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Alta Resort Summary:
|Ski area:||2,100 acres|
Mid-Mountain lodge "Watson Shelter" (this photo courtesy of Alta Resort)
The Alta Ski Area in Utah is located South-East of Salt Lake City in Little Cottonwood Canyon next to Snowbird ski resort. It is one of the last remaining skier-only mountains. Snowboarding is not permitted.
Alta has two main base villages, Albion Base and Wildcat Base with a transfer tow rope connecting the two so one does not have to hike between them. Kids and beginners will want to head straight to Albion Base.
You can also purchase an Alta-Snowbird lift ticket ($24 extra) which will be good at both Alta and the adjacent resort Snowbird. There are ski entrances available off of Sugarloaf and Wildcat lifts which will take you into Snowbird and vice versa.
Alta terrain viewed from Sugarloaf lift
Green run "Rabbit" (off of Cecret lift)
The intermediate "blue" runs are available from all lifts so there is never any danger of being stranded at the top of a lift with no way down. The mountain also has a number of "blue-black" runs for those who want to advance in baby steps and not in a quantum leap to the black runs.
Mambo (off of Collins lift) The easy way down.
High Traverse (take a left off of the top of Collins lift). This will connect you with allot of other black diamond ski runs and chutes.
Ninas Curve (off of Wildcat/Collins lift)
North Rustler (off of Collins lift to High Traverse to the end of the traverse)
East Greely as viewed from Sugarloaf lift (take High Traverse off of Collins lift)
Sunspot (off of Collins lift)
Travel out of bounds on the Western edge and you enter inbounds at Snowbird ski resort. Travel out of bounds up the canyon on the Eastern edge and you enter snow cat territory in "Grizzly Gulch. Here snowboarding is allowed. This is not accessible by just crossing the boundary rope. See Snow Cat Skiing at Alta's Grizzly Gulch. Check-in is at the Albion Base.
Another option is guided Alpine Touring (AT) on the other side of the canyon across the street. See our review of this Utah alpine mountaineering adventure.
Heli-skiing is also an option. See the Powderbird Utah adventures website
Also see: Salt Lake Avalanche Advisory
Your choices will probably be determined by the base lodge where you parked:
Goldminers Daughter (Wildcat Base)
For a full list of local Alta Options.
Alta Java (Albion Base)
Alta does not have a village or town, just a base lodge and is not a shopping mecca nor is Salt Lake City but Park City certainly is. Alta Sports at the base of the mountain will fulfill your alpine needs including ski service and rentals.
Alta Sports (at Albion Base)
Salt Lake City is a short drive away and clearly your best option if you are seeking nightlife. Park City is even better but a much longer drive.
One must first get to the Salt Lake City area which is a Delta Airlines hub with service nationwide and thus easily accessible by air. Alta ski area is located at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon about 35 minutes southeast of downtown Salt Lake City.If traveling from the Salt Lake City International Airport, you will be starting your journey from interstate 215 South.
Other transportation options:
Discount ski lift tickets
Discount Ski Equipment