Alta

Open
Meimei Ma
SnowPak Local Insider
Meimei Ma
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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!

FLY TO

Salt Lake International Airport

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″
Save up to 35% when you book a Alta package! View Alta packages

Alta Reviews

Fabulous 4.5 / 5
based on 92 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
Fabulous!4.3 / 5Dec 02, 2018
Danny M. Danny M.
expert skier
Alta is a skier's paradise. They have great options for beginners and intermediates, and is an absolute playground for experts. Alta gets more snow than almost every ski resort in the world(only parts of Alaska and Washington state average slightly more). They average 550 inches of snow a year. Alta's lift layout requires a little bit of... More
Fabulous!4.5 / 5Nov 15, 2018
Theresa C. Theresa C.
intermediate skier
Worlds best snow is no exaggeration! This is the place for skiers of all levels to enjoy a day on the slopes without having to watch out for snowboards. Very family friendly and affordable.... More
Fabulous!4.3 / 5Oct 09, 2018
Paul P. Paul P.
expert skier
I always come back to Alta. Pretty much a Utah native and I'm at a point where I like to ski around as all of our resorts have something special to offer. But after the slow start we had to the 2017/2018 season, I found myself going back to my old mistress, Alta. Always the most consistent and best snow conditions of anywhere. Plus it has... More
Superb!4.7 / 5May 15, 2018
Pj Q. Pj Q.
expert skier
Alta is a fun resort. It looks big and scary, but it really isn't. I had a little sister who was in ski school and her skiing improved so much in the 2 days when was there.... More
Superb!4.8 / 5May 02, 2018
Calvin C. Calvin C.
expert skier
This season Alta opened with a slow start but in the end Alta did what it does best...Provide lots of snow for snow sliders to enjoy! You will not be greeted by valets or fancy product placement advertising expensive vehicles, but if you want snow and exciting terrain, Alta is the place to be.... More
Fabulous!4.3 / 5Apr 27, 2018
Paul P. Paul P.
expert skier
I skied Alta the most this year mostly because of the late start and low snow conditions this year, I wanted to go to were there was the most and best quality of snow. They did a great job of opening up what was covered and good at closing off what wasn't ready yet. I never did hit a rock all season and it ended up being a great season by the end.... More
Superb!5 / 5Dec 02, 2017
KLKelly L.
advanced skier
It is the best resort there is for skiing! I love snow and the terrain and easy access from Salt Lake City and feel it is the best value for the money.... More
Good!3.6 / 5Dec 01, 2017
GKGavin K.
advanced skier
alta alta alta, land of no boarders. well snowboarders that is. thats right alta remains one of the last resort to uphold its rule that snowboarders are not allowed to ride its mountain.... More
Fabulous!4.5 / 5Dec 01, 2017
MGMathew G.
advanced skier
A skiers paradise, uncrowded slopes with lots of dry powder. It has great runs and link to snowbird make it a resort worth visiting in the magic cottonwod canyon, dont miss it!... More
Superb!4.5 / 5Nov 29, 2017
ZCLZachary C L.
expert skier
Alta is a fantastic resort for powder seekers with terrain for the most beginner and expert skiers. The ease of location, amenities, relatively low crowds, and best snow on earth, there's no doubt Alta is a world-class resort that provides a unique side-country experience you can't find anywhere else.... More

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%