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? It's three resorts rival the best.
Snowbasin's Mt. Ogden. Photo Courtesy of Snowbasin

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, 10,500+ 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 Courtesy of Powder Mountain

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 7,000 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.

Fun for the whole family. Photo Courtesy of Nordic Valley

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. Ben Lomond Suites Historic Hotel in downtown Ogden offers an all-suite hotel experience with great options for families. Lakeside Resort Properties, the closest lodging near Snowbasin, is just 10 minutes from Snowbasin's lifts and 20 minutes to Powder Mountain. Powder Ridge Village features units with one to three bedrooms, as well as a community center with sports, a game room, hot tubs, and more.

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.

Winter fireworks display in downtown Ogden. Photo Courtesy of Visit Ogden

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, The Barrelhouse, Roosters Brewing Company and to see where the local finely crafted spirits are made (including America's first herbal liqueur, Underground), head to Ogden's Own Distillery. Foodies should make a note to visit Hearth on 25th and Pig & A Jelly Jar, a Salt Lake favorite that recently opened up shop in Ogden.

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.

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