Alta Country Club Day
Alta Ski Area, located 35 minutes from Salt Lake City at the end of Little Cottonwood Canyon is a world class ski area. The champagne powder and the deep days in Alta are known as legendary by locals and any skiers who have traveled through the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. Alta is an incredible place to ski, but the most unique experience you can have is an Alta Country club day, especially during the 2022-2023 winter season that has had over 700 inches of snowfall!
If you have had the opportunity to ski up in Alta, you know that those steep, powdery lines bring pure bliss as if you are floating on a cloud. Nothing is quite as special as a powder day in Alta besides the rare occasion of an Alta country club day.
If you happen to be staying at The Alta Lodge, Snowpine Lodge, Goldminer’s Daughter, Rustler Lodge or The Peruvian during a storm cycle you might be in luck. Alta residents, employees and hotel guests are some of the only people who are able to experience the Alta magic of an epic country club day.
When a storm cycle comes through the Wasatch Mountains and Salt Lake City, the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) often has to close East Highway 210. The entire Little Cottonwood Canyon will close during this time due to high avalanche danger. UDOT and the ski patrol from Snowbird and Alta will perform avalanche mitigation so everyone can stay safe skiing, snowboarding and driving up and down Little Cottonwood Canyon.
During these times, anyone who is in the town has to stay inside for Interlodge, which is intertwined into the winter culture of Alta. Interlodge might be for one night or for several days if the snow keeps falling and avalanche danger is high. Interlodge in Alta gets lifted when the conditions of the ski resort and the mountains in the canyon are safe enough for people to be outside.
So what exactly is an Alta country club day?
A country club day is when Interlodge is lifted in Alta, but when Highway 210 is still closed to vehicles. That means no cars can drive up the canyon and there is no other way to get to Alta. Therefore, if the lifts start running in Alta, but the highway is closed the only people who are able to ski are the people who are already up in town.
These country club days mean no lift lines after a massive storm and fresh tracks for the entire day. After a storm, thousands of people from SLC often flock up Little Cottonwood Canyon for a powder day, but when the highway is closed the amount of people actually skiing in the resort is a fraction of what it usually is.
The stoke is high during country club days. Everyone has a smile on their face and the hooting and hollering while people take turns is echoed through the canyon as you are riding up the chairlift.
Traverse across West Rustler to High Boy to take the longest and steepest lap of face shots in the ski area or glide through Fred’s trees with buttery ease. Throughout the day as ski patrol continues to do avalanche mitigation, they will open gates with access to untouched powdery chutes and bowls. If you are lucky, follow some locals to some more secret snow stashes that will probably still have fresh lines for days even when the canyon is open to uphill traffic.
Not many people get to experience this thrill unless they are living in Alta or got lucky with timing for their stay. This unique phenomenon only happens on occasion and can’t be expected more than a handful of times a season (or less). If you are lucky enough to enjoy an Alta country club day, we hope you are hooting and hollering down the slopes as you shred through the deep powder too.
To increase your chances for an Alta country club day or to just enjoy skiing in the Wasatch, book a weekend stay at one of the five lodges in Alta. Leave your weekend chores and household cleaning to White Cloud Concierge so you can come home after an epic ski weekend to a clean house and a checked off to-do list before your work week starts up again.
Check out White Cloud Concierge for a full list of our services and to reach out for a booking. White Cloud Concierge is a Salt Lake City Concierge Service ready to take care of your household needs and chores all over the Salt Lake City Valley!
Check out Alta Ski Area for ski lift hours and an Alta trail map and ski resort runs. Enjoy the magic and pure bliss of Alta snow and the Alta magic at this tucked away town under the peaks of the Wasatch mountains in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Feel free to learn about other winter outdoor recreation options to enjoy during the snowy months in Salt Lake City!