Alta Ski Area, Little Cottonwood Canyon, UT

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Alta Ski Area in Utah and Escape2ski connect you to skiing, snow reports, trail maps, lift tickets, lodging, ski lessons, family-friendly area and webcams. Alta Ski Area is located in the Wasatch Mountains at the end of Little Cottonwood Canyon Road in the town of Alta, Utah. Long before skiing and snowboarding came to the […]

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Alta Ski Area in Utah and Escape2ski connect you to skiing, snow reports, trail maps, lift tickets, lodging, ski lessons, family-friendly area and webcams. Alta Ski Area is located in the Wasatch Mountains at the end of Little Cottonwood Canyon Road in the town of Alta, Utah. Long before skiing and snowboarding came to the area, mining supported the region as silver was discovered in 1869. In 1871, a thriving community was born as people hoping to strike it rich were attracted to Little Cottonwood Canyon from far beyond the local Salt Lake City Area. As with most mining booms there comes the bust and people begin to look elsewhere for their next chance at prosperity. Several residents remained throughout this bleak period and in 1937, two of them George Watson and William O’Conner deeded a combined total of 1600 acres to the US Forest Service with the directive that the land is used to create a future ski area. In 1938, the Salt Lake Winter Sports Association along with several local government departments enlisted Alf Engen, a noted Norwegian skier, to determine the best location for the ski area. Shortly after that, construction began on the Collins Lift and finally on January 15, 1939, Alta Ski Area opened to the public.

Today the town boasts a population of 500 people and is known throughout the world as a place that skiers come for great terrain, scenery, and the snow. As new ways to slide down mountains have been created, Alta Ski Area has remained close to its roots and has resisted the pressure to change, and today remains a “skiers only” mountain. Alta Ski Area continues to retain the distinct charm created when the Snowpine Lodge opened in 1939 and The Alta Lodge in 1940. A little bit of trivia about Alta is that during WWII this amazing place was used as the training ground for Company B of the 503rd Parachute Battalion. In addition, to the best of the writer’s knowledge Alta Ski Area is home to the only High-Speed Triple Chairlift in North America.

Alta Ski Area has played witness too many changes in the resort industry, including its own growth from humble beginnings to its current status of 2200 total acres of terrain, average annual snowfall of 560 inches (1422 cm) and a great family-friendly experience.

At Escape2ski you’ll find out – What to know…before the snow.

On the Slopes

  • Alta Ski Area is a place that once you visit you may never want to leave. The mountain hosts an incredible mix of terrain that provides every member of your skiing family the opportunity to enjoy the incredible views available from every run. You’ll find everything from beginner and intermediate slopes to the advanced/expert terrain of Amen or Keyhole Gulch, which is certain to test your ability. If you have the great fortune to be on the slopes of Alta on a powder day, then hang on as you glide through quite possibly the best powder found anywhere. Also, if conditions permit there is the option for guided Snow Cat Skiing in Grizzly Gulch.
  • Although, Alta Ski Area does not officially have a terrain park built by employees, it could easily be said that a series of natural terrain parks exist throughout this incredible mountain. Come and see for yourself, you will not be disappointed.
  • The Alf Engen Ski School at Alta Ski Area was established by no other that Alf Engen, an accomplished Norwegian-born skier who was instrumental in the early beginnings of the mountain and who in 1948 was named Ski School Director. Today, the ski school still maintains his high standards through the dedicated staff who are ready to make your experience on the slopes a positive one. There are lessons for adults (both group and private), kid’s lessons, women’s programs and Telemark workshops.

Off the Slopes

  • Alta Ski Area is nestled in an area surrounded by mountains. This backdrop provides the charm and warmth needed to create the perfect ski village. Lodging at Alta dates back to 1938 when the Snowpine Lodge was constructed. Since that time, there have been many additions including the Alta Lodge, Alta’s Rustler Lodge, Alta Peruvian Lodge and the Goldminer’s Daughter Lodge. Combine great lodging with exciting menu and dining options, including eight base area restaurants and four on-mountain choices and you have all the ingredients needed for a wonderful vacation atmosphere.
  • If staying on the mountain is not an option for you then Sandy, Utah is only a short distance away at the end of the Little Cottonwood Canyon Road. In Sandy, you will find a countless number of lodging, dining and shopping choices. The Utah Transit Authority public bus offers a regular transit schedule that will get you to the Alta Ski Area if you prefer to leave the driving to someone else.
  • While at Alta Ski Area you may desire a day away from the slopes. If so, there are lots of choices. Spend a relaxing day at the Rustler Spa located in the Alta’s Rustler Lodge where you can relax with a Deep Tissue or Swedish Massage, facials and or even Hot Stone Therapy. Shopping is available in four Ski Shops under the Powder House brand with locations in Deep Powder House, Rustler Powder House and Motherlode Powder House. Here you can find equipment, apparel, eyewear, rentals and much more. There is also the Alta Ski Shop & Demo Center and the Alta Store, plus online, the altastore.com where you can find a variety of items, including logo clothing.
  • If you are looking for some adult time, Alta’s Children’s Center is a state licensed day care located at the Albion Base Area for children as young as 6 weeks all the way to 9 years. The center is on the 3rd floor of the Albion Ticket Building and can be reached by calling 801-742-3042. Reservations are recommended. This is an exciting place for children to enjoy arts and crafts, games, music, books, stories and even lunch and snacks.
  • If an emergency does arise, the Alta Medical Clinic is available 7 days a week from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm and is located at the Wildcat Base Area in the northeast corner of the Goldminer’s Daughter Lodge or call 801-742-2273 for assistance.
  • With mountainside lodging and the ability to leave the driving to someone else, visiting Alta Ski Area is easier than you think. There is shuttle service is available from the Salt Lake City International Airport from several providers, Alta Shuttle, www.altashuttle.com or toll-free 1-866-274-0225 or 801-274-0225 and Canyons Transportation, www.canyonstransportation.com or 801-255-1841.
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Mountain Information

Current Status: Open

Mountain Essentials

Vertical Drop:
2020 ft / 616 m

Base Elevation:
8530 ft / 2600 m

Summit Elevation:
10550 ft / 3216 m

Skiable Area:
2200 acres

Average Snowfall:
560 in / 1422 cm

Trail Map

Snow Report

Weather Conditions

Mountain Terrain

Total Trails: 116

Beginner: 29 (25%)

Intermediate: 46 (40%)

Advanced: 26 (22%)

Expert: 15 (13%)

Terrain Parks: 0

Snow Cross: No

Super Pipe: No

Half / Mini Pipe: No

Jib Park: No

Services

Ski & Snowboard School: Ski

Rentals & Repairs: Yes

Parking:  Free

Retail Shops: Yes

Family Friendly: Yes

Children’s Ski Programs: Yes

Women's Ski Programs: Yes

Adaptive Ski Programs: No

Childcare: Yes

Day Lodges: Yes

Restaurants: Yes

Distance from...

Nearest Airport:
Salt Lake City UT, 34mi / 55km

Nearest Major City:
Salt Lake City UT, 29mi / 47km

Nearest Town/City:
Sandy UT, 14mi / 23km

Contact Info

Central Reservations: 801-359-1078

Direct Phone: 801-359-1078

Snow Phone: 801-572-3939

Mountain Operations

Season Dates: Dec 2 to Apr 15

Skiing & Snowboarding: Skiing Only

Days Operating: Everyday

Operating Hours:
9:15am to 4:30pm : See website for any updates.

Night Skiing: No

Lift Ticket Prices

Webcams

Lift Information

Total Lifts: 11

Trams: 0

Gondolas: 0

Chondolas: 0

=Chairlifts=

Express Six: 0

Express Quads: 3

Express Triples: 1

Quads: 0

Triples: 1

Doubles: 2

Surface Lifts: 4

Lodging

Mountainside: Yes

Within 30mi / 48km: Yes

Closest Airport(s)

Airport Convenience Ranking™

Salt Lake City Intl Airport  (SLC)
Distance: 34 mi / 55 km
Ranking: Most Convenient

Helpful Links

Ski Resort Website

Mountainside Lodging

Nearby Lodging

Tourism Site

Local Transit Service

Local Transit Map

Resort Shuttle Service

Airport Transportation