If you’re planning a ski trip to Alta, you don’t want to miss any of its “must ski” runs.
As someone with plenty of trips to Alta under his belt, I’ve put together this definitive list to all of the mountain’s best and most iconic runs.
Whether you’re a beginner wanting to find some of the best mellow cruisers or an expert hoping to test your technical skills, these are the best 14 runs at Alta Ski Area.
- The Best Runs at Alta for Beginners
- The Best Intermediate Runs at Alta
- The Best Runs for Advanced Skiers
- The Best Expert Runs at Alta
The Best Runs at Alta for Beginners
As mentioned in SlopeLab’s Alta vs. Snowbird comparison, for a mountain with an advanced reputation, Alta is a surprisingly good mountain for beginners!
Here are its top 3 beginner runs:
3. Patsey Marley
Patsey Marly is a beautiful green groomer that meanders through the trees off Albion. When the weather is clear, the views are fantastic, but this run is also especially good when it’s foggy, since you can use the shadows from the nearby trees to help see better.
2. Home Run
One of my favorite parts about Alta for beginners is how they can still get that sense of “being in the mountains” even if they only stick to beginner terrain all day.
No green run at Alta highlights this unique quality quite like Home Run. Home Run sweeps through the mountain floor, giving skiers views of the powder-filled Greeley Bowl, along with the Alta base area and the beautiful mountains across the canyon.
With it’s long, sweeping turns and consistent slope, Home Run is an adventure to remember. (It does get a little steeper at the very bottom, which makes for a fun challenge!)
1. Crooked Mile
Crooked Mile sits in the heart of Alta’s very underrated beginner area near the Albion and Sunnyside lifts.
It’s one of the most popular beginner runs on the mountain thanks to its consistent slope and mostly open design. (A few parts get a little narrower, but it’s still a fantastic introductory run!)
Skiers will also get a nice view of the Little Cottonwood Canyon peaks and the Alta base area.
The Best Intermediate Runs at Alta
4. Rock ‘N Roll
Rock ‘N Roll is a fun, long blue cruiser off the Supreme Chairlift. It winds around the outside of the area, with beautiful views of Devil’s Castle along the way.
This run is perfect for those who want to venture off into the varied terrain, like trees and moguls, that lines the side of the run.
Rollercoaster is a fun, twisting, and sometimes narrow blue groomer underneath the Sugarloaf chairlift. True to its name, Rollercoaster undulates between steeper sections and flatter runouts, which makes for a fun change of pace.
While it can get a little crowded during busy days, Rollercoaster is still perfect for quick laps of the Sugarloaf area.
For the intermediate powder hound, it doesn’t get better than Ballroom.
While most mountain’s powder bowls tend to be crazy long or crazy steep, Ballroom fits in that goldilocks zone that intermediates will love. It’s also the perfect place to push your powder skiing; the further you traverse the steeper it gets.
You can find Ballroom by unloading off the Collins lift and heading towards the access gate/traverse just beyond Mambo and Main Street.
Put simply, Mambo is the best groomer at Alta. This long and twisting blue groomer runs from the top of Collins to its mid-point angle station, but you can always let the skis keep flying by continuing down Meadow and Corkscrew, all the way to the Collins base.
The whole journey covers nearly 1.5 miles and drops 1,800 continuous vertical feet.
Mambo is definitely one of my all time favorite blue groomers, on any mountain.
The Best Runs for Advanced Skiers
I fell in love with Sunspot on my first ever run, on my first ever day at Alta.
For advanced skiers, it’s one of the longest lines off Alta’s High Traverse. The top half brings slightly steeper, bowl-like skiing that’s just perfect for those deep Alta days, while the bottom half transitions nicely to mellower bumps through open trees.
I could lap this one all day. And I have!
Extrovert is a fantastic run of moderate steepness. It’s also perfectly named, since its location directly underneath the Sugarloaf chairlift means you can show off your skills for the whole lift to see!
When it’s groomed, Extrovert is one of the steepest, fastest groomers on the mountain. And when it’s not, it’s turns into one of the Alta’s most fun options for steeper bumps.
3. So Long
If you plan on making the hike to Catherine’s Area (you should!) then So Long is one of your best options to get the true experience.
Not only is it one of the longest runs in the area, but it has a fantastic mix of variable terrain that’s sure to keep any skier on their toes. Whether you’re looking for trees, moguls, steeps, or casual runouts, you can choose your own adventure on So Long.
By the end of it, you’ll definitely see what all the hype for Catherine’s is about!
2. Devil’s Castle
If you’re riding up the Sugarloaf chairlift and see a train of people traversing towards Devil’s Castle, know that there’s a good reason why.
In my opinion, no other advanced run on the mountain is as quintessentially Alta as the Devil’s Castle area.
- A crazy long traverse? Check.
- Wide open powder skiing? Check.
- A choose-you-own adventure, mostly unnamed trail down? Check.
Once out of the main bowl, I like aiming for the Cabin Hill area to end the run with a fun and varied trip through the woods.
1. Alf’s High Rustler
When the conditions are good, High Boy can be tackled by confident advanced skiers.
Alf’s High Rustler is one of the most iconic runs at Alta (and possibly, the entire skiing world) for a reason. Consistent steepness, soft snow, and that hidden Alta mystery make Alf’s the perfect run to challenge advanced skiers.
The Best Expert Runs at Alta
2. Baldy Chutes
When Baldy Chutes are open, they are some of the most legitimate expert terrain on the mountain.
Getting there requires a half hour bootpack, but those committed to making the hike will be rewarded with some of the steepest and most technical skiing in the Wasatch Mountains.
Gunsight has been delighting expert skiers throughout Alta’s lengthy history. Located in the legendary Greeley Bowl, getting there requires a trip on the High Traverse and side stepping over the ridge.
With a 40 degree pitch, this is one of the steepest runs anywhere. Add a tricky, narrow, and rocky entrance that eventually gives way to one of the nicest powder gullies you’ll ever come across, and this is expert skiing at its finest.
Don’t miss SlopeLab’s full review of Alta Ski Area.