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Alta Ski Area
Resort Guide

Park City, UT
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Wind: 5mph WSW
Humidity: 75%
Pressure: 30.02"Hg
UV index: 0
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63°F / 34°F
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55°F / 36°F

Come for the Skiing. Stay for the Skiing

Utah is known for ‘The Greatest Snow on Earth’ and the Cottonwood Canyons are one of the snowiest places in the world receiving an average 547 inches of snow a year. We’re not only talking quantity, we’re talking quality too with the best powder you’ll ever experience on skis.

Skiing Magazine’s #1 Ski Resort in the US

Utah is known for ‘The Greatest Snow on Earth’ and the Cottonwood Canyons are one of the snowiest places in the world receiving an average 547 inches of snow a year. We’re not only talking quantity, we’re talking quality too with the best powder you’ll ever experience on skis.

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Come for the Skiing. Stay for the Skiing

Decades of silver mining left Little Cottonwood Canyon barren and by 1930 Alta was a ghost town, doomed to ruins. In 1935, the famous Norwegian ski legend Alf Engen set out to discover ski development areas for the Forest Service and Alta’s famous powder and soon to be storied slopes were discovered. The road to Alta was built and in 1938, the first ski lift in Utah (and the second in the western US!) was constructed from surplus mining timber, lodges were built to accommodate those coming in search of powder and ‘the father of powder skiing’, Alf Engen, shared his perfect powder techniques with Alta locals and visitors for years to come.

Explore Alta Ski Area with Alta Chalets

If you’re looking for the Ultimate Guide to Alta Ski Area, look no further! Alta Chalets have been Alta’s trusted source for vacation rentals for more than 30 years. Our mission is to create unique and personalized vacation experiences for our guests and we trust our guide to Alta Ski Area will inspire you and make it easy to plan your stay with us.
Alta Chalets logo

Resort Location

Alta is a historic mining town in the scenic Wasatch Mountains of Utah, which stretch 160 miles from the Utah-Idaho border into Central Utah. The Alta Ski Area, famous for its fresh powder and exhilarating expert skiing, is nestled in the heart of Little Cottonwood Canyon at an elevation of 8,530 feet.

Alta Ski Area is only 28 miles from Salt Lake City (closer than Park City!) and a scenic 45 minute drive to a powder paradise.

You don’t need to rent a car to visit Alta, you can book a convenient ride from Salt Lake City with Alta Shuttle or Alpine Transportation. If you’re driving, you take the I-15 south, then the UT210 and follow Little Cotton Canyon Road past Snowbird Resort into the Alta Ski Area. For more detailed directions click here!

Once in Alta, getting around is easy and having a car is not essential! The affordable UTA Ski Bus runs a continuous loop of the Bypass Road on a daily basis during the daytime hours, from early December to mid-April. Alternatively, the Alta Town Shuttle is an easy way to get around town.

If you’re driving in, please note that a 4-wheel drive or all wheel drive or snow chains are required by law and be sure to check the unpredictable road conditions.

There is free parking at both base area parking lots or make use of the incentivized Ride Space carpooling and preferred parking program.

Our heavy snowfall makes the threat of avalanches very real and the town may implement ‘interlodge’ for avalanche control. During this time all road access is closed and you are not permitted to leave your property. We will notify you in this event.

The Alta town shuttle makes a continuous loop of the Bypass Road during daytime hours until 5pm and it will typically only take a few minutes to get to the Collins or Sunnyside base areas, however access is based on the current snow conditions. Our Aerial Overview Video will give you a good visual reference for each Alta Chalets property location.

  • Ski-in/Ski-Out options from Alta Chalets: The View

    The Alta shuttle has a pick up spot right outside the door to the View Condominiums. After skiing, you can shuttle home or you can ski-in from Alta Ski Area via an off-piste advanced run.

  • Ski-in/Ski-Out options from Alta Chalets: Superior Point

    You can jump on the Alta shuttle to get to Alta or you can walk across the street to Snowbird’s ski access trail. You can ski home from both areas via an off-piste advanced run.

  • Ski-in/Ski-Out options from Alta Chalets: Powder Ridge

    The Powder Ridge properties are the only true Alta ski-in/ski-out condominiums. From the driveway, you can ski across a very short cat track to access the Collins Base Area. At the end of the day, you can use this same cat track home or advanced skiers can ski to the front door!

  • Ski-in/Ski-Out options from Alta Chalets: Private Homes

    You can ride on the Alta shuttle or walk to the Alta Peruvian Lodge and ski-out on the cat track to the lifts. You can ski-in by from the Wildcat Access area, crossing the snow bridge back to the Peruvian Acres neighborhood. You will need to walk across the Bypass Road to get to the Manley, The Cabin, The Creekside or the Travis Home.
Resort Location

Resort Information

Ski Rentals & Ski Shops at Alta

Choosing the right gear for your ski-trip is crucial. There are a variety of ski shops on the mountain and at the base areas that offer the latest in ski technology and will help with rentals, demos and correct boot fitting. You can even call or book online prior to arrival to reserve your equipment rental. For your convenience, you’ll find daily rental lockers near the Sunnyside Base Area ski school and at the Goldminer’s Daughter, or Alta Java offer an overnight ski check for convenience (these services are currently unavailable due to Covid-19 restrictions)..

We recommend getting fitted locally and not in Salt Lake City. While some guests think they may be saving on costs, if you need to switch your gear you need to stay local. There are plenty of options.

Skiing at Alta

Whether you’re a beginner skier wobbling your way up the magic carpet or a seasoned powder hound ticking Alta off your powder skiing bucket list, Alta Ski Area has a diverse terrain that caters to every age and every level of skier.

Alta Ski Area has two main base areas, the Albion and Wildcat with a transfer tow connecting the two so there is no need to hike. There are five distinct ski areas: Albion, Wildcat, Sugarloaf, Supreme and Collins with direct access to the interconnecting Snowbird Ski Resort. Alta Ski Area may at first seem daunting to many but the good news is, no matter where you are on the mountain, there are plenty of cat tracks and signage for the easiest route down, and always a friendly local to help out.

Snowboarding at Alta

There’s been a great debate for years as to whether snowboarders can safely share the slopes with skiers without poaching the slopes. The sudden influx of snowboarders in the 80’s led several resorts to put anti-snowboarding policies in place and ban snowboarders on their slopes. As snowboarding has become more mainstream and is now considered an Olympic sport, many resorts dropped their bans, but a few didn’t!

Alta Ski Area Trails & Piste Maps

Our Favorite Alta Ski Runs

Alta Ski Area has 119 dedicated ski runs served by 6 chairlifts. The diverse terrain is 15% beginner, 30% intermediate and 55% advanced to expert.

Green Circle: slope gradient of less than 25 percent. These are the easiest and widest runs.

Blue Square: intermediate runs with a slope of 25-40 percent. Very popular and crowded.

Black Diamond: steep gradients exceeding 40 percent and are considered difficult.

Double Black Diamond: Considered the most difficult ski slope rating symbols and should be skied by experts only. Sometimes contain obstacles like trees, cliffs and moguls.

Crooked Mile Difficulty: Green Circle Beneath Albion and Sunnyside lifts is the perfect starter for beginners. Home Run Difficulty: Green Circle On the lower Albion Area accessed by Dipsy Doodle at the top of Sunnyside.
Rollercoaster Difficulty: Blue Square The longest blue run on Alta under the Sugarloaf lift. Steep but wide with powder edges, tree skiing and some low rock jumps. Devil’s Elbow Difficulty: Blue Square A great place for beginners to try their hand at an easier intermediate run. Rock n Roll Difficulty: Blue Square Some moguls, trees and powder accessed by Upper Big Dipper. Ballroom Difficulty: Blue Square Best intermediate powder bowl at the top of the mountain accessed from Collins lift.
So Long Difficulty: Black Diamond Easier black diamond from Supreme lift a long and varied run. Extrovert Difficulty: Black Diamond Under the sugarloaf lift one of the fastest runs. Gunsight Difficulty: Black Diamond A must-do for experts, a famous run with an intense drop chute. Westward Ho (‘The Ho’) Difficulty: Black Diamond Best Tree Skiing with a steep pitch accessed via the Wildcat lift. Alf’s High Rustler (‘High Boy’) Difficulty: Black Diamond Alta’s famous slope steep shot begins at 45 degrees. Baldy Chutes Difficulty: Black Diamond Don’t often open, a quick 25 minute hike to the best of Alta, (Perla, Little Chute, Main Chute). Keyhole Difficulty: Black Diamond Head on over to Snowbird from Mount Baldy, challenging but fun!

Beginner:

Crooked Mile
Difficulty: Green Circle
Beneath Albion and Sunnyside lifts is the perfect starter for beginners.

Home Run
Difficulty: Green Circle
On the lower Albion Area accessed by Dipsy Doodle at the top of Sunnyside.

Alta Ski Area Green Circle
Alta Ski Area Blue Square

Intermediate:

Rollercoaster
Difficulty: Blue Square
The longest blue run on Alta under the Sugarloaf lift. Steep but wide with powder edges, tree skiing and some low rock jumps.

Devil’s Elbow
Difficulty: Blue Square
A great place for beginners to try their hand at an easier intermediate run.

Rock n Roll
Difficulty: Blue Square
Some moguls, trees and powder accessed by Upper Big Dipper.

Ballroom
Difficulty: Blue Square
Best intermediate powder bowl at the top of the mountain accessed from Collins lift.

Advanced:

So Long
Difficulty: Black Diamond
Easier black diamond from Supreme lift a long and varied run.

Extrovert
Difficulty: Black Diamond
Under the sugarloaf lift one of the fastest runs.

Gunsight
Difficulty: Black Diamond
A must-do for experts, a famous run with an intense drop chute.

Westward Ho (‘The Ho’)
Difficulty: Black Diamond
Best Tree Skiing with a steep pitch accessed via the Wildcat lift.

Alf’s High Rustler (‘High Boy’)
Difficulty: Black Diamond
Alta’s famous slope steep shot begins at 45 degrees.

Baldy Chutes
Difficulty: Black Diamond
Don’t often open, a quick 25 minute hike to the best of Alta, (Perla, Little Chute, Main Chute).

Keyhole
Difficulty: Black Diamond
Head on over to Snowbird from Mount Baldy, challenging but fun!

Alta Trail Maps

Summer Trail Map: Alta has summer hiking trails for every level. Whether you’re hiking to scenic alpine lakes or taking a family-friendly stroll around basecamp, this map will get you started.

Google Map: This Google map of Alta is great, it even names the runs! A good resource to plan your day, find out where your favorite restaurants are and get your bearings for your Alta vacation.

Albion Base Map & Wildcat Base Map: These maps give a great overview of the base area including lodges, ticket offices, lifts, bus stops and ski school meeting location.

Alta Town Map: This bird’s eye view of Alta town shows the parking areas (including overnight parking), lodges and the Alta shuttle stops throughout town.

Alta Ski Area Lodging Options

Private Alta Chalets

The benefits of a private home on vacation are many! Staying in a private chalet is ideal for families or larger groups looking for extra space, comfort and the privacy of home. Alta Chalets offer private Alta ski homes ranging from intimate log cabins to luxurious, contemporary homes with all the bells and whistles! Whatever your style, Alta Chalets can find you the perfect ski-home for your stay in Alta.

Alta Chalets Lodging

The View Condos

Alta Ski Area Condos

The View Condominiums: The View condos are located in the town of Alta only minutes to Alta Ski Area on the town shuttle and in close proximity to the base areas, restaurants and aprés bars. The View condos boast ski-in/ski-out access to Snowbird Resort and expert skiers have the luxury of ski-in access from the Alta Ski Area via Wildcat, dependent on the conditions. The View offers 1-3 bedroom condos with luxurious modern interiors, high-end amenities, cozy wood-burning fireplaces and exceptional views of the Wasatch Mountains.

Superior Point: Superior Point condos are located in the town of Alta with ski-in/ski-out access to Snowbird, a short ride on the Alta town shuttle to the Alta base areas and easy walking distance to the local lodges and restaurants. Superior Point condos offer the privacy of your own home with the upscale amenities of a luxury resort hotel. These high-touch amenities include designer interiors, a gourmet kitchen, boot heaters, wood-burning fireplaces, a private hot tub and mountain views. A stylish lodging option for your stay in Alta.

Powder Ridge: The Powder Ridge condos are nestled slopeside under the Keyhole Chute and Wildcat Bowl and are the only true ski-in/ski-out condos in Alta. Powder Ridge condos feature stylish open-concept interiors with gourmet kitchens, wood-burning fireplaces, high-end amenities and floor to ceiling windows with sweeping mountain views. A warm and inviting home-away-from-home with unparalleled access to both Alta and Snowbird.

Alta Resort Lodges

Alta Ski Area is home to five unique, independently owned lodges that all lie at the base of Alta Ski Area. All lodges offer private accommodation in both suites and dorm-style rooms with on-site dining and aprés ski.

Alta Peruvian Lodge: The Peruvian Lodge is the first lodge coming into Little Cottonwood Canyon, nestled at the base of the Alta Ski Area. Dating back to 1948, the Peruvian is an authentic ski lodge with guest rooms ranging from dorm-style to spacious suites. The lodge features an outdoor pool and hot tub, a sauna and a full-service ski shop. The on-site P-Dog bar is a favorite Alta aprés ski venue.

Goldminer’s Daughter Lodge: Built by a local ski patroller and opened in 1962, the Goldminer’s Daughter is steps from the Collins and Wildcat chairlifts on the west side of the resort and is the hub of the Collins Base Area. There is an onsite spa, ski shop, games room, indoor hot tub and expansive outdoor patio overlooking the slopes, with the Goldminer’s saloon for family-friendly aprés ski.

Alta Lodge: The historic Alta Lodge dates back to 1939 and offers an authentic vibe and classic ski vacation lodging. The lodge is relaxed, informal and family friendly with an early children’s dinner, Kid’s Club and a free ski-school drop off and pick-up for your kids. The Alta Lodge dining room is renowned for a hearty meal and the Sitzmark Bar remains an original feature of the lodge, a great apres ski hangout.

Alta Rustler Lodge: The Rustler Lodge is located between the Wildcat and Sunnyside Base Areas and offers some of the finest resort hotel amenities in the Alta Ski Area. The lodge boasts an outdoor heated pool, a luxurious onsite spa, a Eucalyptus steam room and sauna and a full-service ski shop. The Eagle’s Nest Lounge sets the tone for upmarket aprés ski, panoramic views and stunning sunsets.

Snowpine Lodge: The recently upgraded Snowpine Lodge has been named as “Alta’s First Luxury Ski Lodge” and dominates the Alta skyline at six stories high. The lodge features the finest in ski lodge amenities with a heated pool, full spa, outdoor hot tubs, jacuzzi, a fine dining restaurant and a stylish aprés ski pub, The Gulch Pub.

Alta Ski Area Dining

Alta Ski Area has a diverse selection of dining options ranging from on-mountain dining and slopeside coffee shops to vibrant après ski and fine dining. 

There are 5 unique, privately owned base lodges with on-site restaurants and ‘prix fixe’ nightly options and a few off-mountain gems worth a mention! 

On Mountain Restaurants

Albion Grill: You don’t want to miss the daily specials at the Albion Grill ranging from pizzas and deli sandwiches to delicious chili. Located at the Sunnyside Base Area, this is a family favorite used by the ski-school for their on-mountain lunches.

Alta Java: Alta Java at the Albion base lodge is a must stop for a freshly brewed cup of joe or quick breakfast or lunch. This is a favorite with locals and has beach chairs perfectly placed to watch the ski action.

Alta Rustler Lodge: Enjoy magnificent views in an elegant setting in the Rustler Lodge Dining Room or cozy up for a cocktail in front of the fireplace in the Eagles Nest Lounge.

Alf’s Restaurant: Located mid-mountain at the base of Sugarloaf lift, Alf’s is a scenic lunch spot with views of Albion Basin and Devil’s Castle and a display of vintage skis and photographs dating back over 100 years.

Slopeside Café: Located at the Collins Base Area in the Goldminer’s Daughter Lodge, the Slopeside Café is a great stop for breakfast, to refuel throughout the day or to grab a coffee or hot chocolate to warm up. Enjoy outdoor patio dining and a great ski lodge atmosphere.

Alta Lodge: The Alta Lodge dining room is a quieter option for a breakfast or ski lunch and is more reasonably priced than many of the on-mountain restaurants. The Alta Lodge is an all-time favorite of visitors to Alta Ski Area.

Watson’s Café: Watson’s Café is located mid-mountain near the Collins lift and serves Utah’s best 100% grass-fed beef burgers, local microbrews all with a spectacular view of Mount Superior and Mount Baldy.

Collins Grill: For more upscale dining, Collins Grill is located above Watsons. They offer slippers on arrival, so take off your ski boots, soak up the views and enjoy a European bistro-grill menu and refreshing cocktail. Collins is not particularly suited for families with smaller kids.

Aprés Ski

Alta is known for its world-famous powder, outdoor adventures and laid back atmosphere where an on-snow experience is the priority for most visitors. While there is not a vibrant nightlife and you won’t find the glitz and glamour of many ski resorts, there are plenty of unique aprés ski spots to grab a local craft beer or Jack Rabbit gin, enjoy live music and share epic ski stories with friends.

Sitzmark Club: The iconic Sitzmark Club at the historic Alta Lodge has a classic ski bar atmosphere, wood-burning fireplace, slopeview windows and a pit bar. The Alta Lodge Kids’ Club are happy to take care of little ones while you savor a sundowners with friends.

Alta Peruvian Lodge: The Peruvian, or “P-Dog” to locals offers an eclectic aprés ski vibe with free appetizers, live music, local craft beer, comfy couches and awesome Alta views.

Goldminer’s Saloon: After a day on the slopes stop into Goldminer’s Saloon for their famous nachos, bomb pizzas and cold beer on tap. The Goldminer’s Saloon is family-friendly with a spacious patio, play table for kids, large fireplaces, cozy seating and great entertainment with live music, open mic & trivia nights.

The Gulch Pub: Snowpine Lodge is Alta’s newest lodge and is home to the Gulch Pub, a stylish full-service bar with a unique menu, comfortable atmosphere and an extensive selection of cocktails, wine and beer.

Please note that it is standard to tip 20%, however many lodges and restaurants include gratuities. Reservations are essential in Alta and our knowledgeable staff are available to help with any local recommendations and reservations.

Winter Activities

Alta Ski Area is known for its powder skiing and challenging terrain but there’s plenty to do in Alta without a pair of skis!

If you’re a non-skier visiting Alta or simply looking for some off-piste winter activities to enjoy on a day off the slopes (is that even a thing?), we’ve put together some awesome Alta Ski Area winter activities you can enjoy off the slopes.

Snowshoeing

Experience our beautiful mountains without skis! Pick up a pair of snowshoes from the Alta Ski Shop, pack a picnic and explore the trails on snowshoe. Snowshoeing is allowed on the Summer Road at the Sunnyside Base Area and leads into Grizzly Gulch
Heli Skiing Alta Ski Area

Helicopter Skiing

Escape the crowds for the ultimate Alta heli-skiing adventure! Just you, family and friends making tracks and social distancing the natural way in the untouched powder of the Wasatch mountains. Powderbird Guides will take you places only they can!

Cat Skiing

If reaching new heights is not your thing, then why not treat yourself to a day of Alta Snowcat Skiing in Grizzly Gulch. This is outside of Alta’s boundaries so snowboarders are welcome too, but book in advance! Please note that due to Covid-19 restrictions Alta and Snowbird are not doing cat skiing this season.

Snowcat Skiing in Alta

Backcountry Skiing

Backcountry skiing in Alta is popular and is easily accessed from Alta Ski Area. Grizzly Gulch is a great starting point for beginners, Catherine’s Pass is accessible via the Supreme chairlift with further access to Sunset Peak, Mount Tuscarora and Pioneer Peak, all promising prime backcountry skiing. If you’re not a local or knowledgeable of the backcountry, we recommend the following tours: Utah Mountain Adventures for a unique Alta backcountry experience and Ski Utah Interconnect Adventures for an exciting and unique way to experience the backcountry with a trained guide. 

Spa Treatments: What better way to spend a day off the slopes in Alta than soaking in a luxurious spa, taking in the alpine beauty from a rooftop pool or finding your balance at a yoga class. Alta Ski Area gives you a choice of locations to pamper yourself on your Alta vacation.

 

 

Cottonwood Canyon Massage
(801) 349-2769
Want to stay in? No problem! They come to you! Enjoy the convenience of the canyon’s finest massage therapy services in the comfort of your Alta chalet or condo. Their enticing massage menu includes deep tissue massage, sports massage, Swedish massage, neuromuscular therapy, structural integration and injury rehabilitation, all from the comfort of home. Call and book today!

 

Goldminer’s Daughter Mountainside Spa
(801) 742-4814
If you prefer an alpine setting, the Mountainside Spa at Goldminer’s Daughter Lodge offers an exceptional, rejuvenating experience in a modern, casual and comfortable setting that encourages you to relax and unwind. You’ll love their massages, facials, and body wraps in such a still and scenic setting.

 

Snowpine Lodge Stillwell Spa
(801) 742-2000
Rejuvenate your body and soul at Stillwell Spa at the Snowpine Lodge. Their spa specials include massages, facials, beauty treatments with luxurious spa amenities such as a soothing sauna and steam room and a tranquil indoor grotto. Indulge yourself at Stillwell Spa!

Summer Activities

Summer in the mountains is a spectacular time of year, when wildflowers blossom and the air becomes crisp and clear.

Alta Ski Area is an awesome summer destination and what’s more, special off-season lodging rates make summer an ideal time to experience Alta and Snowbird. Here’s our list of top things to do in Alta this summer!

Hiking

Little Cottonwood Canyon is beautiful in the spring and summer months with colorful wildflowers, towering aspens, alpine lakes, historic mining remnants, wildlife and rugged snow-capped mountain peaks. Alta Ski Area has 15 miles of summer trails to take in the spectacular scenery and social distance in nature, easily accessed from the Collins Base Area and Sunnyside Ski Area (and parking is free!). The Alta Summer Trail Map has endless options for all levels, you can do a different hike every day in the Alta Ski Area, but here are some of our favorites! 

Hiking

Cecret Lake Trail: This is an easy short family hike to an alpine lake. Parking is limited at the trailhead so parking at the Collins Base Area and starting your hike to Cecret Lake on the Lower Albion Meadows Trail is recommended.

Catherine’s Pass: This 3-mile moderate trail leads to Lake Catherine through meadows of wildflowers with some of the best views of Devil’s Castle and Mount Superior. The views of the trio of lakes from the peak (Lake Catherine, Lake Mary and Lake Martha) is the ultimate reward.

Collins Gulch to Germania Pass: Rated as difficult, this Alta trail is a 5 mile challenging hike that climbs 2,000 feet in 2.5 miles! Accessed from the Wildcat parking lot, the trail takes you through pine forests and open meadows with wildlife encounters and spectacular alpine views.

Mountain Biking

As the snow melts, a bounty of single-track mountain biking trails abound at the Sunnyside Base Area of Alta. Mountain bike rentals are available at the majority of local outfitters and while there is an abundance of summer biking trails, again, here are our favorites.

Alta mountain biking

Catherine’s Pass: This 3-mile moderate trail leads to Lake Catherine through meadows of wildflowers with some of the best views of Devil’s Castle and Mount Superior. On the peak, views of the trio of lakes Lake Catherine, Lake Mary and Lake Martha are the ultimate reward.

Devils Castle Loop Trail: This scenic 3.5 mile loop trail starts at the top of the Albion base parking lot and climbs through jagged rocks beneath the towering peaks of Devil’s Castle.

Twin Lakes Pass Trail: From the Central Alta trailhead, this difficult, rocky 5-mile trail takes you to the top of Twin Lakes Pass with scenic views of the Twin Lakes Reservoir and Wolverine Cirque.

Please consider the following local rules: biking is prohibited on the Cecret Lake Trail, stay on designated trails and roads, ride safely and courteously, cyclists must yield to other trail users and please avoid biking on wet or muddy trails.

Rock Climbing

Little Cottonwood Canyon and the Alta Ski Area are known for their rock climbing and bouldering on Alta’s easily accessible crags. Gate Buttress and Big Cottonwood’s Storm mountain are the most popular rock-climbing areas in Alta with other top sites including Hellgate Cliffs, Cecret Lake, Devil’s Castle and South Ridge Mt. Superior. If you’re looking for the adrenaline alternative to Alta’s powder, this is it!

Alta rock climbing

The Best of the Rest!

Summer fun does not only happen hiking, biking and climbing the terrain of the Alta Ski Area! There are plenty of Alta summer activities that add to the attraction of a summer vacation in Alta. Here are a few top picks not to be missed!

Outdoor summer concerts: From Spring skiing in April through the summer months you’ll find free music on outdoor patios and decks in the Alta Ski Area.

Parade of Raptors & Nature walk is a family-friendly activity that connects you with the Alta outdoors.

The Wasatch Wildflower Festival Wildflowers offers self-guided walks of the wildflowers of the Wasatch Mountains.

Fireside Chats with the Alta Historical Society to learn about Alta’s rich and storied past.

For friends, family and romance, allow Alta Chalets to plan your memorable summer getaway. But, please leave only footprints behind!

Get the Latest Things to Do in Alta

Thanksgiving in Alta
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Thanksgiving is a special time of celebrating family traditions, feasting on our favorite food, attending harvest festivals and giving thanks for blessings passed, and those to come. Thanksgiving is also a favorite time of year for visitors celebrating the opening of one of the snowiest places in the world, the Alta Ski Area.

Nestled in the scenic Little Cottonwood Canyon of Utah, the Alta Ski Area opens for the 2021-2022 winter season on November 20th, right on time for a Thanksgiving celebration in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains. The charming mountain town of Alta is surrounded by magnificent peaks, stunning alpine scenery and old-world charm. There’s no added glitz, glamour or bustling ski village, Alta is all about an authentic on-mountain experience with bluebird ski days, legendary powder, fewer crowds and great value, only a 45 minute scenic drive from Salt Lake City.

Warm up your ski legs for the season with an authentic Thanksgiving ski vacation at the Alta Ski Area. Enjoy fewer crowds, off-peak passes with early season rates and luxury slopeside accommodation with ski-in/ski-out access to over 2,000 acres of the “Greatest Snow on Earth”.

Here’s our top tips for celebrating Thanksgiving in Alta with Alta Chalets.

 

Top 10 Tips for Celebrating Thanksgiving in Alta

1. Shred the slopes of Alta Ski Area

Ranked Skiing Magazines “#1 Ski Resort in the US”, the Alta Ski Area has a great track record for early snow, making Thanksgiving the perfect time to warm up your ski legs and shred the slopes. Alta is one of the few skiers-only resorts and is world-famous for its expert skiing but caters to all ages and levels with 15% beginner, 30% intermediate and 55% expert terrain. You’ll find everything from kiddie conveyors and gentle groomers to challenging chutes and perfect powder stashes, an excellent ski school, on-site rentals, kid camps and daycare as young as 6 weeks for a family-friendly Thanksgiving in Alta.

 

2. Snowshoe in the Backcountry

Grizzly Gulch is a backcountry area at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon easily accessible from the upper Alta parking lot. Reliable early-season snow and scenic alpine views makes the Grizzly Gulch area extremely popular for backcountry skiing and snowshoeing near Alta. Snowshoe rentals and guided tours with locals who know this beautiful backcountry are available.

 

3. Heli-Skiing & Cat-Skiing

The Little Cottonwood Canyon receives on average over 500 inches of perfect powder annually presenting some of the best backcountry heli-skiing and snowcat-skiing in the US. Book a unique backcountry tour with a world-class guide to venture into the vast Wasatch backcountry for an off-piste experience in Alta like no other (dependent on early season snow).

 

4. High-Elevation Snowmobiling

The Cottonwood Canyons and Alta Ski Area are a snowmobilers paradise with easy access to the remote backcountry. Mineral Basin at the Alta Ski Area is one of the top places in Utah for snowmobiling. Cruise through the fresh powder with over 100,000 acres of backcountry riding through the high elevations of the Wasatch Mountains with 100-mile panoramic mountain views from the ridgetops (dependent on early season snow).

 

5. Scenic Drives & Byways

The Wasatch Mountains are spectacularly beautiful in the winter months and if you’re planning a day off the mountain to explore the areas surrounding Alta, you won’t be disappointed. You’re only a short drive from the world-class mountain town of Park City or take an exceptionally scenic drive on one of Utah’s most scenic byways through the Big Cottonwood Canyon to Solitude and Brighton Ski Resort and the historic Silver Fork Lodge.

 

6. Book a Spa Day

A Thanksgiving vacation deserves a little personal pampering! Surround yourself with alpine beauty and indulge in a luxurious spa treatment at a slopeside spa or relax in the comfort of your Alta ski chalet and let Alta’s best massage therapists come to you!

 

7. Thanksgiving Dinner with Alta Chalets

All this activity is sure to work up an appetite but may leave you equally exhausted. Alta Chalets are on hand to take the hassle out of Turkey Day. Enjoy Thanksgiving dinner from the comfort of your Alta vacation home with a drop off meal service or return to a home-cooked meal from one of our top notch private chefs. If preparing Thanksgiving dinner is a family tradition, no worries we’ll arrange all you need with our grocery delivery service to your home prior to arrival.

 

8. Thanksgiving Dinner Slopeside at Alta

If you prefer to take the family out for Turkey Day, you’re spoilt for choice! The Alta Ski Area has 5 unique base lodges with on-site dining ranging from family-friendly diners to sophisticated restaurants overlooking the ski slopes of Alta. Restrictions may be in place due to Covid so ensure to make your Thanksgiving dinner reservations in advance.

 

9. Sundowners & Après Ski

You won’t be dancing ‘til dawn for Thanksgiving but Alta has many family-friendly aprés ski venues and stylish bars to sip sundowners in front of a crackling fireplace, hang out with the locals and put together a plan for another day of shredding the slopes of Alta.

 

10. Stay with Alta Chalets for Thanksgiving

Alta Chalets have been welcoming guests to Alta for Thanksgiving for over 30 years. Our Alta vacation homes range from private ski-in/ski-out ski chalets and intimate cabins to contemporary homes with all the bells and whistles for a luxurious stay in Alta. Spend Thanksgiving slopeside at the Alta Ski Area with Alta Chalets and we know you’ll make this a family Thanksgiving tradition for years to come!

 

Getting to Alta and Snowbird

Planning a winter vacation in Alta in the Little Cottonwood Canyon is easy (especially Thanksgiving). Alta and Snowbird are only a scenic 45 minute drive from Salt Lake City or fly in and book an airport shuttle service from Salt Lake City directly to your Alta vacation home. There’s no need for a car once you’re here! You can fly in the morning, be settled into your Alta Chalet, and ski the best snow in the world all afternoon!

 

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This 4th of July holiday weekend, why not pack up the car, pick your favorite patriotic playlist, and leave the city lights behind on a scenic road trip to celebrate Independence Day in the wildflower-filled Wasatch Mountains? Who knows, you could be making history snowboarding or skiing the slopes of Snowbird Resort on July 4th!   

Summer in Utah’s Cottonwood Canyons is heaven on earth for hikers, bikers, and nature lovers – miles of trails weave beyond the snow-capped Wasatch Mountain peaks leading to secluded waterfalls, alpine lakes, and meadows of brilliant wildflowers, outdoor patios buzz with friends and family sharing summer cocktails, and the peace found in nature is priceless. 

Come celebrate the USA this summer in Alta-Snowbird, breathe in the fresh mountain air, spend cherished moments with loved ones in nature, entertain the kids with summer activities at Snowbird Resort (or skiing and snowboarding on the 4th of July!), enjoy low-key local festivities, and relax in your dream home for the holidays with Alta Chalets

Snowbird Summer Resort

Opens June 17, 2023

Pricing: Purchase an All-Day Activity Pass HERE

Mother Nature dumped epic snow on the Utah ski resorts this winter season, delivering a record-breaking 838” to Snowbird Resort and 900” to the Alta Ski Area! Since 1971, Snowbird has opened for skiing on the Fourth of July holiday weekend five times, the last time in 2019 – and we’re holding thumbs for winter 2022-23! 

Snowbird will open for skiing and riding to celebrate the grand opening of the tram balconies on Father’s Day weekend (June 17-18) and will remain open on a weekend-to-weekend basis thereafter! There’s no predicting mother nature but perhaps book slopeside lodging for the Fourth of July weekend just in case. 

When the ski slopes aren’t open, Snowbird Resort offers a theme park in nature for the whole family to enjoy! For the best summer value at Snowbird, the All-Day Activity Pass is unbeatable. The pass includes access to the kids’ inflatables, Snowbird Mountain Coaster, Alpine Slide, Ropes Course, Summer Tubing, Climbing Wall, Bungee Trampoline, Tree Climb, Spider Mountain, the all-new ZipWhipper, the Peruvian Chairlift, Scenic Tram Rides, and more! Need more adventure? Add-on activities for summer include gemstone mining, kids’ fishing, guided hikes, and the all-new Aerial Tram Rooftops on the Red and Blue, the first of its kind in the US.

Bend at the Bird

Spa at Cliff Lodge

Friday, June 30, 2023 | 8 PM to 10:30 PM

Pricing: $75 per person – Register HERE

Switch straight into vacation mode and set a serene state of mind for your stay! Once you’re checked in and settled at your Alta chalet, begin your July 4th celebrations at an invigorating outdoor yoga session with the inspiring instructors at Bend at the Bird located at the Cliff Spa at Snowbird. Bend at the Bird includes a 1-hour yoga class on the rooftop pool deck and 1.5 hours use of the spa facilities including cedar wood saunas, a eucalyptus-infused steam room, and a peaceful solarium with stunning Snowbird views. 

Snowbird Cirque Series

Snowbird Ski Resort

Saturday, July 1, 2023 | 9 AM to 3 PM

Admission: Register HERE

Bend at the Bird is also a great warm-up to the Snowbird Cirque Series, a classic on-mountain summer marathon event for all skill levels held at Snowbird Resort. The 8.7-mile course climbs 3,566’ vertical feet from the base area at Creekside up to Hidden Peak at 11,000’ and on to the summit of Mt. Baldy at an elevation of 11,068’, before winding through Snowbird’s ski-through tunnel back to the base. Back at the base area, you’ll find a vendor village with indulgent trail truffles, meditation and massage by Lululemon, high-quality sports gear, and so much more! The event ends in an after-party in downtown SLC, but you’ll be happy to retreat home to soothe aching muscles in your private hot tub

Concert on the Lawn

Snowpine Lodge

Saturday, July 1, 2023 | 1 PM to 7 PM

Pricing: Purchase tickets HERE.

Adults: $40

Children: $25 

If you’ve come to Alta to relax (rather than climb mountains!), this Alta July 4th celebration is for you! The 2nd Annual Concert on the Lawn at Snowpine Lodge features a mouth-watering BBQ, thirst-quenching drinks, a summer pool party, live music by Utah’s best local artists, and a 360 photo booth to capture your memories in the Wasatch Mountains. Chairs are available or bring your own to enjoy festive family fun celebrating Independence Day on the slopes of Alta. 

Sunday Brunch at Alta Lodge

a father and son eating brunch

Alta Lodge

Sunday, July 2, 2023 | 9:30 AM to 2 PM

Pricing: Call (801) 742-3500 for reservations

Adults: $40

Children 7-12 years: $20

Children 6 & under: $10 

Sunday brunch at Alta Lodge is a long-standing tradition in Little Cottonwood Canyon! Situated slopeside at Alta and surrounded by majestic views of Mt. Superior, Mt. Baldy, and Alta’s High Rustler, you can start your day with a hike from home before enjoying Alta’s finest summer patio dining experience with live acoustic jazz! Sunday brunch at Alta Lodge includes over 40 buffet selections ranging from traditional breakfasts, breads, and pastries to homemade Belgian waffles and delicious desserts. Get your Starbucks fix in, or make a toast to the red, white, and blue with a patriotic cocktail or morning mimosa (only available after 10:30 AM). 

Yoga in the Mountains

Alta Peruvian Lawn

Monday, July 3, 2023 | 5:30 PM

Admission: FREE! 

Bring along your friends and family (and a yoga mat!) to join in on a FREE and well-loved Alta community event at the base of the Alta Ski Area. Yoga in the Mountains is a free yoga class hosted on the back lawn of the Alta Peruvian Lodge every Monday evening through summer. In the case of inclement weather, the class will move indoors! Head home to sneak in a hot tub before sunset cocktails on the Gulch Pub patio and an evening of fine dining at Swen’s at Snowpine Lodge (reservations required). Alternatively, Snowbird Resort has a variety of dining options during the summer season. 

Wasatch Trail Run Series

a group of people running

Snowbird Ski Resort

Wednesday, July 5, 2023 | 5 PM to 8 PM

Admission: Register HERE.

The Wasatch Trail Run Series takes place every Wednesday night in the local Utah ski resorts along the Wasatch Front and will be in Snowbird for the Independence Day holiday weekend. The on-mountain trail run caters to all runners with a short 3.5-mile course and a long 7.9-mile along the dirt trails, open spaces, and fields of wildflowers in Snowbird’s scenic Gad Valley. The event starts at the bottom of the Gadzoom Lift at Snowbird Ski Resort. 

Relax with Alta Chalets!

Celebrate this Fourth of July in the ultimate luxury retreat at Alta Chalets. From contemporary mountain view condos for an intimate getaway to majestic mountain chalets for a grand gathering of 20+ guests, our hand-picked collection of luxury lodging has a holiday haven with the perfect backdrop for every Independence Day celebration. Our Alta Chalets are not just places to stay; they are havens of comfort with luxury amenities, space to share quality time together, magnificent mountain views, and adventures in nature right on your doorstep! 

START YOUR ALTA CHALETS VACATION NOW

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Torchlight Parade Alta
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Winter arrived early at Alta Ski Area with a good start to the snow season and the snowiest October since 2004, with over 189 inches of snow already falling to date! The stoke for the Alta ski season is high, and there’s no better way to spend the holidays than celebrating your favorite holiday traditions in the scenic Little Cottonwood Canyon and on the world-class slopes of Alta and Snowbird, the top powder destinations in the USA! 

Whether you’re dreaming of a classic white Christmas with Santa Claus or ringing in the New Year with toasty slopeside aprés ski-in mountain lodges adorned with holiday décor, fairy lights, and festive holiday cheer, Alta is a destination that delivers.

Ski the Slopes of Alta

skiing in Alta

The Alta Ski Area has the best early season snow in North America and is always a safe bet for powder-filled alpine adventures during the Christmas and New Year holiday season. On average, 96% of the Alta ski slopes are open by Christmas offering loads of on-mountain adventures for skiers over the holiday season. Alta is a skiers-only mountain with a great ski school and easy terrain on Albion and Sunnyside for the beginners and kids in your groups, diverse terrain for intermediates, and bucket-list steeps and deeps for expert skiers. Snow dependent, Alta Ski Area also offers backcountry skiing, heli-skiing, and cat-skiing with expert guides.

Ride The Bird

Snowbird Resort

The interconnecting Snowbird Resort (fondly known as “The Bird”), receives a little less snow than Alta with an average of 84% of the mountain opens for the Christmas holidays. For a unique Snowbird experience, ride the iconic aerial tram to Peruvian Gulch and the one-of-a-kind conveyor belt through the Peruvian Tunnel to the sunny bowls of Mineral Basin. Snowbird is a powder haven for snowboarders of all levels rated one of the top five freeride destinations in the US. Come ride The Bird this holiday season!

Alpine Adventures & Off Slope Activities

spa

There’s so much more to Alta and Snowbird than world-class skiing and snowboarding. Discover the beauty of the Cottonwood Canyons with endless alpine adventures like snowshoeing in Grizzly Gulch, fat biking the winter trails in the lower canyon, or simply soaking up the mountain views from a luxurious alpine spa. A classic vacation in the mountains promises a winter wonderland with hours of family fun, building enormous snowmen, sledding snowy hills, roasting s’mores by the fire, stargazing from the hot tub, and lifelong family memories.

Alta Holiday Festivals & Events

Holiday Music & Cookies

December 23rd, 2022 (Closed for the Season)

End your day on the slopes with holiday music, festive sing-alongs, and delicious home-baked cookies at Alta Java, located slopeside in the Albion day Lodge. 

Christmas & New Year’s Dinners

Alta has five unique mountain lodges with a diverse selection of restaurants ranging from cozy, family-friendly dining rooms to intimate fine dining at the Sitzmark Club in the historic Alta Lodge. Reservations are essential for the busy holiday season and Christmas and New Year dinners.

Snowbird Holiday Festivals & Events

Full Moon Dinner Buffet

December 18th, 2022 (Sold Out)

Ride the Snowbird Tram to the summit of Hidden Peak for a gourmet dinner under a glorious full moon at the Summit Restaurant, in North America’s highest year-round lodge at 11,000 feet. Feast on a gourmet dinner with live entertainment and moonlit views of the Wasatch Mountains. 

Christmas Eve Dinner & Christmas Dinner

December 24th and 25th, 2022 (from 5 pm to 9 pm on both days)

Indulge in an unforgettable evening of fine dining with a four-course Christmas Eve or Christmas Dinner at the Aerie on the 10th floor of The Cliff Lodge. 

New Year’s Eve Torchlight Parade & Fireworks

Plaza Deck, Snowbird Center

December 31, 2022 (from 6 pm to 7 pm)

Snowbird celebrates the New Year with a torchlight parade followed by a fireworks celebration, firepits, and hot cocoa on the Plaza Deck at the Snowbird Center.

New Year’s Eve Dinner

December 31st to January 1st, 2022 (from 5 pm to 11 pm)

Reserve your space to ring in the New Year at one of Snowbird’s base areas or lodge restaurants. From a retro 70’s New Year at SeventyOne or laid-back casual dining at the Tram Club to cozy Italian at the Wildflower or a fine dining experience at The Aerie, Snowbird Resort caters to all its visitors.

Spend the Holidays with Alta Chalets

Alta Chalets: The View #2

Alta is located only 25 miles from Salt Lake City, however, in the holiday season, the traffic in and out of the Little Cottonwood Canyon can be busy, especially after a big snowfall when locals come from all over Utah in search of fresh powder. 

Stay local this holiday season and enjoy unlimited access to the greatest snow on earth with Alta Chalets! Whether you’re searching for a slopeside Alta vacation home or a ski-in/ski-out Snowbird condo walking distance to the base area restaurants and bars, Alta Chalets have the perfect vacation rental for a classic alpine adventure. 

The benefits of a vacation home over the holiday season are endless! Our homes boast gourmet kitchens for festive feasts and high-end amenities to enhance your stay. Our team of Alta locals will help you book your airport transportation from Salt Lake City, order your adventure gear online, and even pre-stock your fridge and pantry with your favorite holiday treats. Spend the holidays with Alta Chalets this festive season!

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