Alta Snowbird Outdoor Activities

Alta Snowbird Vacations are Full of Amazing Outdoor Activities

Ski and Ride the Greatest Snow on Earth

In the winter, Canyons Services guests can learn how to ski deep Utah snow at Alf Engen’s Ski School, the birthplace of modern powder skiing, or spend the day snow cat skiing in the Snowbird backcountry with a guided trip on the backside.

Summer Vacations in Little Cottonwood Canyon

Each summer, Alta-Snowbird transforms into a mountain playground, complete with exciting mountain coasters, alpine slides, and outdoor concerts. Canyon Services guests can escape high into the Wasatch Mountains by hiking to an alpine lake or a high mountain peak.

Discover Adventure in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains

Alta Ski Resort is Famous for Deep Snow, Amazing Terrain, and an Authentic Ski Culture

Skier with a mug of cocoa. Text on mug: Friends of Alta.



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Alta is for skiers and offers 2,614 acres of terrain for all levels of skier. Your whole family will enjoy learning and playing in this beautiful playground!

Check the Mountain Report and Mountain Cam for today’s conditions

Services at Alta Ski Area:

Ski Snowbird – Utah’s Famous Steep Resort

Snowbird Mountain.



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Snowbird Mountain School

Even though Snowbird is famous for big terrain, you don’t have to be a pro to ski snowbird. Both Chickadee and Big Emma are perfect for beginner skiing and snowboarding.  Snowbird boasts one of the best Ski School programs in Utah. At Snowbird Mountain School, there’s endless opportunity to take your skiing to the next level.

Check the Mountain Report for today’s conditions

Services at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort:

Alf Engen Ski School


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Learn to Ski at Alta’s Famous Ski School

The Alf Engen Ski School at Alta Ski Area is legendary. For over 70 years, skiers of all ages have learned to ski Utah’s famous powder snow at Alf Engen ski school.

Backcountry Adventures at Alta Ski Area

Ski group posing.


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Explore Alta’s Ski Area’s Backcountry like Never Before!

You’ll make turns and memories by taking advantage of the many offerings from Alta Ski Area, Utah Mountain Adventures, Ski Utah and Powderbird. From Cat skiing and Helicopter skiing to skiing six Utah resorts in one day, if you’re looking for the next level you’ve got to checkout all these great opportunities for your next winter adventure to Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Summer Races

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With beautiful vistas, few or no crowds, and grueling climbs, Little Cottonwood Canyon plays host to some of the best cycling and bike races (both on and off road) in the Utah, including the Tour of Utah, Rage at Snowbird, and the Snowbird Annual Hill climb.

Mountain bikers.

Heli Skiing


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Wasatch PowderbirdTM Guides was born in 1973 when a few ski professionals began taking adventurous travelers on heli-ski trips to the backcountry of Utah’s majestic mountains. Focusing on fun, adventure and skill-instruction, their excursions soon gained renown among powderhounds hungry for the addictive thrill of skiing unblemished expanses of “the greatest snow on Earth.”

A day with the Powderbirds… you will experience amazing views of Little Cottonwood Canyon from their state of the art heli-port. A continental breakfast will be served to start the day and after helicopter skiing you will return to the heli-port for an après-ski lunch. Their facility creates a fun and intimate atmosphere to relive and retell the adventures of the day.

Hiking Trails Guide

Lake and hills.Cecret Lake Trail

If you only have time for one hike on your trip, this is our recommendation. The 2.5 mile round trip trail begins from the west side of Albion Basin Campground. You’ll cross under 2 chair lifts and make a couple switchbacks and you’ll be there in no time. You can keep going past the lake and continue up to Devils Peak. There’s no swimming at the lake.

Catherine Pass

Park in the first Alta parking area, before the campground. You will be able to see the 3 mile trail climbing to the east of the parking lot.  Most of the 900 ft climb to Catherine Pass is in the first third of a mile. After passing through the meadows the trail takes a short climb to Catherine Pass at an elevation of 10,240 ft. From Catherine Pass the trail descends into Big Cottonwood Canyon. Another half a mile and you will be hiking past lakes Mary, Martha, and Catherine. The trail does continue on to Brighton ski resort., but if you choose to continue on, we recommend having someone pick you up on the other side!

Little Cottonwood Trail

Great for hiking or mountain biking, this trailhead starts at the east end of the UTA Park & Ride lot at the mouth of the canyon. There are a couple of other turnoffs that connect with the trail as wekk, if you want to get dropped off and ride downhill. The trail is a fairly wide single-track with some rocky sections that follows Little Cottonwood Canyon road and the creek. It’s usually open by mid-April and can be ridden until November. Much of the trail is shaded by the woods.

Temple Quarry Trail

This trail is great for the whole family, and is fully paved and wheelchair accessible! Located on the south side of the road at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon, the .3 mile round trip path is beautiful and relaxing!

If you only have time for one hike on this list, we recommend Cecret Lake. This hike offers varied terrain, views of Alta Ski Area and great photo opportunities at the lake itself.

A couple of tips: when hiking at high altitude, make sure you drink plenty of water (before, during and after your hike) and start out early in the day when temperatures are cooler.

Happy Hiking!

Mountain Biking

Moose in the Woods.Sure, Little Cottonwood Canyon is known for the great skiing and riding in the winter, but in the summer months our slopes turn into an oasis for Utah Mountain Biking and play host to some of the best Bike Races in the state!

Make sure you hit these Mountain Bike Trails in Little Cottonwood Canyon:

Snowbird Ski and Snowboard Lessons


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Book a day at Snowbird’s Mountain School. The Mountain School at Snowbird ski resort offers ski and snowboard lessons for all ages abilities. Learn to ski the Greatest Snow on Earth.

Check out Snowbird Ski and Summer Resorts website for all their Mountain School offerings! From kids class to clinics they’ve got something for everyone – both skiers and boarders alike!

Snowcat Skiing at Snowbird


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Snowbird Snowcat Skiing for Nature is a guided backcountry ski experience in upper American Fork Canyon including five distinct areas: Sinner’s Pass, Pagan Basin, and Borussia in Mineral Basin, Miller Hill and Mary Ellen Gulch.

12-hour, advance reservation required. Advanced/expert skiers and riders recommended. Snowboarders must be competent in traversing.