Alta

Closed
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

Find accommodations around here

Base of Snowbird (1-2 mi)

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

Find accommodations around here

Between Alta and Snowbird (1-2 mi)

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

Find accommodations around here

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

Find accommodations around here

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
Very Good!

4 / 5

Nov 03, 2013
GGreg
Resort for skiers only. Authentic ski area - great snow + great mountain. What else to ask for?
Very Good!

4 / 5

Jul 29, 2013
EEric
Alta is to skiing as St. Andrews is to golf. Its a natural place to ski with very little man made intrusions
Very Good!

4 / 5

Mar 24, 2013
NNancy
it is just another skiers only location. I haven't been to Colorado yet, so i can't really comment acurately
Very Good!

4 / 5

Mar 17, 2013
EErika
they just leave it alone dont groom alot its a natual the way it sould be
Superb!

5 / 5

Feb 24, 2013
PPeter
This mountain represents what skiing was like years ago and should still be. It has great terrain, charges reasonable prices and isn't cluttered with condos and commercialism.
Superb!

5 / 5

Dec 03, 2012
SSean
This area has the best terrain and changing conditions in the Utah area. The mountains are beautiful. The ski a deep purple every time I visit!!
Superb!

5 / 5

Nov 19, 2012
MMarvin
Informal atmosphere, no apres-ski, skiers on the whole are serious--not just people who want to be seen, management tries to keep costs down.
Very Good!

4 / 5

Oct 14, 2012
RRobert
anything you want to do,hike, steeps, awsome, one big plus is no snowboarders allowed, average skill level of skiers seems to be higher than at most resorts, close to major airport. the only downfall for alta is lack of ski town, restaurants, shops ect. staying at saltlake not fun but the skiing is best in usa
Superb!

5 / 5

Oct 09, 2012
CCharles
Alta generally even gets slightly better snow than Snowbird and its fresh powder generally lasts a bit longer - but you have to work/climb a bit to get it.
Very Good!

4 / 5

Apr 17, 2012
CChris
ALTA, ALTHOUGH MUCH SMALLER HAS A GREAT VARITY OF TRAILS THAT ARE EASILY ACCESSED
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%