24. August 2015 · Comments Off on Utah Discoveries 11: Alta Ski Area · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , , , ,
This was a shot I took in between snow showers at the top of the one of the numerous mountain peaks at Alta Ski Area.

This was a shot I took in between snow showers at the top of the one of the numerous mountain peaks at Alta Ski Area: Sugarloaf Peak (just over 11,000′). Note how much snow there was here compared to at Park City 48 hours prior, just one canyon south.

For our last day in Utah, we decided to make the trek over to Alta Ski Area, which is one canyon south of Park City. It seems so simple, but in reality, what we had to do was take a route that was a 270 degree loop that was ~40 miles to visit a resort only 10 miles away from our condo. It was about a one hour drive.

Please note that Alta Ski Area is a ski only resort. Snowboards are not allowed. I know that for many families this might be a show-stopper.

We are very happy that we elected to visit Alta during our Utah trip. It was some of the best skiing we’d ever experienced. We weren’t sure about making the trip over to the next canyon, for fear of being disappointed.

The sun was shining when we left Park City, but by the time we entered Little Cottonwood Canyon there were snow showers and lower visibility. This was promising for some better ski conditions than we had at Park City Resort.

We got some parking relatively close to the lodge and were able to pick up half price lift tickets thanks to our Monarch Mountain Season Passes.

We hit the slopes. The skiing was very nice and the mountain wasn’t too crowded.

We had a wonderful day. The highlight of our day of skiing was probably our family conquering the Extrovert trail: a black diamond trail that was ungroomed, quite steep and covered with assorted moguls. Our entire family made it down the trail, and then Timmy and Dave attempted it a second time. We took our time and were high-fiving each other when we were all still alive afterwards 🙂


My view of the boys going down Extrovert. Jacob is in green on the left, Timmy’s to his right, and Dave is down low towards the right (facing left) waiting for them.


Look in the center of the photo. The two people just to the upper left of the trees are Dave and Timmy. They conquered Extrovert a second time. It had started snowing again. I’m so proud of my boys!

There are some pretty cool features to Alta. There are two lodge and parking areas, Albion Base and Wildcat Base: each with their own lodge areas, ski rental shops, gift shops, ticket desks, and food. This huge “transfer tow” lift connects the two base areas. The boys got a kick out of taking the tow between the two areas.

Beginners can have a very fruitful day of skiing contained in one area. Families can come here and have the less experienced skiers remain at the Sunnyside lift area, while the more experienced folks can head up to Sugarloaf and Collins for the tougher trails.

Alta Ski Area is about 15 miles east of the town of Sandy, Utah. While we didn’t have much trouble parking for our late-season day trip, there didn’t appear to be tons of parking. However, we saw numerous references to there being bus service to the “Little Cottonwood Canyon” resorts: Alta, Brighton, Snowbird, and Solitude. It appears it takes about 1:15 hours from downtown Salt Lake City to reach Alta, for less than $10 per person round trip.

This was our last day in Utah; we headed home the next day.