The Little Cottonwood Canyon ski resorts share a common thread: they’re both skier’s mountains; bucket list destinations for the avid skier. But it’s Alta that’s led the commitment to core skiing charge, considering the resort recently celebrated 75 years of operations. Alta was the third resort in the U.S. to open a chairlift, and has remained independent—and owned by the same family—ever since. Part of the Alta tradition is no snowboarders, sorry one-plankers. It’s one of three remaining resorts in the U.S. that do not permit snowboarders. Alta and Snowbird share Mount Baldy, and offer several access points and a shared lift ticket for a reasonable price.
Much like Snowbird and perhaps more so, Alta’s lodging options are minimal and simple, but they appeal to hardcore skiers in search of a nearly bygone ski culture. Alta’s Peruvian Lodge is famed among the core ski industry as one of the coolest places to après-ski, just don’t expect anything fancy.Oh, and did we mention Alta averages about 560 inches of fluffy, Salt Lake-affect snow annually? In the winter, it’s snowing in Alta more than its not, so you’re almost guaranteed world-class powder. Combine “the best snow on earth” with 2,200 skiable acres over 116 trails, and tons of sidecountry access, and you've got one unbeatable ski vacation.
As aforementioned, Alta skiing is best enjoyed by challenge seekers. But the resort does offer plenty of terrain options for beginners and intermediates, making it a great destination for no-frills families. Alta’s Mount Baldy is host to several famed sidecountry lines, and incredible hike-to terrain. Don’t be surprised if you see pro-skiers like Sage Cattabriga-Alosa or Pep Fujas hiking up to these iconic lines.