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Destination Ogden and the Ogden Valley: A Whole Other Utah

You may know Utah for Salt Lake City and Park City. But do you know Ogden? Only insiders know, and most would like to keep it way!

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Powder Mountain   |  Jeremiah Watt
Ogden is a town steeped in rich frontier history. When the Transcontinental Railroad was completed in 1869, locomotives began making their way into town. The Union Pacific and Central Pacific lines connected at Union Station Depot, and Ogden soon earned the nickname “Junction City.” While the railroad was the town's claim to fame, it also brought some unsavory visitors into town. Rowdy and rough characters spilled into town and crime became rampant. Even notorious crime boss Al Capone said 1920s Ogden was too wild a town for him, according to one local tale.
 
Now, the town's colorful past just makes for entertaining stories and a rich history. Modern day Ogden is a family-friendly town (Powder Magazine previously ranked it the #1 Ski Town in the U.S.) located just 40 minutes from Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC), and is the gateway to Ogden Valley, a world-class winter recreation destination that includes: upscale Snowbasin, intimate Nordic Valley, and expansive Powder Mountain. For great skiing the way you imagine it, Ogden is a winter adventure lover’s paradise.

Photo: Jeremiah Watt

Photo: Jeremiah Watt

Powder Mountain’s three single-ride cat areas amount to 1,300-plus skiable acres.

Three Resorts, 11,600+ Skiable Acres:

Play in 450 inches of The Greatest Snow on EarthⓇ at Ogden's three nearby resorts, including Snowbasin, Powder Mountain, and Nordic Valley. All three of these Ogden Valley ski resorts welcome both skiers and snowboarders, and public transit is available from downtown Ogden.

Snowbasin

During the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, Snowbasin was the site for men and women’s downhill, super G and combined races. With some of Utah’s longest runs and beautiful lodges, you'll understand why this resort was selected for three premier events. Snowbasin boasts 3,000 skiable acres and 3,000 vertical feet. Hop on one of two gondolas, the tram or many high-speed lifts to access wide bowls, corduroy groomers, and plenty of powder stashes. Try out your tricks at the terrain park which has a wide collection of features and 65 rails. Take a break from alpine skiing and enjoy the 26 kms of groomed Nordic trails and find some thrills on the lift-assisted four-lane tubing hill, and when your legs are completely dead, curl up by the fire with a house baked cookie or craft beer in the stately Earl’s or Needles Lodge.

Powder Mountain

The largest of the three Ogden ski resorts offers prime powder stashes on this sprawling mountainscape with 8,400 acres of skiable terrain. This resort averages around 500 inches of The Greatest Snow on Earth each year. Skiers relish in the sidecountry and backcountry acres in addition to the groomed slopes. Take laps on the snowcat to access Raintree and Lightning Ridge or one of the snowcat tours including the Powder Country Shuttle, Snowcat Powder Safari, and the DMI/Wolf Canyon Tour to access even more acreage. Tricksters will enjoy two terrain parks and a half pipe, and the 144 runs feature something for everyone with 25 percent beginner runs, 40 percent intermediate-level, and 35 percent reserved for advanced and expert skiers and boarders.

Nordic Valley

Nordic Valley is a 450-acre boutique ski and snowboard resort deep in the Wasatch. It includes 32 runs, numerous lifts (including the high-speed 6-person Nordic Express) and some of the best night skiing in Utah that allows visitors to ski 80 percent of the mountain under the stars. Terrain park lovers will enjoy the park's 20+ rail and fun box features and plenty of rollers and kickers. The terrain park is accessible from Crocker and Bridger lifts and Friday nights feature the Slopestyle Series.

Photo: Adam Clark

Photo: James Winegar

Photo: Jeremiah Watt

Where to Stay:

Ogden offers a wide range of lodging options close to the slopes for any atmosphere and budget. The City of Ogden makes a great basecamp for skiing adventures and offers dozens of options for accommodations, ranging from boutique bed-and-breakfasts to family-friendly hotels.

The Alaskan Inn located on the river in Ogden Canyon is an adults only bed-and-breakfast that features rustic decor, Jacuzzi tubs and a luxurious experience in all of its rooms. It also provides complimentary shuttle service to Ogden Valley resorts. Snowberry Inn, in picturesque Eden, is a comfortable eight-room inn that offers guests a hot gourmet breakfast. Bigelow Hotel & Residences in downtown Ogden is a charming all-suite hotel experience, a great option for families. Compass Rose Lodge in Huntsville, is a 15-room boutique hotel and one of two in the country built around a high-tech telescope where guests can explore Ogden Valley’s International Dark-Sky Park in great detail. Views of the rings of Saturn or Jupiter's Galilean Moons and spectacular deep-sky objects including galaxies, nebulae and globular clusters await those seeking to peer farther into space. Visitors can even take a snapshot of the galaxy home with them.

Although Ogden and Ogden Valley properties are some of the best bargains when it comes to ski travel, even more frugal adventures may consider staying in nearby Layton, where hotels offer even more affordable prices, discount packages and quick access options to Ogden Valley resorts.

Don't Miss Destinations:

The Ogden Valley ski resorts aren’t the only attractions in town. Be sure to check out historic downtown Ogden. The downtown district offers prime dining, entertainment, and nightlife. Visitors who love local culture and the arts will find plenty to keep them enthralled in this bustling mountain town home to over a dozen independent art galleries and museums, including Ogden's Union Station which includes four museums, two galleries, and the town's historic train station.

Take in the symphony or a light opera, watch a film festival, live theatre, or dance performance. The Ogden Symphony Ballet Association brings a variety of events to town, including performances by The Utah Symphony and Ballet West. Historic 25th Street offers a wide variety of shopping options and plenty of places to dine and enjoy Ogden's vibrant nightlife. To sample some craft brews, check out Slackwater Pizzeria, Talisman Brewing Company, Roosters Brewing Company. Foodies will find no shortage of incredible restaurants in Ogden, and should make a note to visit Hearth on 25th and Tona, perennial winner of the best sushi in the State of Utah. (Watch the video: "How Tona Sushi Serves Artistic Diversity With Every Dish")

Pro Tip: To savor local craft spirits, including premium gin, vodka, agave and flavored liqueur, visit the award-winning New World Distillery in Eden.

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