Who is Alta For?
Alta is for skiers. This unofficial tagline not only states the obvious — snowboarders are not allowed — it announces a 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 on weekends and holidays from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Lots fill often and fill fast, so be sure to make those parking reservations now. To alleviate Little Cottonwood Canyon traffic, Alta parking authorities encourage carpooling (once you’ve made a reservation) or the use of public transportation (free for season pass holders). See more Utah ski vacation tips.
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.
Alta does not offer night skiing.
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 food options 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.