Alta is a ski area in the Wasatch Mountains east of Salt Lake City, Utah. One of the oldest ski resorts in the country, Alta opened its first lift in 1939. Located at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon, Alta promises beautiful scenery and panoramic views from its slopes. This resort takes skiing seriously with not a lot of frills, just really great snow. The resort has two ski-in ski-out restaurants and a rental shop. Snowboarding is not permitted here.
With a variety of terrain and snow conditions, there are skiing opportunities for every level of skier, including beginners. Families can enjoy the slopes together no matter the ability or expertise. Alta has teamed up with Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort to enable skiers to have access to double the terrain.
Alta is located 25 miles southeast of Salt Lake City at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon. On State Highway 210, the drive from Salt Lake International Airport takes approximately 45 minutes.
Alta Ski Resort Statistics:
Annual snow fall - 514 inches
Skiable acres - 2,200
Base elevation - 8,530 feet
Rising to - 10,550 feet
Vertical gain - 2,020 feet
Runs - 116 plus
Ski Area is open daily - 9:15am to 4:30pm
Cecret and Supreme Lifts - Close at 4:00pm
All other Lifts - Open to 4:30pm
Afternoon Passes are valid - from 1:00pm - 4:30pm
Beginner - 25%
Intermediate - 40%
Advanced - 35%
Special programs - Ski Free after 3
Snowboarders - No
Ticket system - Axess RFID electronic lift ticket system
Lifts - 2 detachable quad chairs, 2 triple chairs, 3 double chairs, and 5 surface tows
Lodging - yes, Alta Lodge
Alta has embraced snowmaking in order to open earlier in the season, and retain good skiable conditions in drier years. With the ticket system used by Alta, eventually users will be able to track their vertical and lift ride data online and purchase Alta Cards using ticket vending machines.
Located on the mountain for ski in/ski out convenience, Alta Lodge is Alta's first ski lodge. With Snowbird just a mile away, guests ski the best of Little Cottonwood Canyon's powder with the Alta-Snowbird combined ski pass. During the summer season, the wildflowers and high peaks can be enjoyed in the cool mountain air of the Wasatch Mountains. The lodge specializes in arrangements for groups. They have facilities for everything from a romantic wedding to a business meeting or conference.
One May 2009 reviewer said, "Skied here for a week at end of March and ended up skiing IN the best powder we have ever experienced. Everything about this resort is lovely - no queues, lovely and friendly staff everywhere, no snowboarders (!!!!) and dreamy white stuff. This is our favorite ski destination in the world. We loved the hot chocolates at Alf's Restaurant, and the fact that you can park right next to the first chairlift was great - especially at the end of a long day. The road up was great and felt safe even when driving in the snow.''
Another reviewer said, "I've been skiing since the 60's, and I've been to all the major North American resorts plus a few of Europe's best. Simply put, Alta is the best there is for skiers who want the most and the best snow, and for skiers who want a great variety of serious terrain. I'm okay with snowboarders elsewhere, but whenever I come back to Alta, the snow is so much better; I sometimes wonder why I go anywhere else. The easy access via S.L.C. airport means more skiing and less flying/airport hassles. I usually stay in Sandy and drive up daily.''
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