Known for impressive, high-altitude snowfall levels as well as its challenging in-bounds ski area, Alta is one of the oldest ski resorts in the U.S., opening its debut lift in 1939.
Alta – which has a joint pass and season ticket with its neighbor, Snowbird – is one of the three last ski resorts in the country to prohibit snowboarding, along with its competitor Deer Valley . Since 2002, Alta has shared access to the large Mineral Basin bowl with Snowbird, as well as other access routes between the two resorts, allowing skiers to take advantage of additional terrain that receives about 543 inches of snow annually.
Alta is an Ikon Pass destination and a member of Mountain Collective . Snow making covers about 140 acres at Alta and there is no night skiing at Alta. Winter activities here include heli-skiing, snowcat skiing, and complimentary, ranger-led tours.
Alta’s Alf Engen Ski School offers private and group lessons for all ages, and advanced off-trail workshops and telemark workshops are also available. Alta also has seasonal camps, clinics and programs, including a teen program and women’s program.
Ski rentals are available at Alta at Alta Sports, Alta Peruvian Lodge, Powder House Ski Shops and through TheAltaStore.com.
The season at the Alta Ski Area generally runs from early December to late May, depending on conditions. Some note that April is a good month to ski Alta, as temperatures are slightly higher, the resort is fully operational, and snow is still plentiful in this area at that time – more so than the Park City resorts in the late spring.
Alta Ski Area lift tickets can be bought in advance online with savings of up to 20 percent if bought four days before arrival. Tickets are about $110 for adults and $60 for children 12 and under. Alta offers stay-and-ski and dine-and-ski packages.
Despite being known for catering to skilled skiers, Alta also has a wide variety of runs for beginners – 25 percent – as well as 40 percent for intermediate skiers. About 35 percent of the runs at Alta are advanced.
Alta has a number of hotel and lodging options, including traditional mountain lodges, condos and vacation rentals. For ski-in/ski-out access, Alta Lodge has hot pools and saunas, the Sitzmark Club hotel bar and a complimentary kids program. The former nurses’ barracks at Alta Peruvian Lodge have welcomed guests since 1948 and feature a large, heated outdoor pool, hot tubs and an in-house restaurant. Nearby, the luxurious Snowpine Lodge has a world-class spa, a fine-dining restaurant as well as The Gulch Pub. For those wanting a few more budget alternatives, Salt Lake City is only 30 minutes away and has a wide variety of lodging there as well.
Alta has a few dining options on the mountain as well as within the base areas. For quick and easy service while on the mountain, Alf’s Restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating with views out to the Devil’s Castle and Albion Basin, with menu offerings like charbroiled burgers, brats, and fajitas. The full-service, European-inspired mountain bistro Collins Grill is located near the Collins lift angle station, below the Wildcat lift. The menu includes organic beef, pork, lamb and Utah free-range elk, as well as local cheeses and an extensive wine list. On the base, the Shallow Shaft has an award-winning wine list alongside house-smoked trout cakes, buffalo tenderloin and duck confit.
For a casual beer with a slice of pizza coming off the slopes, stop in at the Goldminer’s Daughter Saloon, located at the resort base. For drinks later on, the Alta Lodge’s Sitzmark Club is known as one of the best après-ski spots in North America , with old-time charm and an impressive drinks list and a roaring fireplace. T he Collins Grill has wine and spirits on the top floor of the Watson Shelter at the angle station of the Collins Lift, below Wildcat.
The closest airport to Alta is Salt Lake City International Airport, which has daily flights from major U.S. cities coming in regularly. There are a number of car rentals and shuttles available from the airport.
By car, Alta is a 45-minute drive from Salt Lake City International Airport. Once at Alta, there is a free shuttle to transport guests, though the village is also easily walkable.
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