Why Stay in Alta?

Guests who are new to Alta sometimes ask “Isn’t it cheaper to stay in Sandy or Salt Lake City, and drive up to Alta or Snowbird every day?  And that way, can’t we ski lots of different resorts during our vacation?”  Well… it may be a little cheaper to stay in Salt Lake Valley, but the experience doesn’t compare.

Cheaper?  Probably, but skiers staying in the Salt Lake Valley generally want to rent a car.  (You won’t need a car if you stay in Alta; a round-trip shuttle from the airport to Alta Lodge on Alta Shuttle is $72 per person.)  Breakfast and dinner are included in your stay at the Lodge.  If you’re staying in Salt Lake Valley, depending on your tastes, breakfast and dinner will add $40 to $80 per person per day.

Morning driving time to Alta… 25 minutes... or two hours?  It is possible to get from Salt Lake Valley to Alta in 25 minutes, with dry roadways and no traffic… but it doesn’t work that way on most ski mornings, let alone on a powder day.  On a typical ski day, arriving about the time the lifts open, 45 minutes is a good estimate.  On a big powder day, 90 minutes is more likely.  Tire chains or four-wheel drive are required.  The public bus is also an option, but generally takes more time.  On the very best powder days, the days Alta is famous for, there is often a morning road closure for avalanche control work, so skiers driving up from Salt Lake Valley may be waiting in traffic at the bottom of the canyon when the lifts open.  Once they get to Alta, they will have to deal with parking, put on ski boots and clothes in the car, walk to the lifts with skis and poles, and get in line for a ski pass.  On some days, for the first hour or so of the ski day, with the road still closed, guests staying in Alta are skiing fresh powder with no lift lines.

For Lodge guests, there are no worries about cars, roads, groceries or restaurants.  Wake up at your leisure in the fresh, clean air of Alta.  Have coffee in the lobby with friends, take a look at the New York Times or catch up on your email.  Have a hot breakfast in the dining room and pick up a lift pass at the front desk.  Back in your room, turn on the boot warmers, get dressed for skiing and put on ski boots.  Get your skis from the ski locker room, and ski out the door to the Collins lift.  For guests with kids, our Kids’ Club staff shuttles children to ski school or daycare.


At the end of the ski day, at lunch time, or any time, guests return by the Lodge rope tow.  There's no need to load up gear and get back in the car in your ski clothes to return to your lodging.  After skiing, there’s time for a shower, a hot tub and a sauna.  Stop by the lobby for tea and cookies, or have a drink in the Sitzmark Club.  Our Kids’ Club staff pick up children from ski school, and supervise after-ski activities and a special kids’ dinner.  Later in the evening, join your friends or meet new friends in the dining room, for a four-course dinner featuring the evening’s specials.

There are other great ski areas in Utah, but skiers around the world agree that Alta’s terrain and snow make it the best.  With 2200 acres of skiing, there’s a wonderful variety of terrain for skiers of all abilities – you could ski Alta all season long and find new runs hidden on the mountain every day.  And with Snowbird’s 2500 acres of world-class skiing just a mile away by shuttle bus, or accessed by the Alta-Snowbird combined pass, there’s no need to drive around looking for other places to ski.

An Alta Lodge ski vacation is the classic ski lodge week, and a big part of what makes it special is relaxing and enjoying the time with friends and family before and after skiing.  Please join us and find out why we call it “Alta’s Best Experience”.