Ski the Greatest Snow on Earth
It’s an undisputed fact, Utah has the Greatest Snow on Earth.® No kidding. But, of the 10 world class ski resorts within 1 hour of the Salt Lake International Airport, none has as much average snowfall, elevation and variety of terrain as Alta Ski Resort in Little Cottonwood Canyon. With an average snow fall of over 550 inches, coupled with the north facing slopes prevailing wind direction and lake effect snow, it’s as if the ski gods have blessed this area with every detail to make it a skier’s paradise.
Beginner Alta Runs
Crooked Mile is a perfect start to any beginner’s day at Alta, the Crooked Mile is a fairly tame, gradual slope weaving beneath Sunnyside and Albian chairs. Most of this run is groomed rather wide, allowing skiers to take it easy while practicing turns, stops and other skills.
Rabbit is the easiest way down from the Cecret lift. We chose this run because, although a slow-moving lift, Cecret should never be missed if you’re visiting Alta; mostly for the views. The combination of this lift and run make for the most awe inspiring views that the mountain has to offer. Snow covered cliffs, wide open hills and peeks of the Salt Lake Valley below combine for and incredible, easy going ride up and down the mountain.
Intermediate Alta Runs
From the top of Sugarloaf, Devil’s Elbow starts fairly steep but wide and quickly flattens out and repeats this pattern a few more times through the end of this run. Devil’s Elbow is probably the longest blue run at Alta, so occasionally skiing the perimeter powder, trees and even a few low jumps offer great practice for those wanting to improve their skills.
From the top of Collins turn right and follow the traverse track. Ballroom is one of Alta’s more advanced-intermediate areas, high on the mountain just below Baldy this is a great powder bowl when you hit it fresh. Just traverse across till you find a line that looks good or keep going till you find fresh, un-tattered snow.
Advanced Alta Runs
The initial drop into this infamous run can be daunting, it’s a narrow slot requiring a few quick turns but it slowly widens into a large gully. To access Gunsight take the high traverse from Collins for a few minutes and follow the side-step track up over the ridge. Gunsight is well worth the effort especially on powder days. Hit it early when the snow is falling because the locals also know this sheltered chute holds powder better than any other section of the mountain.
Alf’s High Rustler (or High Boy, as the locals call it):
Named after Alf Engen, famous skiing legend who helped establish Alta as a ski area, it is by far the most famous run in Alta. With a 2,000-foot vertical drop running straight down Collins lift, this run should notr be missed especially on powder days. Starting steep-and-deep, this run gradually lessons till it ends at the base, near the Sitzmark Bar at the Alta Lodge.
Thanks for reading about Alta’s best runs. This list is just the beginning. As many locals will tell you, you could spend a lifetime skiing Alta and still find new runs. We love sharing our passion for skiing deep powder. Come stay with Canyon Services and discover the wonders of Utah’s Wasatch Mountains.