Text by Janell Tuttle
photographs from the Utah State Historical Society
Alta 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.
#2 Spring skiing at Alta.
#3 Skiers touring in the Albion Basin pause to admire the view of Sugarloaf Mountain.
#4 Sequence photo of Alf Engen running the slalom gate at Alta.
#6 An excellent skier who was recognized all around the world for his skiing accomplishments.
#7 An early version of a spring ski outfit, Alta, Utah.
#8 F. C. Koziol and Mayor Watson at Alta. Felix.C. Koziol, left, forest supervisor of the Wasatch-Cache National Forest, and George Watson, mayor of Alta.
#9 A skier on the Wildcat run on Peruvian Ridge stops to admire Mount Superior.
#10 Skiers of all ages using the rope tow at Alta, Utah.
#11 Helicopter setting ski lift tower on Sugarloaf lift in the Albion Basin.
#12 Old Watson Shelter, ca. 1953, was a shelter named after Mayor George Watson. It was constructed near the Collins lift to provide warmth and food to skiers.
#13 This shaft led down to Mayor Watson’s cabin when the snow was deep. Mayor George Watson is in the shaft.
#14 Rustlers Mountain at Alta, Utah.
#15 Going to ski at Alta, March 19, 1939.
#16 An Alta Ski Patrolman adjusts sign warning skiers to fill the holes they leave in the snow when they fall.
#17 Spring skiing at Alta, March 19, 1939. Photo by Shipler.
#18 Skiers pause to point out the figure eights on Rustler’s Mountain at Alta Ski area.
#19 A snow jeep, one of Alta’s first snow vehicles.
#20 An early mode of transportation to Alta was the rail bus.
#21 Tom Foley, member of the Alta Ski Patrol, is shown jumping the slopes at Alta, ca. 1948.
#22 Weekend patrolmen at Alta sometime in the late 1940s. Left to right is Larry Davenport, Frank Ford, and an unidentified person.