Alta (Utah)

Alta is a small town at the head of Little Cottonwood Canyon in Salt Lake County, part of the Wasatch Range region of Utah.


Home to Alta Ski Resort and legendary Utah powder.

Alta is a small town on the outskirts of Salt Lake City. It is primarily a ski resort at which snowboarding is prohibited. The resort is for both local skiers and avid outsiders wanting to enjoy the mountain.

While Alta exists only as a ski resort today, the town has an interesting history. It was a mining town in the 1800s to 1900s. The first verified silver claim in Alta was staked in 1865. In 1937, the mayor of Alta gave acres of surface rights to the U.S. Forest Service for development of a ski area. Norwegian skiing legend Alf Engen was hired to help develop the area, and Alta opened its first ski lift in 1938. The first Collins lift was constructed in 1938 out of pieces of old aerial mining tram. As home to the second chairlift in US history, Alta played a major role in the creation of the modern day ski resort model. Skiing remains the main industry in the town.

In addition, Alta keeps up with the modern times, and is going green. The Alta Environmental Center states its primary goal is to strive for sustainability and to continuously investigate viable ways to decrease Alta Ski Area's carbon while maintaining a healthy business.

Get in

Alta is located 25 miles Southeast of Salt Lake City at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon.

By car

State Highway 210 brings you to Alta. The nearest interstates are 15, 80, and 215. There is only one road in and out of the valley. BE ADVISED that storms or avalanches may shut down the one road leading up the canyon and it is possible you may be unable to leave until the conditions clear.

By plane

It is a 45-minute drive from the Salt Lake City International Airport, with direct flights from most major cities.

Shuttles from the airport:

Get around

Overnight parking in Alta is limited. Avalanche and watershed restrictions prohibit overnight camping and dogs. If you are staying in Alta it is not necessary to have a car. Most lodges and condominiums are slope-side or provide transportation. For day trips, there are two parking lots at the Albion and Wildcat bases.

There are times when Little Cottonwood Canyon Road, State Highway 210, may be restricted to travel due to avalanches, storms, or other reasons. AM 530 has up-to-date road information and canyon activities. It is required by state law that you carry chains in your vehicle or have snow tires on the vehicle from November 1st through May 1st.

Between Alta and Snowbird

From 8:30 to 11AM the free white bypass shuttle bus makes a continuous loop past Blackjack Condos, The View, Powder Ridge, Superior Point, The bypass Houses, upper and lower Sugarplum Village, Collins Ticket Office and Wildcat Ticket Office. The free white bypass shuttle sits at the bottom of the Collins chair from 3 to 5PM and returns skiers immediately to their condominiums or houses.

Utah Transit Authority operates a ski bus route from many locations throughout the Salt Lake Valley. The UTA ski buses transport skiers and gear. Because of convenient schedule times, skiers can enjoy a full day, morning, or afternoon half-day of skiing.


The Uinta portion of the Forest, established in 1897, was the first National Forest in Utah. The Wasatch National Forest was established in 1906 and the Cache National Forest in 1907 to protect valuable resources. Timber, water, forage, wildlife and fisheries, oil and gas, and recreational opportunities are all found in these mountains and are managed by the Forest Service to ensure sustained ecosystem health.


The main attraction of Alta is the quality skiing, not the night life. Thus, there is little to do but ski, eat, drink, and sleep. The mountain is for skiers only. Snowboarders may enjoy Snowbird, a resort less than a ten-minute drive down the valley with much the same quality snow.

There are trails for skiers of all levels, from beginner to die-hard. Lessons, rentals, demos, and tours are available.







There are five lodges to choose from in Alta, each tailored to the type of experience you want to have on your ski trip. (More $ = more expensive)

There are also a number of condos and vacation homes to choose from in the area.


Mailing address

Alta Ski Area PO Box 8007 Alta, UT 84092 U.S.A

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, September 24, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.