ALTA RESORT GUIDE
Alta Resort Overview
**New for the 2021-22 season, Alta will regulate capacity through a new parking reservation system. Reservations will be required on weekends and holidays from 8am - 1pm. Make reservations here. Avant Ski Pro Tip - we highly recommend booking lodging up the canyon, it will help guarantee your access and avoid disappointment, gnarly driving conditions, and road closures. For the latest on Alta's operating guidelines for Winter 2021-22 view their Covid-19 Response here.
Alta (pronounced AL-ta, not AHL-ta) is a skier’s paradise—snowboarding is not allowed—with no end of hidden nooks and crannies to explore. Even locals can uncover new lines. Feeling like a throwback to another era, Alta is one of the oldest major ski resorts in the U.S., yet it remains true to its initial mission: "To provide an authentic skiing experience in a natural mountain environment." And that it does. Offering arguably “the Greatest Snow on Earth,” Alta has added just the right balance of high speed lifts for convenience but few enough to preserve the powder. Major plus: the terrain variety is exceptional. In fact, we are hard pressed to find other resorts with a comparable choice of wide-open groomers, glades and steep, narrow chutes, all accessible from the same lifts.
Despite its unrivaled terrain and world famous powder, Alta has a friendly vibe and is welcoming to families. The Alf Engen Ski School offers top-notch lessons for beginners through seasoned experts seeking to go off-piste. There are 5 lodges at the base, 4 with ski-in-ski-out access, and the Peruvian Lodge has easy shuttle access. The après scene is social, more focused on board games than live music, with most skiers keen to recount their days on the slopes and turn in early for fresh tracks in the morning. Alta offers 5 or 7 days on the Ikon Pass or 2 or 3 days on the Mountain Collective.
Snow-Making & Grooming
Extreme / Off-Piste Terrain
On Mountain Dining
Authentic skier's paradise with some of the best values for lift tickets and lesson packages anywhere
Reliable snowfall with well above average odds of finding powder. Alta averages18 snow storms a year with 12 inches or more and annual snowfall of more than 550 inches (Source: Alta Blog Oct-2018)
Excellent terrain variety (esp. compared to Snowbird)
Seasoned skiers can find incredible slopes alongside families and novices
Lodging options are limited, and there is not much to do outside of skiing
The après ski scene here can be relaxing after a rigorous day on the mountain. If looking to party, this is not your spot. However, there are a few wonderful spas in the area for some pampering
Snowboarding is prohibited
Unless you are with a local, or know the mountain well, we recommend a guide. Alta becomes more fun the better you know it and the more you are able to experience the hidden nooks and powder stashes. "If you can ski it, you can ski it!"
The Alf Engen Ski School offers reasonable packages to explore the backcountry. Advanced skiers and experts should head to Collins to join a 2.5-hour afternoon workshop for off-trail skiing (think powder, bumps, steeps) for $95
Consider the all-access pass to Alta and Snowbird. It's only $25 more and easy to ski between the two (Sugarloaf Peak connects to Baldy Peak and into Mineral Basin). This allows more variety and visibility and snow conditions can vary. NOTE: Only advanced skiers should access Snowbird from the lower mountain. Blackjack path (from Collins mid-station) is gladed, secluded and narrow in some places
The new Snowpine Lodge is the most luxurious; the Rustler is charming and very traditional for Alta. The other lodges are simple and comfortable. Everything is in walking distance
Be friendly, the crowds are generally chatty and even willing to share info on the best places to ski
For an in-depth breakdown of Alta's terrain, head to our Mountain Guide. Top trails and mountain stats included.
Getting To & Around
Alta is a short drive from Salt Lake City. There is no need for a car if you plan to stay within the Alta / Snowbird area - it is compact and free shuttle service is available. Uber / Lyft are widely available in Salt Lake and Cottonwood Heights, but are not completely reliable in the canyon, especially in foul weather. We recommend Canyon Transportation or Snow Country Limousine for airport and resort transfers.
Closest Major City: Salt Lake City, UT
Distance: ~34 miles South East, Travel time: ~45 minutes
Closest Major Destination Resorts: Park City & Deer Valley
Distance: ~42 miles, Travel time: ~55 minutes
Alta is part of the Wasatch Mountains and its easy to visit neighboring resorts.
Closet Neighbor on the Ikon Pass & Mountain Collective
Snowbird (~2 miles, ~7 minutes or ski between)
Big Cottonwood Canyon Neighbors on the Ikon Pass
Neighbors in Park City
Travel by Plane
Closest major commercial airport: SLC (Salt Lake City International Airport)
~32 miles North West, ~45 minutes
Travel By Bus
UTA provides buses from downtown Salt Lake to Snowbird; fares are cost effective (~$4.50 one way). Within the Alta / Snowbird area, the Alta Lodges provide free shuttles to get around.
Airport shuttle services are available between Alta and SLC Airport
Canyon Transport; starting $41 /per person each way
Shuttle service is available to Alta from the town of Park City
Canyon Hop; shuttle service from Park City to resort of your choice; starting $59 / person
Travel by Car
Cars are not needed if staying in Alta or Snowbird. Overnight parking is only permitted for lodge guests or within designated areas in the Alta Township. It is illegal to sleep in your car at Alta or Snowbird - sorry van lifers!
Pros: Provides flexiblity to visit other ski areas or visit additional attraction in Salt Lake City
Cons: 4WD / AWD / snow tires / or chains are required by law during and after heavy snowfall (which happens a lot)!
Ride shares: Ride shares to / from Alta are convenient and reasonably priced. Uber and Lyft rides to / from SLC airport are ~$40 for up to 4 passengers non-peak