Ski Magazine recently announced the Top 30 Ski Resorts in the West for 2023 and the Alta Ski Area continues to climb the ranks of top rated US ski resorts. Nestled at the top of Utah’s Little Cottonwood Canyon, the Alta Ski Area is renowned for a classic old-school ski vibe centered around the skier only  slopes, powder-filled bluebird days, and 500+ inches of annual snow dubbed the greatest snow on earth! 

Opening day for the 2022-23 winter season is scheduled for November 18th, 2022 and interconnecting Snowbird Resort is aiming for Wednesday November 30th, conditions permitting. Our local team at Alta Chalets hope to see you on the slopes this winter season! 

Browse our selection of Alta and Snowbird ski chalets online or call our team today. We’ve been locally operated for 30+ years, have the best selection of ski-in/ski-out chalets in Alta and Snowbird, and love to create unique and personalized vacation experiences for our guests. 

Wondering if the Alta Ski Area is suited to you? Here’s a guide to our favorite Alta ski trails: 

boy skiing down mountain

Beginner Terrain – 15%

There’s ample terrain for families with young children and beginner skiers to explore and learn to ski safely at the Albion Base Area. This is where to find the best beginner and intermediate terrain at Alta. Beginners have a magic carpet and base area runs to perfect their pizza slices before advancing to the gentle green groomers on the Sunnyside-Albion chairlift. Skier amenities include the warm and welcoming Albion Day Lodge and Grill, Alta Ski Shop, Alf Engen Ski School, Alta Childcare Center, and Alta Java, our favorite place to grab a cup of joe. Here’s our vote on the best runs for beginners at Alta.   

Crooked Mile | Sunnyside Lift

Crooked Mile is a great introduction to the beginner ski runs on Alta. This gentle and wide open groomed green runs beneath the Sunnyside chairlift with a few narrow spaces to practice your turns. Once you’ve gained confidence on Crooked Mile you can veer off onto Patsey Marley. Both runs take you back to the base area. 

Home Run | Sunnyside Lift

Push off the Sunnyside lift and glide to the right onto Dipsy Doodle to the Sugarloaf-Supreme lifts and Alf’s Restaurant, a hot spot for lunch on the mountain. The Home Run trail runs from the ski lifts and restaurant back down to the Albion Base Area – it’s a wide, gentle slope and super easy for all stages of beginners. 

group of skiers headed downhill

Intermediate Terrain – 30%

Nearly a third of the mountain is dedicated to intermediate skiers with trails to challenge and gentle blues for beginners to advance with ease. The higher elevation terrain from the Sugarloaf and Supreme lifts is where you’ll find the best intermediate slopes on Alta. The Wildcat base area is best known for advanced and expert skiing, but the infamous blue powder runs in the Ballroom Bowl are perfect for intermediates to experience the greatest snow on earth! 

Devil’s Elbow | Sugarloaf Lift

Devil’s Elbow is Alta’s longest blue run and the easiest way down from the top of Sugarloaf lift. Running from the top to bottom of Sugarloaf lift it’s a good introductory run to the intermediate slopes of Alta with tree skiing, rock jumps, and powder edges to practice your deep turns. 

Rollercoaster | Sugarloaf Lift

From the Sugarloaf lift cruise Devil’s Elbow down to Rollercoaster. Rollercoaster runs alongside Devil’s Elbow and is the steeper and more thrilling alternative back to the base of Sugarloaf lift. Reward your efforts with a tasty bowl of chili and ice cold brew outside at Alf’s. 

Rock ‘N Roll | Supreme Lift

The Supreme lift takes you to some of Alta’s most epic expert ski areas but remember there’s always an easier way down! Ski to the right off the chairlift to Upper Big Dipper, the easiest way down the mountain. From here you can ski all the way to the base of Supreme and Sugarloaf on Big Dipper or fork left onto Rock ‘N Roll. With epic powder, scattered trees, and blue moguls, Rock ‘N Roll is a great run to practice your skills for the black diamonds. 

Ballroom Bowl | Collins Lift

Take the EBT  (East Baldy Traverse) to Collins from the top of Sugarloaf or ride the Collins lift from the Wildcat base area to Alta’s best intermediate powder bowl in the upper elevations of Mt Baldy. The Ballroom Bowl is beneath the Baldy Chutes and the ultimate playground for intermediate powder hounds. Main Street and Mambo are easy blues all the way down to the base areas with access to black diamonds to step up your skill level. 

advanced skier going downhill

55% Advanced & Expert Alta Terrain

With 55% advanced and expert terrain and some of the steepest inbound runs in America, you can chase the steeps and deeps all day at Alta Ski Area. The Alta Ski Area does not differentiate between black diamond and double black, but there’s always an easier way down! With challenging diamonds, steep tree-lined chutes, and traverses, side steps and book packs on every mountain face and peak, Alta Ski Area is a bucket-list destination for advanced and expert skiers. 

Catherine’s Area | Supreme Lift

Catherine’s Area is an often forgotten and under visited black diamond ski zone accessed by a short gradual hike off the top of Supreme lift. Full of Alta’s famous fresh powder, untracked tree runs, and far fewer skiers than other advanced Alta ski areas, advanced skiers should definitely add Catherine’s Area to their list of Alta ski runs.  

East Castle | Supreme Lift

It’s a 30-45 minute sidestep, boot pack or skin up but when East Castle is open it is well worth the adventure for expert skiers! East Castle is regarded as “big boy terrain” – a challenging drop in and the higher your climb, the steeper the line. For peace of mind and a veteran pro ski guide, the Alta Ski School offers half day and full day expert guided tours to explore Alta’s high country and off-piste terrain

Baldy Chutes | Sugarloaf Lift

The Baldy Chutes are a series of extreme gullies from the 11,068 foot summit of Alta’s Mt. Baldy. Accessible on a scenic 30-minute hike from the East Baldy Traverse (EBT) at the top of Sugarloaf lift, the Baldy Chutes will challenge your skills. There’s five lines to pick from: Perla’s, Dog Leg, Tree Chute, Little Chute, and Main Chute, the easiest of the 5 with a 44 degree drop! 

Alf’s High Rustler | Collins Lift

Alf’s High Rustler (aka High Boy) is the most famous steep in Utah with a 45 degree drop into the canyon and 1,000+ foot vertical drop back to the Collins lift at the Wildcat base area. Named after Alta ski legend, Alf Engen, ending the day with a run down High Boy and apres ski at the Sitzmark Bar is a rite of passage for many Alta locals and regulars to our epic ski slopes.   

Gunsight | Collins Lift

Gunsight is Alta’s second famous ski run and a must do for expert skiers. Stay on the High Traverse from the Collins lift to side-step around the ridge to Gunsight. The entrance to Gunsight is an intense and steep drop chute that requires technical jump turns, mellowing out to a broad bowl at the base. It’s visible from the Sugarloaf lift, take a peek before you make the traverse! 

Westward Ho | Wildcat Lift

Known by locals as The Ho, Westward Ho is a fun run for advanced and expert skiers. From the Wildcat lift take a short traverse to the ridgeline and drop in through the trees for epic powder stashes and the best tree skiing in the Alta Ski Area. Slightly off the beaten path, it’s well worth the adventure. See you on the slopes!