Alta, Utah, is considered a skiing paradise by many skiers and is found among the top 5 unique places in skiing.
It’s located just east of Snowbird inside of Little Cottonwood Canyon where it benefits from the canyon’s microclimate with record snowfalls and an annual average of 540 inches. That’s 17 percent more than Snowbird which is also among elite resorts when it comes to snowfall.
In fact, they get more powder than anywhere in Alaska, and it draws a large cross-section of skiers who love the terrain and the pristine quality of the place.
Alta’s Retro Feel
Alta offers a chance for some old-fashioned skiing fun with small hucks and stashes. Most of the terrain is easily reachable, and skiers willing to put in a little extra effort to get through some trees and past some rocks, will be rewarded with two to three turns at a time in fresh snow.
However, Alta’s routes take time to learn, and it helps to ski with a local who knows their way around, because this is one resort where traversing and side-stepping are necessary skills if you want to get to the best terrain and snow.
Alta’s resort offers a retro feel but has still incorporated updates. Additions have been made to its dining selections over the last decade, and new lodges bring a touch of stylish mountain contemporary to the mix.
They have also rearranged some of the lifts in an effort to alleviate crowding issues during big snow events, and during the spring break weeks in March.
No Snowboarders Allowed on the Slopes
One of the things that make Alta unique is that it doesn’t allow snowboarders on the slopes. Some consider this a good thing and others think it exclusive and unfair, but really the terrain would be difficult for snowboarders trying to navigate across the slope routes in order to get to the best Alta has to offer.
The bottom line is that Alta is for skiers.
Skiers with flexible schedules will find the best times to beat the crowds and still enjoy the power are in early December and late April. It’s like having piles of fresh snow all to yourself.
Photo credits: Ski Utah