Take a shuttle from Salt Lake City International Airport directly to your slopeside accommodations. Little Cottonwood Canyon is known for its impressive snowfall (why you are coming in the first place!), which means the road conditions are unpredictable, and the law requires 4WD with snow tires or chains. You won’t need a rental for your Alta vacation, so skip the hassle of trying to coordinate all that (please be aware most rental cars are NOT equipped for the snowy road) and book a shared ride up the canyon with Alta Shuttle. If you prefer private door-to-door service, Alpine Transportation has you covered. When it is really coming down, the road into Alta can close to all traffic while plow crews work to clear snow. For up to date canyon road conditions and status check Alta Central posts for the most up to date road information.
What to Bring
If you have a full ski set-up, we recommend bringing your own boots, but leaving your skis at home. A boot bag is much easier to travel with, and the Alta Ski Shop and the Powder House Ski Shops offer a full line of rental and demo skis for you to enjoy. Check in with one of their reps to find the perfect pair of skis to match the conditions of the day.
Don’t forget your bathing suit! Each of the 5 independent hotels and lodges in Alta have a hot tub, pool, or both! No better way to relax your quads after a full (or half) day out on the hill.
Ski Adventures/Day Activities
Alta’s Alf Engen Ski School offers ski lessons for all ages and abilities. The children’s Ski Adventure staff is ready to share their passion for the lifelong sport of skiing with your children. All day programs let you drop your children off early and pick them up when the lifts close, or you may meet them at the end of their lesson and enjoy the last run of the day together. Adult ski classes and privates are available daily. There is also a variety of specialty camps and clinics offered throughout the season that allow skiers to intensify their skills.
Pro Tips for Activities:
- Purchase lift tickets in advance to save money
- If you have an Ikon, Mountain Collective, or Superpass make sure you read up ahead of time for pass details and pick-up information
- Book a treatment at the Snowpine Lodge’s Stillwell Spa Lodge for your rest day
Where to Eat/Drink
Almost every hotel and lodge in Alta includes breakfast and dinner in the room rate. For lunch on the mountain try one of the three: Alf’s, GMD Saloon, Alta Lodge. And if you need a quick pick me up or a power snack try the slope side and local favorite Alta Java.
The Sitzmark Club is a classic Alta ski bar located in the original building of the Alta Lodge, which dates to 1940. It’s the perfect spot to relax in front of the fireplace, looking out on the mountain with a drink, soaking in the feel of their warm and historic bar.
Lovingly referred to as the P dog, the Peruvian bar is a local favorite and one of the liveliest places in Alta.
If you are looking to splurge on dinner one night, make a reservation at the Shallow Shaft Restaurant. With Executive Chef Nate Nagy running the show this year the menu is sure to wow and inspire your taste buds.
Good to Know
What the heck is Interlodge?
Interlodge is when heavy snow fall creates high avalanche danger and the town is subject to avalanche control work. During Interlodge, road access is closed and travel outside is illegal. This includes being in your car. For more information about interlodge click here.
There you have it folks! Your toolkit for success during your first Alta vacation. Remember to share your Alta experience with #discoveralta to be featured on our account. We hope you have a great time discovering the timeless magic of Alta.