People who read Ski Bum Poet generally know all about Alta and Little Cottonwood Canyon. Yep. But some don’t. And for you folks, here’s a cool little write up on the area quoted direct from the Town of Alta website. It’s pretty much my dream to live up there full time one day…not own a place to only enjoy a few times a year. <–For those in that category.. That there’s a shame.
The Town of Alta is a small mountain community located at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest.
Little Cottonwood Canyon is a west-facing break in the Wasatch mountain range which rises from an elevation of 5,000 feet above sea level at the mouth of the canyon to over 11,000 feet at the top of the watershed.
State Highway 210, a designated Scenic Byway, provides access to Alta from the Salt Lake Valley. The Town itself ranges in elevation from 7,500 ft to 9,500 ft. above sea level.
The Town harbors aspen, spruce, high alpine meadows and lakes, long-lasting snowfields and rocky tundra on granite cliffs. The vast display of over 170 varieties of wildflowers offer a colorful sight between July and September. There are over 40 varieties of birds in the canyon. Deer, moose, coyotes, and a rare mountain lion are the largest of the animals that roam the high country during the year.
An annual average of 500 inches snowfall provides for enthusiastic powder pigs and spectacular downhill skiing extending from November into May. Cross country skiers enjoy an even longer season. Hikers and bikers use the extensive network of trails, snowfields, mountaintops and over passes.