Alta

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Alta
Meimei Ma
SnowPak Local Insider
Meimei Ma

Pros

  • High volume of light and fluffy snow - an average of over 500 in per year!
  • World-class extreme terrain
  • One of the best ski schools in the US
  • No-frills ski area; lift ticket prices are lower than most major US ski resorts

Cons

  • Skiers only
  • Some old-school two-seat fixed chairs still operating
  • Nightlife and shopping are a bit lacking

Overall

4.6

When Utah coined the slogan “Greatest Snow on Earth” they probably meant Alta. The no-frills ski area, tucked deep in Little Cottonwood Canyon near Salt Lake City, averages over 500 in of the stuff annually! Its elevation and dry air make it some of the lightest and fluffiest powder you can find anywhere, and it serves it all up on some of the best terrain in the west.

17/18 Historical Snowfall

Best month to go

Early January to mid-March

Avoid

December

Alta’s season usually begins in early December, but for best snow coverage – especially in advanced and expert terrain – consider going between early January and mid-March. This also keeps you clear of the Christmas vacation rush, when the mountain is crowded and rooms tend to be more expensive. Later in the season, there’s usually a powder storm or two in April and it’s easy to follow the sun to find the best conditions at different times of day. By the end of the season, it’s common for temperatures to get over 40 °F, which isn’t all that great for the snow, but does make for some pleasant outdoor eating and après!
Airplane

FLY TO

Salt Lake International Airport

Bus

SHUTTLE TO

Alta (45 minutes)

Base of Alta (Walk)

  • Made up of five convenient lodges
  • Ski-in/ski-out accommodation
  • Breakfast and dinner included at lodges

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Base of Snowbird (1-2 mi)

  • Snowbird resort operated lodging and timeshare accommmodation
  • Great for skiing at both mountains
  • Small convenience store

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Between Alta and Snowbird (1-2 mi)

  • Condos and vacation rentals
  • Lack the convenience of prepared meals
  • Easy access to the slopes

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Salt Lake City (25-30 mi)

  • Cheaper and wider selection of accommodation than Alta
  • Convenient base for skiing at other resorts
  • Small risk of road closure due to heavy snowfall

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For beginners

The Albion base area and around the Sunnyside lift is where the beginner terrain can be found, with wide and gentle slopes to get new skiers going! Beginners can even venture into the trees between Crooked Mile and Patsy Marley!

More beginners tips

For intermediates

Alta serves up groomed blues off all its lifts! For our favorite runs here, check out Rock n' Roll, a great curvy cruiser and other intermediate trails off the Supreme lift.

More intermediates tips

For experts

Get ready to shred on some of world's best extreme terrain! Alta classes everything as a single black diamond even if its double black or triple black, so for a single black try the runs off Collins, Wildcat and Sugarloaf! Otherwise, for double blacks (with cliffs and narrow chutes) check out the runs near Supreme. The off-piste terrain off the High Traverse such as Race Course and Sunspot are also sure to impress!

More experts tips

Find freshies

Get your fix on the tree runs off the Wildcat lift; after a storm the area retains fresh powder for a day or two! All the bowls are also great for freshies. Easier-to-access bowls such as Ballroom and Devil's Castle get tracked out quickly so opt for the area between Greeley Bowl and Yellow Trail Area.

Ditch the crowds

You won't find many crowds at Alta, but if you do, it'll probably be around Christmas time.

Non skiers

The focus at Alta is skiing, so there isn't as much to do here for non-skiers compared to other resorts. If you have a car however, Salt Lake City is just 45 minutes away.

Families

Alta has a laid-back community vibe that's perfect for families. The intermediate and advanced runs off the Supreme lift are great for families with more experienced skiers and are laid out so that it's easy to meet up at the bottom!

Alta vs
AltaDeer Valley Resort
beginner25 %27 %
intermediate40 %41 %
advanced35 %27 %
expert-5 %
total runs116 101
ski area2,200ac 2,026ac
summit elevation10,550ft 9,570ft
total lifts11 21
child lift ticket$54 $32
adult lift ticket$104 $145
uncrowded
snow
back country
value for money
average total snowfall270″ 153″

Alta Reviews

Fabulous

4.5 / 5

based on 77 reviews

How well the resort caters for beginner skiers / boarders

Beginners

How well the resort caters for intermediate skiers / boarders?

Intermediates

How well the resort caters for advanced skiers / boarders

Advanced

How accessible and convenient it is to get to this resort from a major destination

Accessibility

Quality of the off-piste terrain

Side/Backcountry

Overall value for money of the resort

Value for money

Quality of lifts, lift speed and lift layout in the resort

Lifts

Quantity and quality of the snow

Snow

How uncrowded is the resort

Uncrowded

Après ski and dining options

Town

Services and facilities e.g. child care, tubing, health care, equipment hire

Facilities

How family friendly is this resort?

Family Friendliness
Superb!

5 / 5

Oct 25, 2017
BDBodhi D.
Amazing old school resort, steep, deep (most of the time) & the true roots of skiing. If you haven't been here yet you have to visit. Alta is a legend.
Superb!

5 / 5

Oct 23, 2017
FFang
It's the best snow in the world and the people are super nice. Exceot for the east coasters, but what can you do? Utah is our favorite ski state hands down.
Superb!

5 / 5

Oct 18, 2017
AAlex
Absolutely unreal ski resort! The trails are very well taken care of and the ease of access to terrain is great. A wide range of easy to hard terrain is available here and everybody is awesome.
Superb!

5 / 5

Oct 16, 2017
TTom
Good snow, good terrain. Great vibe with tons of rippers, not really a resort but had the skiing you're there for and that's what's important. Little cottonwood offers great skiing and that's it
Superb!

5 / 5

Oct 08, 2017
PPPaul P.
I keep coming back to Alta. I have had a season pass to Alta many times but started to stray to other resorts looking for something I thought I was missing. But when the big ones hit, Alta is the place to be. Consistenly the best and most snow as well as any kind of terrain you are looking for. I mostly seem to just ski powder days anymore with... More
Very Good!

4 / 5

Oct 07, 2017
JJason
Alta is a great mountain for skiers. There is a lot of steep terrain, and Utah snow is legendary. It’s a little too close to Salt Lake City to avoid big crowds at certain times, but it’s worth the wait.
Superb!

5 / 5

Oct 07, 2017
DBDustin B.
Alta is an amazing resort with breathtaking views the price is right the snow is even better. I see myself coming back time and time again added bonus is no snowboarding. I like the find your own way down even though theres defined trails. Hotels within 45 mins are very affordable which is an added bonus. Cant go wrong with alta
Very Good!

4 / 5

Dec 26, 2013
GGreg
We love the terrain and the lack of snowboards. Also the snow is consistent and they don't go overboard with the grooming.
Very Good!

4 / 5

Dec 19, 2013
LLarry
almost as good as jackson, but a little more crowded and a few more traverses.
Superb!

5 / 5

Nov 25, 2013
BBrande
its the best in the west, and that means the world, in terms of snow!
Other ski resorts in

Salt Lake City, Utah

Alta
25% 40% 35%
Deer Valley Resort
27% 41% 32%
Park City
8% 42% 50%
Snowbird
27% 38% 35%