High Value, Low Glitz : GUIDEBOOK : Skiing in Alta, Utah

Getting there: Salt Lake International Airport--a Delta hub--is regularly served by flights from Los Angeles, Burbank, Ontario, Palm Springs, Orange County and San Diego. Daily bus service is available to Alta and Snowbird from the airport and downtown hotels. By car, Alta is 25 miles southeast of Salt Lake City. Take Interstate 80 to I-215 and on to Utah 210, or I-80 to I-15 to Utah 209.

Where to stay: Five lodges and five condominium complexes accommodate 1,200 to 1,500. Best bets are the Alta and Rustler lodges, followed by Alta Peruvian and Goldminer’s Daughter. Dorm accommodations available at Snowpine Lodge. Excellent accommodations at Snowbird, one mile down-canyon. Reservations are required most of the season. Also, a selection of vacation rental homes complete with hot tubs, barbecue decks, VCR, cable TV, fully equipped kitchens, fireplaces--from $280 a night, up to five people, to $320 a night. Packages available until April, 1991. Phone the Alta Reservation Service at (801) 942-0404.

Where to eat: Breakfast and dinner are included at all Alta lodges. Excellent lunches at Goldminer’s Daughter, and Rustler and Alta lodges. Mid-mountain cafeteria-style meals at Alpenglow and Watson Shelter. Chic’s Place upstairs at Watson Shelter is a cozy respite of white linen, broad menu. Sunday brunch at Atla Lodge is a write-home experience. Ditto the gourmet meals at the Aerie and Steak Pit restaurants, two of 12 restaurants and clubs in neighboring Snowbird.

What’s there: 1,500 acres of skiable terrain. About 25% of runs are beginner, 40% intermediate, 35% advanced. An average 500 inches of snowfall annually, and a certified ski school with 95 instructors. Ski De Jour classes, where you ski what the day offers--blizzards, powder, sunshine, moguls, back country or just cruising.


Day-care facilities and children’s ski school. Four full-service ski shops with rentals--Ski Rack (at Alta Peruvian Lodge), Goldminers’ Daughter, Alta Spors (at Albion Day Lodge) and Deep Powder House.

What it costs: Lifts: all day, $21; half-day, $16; Albion, Sunnyside and Cecret lifts, all day, $15; Albion, Sunnyside and Cecret, half-day, $10.50.

When to go: Season runs from now to April 21, 1991. Early December, early January are less crowded; spring skiing conditions March and April. Average temperature 20-25 degrees.

For more information: Alta Reservation Service, (801) 942-0404; Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau, (801) 521-2868; Utah Snow Conditions, (801) 521-8102; Utah Ski Assn., (801) 534-1779.