A Family Ski Vacation to Alta, Utah
As ski-loving Atlanta families begin planning their winter vacations, Alta Ski Area is the perfect choice. Plenty of snow, great ski trails and a gorgeous setting make Alta an annual destination for many families.
Alta Ski Area, a short drive from Salt Lake City, is a classic family retreat with picturesque scenery, skiing and fun. With plenty of shuttle options from the Salt Lake airport, you don’t need a car. Everything you need is at the resort or on the mountain.
People come to Alta for its snow. With the highest annual snowfall of Utah-area ski resorts, you can plan your trip early or late in the season and still ski. There are five lodges in the area, each with its own unique personality. Plenty of long green trails with scenic views are ideal for beginners, while the blue trails jump into intermediate. Alta is also known for its steep and exciting trails for experienced skiers.
At the Alta Ski Area, only skiing is allowed – no snowboarders will come swooshing by while you’re enjoying your descent. Private lessons from the Alf Engen Ski School helped our kids gain confidence on the ski trails. The school has many reasonably priced options, from two-hour private lessons to an all-day kids’ adventure.
After a fun day of skiing, relaxing at Alta Lodge is a must. Alta Lodge caters to families with rooms to spread out in – both of our kids even had their own bed. Spend the day skiing together, or take advantage of the Kids’ Club, with shuttle service to ski school and special supervised activities, so you can have some time to yourself. Afternoon tea is served in the cozy deck room where you can play cards, read a book, or hang out by the fire. Our kids loved the indoor hot pool facing the mountains of Alta.
Food is easy at Alta Lodge, since breakfast and dinner are included with your stay. Kids can sign up for their own dinner, while parents can enjoy a four-course meal in the elegant dining room. Our five- and seven-year-old looked forward to choosing their kid-friendly dinner each morning, and loved playing and crafting at the Kids’ Club after dinner. The food is delicious, and it’s wonderful to not have to decide where to go for dinner after a day of skiing. After dinner, head to the Sitzmark Club, enjoy a drink, and say “cheers” to a memorable ski vacation.
– Laura Powell
Alta Ski Area
Alta, Utah. alta.com. This family-friendly ski retreat is a 45-minute drive from Salt Lake City International Airport.
Where to Stay: Alta Lodge, 800-707-2582. altalodge.com.
With a traditional lodge atmosphere, accommodations range from mountain-view corner rooms to smaller dorm rooms.
Take a Drive to Moab
About four hours south of Alta, visit a completely different climate and vibe at Arches National Park and Canyonlands in the Moab area. To get there, our family took the shuttle back to Salt Lake City airport and picked up a rental car. Moab is a cute, touristy town with a walkable downtown strip. The nearby Homewood Suites in Moab fit the bill with an indoor pool, kitchenette and bunk beds for the kids.
Arches National Park is a 10-minute drive from Moab. Explore hiking trails and visit the famous arches, including Delicate Arch and Landscape Arch. Being close by means you can wake up early and visit when the park is less busy – it’s worth it! Canyonlands National Park is about 30 minutes from Moab and also is worth exploring. Our favorite hike was Whale Rock, a fun trail that follows a unique sandstone formation. Dead Horse Point State Park, a few minutes from Canyonlands National Park, also has amazing hikes and views.