Alta Ski Area

Ski resorts in USA
The independent and family-owned Alta Ski Area is situated right outside of Alta, sitting at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon, by State Highway 210, deep within the Wasatch Mountains. The resort is 25 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, and about 45 minutes from Salt Lake City International Airport.

Drop the name Alta and what comes to mind? Dry, light-as-a-feather, ever-so-deep powder? Free refills? Five-hundred-forty-seven inches on average is a piece of snow statistics to remember. It often dumps so much that when skiers finish their runs, they realize that they can do the same run again with absolute fresh tracks.

Where it's located, the resort makes for a perfect snow trap when the almighty winter storms come in, offloading feet after feet of white fluff. Of course, the winter storms can be a real hazard if you're trying to get to the canyon and the road is closed off because of an avalanche.

There's 2, 614 acres of rugged, steep terrain, 11 lifts and 116+ trails. , and you can pretty much get flats and steeps in the very same run. The skiing takes place on Mount Baldy's, and Point Supreme's peaks. The area is reserved for skiers only, so snowboarders don’t need to apply.

Founded in 1936 (as the area's silver-mining days were coming to an end), through the help of skiing legend Alf Engen, it's the country's second oldest ski area, after Sun Valley. It has managed to keep its authentic spirit, where it's all about skiing, which is world-renowned. The motto goes: Ski. Rest. Repeat. An additional advantage is that both slopes and lift queues are devoid of crowds, big or small. To find the best lines involves a lot of traversing and real intimate knowledge, so try shredding with a local where possible. Alta can easily boast of having some of the gnarliest in-bound runs in the country.

One of the definitively more famous expert runs on the mountain's frontside is High Rustler. If you're looking for technical, tight chutes, Hourglass Chute and Eagle's Nest also run on the front.

If it's open, do the roughly 45-minute hike up to the summit of Mount Baldy and hit Baldy Chutes. The cliff face of Devil’s Castle is rugged, dark limestone, the backdrop to the Albion Basin. But skiers know Devil’s Castle best as for the powder-filled, wide-open bowl formed at its lower slopes.

(If, for whatever reason Alta isn’t enough, you can head over to Snowbird, accessible via a public bus or the gates).

Alta is a place that you can happily return to year after year. Not just because of the powder but also because 80-year-olds and 80+ skiers shred for free. Now, that's the way to spend your golden retirement.

Alta Ski Area Snow forecast

  • Friday
    0.02 in rain
    Partly cloudy
    2 mph
  • Saturday
    0.09 in rain
    7 mph
  • Sunday
    3.2 in snow
    7 mph

Facts about Alta Ski Area

Number of slopes:119
Easiest Green slopes:25
Intermediate Blue slopes:0
Advanced Black slopes:40
Expert Only Double black diamond slopes:35

Lifts (Total: 6)
Chair lifts:6
Lift capacity:  11000 persons/hour

Vertical drop
Alta Ski Area Vertical drop
Highest Point: 11066 ft
Vertical drop: 2539 ft
Base Point: 8527 ft
Skiable vertical drop: 2018 ft (The vertical drop you can ride in one go on skis)

Start:18 November
End:30 April

Cross country skiing
Tracks:3.1 miles
Lit tracks:0 miles
Artificial snow:0 miles

Childrens area:2
Country: USA
Show all ski resorts in Utah

Reviews for Alta Ski Area

What do you think about Alta Ski Area?
7 reviews
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A mysterious place for powder lovers, they were someone who wrote earlier, better one can not describe this place. I was unlucky to get there after 3 ... Read more (164 words)
Lars (Guest)
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Alta is clearly the most overrated ski resort in Utah. The mountain is very good in itself, but it suffers from a weakness: People. Lots of people who... Read more (161 words)
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A mysterious place for powder lovers. Now we managed to arrive a few days after a dump so we got a bite and slant a bit to find untouched snow. Yes, t... Read more (106 words)
Malin (Guest)
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Prior to the trip to Salt Lake City, I was looking for reviews written by someone who was more like me = girl and half beginners on pillows but otherw... Read more (308 words)
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If you buy Super Pass and live at any motel in Salt Lake, you will get the free shuttle up to Alta (about 1 hour). Then it does not matter that the pa... Read more (152 words)
Jonas Emilsson
Jonas Emilsson (Guest)
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Absolutely watched little ski resort at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon off Salt Lake City! Good challenging ride with a huge amount of inbounds o... Read more (143 words)
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Alta a favorite place to eat, but many people know about it, but few get to know. Season from mid November to last April. 70% of the ski-patrol-contro... Read more (82 words)

Most popular photo

Rider: Robert Hortlund Photo: Henrik Liljeqvist

Trail map

Trail map Alta Ski Area

Nearby ski resorts

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Deer Valley Resort8.7 miles
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Snowbasin44.7 miles
Nordic Valley Resort51 miles