Alta Ski Resort

Meimei Ma
SnowPak Local Insider
Meimei Ma
  • World-class extreme terrain
  • Easy to navigate resort layout (minimal walking)
  • One of the best ski schools in the US and good beginner terrain
  • Lodging, nightlife, and shopping options are a bit lacking



When Utah coined the slogan “Greatest Snow on Earth” they probably meant Alta Ski Resort. The no-frills ski area, tucked deep in Little Cottonwood Canyon near Salt Lake City, averages over 500 in of the stuff annually! Its elevation and dry air make it some of the lightest and fluffiest powder you can find anywhere, and it serves it all up on some of the best terrain in the west.

Best month to go

Early January to mid-March



Alta Ski Resort’s season usually begins in early December, but for best snow coverage – especially in advanced and expert terrain – consider going between early January and mid-March. This also keeps you clear of the Christmas vacation rush, when the mountain is crowded and rooms tend to be more expensive. Later in the season, there’s usually a powder storm or two in April and it’s easy to follow the sun to find the best conditions at different times of day. By the end of the season, it’s common for temperatures to get over 40 °F, which isn’t all that great for the snow, but does make for some pleasant outdoor eating and après!


Salt Lake International Airport


Alta (45 minutes)

Base of Alta Ski Resort (Walk)

  • Made up of five convenient lodges
  • Most accommodations have ski-in/ski-out access or are very close to the slopes
  • Breakfast and dinner included at lodges

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Base of Snowbird (1-2 mi)

  • Snowbird resort operated lodging and timeshare accommmodation
  • Great for skiing at both mountains
  • Small convenience store

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Between Alta and Snowbird (1-2 mi)

  • Condos and vacation rentals
  • Lack the convenience of prepared meals
  • Easy access to the ski resort

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Salt Lake City (25-30 mi)

  • Cheaper and wider selection of accommodation than Alta
  • Convenient base for skiing at other ski resorts
  • Small risk of road closure due to heavy snowfall

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For beginners

The Albion base area and around the Sunnyside lift is where the beginner terrain can be found, with wide and gentle slopes to get new skiers going! Beginners can even venture into the trees between Crooked Mile and Patsy Marley!

More beginners tips

For intermediates

Alta ski resort serves up groomed blues off all its lifts! For our favorite runs here, check out Rock n' Roll, a great curvy cruiser and other intermediate trails off the Supreme lift.

More intermediates tips

For experts

Get ready to shred on some of world's best extreme terrain! Alta ski resort classes everything as a single black diamond even if its double black or triple black, so for a single black try the runs off Collins, Wildcat and Sugarloaf! Otherwise, for double blacks (with cliffs and narrow chutes) check out the runs near Supreme.

More experts tips

Find freshies

Get your fix on the tree runs off the Wildcat lift; after a storm the area retains fresh powder for a day or two! All the bowls are also great for freshies. Easier-to-access bowls such as Ballroom and Devil's Castle get tracked out quickly so opt for the area between Greeley Bowl and Yellow Trail Area.

Ditch the crowds

You won't find many crowds at Alta, but if you do, it'll probably be around Christmas time.

Non skiers

The focus at Alta ski resort is skiing, so there isn't as much to do here for non-skiers compared to other resorts. If you have a car however, Salt Lake City is just 45 minutes away.


Alta ski resort has a laid-back community vibe that's perfect for families. The intermediate and advanced runs off the Supreme lift are great for families with more experienced skiers and are laid out so that it's easy to meet up at the bottom!

Alta Ski Resort

Alta Ski ResortDeer Valley Resort
beginner25 %27 %
intermediate40 %41 %
advanced35 %27 %
expert-5 %
total runs116 101
ski area2,200ac 2,026ac
summit elevation10,550ft 9,570ft
total lifts11 21
child lift ticket$54 $32
adult lift ticket$104 $145
back country
value for money
average total snowfall290″ 164″

Save up to 35% when you book a Alta Ski Resort package!

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Alta Ski Resort Reviews

Fabulous 4.4 / 5
based on 99 reviews

How well the resort caters for beginner skiers / boarders


How well the resort caters for intermediate skiers / boarders?


How well the resort caters for advanced skiers / boarders


How accessible and convenient it is to get to this resort from a major destination


Quality of the off-piste terrain


Overall value for money of the resort

Value for money

Quality of lifts, lift speed and lift layout in the resort


Quantity and quality of the snow


How uncrowded is the resort


Après ski and dining options


Services and facilities e.g. child care, tubing, health care, equipment hire


How family friendly is this resort?

Family Friendliness
Very Good!4 / 5Mar 22, 2020
Alta Ski Resort ReviewsSab K.
advanced snowboarder
It’s a skier’s paradise! Unfortunately, I’m a snowboarder so I found the trails to be somewhat challenging when forced to switch to skis. The difficulty of the runs cater to intermediate-advanced skiers. So don’t come here expecting a lot of wide groomed runs! Or for that matter a ski town! Come for the challenging runs and all the fresh... More
Superb!4.7 / 5Jan 05, 2020
Alta Ski Resort ReviewsSolei S.
advanced skier
If Alta wasn’t skiers only, I would probably get my season pass there this year (I have boarder family I go with often). I loved the vibe of the resort, and the terrain is beautiful and fun. Their side country and backcountry terrain is really where they excel. I went before they got on ikon pass, but it was not crowded at all when I went.... More
Very Good!4.1 / 5Dec 27, 2019
Alta Ski Resort ReviewsBrandon D.
intermediate skier
Alta has a little bit of everything for everybody, from first time skiers learning how to snow plow to grizzled wild-men with shovels in their backpacks looking for secret powder stashes. Consistent quality snow. Amazing variety. I can always find my secret stash of powder at Alta without a bunch of tourists following me. It is not an overdone... More
Superb!4.7 / 5Dec 02, 2019
Alta Ski Resort ReviewsEddie L.
expert skier
The hype for Alta and Utah is FOR REAL. Beautiful, perfect snow and the best variety of terrain you could ask for. There may be better options out there for families with young children or beginner skiers, but for the serious skier it does not get much better than Alta.... More
Superb!4.8 / 5Nov 19, 2019
Alta Ski Resort ReviewsWill W.
expert skier
One of my favorite ski resorts. It is an absolute treasure. Takes a little time to get a feel for the mountain and to navigate the trails but unbelievable options and runs.... More
Very Good!4.1 / 5Oct 27, 2019
Alta Ski Resort ReviewsKen G.
expert skier
Alta can be reviewed on so many levels. I love this resort for the hidden areas where you can escape the crowds. If you don’t mind the hike/skin then Alta delivers the goods. Little Cottonwood Canyon produces some of the lightest snow in the greatest quantity on the continent. Some favorites for me are: Catherine’s Area-In a Powder day there is... More
Fabulous!4.3 / 5Sep 04, 2019
Alta Ski Resort ReviewsVal A.
intermediate skier
Great ski only resort with a lot of history. The groomers seem to stay nice for a lot more of the day. It's a good size mountain a variety of runs to suit your skill level.... More
Superb!4.8 / 5Sep 04, 2019
Alta Ski Resort ReviewsShane J.
advanced skier
Love this skiers only resort. Old school feel. Steep and deep. Consistently the most and best snow in Utah. Traffic up and down the canyon on a pow day can be slow.... More
Fabulous!4.4 / 5Sep 04, 2019
Alta Ski Resort ReviewsBrian E.
advanced skier
I refuse to leave a review of Alta because then everyone else will know how great it is and that would just mean I would have to share it. I’m keeping the amazing light, dry, fluffy fifteen foot snow that sometimes flies off like fine down feathers to myself. The old school atmosphere needs to be preserved including chili and burgers at the grill,... More
Fabulous!4.3 / 5Aug 08, 2019
Alta Ski Resort ReviewsBrent D.
intermediate snowboarder
Came to alta in the summer. It is a beautiful place but not much to do. The hikes are gorgeous and the people are nice though. I want to go back in the winter!!... More

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