A Unique Place on Earth

Alta is a unique place on earth and the foundation for its unique character begins with the Wasatch Fault.  The Wasatch Fault created the mountains that trapped the snow that formed the ice that made the glaciers that shaped the terrain.  This process continues today and it will continue for millions of years.  We’re all […]

Other Ski Areas in the Wasatch Front – Park City

The Park City resorts are dramatically different than Alta.  Located on the leeward side of the Wasatch Mountains, Park City ski resorts don’t receive nearly as much snow as Big or Little Cottonwood Canyons and show little evidence of glaciation.  The ski slopes have a convex shape and there are no high surrounding peaks to protect the […]

Other Ski Areas in the Wasatch Front – Brighton

Each ski area in the Wasatch mountains has it’s own distinctive character and the geologic history of each area strongly influences that character.  Brighton shares many similarities with Albion Basin.  Brighton was the source of the trunk glacier that flowed down Big Cottonwood Canyon.  Because of this, there is a lot of gentle terrain at […]

The High Traverse

The High Traverse accesses Greeley Bowl and Greeley Hill, High Rustler, Eagles Nest and other steep terrain.  Greeley Bowl and Greeley Hill have the same geologic profile as most of the Back Side (see Back Side Description).  Along the way The High Traverse leads to Race Course, Sunspot, West Rustler, Stonecrusher and others.  Each of […]


Racecourse follows part of the U-shaped valley on the southeast side of Collins Gulch.  It is in the transition zone between the valley and the glacial headwall and, as a result, is unusually steep.  The slope is concave and northwest facing and snow quality is excellent. Racecourse.

The Transfer Tow

The Transfer Tow follows the line of the trunk glacier directly down Little Cottonwood Canyon.  Because of the erosional power of the ice here, the valley floor is nearly completely smooth with only a slight gradient down canyon.  This run wasn’t built for excitement but is the perfect slope for first time skiers to get used […]

Eagle’s Nest

Eagles Nest was formed by a small pocket of snow and ice that accumulated and carved out the beginnings of a cirque.  The cirque was not very long lived however and didn’t develop many of the definitive characteristics.  The underlying rocks are limestones, so there are lots of cliffs and the terrain is steep.  Once […]

Supreme Bowl

At Supreme Bowl snow and ice hung in the deep shade formed by the limestone and marble cliffs long after it had melted away from many less protected areas at Alta.  As a result a steep-sided cirque formed in the cliff-forming limestones.  The long run-out at the bottom toward the Supreme Chair loading station follows […]

The Crooked Mile

The Crooked Mile was carved by the trunk glacier in Albion Basin.  As a result the Crooked Mile is a smooth gentle run with little variability in terrain.  Underlying rocks are the Alta Stock which forms rounded outcrops.  There are incremental changes in inclination on this run that makes it an excellent teaching hill for […]

The Devil’s Elbow

The Devil’s Elbow is one of Alta’s most popular intermediate runs because of the consistent slope and wide trails.  These characteristics are the result of glacial smoothing and polishing of the Tintic Quartzite.  Most of the beds of the Tintic Quartzite dip about 25 degrees east in this area resulting in a topographic dip-slope situation, […]