Why Alta Is a Great Place for a Spring Ski Trip
Spring is a special time at Alta Ski Area. Known for its impressive snow totals each year, Alta continues to have mid-winter levels of powder during its long spring season. With longer days and warmer temperatures, the mountain becomes an inviting place to celebrate the sport and take in the incredible surroundings. While Alta may be best known for its deep powder and steep terrain, you’ll also find soft groomers and lots of incredible runs for beginner and intermediate skiers. One of the oldest operating ski areas in the U.S., Alta is filled with a classic, European-influenced charm, with a strict focus on providing the best skiing experience possible. For anyone planning a spring break ski trip with friends or family, here’s what sets Alta apart.
1. Prime Location
Alta is considered one of the snowiest places in the world, thanks to its location atop Little Cottonwood Canyon within the Wasatch Mountains—where you’ll find jaw-dropping panoramic mountain views. It receives an average 545" of snow annually, with much it coming in the spring season (an average of roughly 6 feet of snow falls each April). It’s also just a 32-mile drive from Salt Lake City, making it highly accessible for out-of-towners flying into the Salt Lake City International Airport. Those flying in don’t need to rent a car, with multiple ground transportation options available to take visitors from the airport to the mountain, and the free Alta Town Shuttle to get around once you’re there.
2. Top-Ranked Ski Conditions
In addition to the abundance of snow in Alta, the powder quality itself draws rave reviews. According to the Reader Resort Survey from SKI magazine, Alta Ski Area consistently ranks high for snow quality and overall satisfaction. Alta’s powder is pristine and well preserved with 116 runs and a vertical drop of 2,538 feet on challenging terrain. Your crew of powder-lovers will not be disappointed, even in the spring.
3. Double the Terrain, Double the Fun
You can gain access to not one but two ski resorts by purchasing the AltaSnowbird lift ticket. For little extra cost, this allows skiers to experience a total of 5,000+ acres of terrain and 26 chairlifts between the neighboring Alta and Snowbird ski resorts, making it one of the largest interconnected ski areas in the U.S. With so much room to play, crowds are never an issue.
4. An Authentic and Genuine Ski Experience
Because Alta is a ski-only resort, the vibe is very ski-centric and true to mountain culture. Established in 1938, Alta is one of the oldest ski resorts in the U.S., and it maintains a more traditional and no-frills ambiance with five charming rustic lodges (or condos to rent for the entire family), two ski-in/ski-out restaurants, and a rental shop. Dorm-style lodging is also available for groups of college students looking to save money.
5. Experience the Alta Snowflake Festival
Every spring Alta hosts the four-day Snowflake Festival organized by Alta Community Enrichment (ACE), a nonprofit that promotes art and culture in the region. The long weekend is filled with traditional entertainment like music and plays, plus more playful outdoor activities, like a soul train dance party, a women’s arm wrestling tournament, and a chili cook-off. Skiers at the end of the day can enjoy live musical entertainment at the Peruvian Lodge bar, in addition to other festival activities around the region.
6. All Levels are Welcome
With all that spectacular snow Alta may come across as a hardcore skier’s playground, but in reality, it’s a place all ages and levels can enjoy. Take classes at the Alf Engen Ski School, which offers everything from beginner group lessons to off-trail workshops and private lessons for both adults and children. These classes are a great opportunity to get either the youngest members of the family learning how to ski or the one friend who has never skied in his or her life but doesn’t want to miss out on spring break. The types of terrain and runs are equally spread across all levels as well, with 15 percent of the slopes rated at a beginner level, 30 percent at intermediate, and 55 percent advanced. As long as you have a passion for skiing and a willingness to learn Alta welcomes everyone with open arms.
7. Spring Discounts
In additions to lodging, rentals, and airfare deals in the spring, Alta offers discounted date-specific lift tickets online. A quick search shows heavily discounted lift tickets in late-March and April, some of the best deals of the season. If you're planning on skiing a lot this spring, check out Alta's discounted season passes good for the rest of the season.
Written by Emily Polachek for RootsRated Media in partnership with Alta.