Alta Ski Area
There are precious few places in the world like Alta. The resort and its small base town grew organically around a united love of thrills on snow. 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, an era of wooden skis and daredevil explorers in woolen gear who practically invented the sport.
The resort is one of America’s oldest and is home to some of Salt Lake’s most spectacular terrain, much of which can only be accessed by backcountry experts willing to hike for it. And the lift-accessed stuff is often steep and challenging. It will push the beginning skier, but the payoff is worth it. For those who learn to turn at Alta, the saying goes, “If you can ski here, you can ski anywhere.”
Parking & Transportation
During the 23-24 ski season, parking reservations will be required for all skiers on weekends and holidays from 8 am to 1 pm. Daily early morning (before 8 am) also requires a reservation. Mid-week parking after 8 am is on a first-come, first-served basis (excluding holiday periods).
There are a variety of options to make your way from the city to Alta's slopes. If you are driving, make sure your vehicle is ready to meet the traction law requirements and that you are ready to drive in winter conditions. If you don't want to deal with winter driving and finding a parking space UTA's Ski Bus provides public transportation daily during the ski season, or elevate your experience with the Cottonwood Connect Ski Shuttle (available Fri - Sun and on Monday holidays).
Before you head up Little Cottonwood Canyon to Alta Ski Resort, check out the resources from Utah Department of Transportation for road conditions, live traffic cameras, travel tips, vehicle requirements, and winter driving tips. UDOT has plenty of experience dealing with the mountains of snow and snow in the mountains, but you can do your part to help by being an informed driver. Get live canyon updates and information on:
Alta Ski Area is located in the heart of Utah's Wasatch Mountains at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon. Our mountain is world-renowned for its steep and deep powder skiing—averaging 538'' of snow each winter. But did you know that 45% of our terrain is suitable for beginner and intermediate skiers?
Opening and Closing Hours
The Skier Services office is open daily from 8 am to 4:30 pm. Lifts start turning at 9:15 am and shut down between 3:30 pm and 4:30 pm. If you're looking for on-mountain dining options, most are open from 9:30 am to 4 pm, with restaurants and bars at the base open into the evening. See Alta's dining page for complete details on what is open and specific hours.
Does Alta allow snowboarding?
Snowboarding is not permitted at Alta Ski Area. But, that doesn't mean there aren't great opportunities to ride in Little Cottonwood Canyon, check out Snowbird for great snowboarding. Or, head to Big Cottonwood Canyon where you can snowboard at both Solitude Mountain Resort and Brighton Resort.
The Cottonwood Canyons Foundation is proud to partner with Alta to offer $10 per person, naturalist-led snowshoe tours through Alta's famous powder! Look for animal tracks and learn about the wildlife that left them, all while surrounded by some of Utah's most beautiful mountains. Naturalist guides talk about everything from animal adaptations and trees, to the history of Little Cottonwood Canyon and Alta!
Join Tracy Aviary’s expert birders this winter on skis in search of our feathered friends that call Alta home.
Surveys are 9 AM-Noon on the second Friday of each month starting in December. Help us expand our bird list with non-breeding bird surveys at Alta. All participants must be at least 12 years of age and able to ski intermediate, groomed runs. Please register by noon on Thursday, the day before.
Here's your chance to go for the gold on Race Course Hill, located off the Sunnyside lift. Alta offers recreational racing for all skiers on Saturdays.
Recreational racing is held at the Sunnyside Race Arena, located off the top of Sunnyside lift. Skiing gates is not only fun, but it also affords an excellent way to hone your skiing skills. Gold, silver and bronze Alta pins are awarded on a handicap system by age and gender determined by a pace setter's time. If your time does not qualify for a medal, you will receive an Alta pin for participating.
On Mountain Lodging: Hotels at Alta
While the Alta Ski Area resort does not operate any accommodations, the mountain town of Alta has a unique collection of lodges, hotels, and vacation homes with ski-in/ski-out access.
On Mountain Dining: Restaurants & Bars at Alta
From fueling up to start out the day right to re-fueling to keep those epic ski runs going, to celebrating après-ski, Alta has exactly what you need on the mountain and at the base. Check out these great options and find a complete list on Alta's Food and Drink