Best Terrain

Snowbird and Alta, Utah

Nov 7, 2011
Outside Magazine
Dry Fork, Alta

Dry Fork, Alta    Photo: Will Wissman

Last year was insane: close to 800 inches of fluff fell, and Snowbird stayed open until the Fourth of July. Here's your game plan to beat the crowds: spring for the $92 AltaBird ticket, which works at both mountains. First, hit Mach Schnell off the Snowbird tram—up to 45-degree steeps through open glades and bowls covering 2,100 vertical feet all the way to the bottom. Then ski Baldy Ridge, which connects Snowbird and Alta. Once you're at Alta, make the half-hour boot-pack up East Castle; it's always the latest to open. At the end of the day, crash at Alta Lodge (doubles from $352; It's not flashy, but the service and food are amazing and have kept guests coming back for decades. Smart Idea: Rent a Flaik tracker ($20) at Snowbird's activities center to record your ski metrics, like speed and vertical, and share them online.