but the payoff is worth it. For Salt Lakers who learned to turn at Alta, thesaying goes, “If you can ski here, you can ski anywhere.”
But don’t worry. Alta skiers are a welcoming bunch (to everyone but snowboarders; it's skiers only at Alta), eager to share their arcane knowledge of hidden powder stashes, down-mountain strategies, and the history and lore of this classic American resort.
There are precious few places in the world like Alta. The resort and its small town at the base grew organically around a united love of thrills on snow (which it has aplenty). Despite welcome upgrades, including higher-speed lifts and digital lift passes, Alta remains proudly rooted in its past, an icon of a time when skiing was less of a business and more of a way of life. Its soul is from a different era: of wooden skis daredevil explorers in soggy woolen gear who practically invented the sport.
All four of Salt Lake’s resorts have their devotees, fanatics, and worshippers. But Alta breeds Alta-tude. Watch for its practitioners as you head up Little Cottonwood Canyon. Seek the lone Altasymbol in the center back window of the car in front of you, and ye shall find them.
Alta Snow Report
NUMBER OF RUNS: 116
Beginner Terrain: 25%
Intermediate Terrain: 40%
Advanced Terrain: 35%
Average Snowfall: 560in
Base Elevation: 8,530ft
Summit Elevation: 10,550ft
Vertical Drop: 2,020ft
Miles to Major Airport: 32mi
Area Day - Adult: $84.00
Area PM - Adult: $69.00
Area Day - Child 12 and Under: $45.00
Area Day - 80+: FREE
Beginner Area Day - Adult: $40.00
SKI SCHOOL: YES
Alta Nordic Skiing
Enjoy classic or skate skiing on the 5 km groomed track.
A unique adventure of guided off-trail skiing in the Grizzly Gulch Bowl.
Introductory Telemark Workshop
For experienced alpine skiers. Instructors will get you started with the basic telemark moves on green and blue slopes.
Ski Free After 3
Ski after 3 p.m. on Sunnyside, Albion and Cecret* Lifts for a $10 ticket or a $5 ticket reload. (*Cecret closes at 3:30)
Skiers must buy passes and use the gates.
The three base area tows (Grizzly tow, Transfer tow, and Alta Lodge tow) are free all day, every day.
Alta hosts recreation racing on Fridays and Saturdays. All abilities welcome.
Ski with a Ranger
Learn about local mining history, public lands, watershed, and winter ecology. The free program operates weekends and holidays, December-March.
*Alta Ski Area does not allow snowboarding.
Plan a winter getaway by staying at one of Alta's ski-in/ski-out lodges. Lodging packages include breakfast and dinner. Some guests insist on returning year after year just for the dining experience. Each lodge has fireplaces, ample gathering spaces, and friendly staff. If you're looking for a private home or condo, you can expect luxury properties with fully equipped kitchens, mountain views, and free shuttle service to the lifts. Chef service and food stocking options are also available.
Alta's mountain dining options range from a white tablecloth dining experience with cuisine featuring organic lamb, duck, rabbit, seafood, hearty soups, salads, creme brulee, and truffle-filled chocolate cupcakes to outdoor deck dining offering hamburgers, delicious deli sandwiches and salads, pizzas, soups, cookies, brownies, and fresh fruit. Guests may choose from three restaurants at mid-mountain and several base area cafeterias. Four of the lodges also offer lunch for non-lodging guests.
More Ski City: