Alta

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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

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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 favourite 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 USD (£41 GBP) $32 USD (£24 GBP)
adult lift ticket$104 USD (£79 GBP) $145 USD (£110 GBP)
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
Superb!

4.7 / 5

May 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 / 5

May 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 / 5

Apr 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 / 5

Dec 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 / 5

Dec 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 / 5

Dec 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 / 5

Nov 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
Very Good!

3.9 / 5

Nov 24, 2017
BSBenjamin S.
expert skier
Alta is a ski resort. That's it. It you want your feet rubbed go somewhere else. If you like dressing up in funky ski outfits go somewhere else. If you think you ski pretty and want others to be impressed go somewhere else. If you like snow under the snow and some more on top Alta is the place to be. If you like laughing, playing, laugh crying,... More
Good!

3.6 / 5

Nov 21, 2017
EFErich F.
expert skier
Skied all over the globe and nothing beats Alta if your goal is a great skiing experience coupled with some of the best powder on the planet. You won't care about the apres ski scene or the wine list cause you'll be passed out with a smile on your face dreaming about dropping into the next shot.... More
Good!

3.9 / 5

Nov 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
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%