Alta Ski Area , located in the Wasatch Mountains east of Salt Lake City, Utah ,is one of the oldest USA ski resorts , opening its first lift in 1939. It has a skiable area of 2200 acres (8.9 km²), beginning at a base elevation of 8530 ft (2600 m) and rising to 10,550 ft (3216 m) for a vertical gain of 2020 ft (616 m) . Alta has an average annual snowfall of 514 inches (1,306 cm).
Respected for its classic powder skiing, challenging terrain and spectacular views, Alta also offers great beginner and intermediate skiing. Alta is considered as having the best powder snow in the U.S., but if you’re looking for loads of thrilling nightlife Alta may not be the right place for you. The lodges are traditional, cozy gathering places for family and friends, but not really good for people who are looking for dancing and drinking.
The ski season at Alta runs for five months from the middle of November to mid-April. Note that Alta does not allow any snowboarding, while neighbouring Snowbird does.
Alta is one of the oldest ski areas in the U.S. and is one of just a few ski areas in America that limit access to skiers (snowboarders are not allowed). Alta officially opened as a ski area in the winter of 1938-39. Throughout the years, Alta’s philosophy has been to offer a quality skiing experience for a fair price.
Beginning in the winter of 2002, Alta and its neighbor, Snowbird, began offering a joint day pass and a joint season ticket, allowing skiers to fully access all of the terrain of both resorts.
Alta ski area offers challenges for all kind of skiers .
Crooked Mile is ideal for beginners in Alta as they can ski at altitude and enjoy mountain views. Intermediate skiers will enjoy the ride up Supreme and the panoramic view of Alta and the Heber Valley from the top.
With 35 percent of the mountain dedicated to black diamond trails, advanced and expert skiers have plenty to choose from at Alta.
Neighboring Snowbird is the more aggressive of the two ski areas, though Alta’s ski area still has plenty to test advanced skiers.
Alta village & accommodation
Alta is a friendly and cozy village, centered around the five lodges with their accommodations, restaurants and bars.
Skiing is the thing here. Alta has five lodges, strung out in a linear-type arrangement, and all offer accommodations and restaurants as well as bars and cafeterias. Everything is within walking distance and the atmosphere is friendly and cozy. Others enjoy the ambiance of Salt Lake City’s much wider variety of lodging options .
The latest thing at Alta is cross-country or skate skiing, after which you may need one of the massage therapists who will come to your ski accommodations.
Alta has managed to preserve what some call “the soul of skiing”. Without real estate development on the mountain and very little corporate intervention , you can really focus on skiing and incredible scenery. If you are looking for a ski vacation away from the crazy of everyday life, Alta just may be the place for you.
Alta ‘s opening day is Friday November 19th !