The Top Powder Destination in the USA
Snowbird Resort and interconnecting Alta Ski Area are the top powder destinations in the USA and rank in the Top 10 powder capitals of the world, averaging over 500 inches of perfect ultra-light powder each year. The iconic Snowbird Tram ascends 2,900 vertical feet, in only six minutes, to the scenic Hidden Peak and 360 Summit Lodge perched perfectly at 11,000 ft and giving access to 2,500 skiable acres of diverse terrain and the greatest snow on earth!
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History of Snowbird
The famous Norwegian ski legend Alf Engen discovered the world-class slopes in the mining town of Alta and in 1938 the Alta Ski Area was born bringing those in search of powder to Little Cottonwood Canyon.
The manager of the Alta Lodge, Ted Johnson had a dream to build an extension of the Alta community and bid on a Snowbird mining claim. In partnership with ski pioneer and businessman, Dick Bass, the dream and vision of a year-round resort came to fruition and Snowbird opened in December 1971. The resort opened with three lifts, the Tram and the Lodge at Snowbird.
The Inn, the Cliff Lodge and the Iron Blosam followed shortly in the early 70s. Today, Snowbird is a world-class resort and industry leader in sustainability efforts and has been named as one of “America’s 10 Most Eco-Friendly Ski Resorts”.
Explore Snowbird Resort with Alta Chalets
Snowbird offers year-round alpine activities, on-mountain dining and luxurious spa packages with stunning mountain vistas. Alta Chalets have been the trusted sources for vacation rentals in Snowbird for over 30 years. Our mission is to create unique and personal vacation experiences for our guests. We trust our guide to Snowbird Resort will give you all you need to plan your stay with us in Snowbird.
Snowbird Resort is located six miles up the scenic Little Cottonwood Canyon within the Wasatch-Cache National Forest of Utah. The Little Cottonwood Canyon is known for its granite cliffs, steep vertical terrain, colorful fields of wildflowers and world-class exhilarating powder skiing. The perfect location for a top-rated year-round mountain resort with hiking, biking, rock-climbing and the best powder skiing in the USA.
It’s so close you can fly and ski the same day! Snowbird Resort is only 28 miles from Salt Lake City and a scenic 45 minute drive. Along Highway 210, Snowbird Resort is the first resort you get to in the Little Cottonwood Canyon.
Getting to Snowbird Resort from Salt Lake City is easy. If you’re driving, take the I-15 south and the UT-210 to Little Cottonwood Canyon Road. For detailed directions, click here. It is not necessary to rent a car for your stay in Snowbird. The Alta Shuttle or Alpine Transportation offer a convenient service from Salt Lake City airport to Snowbird Resort.
Please note if you are driving to Snowbird the road conditions are unpredictable and a 4-wheel drive, all wheel drive or snow chains are required by law during the winter months. Our heavy snowfall can result in avalanches at which point the town may implement ‘interlodge’ for avalanche control. During this time, all road access is closed. Parking is limited in Snowbird and as part of Operation Stay Safe, an online parking reservation system has been implemented during Covid. Please ensure you reserve your free parking spot prior to arrival! Alternatively, you can make use of the incentivized Ride Space carpooling program to and from the slopes.
Access to the slopes of Snowbird varies with each vacation rental. Our Aerial Overview Video will give you a good visual reference for each Alta Chalets property location. If your rental home does not have ski-in/ ski-out access, the Alta town shuttle makes a continuous loop of the Bypass Road during daytime hours until 5pm and takes only a few minutes to get to the Snowbird base areas..
- Ski-in/Ski-Out options from Alta Chalets: The View The View condominiums are on the eastern edge of the resort and offer the best ski-in/ski-out to Snowbird. You can ski down to Snowbird or take the shuttle to the Alta Ski Area.
- Ski-in/Ski-Out options from Alta Chalets: Superior Point Superior Point condominiums are located on the Alta Bypass Road between Alta and Snowbird Resort and are across the street to ski-in/ski-out access to Snowbird.
- Ski-in/Ski-Out options from Alta Chalets: Powder Ridge The Powder Ridge properties are the only true ski-in/ski-out condominiums in Alta, however they are a short drive or bus ride from the slopes of Snowbird Resort.
- Ski-in/Ski-Out options from Alta Chalets: Private Homes Our selection of Snowbird private homes are based closer to the town of Alta and all require a short drive or shuttle ride to the slopes of Snowbird.
Snowbird Resort takes care of all your gear with sports shops conveniently located throughout the resort for all your rental, repair and tuning needs.
Whether you need the full rental package, glide waxing for your board, a tune up for your skis or a demo of the latest ski technology, you’ll find all you need at Snowbird.
Choosing the right ski and snowboarding equipment is essential and there are many factors that come into play such as height, weight, ability, style and preferred terrain. Technology has developed and picking the right gear can be confusing and slightly intimidating if you’re new to the slopes.
Freeride, freestyle, powder or backcountry split boarding, there’s a design for every style and Snowbird has all the high-performance gear rentals you’ll need for an action-packed day on the slopes.
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 Snowbird Resort
Little Cottonwood Canyon is famous for steep skiing and deep powder and is the extreme ski capital of North America. The aerial tram takes you to the summit and with three advanced/expert gates connecting skiers to Alta Resort (sorry, no snowboarders allowed!), you have instant access to a combined 5,100 acres of famous Utah powder.
Snowbird Resort has three main ski zones with 27% beginner terrain, 38% intermediate and 35% advanced and expert runs.
Snowboarding At Snowbird Resort
Snowbird Resort Trails & Piste Maps
Snowbird Resort has 169 ski runs (and snowboard runs) that vary in difficulty. Below are some of our favorites along with a few simple maps to place them on the mountain. Full maps available at the lodge.
Difficulty: Green Circle
Next to the Cliff Lodge, own lift, short run, views of Mount Superior
Difficulty: Green Circle
Accessed from the Creekside Lodge base area via the Mid-Gad lift
Difficulty: Blue Square
The easiest way down from the top of the Tram, down the ridge on cat tracks to a smooth terrain, high speed cruise for a full 2,900 vertical
Difficulty: Blue Square
Accessed from the top of the tram or the Little Cloud lift. Open alpine skiing, stunning views, groomed in the middle powder stashes on the edges.
Difficulty: Blue Square
Open terrain, Path to Paradise
Little Cloud Chairlift
Difficulty: Blue Square
Access the Gad Valley from the Little Cloud lift or Gad 2 lift. Steep groomers off the Road to Provo, narrow chutes, steep tree runs and open spaces of Baldy Bowl. Gad 2 accesses Red Lens Line and Thunder Bowl.
Difficulty: Black Diamond
Perfect steep skiing that begins and Hidden Peak giving you the most vertical skiing at Snowbird and the ability to show off your skills below the tram. Steep rock chute!
Difficulty: Black Diamond
A series of steep northwest facing runs on the backside of Cirque. numerous cliffs (Barry Barry Steep)
Difficulty: Black Diamond
The highest point on the Cirque. Intimidating. Lots of vertical. A test for even extreme skiers.
A few more black diamond runs:
1. High Baldy Traverse
2. The Book Ends
4. Wilbere Bowl
Snowbird Lodging Options
Private Snowbird Chalets & Rental Homes
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 Snowbird ski homes ranging from intimate wooden cabins and contemporary homes to ski-in/ski-out Snowbird condominiums that put you straight on the slopes.
Whatever your style, Alta Chalets can find you the perfect ski-home for your stay at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort.
Snowbird Resort Lodging Options
Condos Near Snowbird Resort
The View Condominiums: The View condos are located on the eastern edge of Snowbird Resort and offer the best ski-in/ski-out to Snowbird Resort and expert ski-in access from the Alta Ski Area.
You are walking distance to the base areas, restaurants and aprés bars, with a steep walk home!
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 on the Alta Bypass Road between Snowbird and Alta and are only a short walk to ski-in/ski-out access to Snowbird and a short shuttle ride from Alta. 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 slope side under the Keyhole Chute and Wildcat Bowl at the Alta Ski Area however are a short drive or bus ride to Snowbird Resort. 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.
Snowbird Resort Lodges
Snowbird Ski Resort has four base area resort lodges that offer a variety of accommodation options and amenities.
The Cliff Lodge: The Cliff Lodge is Snowbird’s flagship hotel. The lodge is slope side and spans 10 stories with spectacular mountain and canyon views. Amenities include: three restaurants, two lounges, rooftop heated pool, hot tubs, ski rental and repair shop, concierge, business center and an award-winning day care. A convenient pedestrian walkway above the learner slope leads to the Snowbird Center.
The Inn: The Inn is centrally located only 200m from Snowbird’s village and the aerial tram. The Inn is modern yet intimate and offers a variety of accommodation from single rooms to studio lofts, with spectacular mountain views. Amenities include: outdoor pool and hot tub, saunas, steam room, fitness facility, ski storage and a business center.
The Lodge at Snowbird: Conveniently located a short walk from the Snowbird Center, the Lodge at Snowbird offers hotel style accommodation and lofty condominiums. The lodge features a fitness center,steam room, dry sauna and heated outdoor pool with ski lockers for guests. The Lodge Bistro is an ideal setting for aprés ski or intimate dinner.
The Iron Blosam: The Iron Blosam Lodge is a condominium lodge located near the Snowbird Center with accommodation ranging from studios to loft suites. The lodge features outdoor pool and spa facilities, a fitness center and games room for the kids. The on-site Wildflower Italian restaurant and lounge is a lively aprés ski spot.
Snowbird Resort Dining
There’s a diverse variety of dining and aprés ski options on-mountain and in the base area lodges.
Whether you’re soaking up views of the Salt Lake Valley from the summit, feeding hungry kids between runs or looking for the best spot to kick off your boots, sip on an aprés ski special and share a meal with friends, Snowbird has got you covered.
On Mountain Restaurants
The Summit Restaurant: The Summit sits at the top of the iconic Snowbird Tram at 11,000 ft. Set over two levels, it’s the only place to eat at the top of the mountain and you’ll pay a little more, but it’s North America’s highest year-round lodge and the views, organic food and local microbrews are worth the premium.
Mid-Gad Restaurant: The Mid-Gad is a cafeteria-style restaurant open daily through the ski season. Located at the top of the Mid-Gad lift, it is the only mid-mountain restaurant and is quieter than the summit or base restaurants. Enjoy indoor and outdoor dining with great views and a good selection of, burgers, pizza, chili, salads, snacks and beer on tap.
Snowbird Center Restaurants
The Forklift: Located on the Skier Plaza deck, the Forklift is a casual and convenient family-friendly breakfast and lunch spot with burgers, sandwiches and salads.
The Birdfeeder: Another favorite on the plaza deck is the Birdfeeder, an easy stop for a quick snack or a tasty burger with great vegetarian options.
General Gritts Grocery Store: General Gritts is a grocery and liquor store. The full service deli offers delicious breakfast burritos, sandwiches and soups for a quick snack on the go.
Rendezvous: Rendezvous is a full-service cafeteria on Level 2 with a good selection of sandwiches, soups, pastas and a salad bar.
Tram Car Pizza: Located on Level 2, Tram Car Pizza has a wide selection of pizzas and calzones on a handmade crust. Grab a slice on the go or dine-in for a pizza feast.
Baked & Brewed Café: Warm yourself up with a cup of joe, freshly baked goods or a grab and go waffle cup at Baked & Brewed on Level 2. For the health conscious, a fresh fruit and veg smoothie will give you power for your day on the slopes.
Steak Pit: If you’re looking for the best steak and seafood in Snowbird, the Steak Pit is the place! The interiors are rustic with cozy leather booths giving it a true steakhouse atmosphere.
Tram Club: Located in the Tram Base station, the Tram Club is the ‘local watering hole’ and the closest you’ll get to the lively aprés ski of other Rocky Mountain Resorts. The Tram Club has it all – billiards, big screen sports, live music, dancing and a typical bar style menu with a fully-stocked bar and delicious winter warmer cocktails.
Cliff Lodge Restaurants
The Atrium: You can’t miss the Atrium for a gourmet coffee and pastry, a pre-ski breakfast or hearty lunch buffet.
SeventyOne: Step back to the 70s! The SeventyOne has a great ski vibe with retro 70s décor, American grill favorites and tasty vegan options. Located on the bottom level of Cliff Lodge it is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with indoor and outdoor dining, mountain views and family-friendly aprés ski after a day on the slopes.
Aerie: Located on the 10th floor, the modern Aerie serves up upscale American gastropub cuisine with a sushi bar, extensive wine list (40 pages!) and signature cocktails, all overlooking Snowbird’s scenic terrain.
El Chanate: A casual, family-friendly Mexican restaurant and cantina with daily food specials, delicious margaritas and an extensive tequila collection. Enjoy an après margarita while the kids play in the adjoining games arcade.
Other Snowbird Base Area Restaurants
Creekside Café: The Creekside Day Lodge is a great base to explore the Gad Valley and Snowbirds beginner runs. The Creekside Café has a large sundeck and is a great spot for sandwiches, burgers, burritos, soups or a quick mid-run snack.
The Lodge Bistro: Based at the Lodge at Snowbird Resort, the Lodge Bistro and Lounge is an ideal setting for an intimate dinner or aprés ski. The restaurant offers an elegant menu with a French twist while a more casual menu of sandwiches, salads and specialty burgers is on offer in the lounge.
Wildflower: The Wildflower is a cozy Italian bar and restaurant based at the Iron Blossom Lodge. A great place to relax after a day of skiing with a cozy fireplace, TV to watch the sports games, a pool table, fantastic après ski specials and delicious pizzas.
Other Winter Activities
Little Cottonwood Canyon is a seven-mile scenic byway surrounded by famous granite cliffs, rugged peaks and natural scenic beauty.
Alta Ski Area and Snowbird Resort draw visitors throughout the winter months to experience the greatest snow on earth and the most extreme skiing in the US, but the Snowbird winter activities are not limited to the sought-after slopes. The Little Cottonwood Canyon is a winter playground with endless outdoor adventures and winter activities to enjoy, both on and off the slopes.
Escape the crowds and enjoy the ultimate off-piste adventure in the Wasatch Mountains. Wasatch Powderbird Guides have been traveling into the backcountry with skiers and riders from around the world for years and invite you to experience the exhilarating thrill of heli-skiing at Snowbird.
Snowbird has two backcountry gates to off-piste terrain, at Hidden Peak and Gad 2. Due to the threat of avalanches, please check in the Ski Patrol Office first, follow the buddy system and carry all essential backcountry safety gear. Guided backcountry tours are the best (and safest) way to enjoy the expansive Wasatch Mountains.
Snowcat skiing is an exhilarating adventure for snowboarders looking to find untouched, waist-deep powder in the Little Cottonwood Canyon. Take a guided snowcat ski tour into the upper American Fork Canyon for a day of world-class backcountry skiing.
To ensure the safety of visitors to Snowbird Resort, many of the on-site amenities have restrictions in place or are on hold for the 2020-21 season due to implemented Covid-19 safety protocols. Please click here for a current status on all amenities and to learn how Snowbird Resort is keeping you safe this ski season.
Snowbird boasts the longest ski season in Utah yet it’s more than just a world-class ski resort.
Snowbird is a four-seasons resort and a summer destination for families and friends to discover the best of Little Cottonwood Canyon. As the snow melts off the dramatic peaks, Snowbird transforms a playground of mountain coasters, alpine slides, outdoor trails and family-friendly summer activities. Plan your Snowbird summer vacation with Alta Chalets today!
A Snowbird Resort All-Day Activities Pass is available to enjoy all Snowbird Resort summer activities with a few options to choose from.
Tram to the Summit: The scenic Snowbird tram is not only for skiers and snow lovers. The tram operates year-round and opens up miles of summer trails and stunning 360-degree vistas of the Salt Lake Valley. Hike or bike your way back to base or take a scenic return journey on the tram.
Mountain Coaster: Snowbird Mountain Coaster is located at the base of the Peruvian chairlift at the Snowbird Center. From the top of the track you travel along 3,120 feet of twists, turns and horizontal loops, descending 160 vertical feet for the ride of your life! This gravity powered freefall is controlled by you, the driver!
Alpine Slide: In the summer months the Snowbird Chickadee bowl becomes a sledding journey on the Snowbird Alpine Slide. The dual track slide is an adventure for all ages (7 and up) twisting and turning through fields of wildflowers back to the Tram deck.
Snowbird Resort is geared towards family fun! Other kid-friendly Snowbird resort activities include: summer tubing, bungee trampoline, challenging rock climbing wall, vertical drop, suspended rope course and the ultimate obstacle course.
Camp Snowbird: If you’re looking to escape into the wilderness (or take a sneaky spa session!), Camp Snowbird offers great summer activities for ages 5-15 with fun weekly themes, historic tours, wildflower tours and creative experiments and activities to keep all ages entertained.
Oktoberfest at Snowbird Resort: Don’t miss the Oktoberfest at Snowbird Resort which is one of the biggest festivals in Utah and consistently voted among the best Oktoberfest celebrations in the US!
Outdoor Adventures in the Wasatch Mountains
Snowbird mountain biking trails are epic and host some of the best bike races in Utah, including Tour of Utah, Rage at Snowbird and Snowbird Annual Hill Climb. Our favorite Little Cottonwood Canyon mountain bike trails are:
- Snowbird’s Big Mountain Trail: This 7.5 mile trail is accessed via the Tram to the summit and runs from Hidden Peak down to the base through the scenic Gad Valley.
- Albion Basin: The Albion Basin lies at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon in the Alta Ski Area. This 6-mile trail follows a broad dirt road and is ideal for strong beginners and family rides.
- Little Cottonwood Creek Trail: This trail begins at the Temple Quarry Trailhead across from the Park & Ride lot at the mouth of the canyon. This easy scenic trail follows the canyon road along the creek at a nice steady incline with plenty of shade, a few rocky sections and gorgeous scenery.
Snowbird has an abundance of trails. Whether you take the tram to the summit and hike the mountain, discover miles of trails from the base areas or explore from the many trailheads, Snowbirds summer trail map is vast with alpine lakes, cascading waterfalls, beautiful sunflowers and the elusive mountain goats that play on the slopes from March to May.
You can access many hiking trails from the base of the Alta Ski Area including the easy Cecret Lake Trails, the challenging Germania Pass and the moderate Catherine’s Pass with the best views of Mount Superior and Devil’s Castle. For a family-friendly, wheelchair-accessible hike, the Temple Quarry Trail is a 0.3-mile paved nature walk at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon. An interpretive trail that is both educational and enjoyable. Wherever you roam, please leave only footprints behind!
The Snowbird summer activities do not end there. Enjoy a birds-eye view of “The Bird” on a helicopter tour, kick back and relax at an outdoor music concert on the open air tram deck, or watch the sunset from The Cliff Lodge Spa. Snowbird gives you every reason to go to a ski resort in the Summer!
To ensure the safety of visitors to Snowbird Resort, many of the on-site activities and amenities have restrictions in place or are on hold for the 2020-21 season due to implemented Covid-19 safety protocols. Please click here for the current status and to learn how Snowbird Resort is keeping you safe this ski season.