Skiing Magazine is impressed with Alta too. In the Reader's Choice Awards, Alta was voted #3 Overall, #4 Best steeps, #1 Powder, and #5 Backcountry. All of its rankings are combined with Snowbird because you can literally ski between the two mountains
After a week, you may become an Altaholic too.
A few things to consider when heading to Alta Utah are:
Alta allows you to ski just about anywhere. It offers 3 backcountry access gates, if for some reason you choose to explore beyond the fantastic options the resort offers. One of the beauties is that skiers can leave the boundaries anywhere – gate or no gate. The location of Alta Utah ,is what makes it so superb. The Little Cottonwood Canyon blocks most wind, the Great Salt Lake wicks moisture into the air for deep, dry powder, and the snow is relatively stable compared to neighboring Colorado. Alta averages 500 inches of snow. That's roughly 85 inches a month! At that rate, big cliffs in the early season practically disappear.
The terrain at Alta is top notch. Anything you want is there – steeps, glades, flats, groomers, cliffs, steeps, chutes, cornices, moguls, or backcountry. There is also Grizzly Gulch Cat Skiing associated with the resort that will take you untracked powder nearby.
As for inbounds, a few places that are a must are Baldy Chutes, Catherine's Area, Rustler Pitches, Glory Hole, Devil's Castle, Wildcat Steeps, or East Castle. Pitches often hit 50 degrees, with an average pitch of 44 degrees. For some terrain it is necessary to hike, but as with most hiking the turns you earn are well worth it.
One of Alta's best-kept secrets is its beginner and intermediate terrain, which covers 65% of the mountain. Most people visit Alta Utah to ski hard, scary terrain, which Alta has in abundance. But there is also plenty of terrain for the whole family.
The kid's ski school is one of the bests. Your kids will have a blast and learn something too. Remember that Alta's base is small. There is no fancy shopping or an abundance of things to do besides ski. Alta does not offer tubing or fun activities that other resorts offer.
If you want to take a day off, try visiting Salt Lake City for their tourist attractions.
The nightlife scene at Alta Utah is minimal to say the least. When you are located at the head of an icy, isolated canyon, there is no room to build. If you must have a beer after the ski day try the Peruvian Lodge or Alf's Restaurant.
Due to the size of the resort and its isolated location at the top of the Little Cottonwood Canyon, there are not many eating options. There are only 8 restaurants. On Mountain there are plenty of options. Try the mountain's best French fries at Alfs. Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the Peruvian Lodge. Get a cup of coffee at Alta Java. Or bring your own lunch and maximize your skiing.
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