A December 2001 trip
to Ogden by Wasatch
Quote: Before we retired to our favorite ski hill, we waged a 20-year battle to find a good place to ski at Christmas without crowds. This is one of the best places.
Snowbasin was a sleepy local ski hill until it hosted the 2002 Olympic Downhill Races, and the owner made it over into a world-class resort. The world hasn’t caught on yet, so now’s your chance for a great ski experience with reasonable prices ( lift tickets) and not much of a crowd. Actually Snowbasin may never get discovered as long as they persist with no toll-free number. Use the web.
There are ten lifts, 2,600 acres, 55 runs, Olympic race courses, 400 inches of great Utah powder, and a deluxe day lodge.
Even less well-known is the aptly named Powder Mountain, with 500 (and more) inches of fabled Utah powder, 5,000 acres, an five lifts. Crowds? Hah. Lonely you will be.
It takes Utah snow about 3 days to compact to Colorado quality powder and at least a week to sink to fresh Sierra Cement, setting the stage for one of the greatest experiences in skiing–Sno-cat trips into Powder Mountain’s vast back country, where you can ski untracked powder for days.
The owners of Powder Mountain are dickering with the local government to build 5,000 condo units, so now is the time to go.
There is a third ski area, Nordic Valley, in between Powder Mountain and Snowbasin. This is a very small local after-work ski hill (with lighted runs for night skiing; Powder Mountain also has night skiing). It’s very inexpensive and not at all exciting. We tried it once, which was more than enough. Skip it unless you need a really cheap place to send beginners to learn how to ski or you have to ski both night and day, which may not be a bad idea considering the zero après ski scene.
There are two routes from Odgen to Snowbasin, either with UT 39, going through scenic Ogden Canyon, or I-84 east to UT 160, a scenic mountain drive. The UT 39 route to Powder Mountain is shorter than going by I-84, but give both of them a try on a clear day.
We stayed at the Best Western High Country Inn on our first Ogden ski trip and liked it well enough that we always stayed there on subsequent trips. It had large, comfortable rooms; a Jacuzzi; friendly natives; and it is located right on the road to the resorts-take 12th Street toward the mountain and it becomes UT Route 39.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 18, 2004
Best Western High Country Inn
1335 W 1200 SOUTH
Ogden, Utah 84404
Make this your first dinner in Ogden and then decide how many more times you want to eat here during your stay. The honey mustard salad dressing is just what iceberg lettuce needs to make it edible. We usually avoid fries–-trans fats and calories–-but the Shed’s near-perfect, crisp fries are an exception. We ask for them extra crisp, and so they are–-terrific.
The Shed is a little hard to find, especially at night. It’s on US 89 on the south side of town, near 4100 S. Street. You can see The Shed's sign behind the building on the cornel of US 89 and 4100 South, but the best landmark is a bowling alley on the mountain side of US 89. The Shed is across the side street, opposite the bowling alley. Get detailed directions at your motel. Everybody knows it.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 5, 2005
3969 Wall Avenue
Ogden, Utah 84405
heber ctity, Utah