Alta

Closed
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 78 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
Good!3.9 / 5Nov 19, 2017
DQDan Q.
expert skier
Alta is a ski only resort that is a great deal. The snow is always great and the scenery is hard to beat as well. They have a lot of steep terrain as well as a good beginner area.... More
Fabulous!4.5 / 5Nov 17, 2017
ZKZak K.
advanced skier
My favorite spot in the states, old school feel with mind blowing snow and I love the peruvian where your stay includes meals. Easy drive from salt lake and the liftys have a lot of character.... More
Superb!5 / 5Nov 17, 2017
DADavid A.
advanced skier
I worked and played at Alta when I was younger and consider it to be the cream of the crop when it comes to skiing! It's a 30 minute ride from SLC to the greatest snow on earth! I love Alta❄️... More
Fabulous!4.3 / 5Nov 12, 2017
FGFrank G.
expert skier
Alta is truly a place for skiing, not any of that resort bs , actual skiing. It's a paradise. If you're lucky to shownup on a powder day oh boy get ready because you may just end up having the run of your life. Terrain is amazing. Vibe is amazing. Alta doesn't disappoint. ... More
Superb!4.7 / 5Nov 10, 2017
BSBill S.
intermediate skier
We had a wonderful spring break at Atla. My wife, myself and our 3 boys skied 5 days at Alta last March for spring break. The resort is very easy to navigate and had a terrific mix of runs for skiers of all abilities.... More
Fabulous!4.5 / 5Nov 10, 2017
CAEC. Andrew E.
expert skier
I've been skiing in Utah during family ski vacations for over 30 years. Alta has been a family favorite for much of that time. Their facilities are good, but don't expect the extravagance and luxury you might find at other resorts. Alta has improved some areas with more modern technology like high speed lifts and grooming, but they've managed to... More
Superb!4.6 / 5Nov 10, 2017
NSNick S.
advanced skier
If you're looking for a ski only resort with all levels of terrain go to Alta. I especially would recommend this resort to eastern skiers who ski around 1 week a season. It's an amazing place to learn, they have top of the line instructors and if you are more advanced you can still ski more advanced terrain side by side with the learners. It's a... More
Superb!4.8 / 5Nov 08, 2017
MGMitch G.
advanced skier
Alta is one of the great Ski resorts you Have to see and ski. It is everything and more than what you have heard. There were little to no lines when we were there in March and plenty of snow!... More
Superb!4.7 / 5Nov 07, 2017
NNathan
expert skier
"Greatest Snow on Earth" is not a gimmick. Skiing-only resort with plenty of above the tree-line terrain. Some flat areas (which some include in the discussion against boarding). On a powder day, this place is top 1% in the country. Within 45 min of SLC and public busses that run up the canyons too. Awesome.... More
Superb!4.7 / 5Nov 07, 2017
NNathan
expert skier
"Greatest Snow on Earth" is not a gimmick. Skiing-only resort with plenty of above the tree-line terrain. Some flat areas (which some include in the discussion against boarding). On a powder day, this place is top 1% in the country. Within 45 min of SLC and public busses that run up the canyons too. Awesome.... 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%