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!