Who is Alta for?
Alta is for skiers. This unofficial tagline not only states the obvious — snowboarders are not allowed — it announces the philosophical simplicity of the resort's vibe. Alta’s updated infrastructure exudes a rustic, old-timey charm, which appeases its fan base of no-nonsense, life-is-good skiers of all skill levels. In total, 25 percent of Alta is beginner terrain and 35 percent expert, with a sweet spot of 40 percent for intermediate skiing. Simply put, the one luxury Alta flaunts best is its world-class skiing.
Are snowboards allowed?
No, Alta is a ski-only resort. Head to next-door neighbor Snowbird to snowboard.
Although Alta does not offer backcountry skiing within its boundaries, backcountry enthusiasts can access The Grizzly Gulch trailhead just beyond Alta’s Albion parking lot. Backcountry ski outfitters lead tours of the slopes outside of ski resort boundaries, but take note: backcountry skiing can be dangerous, so take precautions before you go. (Read: Hiring a Backcountry Ski Guide)
Parking and Transportation
Parking reservations are required in all Alta parking lots Friday-Sunday and on holidays from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. View an Alta parking map here. The parking reservation fee is included for Alta and Alta-Bird pass holders and lift ticket holders. All other skiers, such as Ikon pass holders, will be charged $25 to make their parking reservation on the Alta parking portal. Lots fill often and fill fast, so be sure to make those parking reservations early. To alleviate Little Cottonwood Canyon traffic, Alta parking authorities encourage carpooling (once you’ve made a reservation), riding the UTA Ski Bus (free for season pass holders) or utilizing local shuttle services like the Cottonwood Connect. See more Utah ski vacation tips.
Alta & Snowbird Connect
Want to double your terrain? Alta and Snowbird offer the Alta-Bird Pass, which includes unlimited access at both resorts. Ikon Pass and Ikon Base Plus pass holders get access to both resorts as well. From Alta, it's easy to get to Snowbird by traversing the Sugarloaf Pass or Keyhole.
Alta does not offer night skiing.
Ski Rentals at Alta
Want to skip the hassle of hauling your skis through the airport? Skiers visiting Salt Lake City can rent skis and other gear on the mountain. Three Alta Ski Shops are located within the ski area, offering gear rentals, demos and equipment sales. Each shop offers a variety of rental packages to suit your budget and needs. You can also test out (demo) a pair of skis before purchasing them to ensure they fit your style. Best of all, you can swap out your rental skis as the conditions change throughout the day at Alta’s mid-mountain rental shop.
Restaurants and Places to Relax
Alf’s Restaurant: Invite the whole gang to meet up at Alf’s Restaurant for a mid-day, mid-mountain interlude. Centered in Albion Basin, this family-friendly eatery serves up all the traditional ski eats — burgers, chili, brats and local microbrews. Choose a spot on the sunny deck or inside the lodge alongside a mini-museum of historical Alta photographs and vintage skis.
Watson Shelter: Intermediate and expert skiers take delight in Watson Shelter, a mid-mountain refuge located near the Collins lift angle station. Watson Cafe, on the second level, serves up organic and locally-sourced dishes while giving diners a sensational canyon view. Feeling extra special? Make a reservation for a fine-dining lunch experience at Collins Grill on the third level. Swen’s Restaurant:
Ready for refined dining after a day of rustic retreats? Snowpine Lodge houses one of Alta’s newer bistros, Swen’s Restaurant
, which offers seasonal dishes made with locally-sourced ingredients. If winter kale salad, surf and turf tartare, braised octopus, roast chicken or mountain trout whets your appetite, take a quick ride on the Snowpine lift to head to the lodge.