Dyed-in-the-wool skiers make a pilgrimage to Alta, at the top of the valley. No snowboarders are allowed here, which keeps the snow cover from deteriorating, especially on groomers. Locals have grown up with Alta, a resort filled not with see-and-be-seen types, but rather the see-and-say-hello crowd. Wide-open powder fields, gullies, chutes and glades, such as East Greeley, Devil's Castle and High Rustler, have helped make Alta famous. Warning: you may never want to ski anywhere else.
The lowdown: 2020ft vertical drop, base elevation 8530ft; 2200 skiable acres, 25% beginner, 40% intermediate, 35% advanced; three high-speed chairs, four fixed-grip chairs. You can ski from the Sunnyside lift for free after 3pm; it's great for families with little ones who tire easily (lifts close at 4:30pm).
For more general information, see www.discoveralta.com.