Alta Blog

Alta Vacation Bucket List

Alta Vacation Bucket List

| February 16th, 2017 | By Taylor Strand

Alta Vacation Top 10 List

Whether you are local, frequent visitor, or this is your first trip to the magical town of Alta, you may find yourself overwhelmed by all the wonderful options around you. There are so many beautiful sights to see, secret places to grub down, historical establishments to hang at and even locals you might want to meet. I wanted to take some time to line out a few of these options in a quick Alta checklist. Keep in mind these are just suggestions, but come highly recommended by a collaborative group of the Alta community and myself.

1. Superior Selfie

(At the top of the Collin’s chair, take a picture with Mt. Superior in the background) If there is one place to take a photo with an amazing scenic background, this is it. I have been skiing Alta for 27 years and manage to do this at least a few times every year.


Selfie Time

2. Ski High Rustler

Alta is known for the High Rustler ski run. Located front and center lies the approximate 1,300' face that you can ski from top to bottom in one shot. If there is one run to ski at alta this is it. It is a bit of a challenge so not recommended for all skier types but something to work up to if you are just starting to ski.


High Rustler Mountain Cam

3. Ride Every Lift

This is a goal I set for myself at every ski area I attend so it had to be part of this list. If you have the time and the mountain is running at full steam, ride every lift. Wildcat, Collins, Supreme, Sunnyside, Cecret, and if it’s running it may be your last shot to ski the Albion chair.


Trail Map

4. Drink a Suzies Special

Stop in at the base of Albion Basin at the Alta Java coffee shop. You will find a drink on the menu called a Suzie’s (chai latte w/espresso) and if you aren’t into coffee there are plenty of other sweet options, straight up coffee and options to keep hydrated. If you are fixing for a snack then you must indulge on a Powder Pig Waffle or a Patsy Pocket .


Alta Java Article - Powder Magazine


5. Split a Bucket of Fries at Watson Shelter

Nothing beats a gigantic bucket of fries to split with friends while letting the legs rest up and taking in a spectacular view. This has been a go-to mid-mountain pit stop by many of us and will continue to be as long as those crispy golden buckets continue to warm up your body and soul.


Watson Shelter

6. Apres Nachos or Pizza at the Goldminer’s Daughter

I have to say that this may take the cake for my most frequented stop throughout the ski year at Alta. This establishment has an incredible history and an amazing vibe that provides a unique feel that fills you with the spirit of Alta. If I need to warm up my toes or am ready to call it for the day the Goldminer’s Saloon is where you will find me. Come sit down and dive into a tower of nachos or split a large pizza and pitcher with friends. I have listed a link below to the full menu and beer list.


Goldminer’s Saloon Menu

7. Have a beverage or dinner at every local watering hole.

It is important to learn about the local culture and having a drink at each bar tends to provide a good mix of the Alta community. I thought about separating these on the list then realized it’s just the same clumping them into one. Each of these places has its own distinct Alta charm along with friendly skiers, lodge employees, shop employees and friendly bartenders. Below is a list of my recommendations in the order you should start with.


  1. Peruvian Lodge (Draft Beer, Free Appetizers and Popcorn)
  2. Goldminers Daughter (Pitcher and Nachos/Pizza)
  3. Watsons Shelter (Beer and Bucket of Fries)
  4. Sitzmark (Party Marg is a must)

8. Peak Photo Action Shot

As you cruise down the groomer on the Albion side, chances are you will see a bright yellow sign in the middle of the run. If you do, chances are there will be a photographer sitting on about 40 yards below it. Ski by and smile real big! He will call a number out at you to remember. When you head down for lunch or a hot chocolate at Alta Java (No. 6) head upstairs to Peak Photo and check out your shots from the day!


9. Attend an A.C.E. Event

If you are sending more than a week or so at Alta chances are an Alta Community Enrichment event will be happening while you are here. Their mission statement is as follows. “Ace Is a 501C3 art nonprofit that creates opportunities in the Little Cottonwood community for individual and group participation in arts, cultural events, and education. For instance the Alta Gala fundraiser is coming up and ACE is offering free dance lessons leading up to it, and promises to be a great time!

 A.C.E. Events Page

10. Make Friends with a Local

This is a fairly easy task to accomplish because the Alta community is one of the friendliest I have come across. The majority of shop, lift, and lodge employees along with ski patrol are mostly locals and always glad to answer questions or make new friends. Another one of my favorite ways of meeting new people is to jump in the singles line. Don’t be shy, everyone is here for the same reason as you in one way or another. Some of us have just caught the Alta bug and can’t seem to leave this magical place. Say hello and introduce yourself, everyone can use a new ski buddy.

By Taylor Strand (with recommendations from friends)


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