By Liz Sanborn
Family ski fun in Alta, Utah
I’m a 50 year old baby boomer who loves to travel. My husband, Scot, lives to ski. So we found ourselves in Alta, Utah a few weeks ago enjoying five nights with our two kids Lawrence and Kiara, ages seven and eleven, at the casual but somewhat dated Alta Lodge. It’s a great place for families and we loved every minute.
The word “Alta” means “ high”, and the Alta Lodge fits the bill. Located just outside of Salt Lake City at an elevation of 8,600 feet in the Wasatch National Forest, Alta and the Alta Lodge make for a memorable winter or early spring getaway.
You won’t need a car since the Alta Shuttle will take you from the Salt Lake City Airport directly to the Alta Lodge. Once you are at the lodge you won’t be thinking about driving anywhere.
Family-owned and run and with six decades of experience under its belt, Alta Lodge is comfortable, relaxed and casual. The room rate includes both a substantial breakfast and gourmet dinner. It is not uncommon to see guests in the dining room for breakfast in their slippers. The lodge itself has fifty-seven rooms to fit a variety of needs. There are dormitory style rooms for single skiers on a budget up to slope-facing rooms for a family. Ski-in and ski-out accommodations made it easy and convenient to hit the slopes.
We booked a large room with three beds — a queen, double and a single. The room was large enough for a sitting area and a large closet to house all our clothing. A locker is provided in the ski room downstairs for all your gear. The ski locker area leads out onto the slopes — literally. Click on your skis, ski down a short slope and you will be at the chair lift and on your way to ski some of the most exciting terrain around. A short rope-tow will bring you back to the lodge where you can store your skis and come in for lunch or warm up in front of the fire. The lodge is small enough that our kids could navigate the layout from the get-go and had lots of fun going to the dining room and lobby on their own.
To soothe your body and spirit after a day of skiing there are two hot tubs with incredible views of the slopes complete with changing rooms and saunas. For après-ski beverages head to the private Sitzmark Club bar where you can enjoy a cocktail and snacks before heading to the dining room to enjoy your gourmet dinner. Order a bottle of wine and you are set to recap your adventurous day and plan ahead for tomorrow — another gorgeous day skiing in what some describe as the best snow on earth. With low humidity and an average snowfall of 500 inches – you will wonder why you haven’t been coming to Alta every year.
Alta hosts a Women’s Ski Camp twice a year, in January and March, with four nights’ accommodations, including breakfast and dinner and three days of ski instruction at the Alf Engen Ski School with some of the best ski instructors in the world. The class will be a game changer as it forever changes your view of slopes and will have you skiing more of Alta’s challenging terrain.
Need some time without the kids? The Alta Lodge has that covered too. There is an early children’s dinner they can enjoy with their friends and supervised movies and activities in the evening to keep them entertained. Outside of the lodge there is also quality daycare for children three months to 12 years old and ski school for kids that are 4 to 12 years old.
The Alta Lodge also boasts a terrific, well-stocked Ski Shop where you can pick up anything you need for your day on the slopes – complete with a tune-up and repair shop.
Last, but certainly not least, when you finish your day on the slopes come into the lobby for their famous tea service. This is where the tired skiers head for a cup of coffee, tea or cocoa and some sweet treats to energize you for the evening ahead or a trip to the hot tubs. If you can’t resist taking a peek at your E-mail, the lobby has a computer with Wi-Fi at your service, complete with a printer to keep you in touch with home or assist you in check-in for your flight home. But, you won’t want to leave the Alta Lodge without booking your next visit. This place is like home — only better.
Thanks Liz, for sharing your Alta, Utah ski getaway story with us.
Photos courtesy of Liz Sanborn