Welcome to the second stop of ‘See the World!’ This week's feature destination is Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, home of the town of Alta and the world famous Alta and Snowbird ski areas. With the North American Freeskiing Championships completed last weekend at Snowbird prior to several epic powder days with almost 50 inches fresh, Little Cottonwood was the obvious choice for this weeks 'See the World.'
Little Cottonwood Canyon (LCC) is a glacial trough, carved during the last ice age, in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Home of Alta and Snowbird, LCC receives ‘the greatest snow on earth.’ Just over eight miles long, the road up LCC is one of the most avalanche prone roads in the US. With an average grade of 9.2%, the road brings you past Snowbird and into the town of Alta.
Alta began as a mining town with the first verified silver claim staked in 1865. Within ten years, Alta had grown to 180 buildings, 26 of which were reportedly saloons. Fires and avalanches destroyed much of the town, but new discoveries in 1904 led to a second mining boom in the early 20th century.
By the 1930’s, only Mayor George Watson was left in town and in 1937 he deeded surface rights to much of the land in Alta to the U.S. Forest Service for the development of a ski area. Ski legend Alf Engen was hired to help develop the area and in 1938 the second chairlift in the US was opened constructed from pieces of an old aerial mining tram.
Today Alta is home to 370 people. During the winter, you can be sure to score the goods at both Snowbird and Alta (Alta does now allow snowboarding). After skiing, make sure you grab a ‘Boomerang’ at the iconic Sitzmark Club in the Alta Lodge and stop by the Deep Powder House if you need some gear.
When the weather warms up, activities include hiking, climbing and biking. Wildflower season is not to be missed and keep an eye out for fun wildlife, such as mountain goats, coyotes and weasels!
We know you want to score turbo deep blower smoke. So what are you waiting for, book your holiday to Alta today (locals only)!
Sources: www.townofalta.com, wikipedia.org