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Alta and Snowbird Parking Recommendations

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

My kids and I are going to be traveling daily from PC to Alta or Snowbird from next Sunday through Friday.  We are hoping to find a place that is relatively accessible to the lifts where we can park.  Is that possible?  If not, do those mountain have lodges where we can change into our boots and leave our bags behind?  In light of the fact that they are 11 and 8, getting them to move in the morning can be a challenge, so I am hoping to get to the mountains by 10:30 (being realistic).

 

I know this is a newbie question, but I have not skied in Utah for a long time, and when I did, we always stayed at the mountain where we skied.

post #2 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by yossarian143 View Post
 

My kids and I are going to be traveling daily from PC to Alta or Snowbird from next Sunday through Friday.  We are hoping to find a place that is relatively accessible to the lifts where we can park.  Is that possible?  If not, do those mountain have lodges where we can change into our boots and leave our bags behind?  In light of the fact that they are 11 and 8, getting them to move in the morning can be a challenge, so I am hoping to get to the mountains by 10:30 (being realistic).

 

I know this is a newbie question, but I have not skied in Utah for a long time, and when I did, we always stayed at the mountain where we skied.


For Snowbird, my friends and I parked at the first entrance for the Creekside lodge.  Left our boot bags under a bench in the area next to the locker room.  The place is small but not used by many people so it worked out fine during mid-season but we got there early.  Given how few people are around right now, probably can get a space any time.  The parking is a lot closer than you can get to the the main base building at the tram base.  The Gadzoom and Mid-Gad lifts are right there.

 

For Alta, assuming you are all intermediates or better, park in the first parking lot that is for the Wildcat base.  Even on the powder day this week, that lot never filled up.  You can boot up in the Goldminer's Daughter, near the base of Collins and the Wildcat lift ticket office.  Can put shoes or boot bags up on top of the lockers near the restrooms.

 

I trained my daughter from an early age that for ski days, sleeping late was not an option.  I like to be ready when the lifts start turning, whether at Alta or or little home mountain in Virginia.  ;)

post #3 of 14

Pics related to parking in LCC . . .

 

View from Wildcat parking lot (first Alta entrance) of Goldminer's Daughter Lodge (GMD) on left and Wildcat ticket office on right

 

Looking up Collins in the middle, Wildcat double chair on right, Wildcat ticket office on left (day tickets)

The Skier Services desk is in a building just out of view on the right (for MCP, season passes)

 

Snowbird Creekside Lodge, with Gadzoom high speed quad on left

post #4 of 14

If you park on the Alta bypass road you don't need the lodge. Put on you boots, walk 20 feet across the street, put on skis and ski to tram. Then at the end of the day you can ski down right to your car!  Locals secret.

post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vince F View Post
 

If you park on the Alta bypass road you don't need the lodge. Put on you boots, walk 20 feet across the street, put on skis and ski to tram. Then at the end of the day you can ski down right to your car!  Locals secret.

I parked there once in May and skied down to Peruvian (tram was closed) for one more run to get to my car, and found that Peruvian had closed early due to conditions. The hike at wasn't much fun.

post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Miles View Post
 

I parked there once in May and skied down to Peruvian (tram was closed) for one more run to get to my car, and found that Peruvian had closed early due to conditions. The hike at wasn't much fun.

That's the one drawback of the Bypass road.  I park there most days but not all the time.  Depending on how high up the road you have to park if Blackjack is closed it can be quite a hike as well.

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vince F View Post
 

If you park on the Alta bypass road you don't need the lodge. Put on you boots, walk 20 feet across the street, put on skis and ski to tram. Then at the end of the day you can ski down right to your car!  Locals secret.


Good tip for adults.  With kids, I'd rather be in a lodge parking lot.  Definitely need to be aware of lift status during late season.

post #8 of 14
Although the op has probably already come and gone. If you have kids and don't mind booting them up at the car the top of Chickadee is probably the best place to park. Drive to entry four, just past where you pull in you'll see some spots on your right which are at the top of the lift. Gear up the little guys and ski down to the bottom of the lift. My buddy Travis parks here every time he brings up his kids. Get there early, these spots fill up quickly.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
We just left today after skiing 6 days divided between Alta and Snowbird. We took the advice to park at Wildcat and Creekside. Both were easy to get in and out. Creekside was nice when it was warmer as the deck was a great place to set up and leave our stuff. Unfortunately, the lessons we took were run out of the Albion area.

We had a great week though. The first few days were solid Spring skiing. And the last 3 were phenomenal. We were optimistic that a storm would come through and our prayers were answered. One bonus is that the lessons we took were bargains. I got a private lesson at Alta for $60. My kids were by themselves in an Explorer class for $150.
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by yossarian143 View Post

We just left today after skiing 6 days divided between Alta and Snowbird. We took the advice to park at Wildcat and Creekside. Both were easy to get in and out. Creekside was nice when it was warmer as the deck was a great place to set up and leave our stuff. Unfortunately, the lessons we took were run out of the Albion area.

We had a great week though. The first few days were solid Spring skiing. And the last 3 were phenomenal. We were optimistic that a storm would come through and our prayers were answered. One bonus is that the lessons we took were bargains. I got a private lesson at Alta for $60. My kids were by themselves in an Explorer class for $150.


Thanks for the update!  I probably saw your kids with an instructor at some point.  What level were they for ski school?

 

Late season group lessons are usually very good at any destination resort.  I think the most experienced instructors stay the longest while the instructors.  Have had friends who were intermediates got to work with a PSIA Level 3 instructor for a group lesson (either solo or with one other student), especially mid-week late season.

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post


Thanks for the update!  I probably saw your kids with an instructor at some point.  What level were they for ski school?

Late season group lessons are usually very good at any destination resort.  I think the most experienced instructors stay the longest while the instructors.  Have had friends who were intermediates got to work with a PSIA Level 3 instructor for a group lesson (either solo or with one other student), especially mid-week late season.

They started in Level 5 on the powder day and finished at Level 7. They were probably in the wrong level to start, but it was a powder day and they never skied deep powder. Overall, they got a lot out of the lessons. I am not sure what cert their instructors had. I think I had PSIA Level 3 on the powder day and there were just 2 students.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by yossarian143 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post


Thanks for the update!  I probably saw your kids with an instructor at some point.  What level were they for ski school?

Late season group lessons are usually very good at any destination resort.  I think the most experienced instructors stay the longest while the instructors.  Have had friends who were intermediates got to work with a PSIA Level 3 instructor for a group lesson (either solo or with one other student), especially mid-week late season.

They started in Level 5 on the powder day and finished at Level 7. They were probably in the wrong level to start, but it was a powder day and they never skied deep powder. Overall, they got a lot out of the lessons. I am not sure what cert their instructors had. I think I had PSIA Level 3 on the powder day and there were just 2 students.


The nice part about the Alta layout is that kids can worked with instructors off Sunnyside and be taken into the black terrain called Vail Ridge.  Short steep trees that are great fun in deep powder without being overwhelming.  My daughter and her friend had a ski school day that started out in Vail Ridge trees a few years ago.  I and the other parents got to watch while riding up Sunnyside as the kids followed one instructor and with another instructor bringing up the rear.  Seems like that storm had dropped 12-15 inches overnight.  It was a combined Level 6/7 group of 5 kids ages 9-11.  My daughter had had both of the instructors in previous years and liked them a lot.

 

I never really think about the PSIA cert level for the kids ski school.  I'm pretty sure they are all Children's Specialists (I or II).  All the kids I know who stay at Alta Lodge for spring break and do ski school (full-day or half-day) have a great time.  That's as true for the younger kids in Levels 4-5 as for the older kids in Levels 6-8.

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 


The nice part about the Alta layout is that kids can worked with instructors off Sunnyside and be taken into the black terrain called Vail Ridge.  Short steep trees that are great fun in deep powder without being overwhelming.  My daughter and her friend had a ski school day that started out in Vail Ridge trees a few years ago.  I and the other parents got to watch while riding up Sunnyside as the kids followed one instructor and with another instructor bringing up the rear.  Seems like that storm had dropped 12-15 inches overnight.  It was a combined Level 6/7 group of 5 kids ages 9-11.  My daughter had had both of the instructors in previous years and liked them a lot.

 

I never really think about the PSIA cert level for the kids ski school.  I'm pretty sure they are all Children's Specialists (I or II).  All the kids I know who stay at Alta Lodge for spring break and do ski school (full-day or half-day) have a great time.  That's as true for the younger kids in Levels 4-5 as for the older kids in Levels 6-8.


My kids really enjoyed their lessons.  When I went to pick them up after the first one, my daughter immediately asked if she could take one the next day.  Both kids were hesitant about lessons since they do an 8 week program at Butternut, but after the snow dump, they agreed that a lesson might help them navigate the powder.  And it really did.  I couldn't believe how much better they were in the afternoon than they were in the morning. 

 

We were at Whistler/Blackcomb last year and my kids had a great time, and they really enjoyed their lessons.  But they both said that Alta was their favorite ski mountain.

post #14 of 14

Sounds like you have a couple of new Altaholics in the family.  Smart kids!  :)

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