Alta Ski Area, Utah

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Alta Ski Area in Utah and Escape2ski provides info on; vertical drop 2538ft/774m, total trails 119, closest airport 34mi/55km, lifts 9, lodging, and more. 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 provides info on; vertical drop 2538ft/774m, total trails 119, closest airport 34mi/55km, lifts 9, lodging, and more.

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. 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 of Alta boasts a population of 500 people and is known throughout the world as a place that skiers come for great terrain, scenery, and fantastic snow. 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.

Alta Ski Area has witnessed many changes in the resort industry, including its growth from humble beginnings to its current status of 2200 total acres of terrain, two base areas, Albion and Wildcat, average annual snowfall of 560 inches (1422 cm) yet still provides a great family-friendly experience.

On the Slopes

  • Alta Ski Area hosts an incredible mix of terrain that ranges from beginner and intermediate slopes to the advanced/expert terrain of Amen or Keyhole Gulch.
  • At Alta on a powder day, there is nothing any better than gliding 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 ski area.
  • The Alf Engen Ski School at Alta Ski Area was established by Alf Engen, an accomplished Norwegian-born skier who was instrumental in the early beginnings and was named Ski School Director in 1948.
  • Today, the ski school still maintains his high standards and the dedicated staff provide 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 that provides the backdrop for 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.
  • Alta Ski Area has a diverse choice of dining options, including eight base area restaurants and four on-mountain choices; all the ingredients needed for a wonderful vacation atmosphere.
  • Shopping is available in Ski Shops under the Powder House brand, including Deep Powder House, Rustler Powder House, and Motherlode Powder House. Here you can find equipment, apparel, eyewear, rentals and more. There is also the Alta Ski Shop & Demo Center and the Alta Store.
  • Need a day away from the slopes, visit 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.
  • Cross-Country is skiing is available for a fee between the Albion and Wildcat Base Areas on a 3mi/5km groomed trail.
  • Alta’s Children’s Center is a state licensed day care located at the Albion Base Area for children as young as 6 weeks 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.
  • 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.
  • If staying on the mountain is not an option, 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.
  • There is shuttle service is available from the Salt Lake City International Airport from several providers, Alta Shuttle, or toll-free 1-866-274-0225 or 801-274-0225 and Canyons Transportation, or 801-255-1841.
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Mountain Information

Current Status: Open

Mountain Essentials

Vertical Drop:
2538 ft / 774 m

Base Elevation:
8530 ft / 2600 m

Summit Elevation:
11068 ft / 3374 m

Skiable Area:
2614 acres

Average Snowfall:
545 in / 1385 cm

Trail Map

Snow Report

Mountain Terrain

Total Trails: 119

Beginner: 18 (15%)

Intermediate: 36 (30%)

Advanced: 42 (35%)

Expert: 23 (20%)

Terrain Parks: 0

Snow Cross: No

Super Pipe: No

Half Pipe: No

Jib Park: No


Ski & Snowboard School: Ski

Rentals & Repairs: Yes

Parking:  Free

Retail Shops: 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

Mountain Operations

Season Dates: Nov 18 to Apr 16

Skiing & Snowboarding: Skiing Only

Open Days: Open Daily

Hours of Operation:
9:15am to 4:30pm : Hours maybe subject to change.

Night Skiing: No

Lift Ticket Prices


Lift Information

Total Lifts: 9

Express-6 Chairs: 1

Express Quad Chairs: 3

Double Chairs: 1

Surface Lifts: 4


Mountainside: Yes

Within 20mi / 33km: Yes

Closest Airport(s)

What our Convenience Rankings™ mean

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

Contact Info

Central Reservations: 801-359-1078

Direct Phone: 801-359-1078

Snow Phone: 801-572-3939

Helpful Links

Official Ski Resort Site

Mountainside Lodging