Get an early start, because you’ll be taking a drive. Before you head out of town, grab an early breakfast at Pig & a Jelly Jar. This trendy restaurant serves up Southern food with a modern flair. You won’t be disappointed by the classic chicken and waffles. Or, mix it up with a veggie sink scramble served with Bloody Mary salsa.
A visit to Ogden wouldn’t be complete without spending at least half a day in the Ogden Valley. Once breakfast is done, head east from town on State Route 39 and drive the scenic byway through a glimmering canopy of cottonwoods along the Ogden River. Jagged quartzite rocks tower above you until you reach Pineview Reservoir. Circumnavigate the reservoir in your car, stopping at the non-fee Windsurfer Beach to take in the views, go for a dip, or try out paddleboarding. SUP rentals are available at Detours in Huntsville, so plan ahead. If you prefer cycling, rent mountain bikes at Diamond Peak Mountain Sports in Eden and hit the Pineview Trail for some smooth cruising around the Pineview Reservoir. Experienced riders seeking singletrack can do the steep climb up the South Skyline Trail and then enjoy a long, flowy descent to the reservoir. Pineview is a local favorite summer destination, and can draw crowds in the warmer months. Discover tips for how to responsibly enjoy a day at the reservoir.
After working up an appetite, stop for lunch at the Shooting Star Saloon in Huntsville. This hole-in-the-wall bar has been in operation since 1879, making it the longest-standing Utah saloon. Taxidermy creatures stare down at you and dollar bills dangle from the ceiling in this quirky establishment. Order the Star Burger — it’s the namesake for a reason. Just remember to bring cash and leave the little ones behind. For those with kids, Warren’s CraftBurger is another great option that’s family-friendly. You can splurge for one of the indulgent burgers, but there are plenty of smaller options for kids as well.
Drive back down the canyon to hike out of Ogden. You have various options depending on your time and skill level. For a quick outing, begin at the 29th Street Trailhead and hike 2.5 miles (round trip) through Waterfall Canyon to visit Malan’s Waterfall. Rocky terrain along the latter half of the trail heightens the sense of adventure, and a 300-foot cascade rewards you for your effort. It’s one of the most popular trails in the area, so you’ll see no shortage of hikers here on the weekend.
If you’re itching for a longer adventure, begin at the 29th Street Trailhead and take the 4.8-mile round-trip hike to explore Malans Peak. Or, you can start at the 22nd Street Trailhead and take the 4.9-mile out-and-back trek along the Hidden Valley Trail. With each of these hikes, you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of Ogden Valley.
Back in town, the staff at the Angry Goat Pub and Kitchen dish up interesting food and sling quality beers in a lively atmosphere. Don’t leave without trying the BBQ Lamb Ribs or the Angry Goat Balls. If you’re in the mood for pizza, Lucky Slice is a great bet on Historic 25th street. If meat is not your style, head to Harp and Hound, an upscale gastropub, for an excellent plant-based menu. Downstairs, Funk ’n Dive, the dive bar owned and operated by the same people as Harp and Hound, caters to locals in a dimly-lit room fit with pool tables and modern-day stained-glass windows. The vibe at Funk ‘n Dive pays homage to its time as a speakeasy, but its food menu is thoroughly modern and includes a selection of vegan dishes.
Similar to the Funk ‘n Dive atmosphere, Ogden itself is a mix of contemporary culture and rich history. The unique blend makes it an intriguing place to visit. While the mountain trails remain a major draw, you’ll find that there’s much more to experience during a two-day escape to Ogden.
Written by Hannah Singleton for Matcha in partnership with Utah Office of Tourism.