Alta is at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon, near Salt Lake City in Utah. It is next door to Snowbird. Alta has some of the finest light dry snow accessible from a lift in the world.
Alta has a real charm. It has resisited (until recently) the blandishments of modernisation and persisted with fixed grip chairs. Part of the ethos of Alta has been earning your turns. A lot of the classic Alta terrain involves long traverses or a bit of climbing.
Alta is one of the few resorts that does not allow snowboarders.
- 1 Location
- 2 Pros
- 3 Cons
- 4 Contacts
- 5 Planning
- 6 Resort Facilities
- 7 Ride Guide
- 8 Other
- 9 Resources
Just east of Salt Lake City in Utah in the Wasatch Range. Alta is about 40 minutes drive from Salt Lake City airport, a major hub.
- Just the best lift served snow in the universe, along with Snowbird
- No snowboarders.
- No snowboarders.
- Many of the best runs require a hike, or a long traverse.
Phone: PLEASE EDIT
Fax: PLEASE EDIT
Postal: PLEASE EDIT
Alta is about 40 minutes by shuttle from Salt Lake City Airport, which is a major hub.
The road up Little Cottonwood Canyon is one of the most avalanche prone roads in North America. It is frequently closed for a couple of hours to allow control work. If you are already up the canyon this is excellent news because no one can get in.
If you are down the canyon and it has snowed heavily, I suggest a 5am alarm, at which time you can call 801 742 3403, which is a recording at the Alta Marshal's office. It is usually updated at about 4:45AM and will give you a good indication of the road status for the morning. That way you can make the decision to head up early if the road will close, or if you can take your time.
Alta is very low key. There are a number of rustic accommodations from bunkrooms to plush.
A great little place that is ski in and just a few minutes walk to the lifts is the Alta Peruvian.
Salt Lake City is not far away, and has a full range of accommodation. There are regular buses from Salt Lake up to Alta and Snowbird. The nearest suburb is Sandy, which is at the base of the canyon.
One of the disadvantages of staying off mountain is that in heavy snowfall the road up the Canyon can be closed for avalanche control. This road is the most avalanche prone road in the USA. If you can't get up the road you can't ski the snow. Sometimes they will close the road during the day. I have heard announcements on the mountain warning people to head down because they will be closing the road soon.
Alta is quite small, and there is no difficulty getting around unless an interlodge is called because of avalanche danger, when no one is allowed out.
To get around on skis they have the famous Lateral Ground Transportation System. Some people call this a rope tow.
- EDIT ACTIVITY
EDIT ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION
Bars & Entertainment
Utah has interesting and inconvenient licensing laws. There is nothing remotely resembling a nightclub, and most beer is low alcohol.
Albion side. Perfect.
They groom a few runs because they feel they must. I'm not sure they like the idea.
Off piste is why you came here. There are huge bowls of ungroomed skiing, and even more if you are prepared to hike a little, or traverse.
Out of Bounds
Parks & Pipes
Alta does get bumps. I saw some once under Collins Chair, but generally light frequent snow means that bumps do not really form.
Only one form of play is permitted.
Alta is at the head of Little Cottonwood Canyon in the Wasatch Range, to the east of Salt Lake City and, more importantly, to the east of the desert and the Great Salt Lake. The Dry desert air picks up moisture as it crosses the lake. The air then hits the Wasatch and is forced up many thousands of feet. As it rises it cools and snow falls. This is the reason that the snow is plentiful and light.