Destination Ogden and the Ogden Valley: A Whole Other Utah

You may know Utah for Ski City and Park City. But do you know Ogden? Its three resorts rival the best.
Clear skies at Powder Mountain. Photo: Jeremiah Watt
Clear skies at Powder Mountain. Photo: 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 and world-class winter recreation destination. Powder Magazine even ranked it as the #1 Ski Town in the U.S. With downtown Ogden located just 40 minutes from Salt Lake City International Airport, it's also convenient. The slopes are just a few minutes from town with Snowbasin, Nordic Valley, and Powder Mountain each just a few miles away (17, 13, and 19 miles, respectively).

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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 ski resorts welcome both skiers and snowboarders and public transit is available from downtown Ogden.

Après at the Powder Keg. Photo: Jeremiah Watt
Après at the Powder Keg. Photo: Jeremiah Watt

Snowbasin:  During the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, Snowbasin was the site for men and women’s downhill, super G and combined races. You'll see why this epic resort was selected for three competitions with its 3,000 skiable acres and 3,000 vertical feet. Hop on the nine 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.

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 one of the snowcat tours to access more acreage, including the Powder Country Shuttle, Lightning Ridge Snowcat Ride, Snowcat Powder Safari, and the DMI/Wolf Canyon Tour. 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 500-acre boutique ski hill deep in the Wasatch. Terrain park lovers will relish 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. In 2014, Skyline Mountain Base, LLC acquired the property and it is currently being restored and upgraded. Future plans include a gondola, several lifts, a retail shop, and 2,000 acres of new terrain.

Bring the whole family to Snowbasin. Photo: Adam Clark
Bring the whole family to Snowbasin. Photo: Adam Clark

Where to Stay:

Ogden offers a wide range of lodging options close to the slopes for any desire and budget. The town 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 Alaska Inn is an adults only bed-and-breakfast that features rustic decor, Jacuzzi tubs and a luxurious experience in all of its rooms. Snowberry Inn is a comfortable eight-room inn that offers a hot gourmet breakfast. Bigelow Hotel & Residences in downtown Ogden offers an all-suite hotel experience with great options for families. Opening Dec. 1, the Compass Rose Lodge will be Ogden Valley’s newest hotel. This 15-room boutique is one of two hotels 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.

Frugal travelers may also consider staying in nearby Layton, where certain hotels offer discount packages and quick access to Ogden Valley resorts.

Don't Miss Destinations:

The Ogden ski resorts aren’t the only attractions in town. Be sure to check out historic downtown Ogden during your time in the valley. 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 and to see where the local finely crafted spirits are made (including some of the most amazing gin, vodka, agave spirits and flavored liqueur) head to New World Distillery in Eden. Foodies should make a note to visit Hearth on 25th and Tona, perennial winner of the best sushi in the State of Utah.

Make plans to enjoy one of the best ski towns in the U.S.! Book your room, buy your lift ticket and start packing today.

  • Groomer at Snowbasin

    Groomer at Snowbasin

    Getting the slopes ready for you. Photo: Austen Diamond Photography

  • Powder Mountain

    Powder Mountain

  • A SnowCat driver at Powder Mountain

    A SnowCat driver at Powder Mountain

  • Family eating at Slackwater

    Family eating at Slackwater

    Family pizza time Photo: James Winegar

  • New World Distillery

    New World Distillery

    Bottles at New World Distillery Photo: Jeremiah Watt

  • Drinks at New World Distillery

    Drinks at New World Distillery

    Friends at New World Distillery. Photo: Jeremiah Watt

  • Nordic Valley

    Nordic Valley

    Stopping to assist a young snowboarder. Photo: Jeremiah Watt

  • Young Skier at Nordic Valley

    Young Skier at Nordic Valley

    A young skier pushing off. Photo: Jeremiah Watt

  • Nordic Valley Jacket

    Nordic Valley Jacket

    Looking out over Nordic Valley resort. Photo: Jeremiah Watt

  • Bring Your Appetite

    Bring Your Appetite

    Burgers at Shooting Star. Photo: Jeremiah Watt

  • Snowbasin

    Snowbasin

    High-fives all around. Photo: Jeremiah Watt

  • Hit the Slopes

    Hit the Slopes

    Hitting the slopes at Snowbasin. Photo: Jeremiah Watt

  • Relax at Snowbasin

    Relax at Snowbasin

    Taking a drink break at Snowbasin. Photo: Jeremiah Watt

  • Smiles at Snowbasin

    Smiles at Snowbasin

    Photo: Jeremiah Watt

  • Dining Lookout at Snowbasin

    Dining Lookout at Snowbasin

    Eat your dinner with a snowy view. Photo: Jeremiah Watt

  • Union Station Museum

    Union Station Museum

    Photo: Sandra Salvas

  • Learning the Ropes

    Learning the Ropes

    Snowbasin Photo: Adam Clark

  • Groomer at Snowbasin

    Groomer at Snowbasin

    Getting the slopes ready for you. Photo: Austen Diamond Photography

A Whole Other Utah

Park City, Salt Lake City and Ogden. A trio of distinct world-class ski destinations within an hour's drive.

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