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Alta — Other activities


Alta attracts those who like to ski from morning ’til the last lift shuts down, so there aren’t many non-skiing activities. If you want to explore the vast amounts of out-of-bounds terrain, Alta offers snowcat skiing on 325 acres in Grizzly Gulch, adjacent to the ski area. Runs average 1,500 vertical feet, with the highest elevation at 10,500 feet. Cost includes an orientation, continental breakfast and guides. Both skiers and snowboarders are welcome, must be advanced or experts (but the ski area is still closed to snowboarders). For reservations, call 359-1078, Ext. 271 or 801-742-3333, Ext. 271.

A 45-minute guided interpretive ski tour is given by a Wasatch-Cache National Forest ranger on weekends and holidays at 1:30 p.m. Meet at the sign at the bottom of Cecret lift. Little Cottonwood Canyon also has spectacular helicopter skiing and snowboarding available from Wasatch Powderbird Guides (800-974-4354; 801-742-2800; above right), based between Snowbird and Alta.

Alta is the winter base of the Alaska Mountain Guides & Climbing School (800-766-3396; 801-742-0100), with an office under the Albion Grill. It uses Alta chairlifts for access to many of its guided climbing and backcountry skiing courses. No previous experience is required—in fact, that’s the point, to teach backcountry skills. Trips depart daily.

To revitalize yourself after a day on the slopes, go to Alta Day Spa (801-742-2200) at Alta’s Rustler Lodge or have a masseuse visit you from Wasatch Mountain Massage (801-742-3313).

Our Lady of the Snows Center (801-742-2889) holds Catholic Mass every Sunday at 5 p.m. and visiting ministers hold inter-faith services on selected Saturdays. All are welcome.

A few shops in the Little Cottonwood Canyon area have local handicrafts, artwork and books, but skiers don’t come to Alta for the shopping. Note, however, that one of our staff writers found a replacement lens for his goggles in the general store at Alta Lodge—no other shops in the region carried them.

If you must, you can always take a bus or drive down to Salt Lake City for a day of heavy-duty shopping and other activities.