- 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
- Skiers only
- Some old-school two-seat fixed chairs still operating
- Nightlife and shopping are a bit lacking
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.
Early January to mid-March
Salt Lake International Airport
Alta (45 minutes)
Base of Alta (Walk)
- Made up of five convenient lodges
- Ski-in/ski-out accommodation
- Breakfast and dinner included at lodges
Base of Snowbird (1-2 mi)
- Snowbird resort operated lodging and timeshare accommmodation
- Great for skiing at both mountains
- Small convenience store
Between Alta and Snowbird (1-2 mi)
- Condos and vacation rentals
- Lack the convenience of prepared meals
- Easy access to the slopes
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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||Deer Valley Resort|
|beginner||25 %||27 %|
|intermediate||40 %||41 %|
|advanced||35 %||27 %|
|child lift ticket||$54||$32|
|adult lift ticket||$104||$145|
|value for money|
|average total snowfall||270″||153″|