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Condos at or near Alta/Snowbird

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
: I am looking for some advice/recommnedations for condo's in the Alta/Snowbird Area. I reviewed some of the past threads but found no information on my specific topic of interest.

A group of 4 or 5 of us are looking to Ski Alta and Snowbird in early February (7 nights Sat to Sat) and we are looking for some comfortable and economical lodging near the mountains - The Cliff Club is a bit out of our price range (600 to 900 dollars per person for the week - less is fine but I am trying to be realistic) - ski in/ski out is nice but not required. We would like a place with a kitchen to avoid the expense of eating out every night (hence a condo). A hot tub would be preferred. I was looking at the Hellgate, the View, Powder Ridge and the Plum Village Condos. We would need a two bedroom facility. Can anyone comment on the above lodgings (If you stayed there did you like it, would you stay there again or try another? ) How were the conditions, location, convienience, cost etc. or Can you suggest any others lodgings or packages in the area that fit the above trip description. I would like to stay in Little Cottonwood close enough to the mountain - in the event that heavy snow closes the access - we would still be able to make it to the resorts. Thanks for the help.

post #2 of 10
Ok. Here is what I'll tell you. However, I'll preface this with some other information:

1)This is my first time skiing alta.
2)My parents have been here the past 2 years.
3)THis winter, they have received a TON of snow.

I would come here and go skiing in a heartbeat. I would NOT stay at Hellgate. Here is the deal (no one will tell you this either)...Hellgate is located between 2 avalanche shutes. This causes the section of the road Hellgate is on to be closed MOST OF THE TIME. We have been here 2 days so far....every day, it has been 10:30 before we get out. The staff is VERY nice (it isn't their fault). You can ride a hellgate shuttle to the ski areas WHEN THE MARSHALLS LET IT RUN.

Let's think about this. They can operate the shuttle because the driver has an avalanche beacon. That makes it "safe" for us to ride with him. Why not give us all avalanche beacons and make us sign in/out of the condo??? It is a nice place, but the road closeures on this section of road make it a poor place to stay. If I come back up, I will either stay in a condo in SLC or at a lodge at the resort.
post #3 of 10
TJ with the avalanche danger so high staying in Salt Lake you could be stuck in a line of cars at the bottom of the canyon waiting for the road and avalanch work to be done. Trust me on this Avalanches are very powerful and a real danger in the cottonwood canyons. A beacon isn't going to save you. Beacon only helps locate you. If they find you in time you just might live. Signing in and out just tells the staff that there is a body out there somewhere in the snow. Keep in mind that there are times when they shut the everything down and your stuck inside. Even those who drove up have to find a place on the floor to sleep for the night. Two years ago a big avalanche took out part ofa lodge at Alta cars in the parking lot were tossed around like they were toys. The road to Alta and snowbird is the most avalanche prone road in the US opened all year. Since the Sheriffs dept and Avalanche Patrol haven't lost a driver on the road up there since 1951 I think they are doing a pretty good job
post #4 of 10
If you stay slopeside at Snowbird you can still be subjected to interlodge. If there's avalanche danger they are not going to let you out of the condo. It's a good policy that saves lives. It's a miracle anyone survives an avalanche - beacon or not.

Have you looked at the other lodging options at snowbird? You might find something cheaper than the cliff with the same access.
post #5 of 10
We have stayed at both the Iron Blosam and The Lodge at Snowbird- they are both very nice, great location, and if you are lucky you may find a deal there, too (we had a great price during ESA last year). We've been interlodged twice- still better than trying to get up the road after a big dump.
post #6 of 10

A few words...

My family has been going to LCC for the last 4 years. We stayed at Goldminer's Daughter 1 year, Hellgate 1 year, and Blackjack last year and this year (we'll be there the Jan 15-23). Here is a short review of each:

Goldminer's: we liked it the best because it is right on the slopes. Easy access for all ski levels. Room was ok, my wife said it needed 'updating'. I could care less about that. Breakfast and dinner included in price (make sure to factor that in to price). I would stay there every year, but my family likes a condo better so we can all be together (Goldminer's is a hotel).

Hellgate: cheapest condo in LCC. Wife and Mom again thought it needed updating. Parking is a hassle (it is right on the road), unless you spring for the garage.

Blackjack: second cheapest condo in LCC. We all like it the better than Hellgate. They only have one 2 bedroom, so we have to plan early to get the week we want. My wife says it does need a little updating (see a pattern?), but she can take it better than hellgate. The location is ok. It has plenty of parking. It is off the main road. If you are an upper intermediate, you can ski back to it from Alta. We don't ski Snowbird, but I believe it is ski in/out to the Bird. A little more than hellgate, but worth it.

Hope this helps.
post #7 of 10

Hellgate condos is a great place to stay

I've stayed at Hellgate Condos several times and have had a wonderful experience. The staff were extremely friendly, the rates were great, the condos have fireplaces, free movies and a hot tub with great views and easy access to both Alta and Snowbird. It's perfect for big groups that want to stay together and cook meals in their own condo. It's rustic and has lots of character.

I have been told up front each time I stay about the possiblity of being interlodged and yes... I too have been interlodged - even maximum interlodged. It's just part of staying in the LCC and the snow is well worth the wait. Sure, maybe someone that stayed at the Cliff gets on the tram before you... but come on... do you really want slap down that wad of cash and stay at the Cliff? With interlodge, the staff at Hellgate are looking out for your safety and so are the avi forecasters. I agree that they are some of the best in the Nation, I've lived in Colorado and spent much time at other resorts.

The staff aren't trying to keep you indoors for any other reason than your safety. why would they want you hanging out all day in the lodge when you've of course come to ski? Chances are, they want to get out to go skiing too!

As for driving your own car - not possible as the gates have security locks (for good reason) and like someone else mentioned, 10 cars with 2 people in them is more of a risk than 1 van with 20 people in it. There's no reason to put rescuers in a situation of having to recover 10 cars. Plus, what if you were in the last one they found? And if you go out there taking your own risks - who are you going to look to when you get buried???? I've seen Superior slide and I've seen the Peruvian get filled with snow and cars in the lot get turned upside down (winter 2002). I'm telling you, out there in your car or on foot in a slide...you wouldn't make it!

I would recommend Hellgate Condos to anyone and am in fact heading there myself in 2 weeks for some skiing. And guess what? I'm looking forward to it - with the possibility of interlodge and the funky retro-furnishings and all!!!!
post #8 of 10
Ha! Thanks, gearbandit, for your "impartial" view.
post #9 of 10
Most of the condos available for rent in the canyon are actually lower down than Alta, on upper end of the Snowbird access road. There is a shuttle, but for almost any condo you pick it will not be ski in ski out at Alta. And as other have noted, extremely heavy snow can create issues even on the access road.

Closer to the slopes at Alta it is mostly lodges which include at a minimum your breakfast and dinner so as others have noted you need to factor this into the price. Most of these also do not include lift tickets, so you will additionally need to factor this into your calculations.

The fact is that lodging options are pretty limited at the top of the canyon, and where supply is scarce, prices tend to go up. Most of the 2 BR condos in the canyon run $ 400-600 a night, and this will not include your food or lift tix.

In your price range, and if you really want to stay at the top of the canyon, you may want to look into the dorm rooms at the Goldminers, the Peruvian or the Snowpine. The Snowpine for a dorm room only runs $ 106 a night and this includes breakfast and dinner. Lifts would run another $46 on top of that unless you buy discounted lift tix in advance at a ski shop in SLC.

The lodges are pretty insular and there is not a lot of night life other than TV and games, but if you are planning to hit the slopes hard and are coming from a lower altitude you may not be looking for night life anyway.

More reasonable condos are available in Sandy at the bottom of the canyon, and if you got snowed out down there you can always spend a day at another ski area or bumming around SLC.

Hope this was helpful and good luck with your planning.
post #10 of 10

for those that venture out during interlodge...

Don't go out during interlodge!!!
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