COVID-19 Operations: Managing Skier Capacity, Following All State Health Guidelines
Nestled near the top of one of Utah's best canyons, Alta is a storied paradise for skiers. Even riders leave their boards at home for a chance at the 2,200+ acres of Alta's renowned slopes featuring 116 runs. What's more, this skier's paradise — full of "Alta-holics" — is less than 45 minutes from the Salt Lake City International Airport.
You may have heard the myth that Alta's lifts are made of wood. While Alta is steeped in old-school ski tradition, you will not find a single wooden ski lift. Instead, look for modern infrastructure in a rustic setting, with lodging accents that date back to the early days of skiing. Call it charm.
Alta serves up home-style charm in abundance, right down to Alta's famous grass-fed Utah beef hamburgers at Watson's Shelter, or among the welcoming local at the Peruvian Bar.
Regardless of what time you arrive, you must visit the High Rustler run, accessed from High Traverse off the Collins lift. Happily, with 560 annual inches, good powder days are abundant.
New to skiing? Alta is also known for its ski school and great beginner terrain off Albion and Sunnyside. In total, 25 percent of Alta is beginner terrain and 35 percent expert, with a sweet spot of 40 percent for intermediate skiing.
Salt Lake City - (minutes down the canyon) offers over 150 hotels and a wide array of other lodging options. Basically, along the I-15 corridor of Salt Lake County there exists a continuous stream of potential accommodations with balanced access to Ski City resorts. Or stick to the capital city to enjoy an impressive performing arts portfolio, established breweries, a burgeoning craft cocktail scene and great cultural experiences.
Read about more winter things to do and places to stay in Salt Lake:
Want to double your terrain? It's easy to get to Snowbird by traversing the Keyhole or through Mineral Basin — an area descriptively described as huge, wide-open bowls of powder. In addition, the scenery of the Alta/Snowbird area is among the most dramatic: Little Cottonwood Canyon's spectacular peaks wrap the resorts in rugged mountain splendor, including American Fork Canyon's Twin Peaks, Mount Superior and the Wasatch Range's most iconic ridgeline, Mount Timpanogos.
Leave the Snowboards at Home
Alta Ski Area is a skier’s only mountain — one of three resort destinations in the country that doesn't allow snowboarding (the other two are Deer Valley, also in Utah, and Mad River Glen in Vermont).
Warm Weather Alta
To get a head start exploring Alta's terrain, Alta is a top outdoor adventure destination throughout the year thanks to a network of beautiful trails for hikers and mountain bikers, campgrounds, rock climbing and clear mountain air. Some of Utah's best wildflowers also pop during the peak of summer. By late September, though, valley rains may mean early flutters of snow near the top of the canyon. Consider camping at the wildflower-covered Albion Basin Campground in the warmer weather.