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If you’re coming to Utah for world-class skiing, look no further than Little Cottonwood Canyon. Home to Snowbird and Alta, Little Cottonwood is home to some of the best powder skiing, the most incredible terrain, and amazing lodging experiences. If you want a true taste of why Utah skiing is so famous, there’s no better place to go.
Alta is a skier-only resort, and its neighbor Snowbird welcomes both skiers and snowboarders. The resorts are so close that there’s even a chairlift that connects the two and a combined lift ticket you can buy to ski both resorts in one day. The terrain is incredible and there’s nowhere else in Utah that compares to these ski resorts on a powder day. If you’re skiing here, make the experience all around amazing by staying at the resort instead of down in the valley where you’re always fighting traffic to get up to the slopes.
Why Choose a Ski-In Ski-Out Stay at Alta and Snowbird?
The best way to experience skiing at Snowbird or Alta is with ski-in ski-out lodging. Both of these resorts are located at the end of the canyon and it’s at least a 30 minute drive, when conditions are good. With the popularity of both of these resorts, plan on that drive taking at least an hour on weekends and several hours more if snow is involved. If you want to spend your ski trip on the slopes instead of stuck in traffic, you need to stay at Alta or Snowbird instead of in the Salt Lake Valley.
Alta and Snowbird Interlodge Events – The True Reason to Stay in Little Cottonwood Canyon!!
Several times a year, Little Cottonwood Canyon is closed for an Interlodge Event. This is a situation where there is a high avalanche risk (the only downside to getting over 500” of snow a year), and everyone is legally required to stay inside the buildings. That means that while ski patrol is out mitigating avalanche risk, you’re stuck inside while the snow keeps piling up. But that’s not a bad thing…
During an overnight Interlodge, the resorts are working hard to get the tram and lifts open as soon as possible. Often the lifts are open long before the road up the canyon is open to cars. That means that only guests staying at the resort will have access to all of that fresh powder, virtually crowd-free! This is a skier’s dream come true, and can only happen if you stay at Snowbird or stay right at Alta.
Best On-Mountain Lodging at Snowbird
Notable as being one of the best Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah hotels in Snowbird, Cliff Lodge and Spa offers indulgence in luxury and comfort for the whole family. Kids and adults alike will love the rooftop swimming pool that allows guests to swim under the stars at this option for family lodging in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah. The pool is heated, of course, and includes a rooftop sitting area for lounging when the weather’s warm. Other resort amenities include three on-site restaurants, a hot tub with massage jets, and canyon views from most of the lodge rooms. The full-service spa is a perk for the whole family, as self-care is important at any age.
This option for family on mountain lodging in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah features three on-site restaurants including Aerie Restaurant for sushi, Atrium Restaurant for breakfast buffets, and El Chanate for authentic Mexican cuisine. For kid-friendly Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah entertainment, guests are right next door to the Snowbird Scenic Tram Ride, as well as the Peruvian Express and Chickadee Ski Lifts.
There’s nothing quite like swimming in a heated outdoor pool with a view of snowy mountain ranges in the distance. That’s what you and your family can expect at The Snowpine Lodge, one of the best hotels in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah for families, where you have an array of comfy rooms to choose from to accommodate your loved ones. Each room of this family-friendly Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah hotel is spacious and furnished comfortably, complete with private bathrooms, complimentary toiletries, and cozy seating rooms.
On the premises of this ski-in ski-out in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, you can expect an outdoor fireplace with surrounding Adirondack chairs. The lodge’s reception area is kept quaint and cozy with roaring fires, overstuffed leather couches, and fresh-baked cookies upon request.
As for skiing and other sporty winter adventures at this kid-friendly Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah hotel, The Snowpine Lodge offers access to ski pass vendors, ski rentals, and rentable storage units for your winter gear. Rustler Life and Grizzly Tow are within walking distance, perfect for hitting the slopes as a family.
Looking for somewhere all-inclusive for your family vacation? Somewhere ranked as one of the best Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah hotels? The Lodge at Snowbird boasts rooms with mountain views from private balconies, as well as an on-site rental and storage facility for ski equipment and winter gear. Each family-friendly Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah room is spacious and cozy, prepped for mornings with coffee makers and a fridge for breakfast essentials before you hit the slopes. Seasonally, adults will love this stay for family lodging in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah can indulge in wine and cheese receptions while kids take advantage of interactive activities with well-trained staff. The heated swimming pools and hot tubs are free of charge and open all year round.
During ski and snowboard season, The Lodge Bistro, and on-site restaurant, serves up a fusion of French and American fare. Like with other ski in ski out hotels in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, in the off-season, you can find delicious breakfasts, lunches, and dinners ate the nearby General Gritts, Baked and Brewed, or The Tram Club. As for entertainment aside from winter sports at this family ski in ski out in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, head over to Willow Pond or Golden Hills Park for playgrounds, hiking trails, and bicycle paths.
Dreaming of panoramic views of Wasatch Mountains from a family ski in ski out in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah? This Village at Sugarplum 4 bedroom house is just the place! The house has 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms with all of the homey amenities that make a stay comfortable. Known as one of the best ski-in ski-out vacation rentals in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah , there’s a hot tun and direct trail access right from the house, so you can maximize your time on the ski hill!
This Snowbird Cliff Club Suite, one of a handful of kid-friendly hotels in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, offers access to a heated outdoor swimming pool, plus a fire pit with outdoor seating for warmth on cold nights under the stars. Kids will love the shared games room, as well as rental access to snowmobiles, skis, and snowboards. There’s also an on-site playground with swings and slides at this ski in ski out in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah.
Best Ski-In Ski-Out Lodging at Alta Ski Resort
The Contemporary Condo in Alta is a historic ski in ski out in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, built by local Alta photographer, Tom Plofchan. Known as the Photohaus Baldy since the 1960s, this condo is a two-bedroom, two-bathroom luxurious apartment, convenient to Alta Ski Area and Rustler Ski Lift. Direct from the family ski in ski out in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, the complimentary Alta Shuttle runs on a seasonal schedule from December to April.
Accommodations at this Contemporary Condo, one of the best ski in ski out hotels in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, are high-end and modern, but creative kids and adults alike will appreciate the artsy layout and presentation of the condo. For convenience, there’s an on-site washer and dryer, plus an espresso machine for your family’s daily jolt of caffeine. The sitting room at this ski in ski out in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah is the perfect place for a card game to unwind after a long day of skiing and snowboarding with your kiddos.
The Alta Mountain Oasis Condo is a relaxing family ski in ski out in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah for all the mountainside adventures that your family loves. One of the best Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah resorts for ski in ski out, there’s a heated outdoor swimming pool, an on-site fitness center with a private jacuzzi room, and two separate game rooms. One game room is specific for adults and older kids, with arcade games and billiards tables. The second game room features only kid-friendly games, like tic-tac-toe and easier video games.
Marked as one of the premium Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah resorts for ski in ski out, the on-site outdoor fire pits are surrounded by Adirondack chairs and cushioned seats, offering beautiful mountain views and the perfect place to stargaze on clear, cold evenings. Ski access to Alta Ski Area includes an on-site ski shop for winter gear, as well as ski keep-safe facilities for temporary equipment storage. This is one of those ski in ski out hotels in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah that your kids will ask to come back to.
Comfortably sleeping 8 people, the Sunnyside Lodge is considered one of the best hotels in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah for families. It’s a three-bedroom condo, beautifully furnished in winter colors with two full private bathrooms, one half bathroom, a comfy living room, and a full kitchen. There’s a fireplace in the main sitting area of this ski in ski out in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, perfect for unwinding with your honey and kids after a long morning on the mountains. Composite logs are provided for the fireplace since it doesn’t operate on traditional firewood.
At this option for family lodging in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, guests have access to a complimentary shuttle service into both Alta and Snowbird, as well as immediate slope access to Snowbird Ski Resort and the Alta Ski Area. For mom and dad at this family on mountain lodging in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, there’s a two-person sauna on-site, and kids will love the large soaking tubs for bubble baths.
Coziness and convenience collide at the Glory Gulch Haven, one of the best ski-in ski-out vacation rentals in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, nestled next door to Alta Ski Area and Rustler Ski Lift. There are three bedrooms, four bathrooms, one-half bath, a well-equipped full kitchen, and a comfy, deep-seated sitting room with a wood-burning fireplace. The Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah on mountain lodging condo comfortably sleeps ten people.
Noted as one of the most kid-friendly hotels in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, the lodge offers close access to a number of skiing and snowboarding tracks for both newbies and experts. It’s a family ski in ski-out in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, so winter sports are encouraged. Black diamond trails are clearly marked for advanced skiers and snowboarders, while guests can walk cat track trails for smaller slopes that cater to newbies and refreshers. Kids can ski down to green and blue trails for younger beginners.
How do Alta and Snowbird differ in terms of terrain?
Alta and Snowbird are literally right next to each other, so the terrain is very similar. Alta is known for its traditional skiing experience with a focus on groomed runs and off-piste terrain but doesn’t allow snowboarding. Snowbird, on the other hand, welcomes both skiers and snowboarders and offers a wide range of terrain, including a few more steep chutes and bowls than Alta has. Both resorts are connected, and a combined lift ticket is available if you want to explore both in one day.
Is the snow really better in Utah?
Both Alta and Snowbird benefit from the phenomenon known as the “Greatest Snow on Earth,” which is characterized by frequent snowfall that is both light and dry. This makes for excellent powder conditions, which are highly prized by avid skiers and snowboarders alike. Additionally, their location at the end of Little Cottonwood Canyon means that storms often stall directly over the resorts, dumping massive amounts of snow. They average over 500″ of snow each year, but in 2023, Alta hit a record with over 900″ of snow in one season!
How much are lift tickets at Alta and Snowbird?
Lift ticket prices at Alta and Snowbird can vary based on the time of year and the type of pass you buy. Here are the prices you can expect to pay:
Alta Lift Tickets:
Kids 12 and under: $80-$90
Discounts for online ticket purchases
Snowbird Lift Tickets:
Kids 12 and under: $100-$118
Kids 6 and under: FREE
Both resorts offer discounts for multi-day passes and are part of the IKON pass and the Mountain Collective. Both resorts offer discounts for online ticket purchases, so it’s a good idea to buy online in advance.
How good to you need to be to ski at Snowbird or Alta?
Both resorts offer a mix of terrain suitable for beginners to experts, but they are especially popular among intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders. If you are looking for very steep terrain, there is no shortage of that here, though there are also plenty of other places to ski and ride.
Is backcountry skiing possible at Snowbird and Alta?
Backcountry skiing is incredibly popular all throughout Little Cottonwood Canyon. There is backcountry access at both Alta and Snowbird, but it’s crucial to be aware that this comes with increased risk. Make sure you have the appropriate equipment and knowledge, or hire a guide, before venturing into backcountry areas.
How do I get to Alta and Snowbird from Salt Lake City?
Both Alta and Snowbird are approximately a 45-minute drive from Salt Lake City International Airport. Various transportation options are available, including shuttles, taxis, and car rentals. If you’re staying on mountain, you will not need a car, but otherwise, it’s a necessity. During winter, an all-wheel-drive vehicle with snow tires or chains is recommended for driving in Little Cottonwood Canyon.