Aerial view of Alta and Snowbird ski areas. USHS Collections C 314
text by Janell Tuttle
photographs from the Utah State Historical Society
lta is nestled in the Wasatch Mountains of Little Cottonwood Canyon. When silver was discovered in 1864 people moved to the area and the area grew until the 1880s. At this time the value of silver declined and the population of the town decreased to approximately 300. In the 1930s Alta experienced a rebirth. A group of businessmen and skiers raised money for the construction of a ski lift at Alta. Alta's first ski lift began operation in January 1939 and in 1940 the first international downhill and slalom competition was held there. After World War II more ski lifts were added, along with two new lodges and several rope tows. Alta's ski resort has undergone several expansions and upgrades through the years. It continues to be a beautiful area that can be enjoyed by all.