Outdoor Activities

Outdoor Activities

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



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Alta is for skiers and offers 2,200 acres of terrain for all levels of skier. Your whole family will enjoy learning and playing in this beautiful playground!

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Services at Alta Ski Area:


Ski Snowbird – Utah’s Famous Steep Resort



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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.

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Services at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort:


Alaska Mountain Guides


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Alaska Mountain Guides & Climbing School Inc. has teamed up with Alta Ski Area to offer mountaineering trips, backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, ice climbing and avalanche courses at Alta. With over twenty years of experience guiding and instructing, Alaska Mountain Guides offers a unique opportunity to learn and explore in some of the most fascinating places in the world. In Utah, the Alta based programs explore the Wasatch Mountains, which offer some of the best snow in the world coupled with fantastic terrain and abundant sunshine.


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


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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.


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

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!


Slope Side Rentals and Ski Shop at Alta Ski Area


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Did you forget to pack something like gloves, goggles or ski pants? The Motherlode Powder House is located at Alta Ski Area’s Wildcat Base, with slope side access from inside the Goldminer’s Daughter Lodge.


Mountain Biking

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:


Mountain Coaster


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The Snowbird Mountain Coaster is 3,120 feet of twists and turns. Located at the base of the Peruvian chairlift just outside the Snowbird Center, you’ll be pulled to the top of the track and then gravity will take over. The cart’s speed is controlled by the driver and as you descend 160 vertical feet you’ll experience two horizontal loops, a tree-lined straightaway and swooping turns.


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!


Ski into the Night at Snowbird

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Extend your ski day with Snowbird night skiing on Chickadee. Depending on conditions, Snowbird offers night skiing every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Night skiing is a great fun for the whole family!


Peak Photo


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Peak Photo offers slopeside photos to remember you Alta Ski vacation!


Scenic Aerial Tram Rides


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Experience an unforgettable sight as you travel to 11,000-feet to Hidden Peak at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort. The 10 minute trip (along a 1.6 mile cable and up 2,900 vertical feet) provides views of snow-capped slopes, Alta and the Salt Lake Valley.


Ski with a Ranger at Alta


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Join a highly trained volunteer from Cottonwood Canyons Foundation for an informative and fun learning experience down a groomed run at Alta Ski Area. Some of the topics discussed are— the fascinating local mining history, public lands, the watershed and winter ecology! This program is FREE and operates weekends and holidays, December 20, 2014 – March 29, 2015.

Where: Meets at the top of Sunnyside chairlift

When: Weekends at 1:30 pm


Snowbird Snowmobiling


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After checking in at the Activity Center adjacent to the Tram Station, Snowbird snowmobile tours kick off with a ride to the 11,000-foot Hidden Peak aboard the world famous Snowbird Aerial Tram — one of the few ski trams in North America. At the top, the view of the surrounding Wasatch Mountain Peaks will take away what breath you still have remaining at this elevation. From the peak, a brief ride on a high-speed quad ski lift takes you to your waiting snowmobile in beautiful and remote Mineral Basin


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.


Snowshoeing at Snowbird


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This activity provides fun and exercise in the beautiful Wasatch mountains. Guided tours are available with knowledgeable guides. All levels of snowshoeing experience are welcome, this is a great way to experience the mountains!


Hiking, Biking, Concerts and More!

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From the Mountain Coaster and Alpine Slide to outdoor concerts, hiking, fishing and Tram rides; Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort has the prefect activity for your family and friends this summer!


Summer in Alta

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Alta, Utah is for more than skiing. In Little Cottonwood Canyon, you can camp, hike, bike and climb your way into summer fun!


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.


Wasatch Powderbird Guides


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For over 40 years Wasatch Powderbird Guides have been traveling into the backcountry with skiers and riders from around the world. They provide guests exclusive adventures and off piste skill instruction. Their excursions have gained renown among those hungry for skiing fresh expanses in the best mountain ranges around the world.

Located on the Alta Bypass Road – check with them today to book your onc


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