Ogden, Utah, is perfectly positioned for adventure, set at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains and on the shore of Great Salt Lake, the city’s roads end at National Forest lands and the suburbs stop at craggy foothills. To jump from lively city life to outdoor activities is only a matter of stepping outside. Adventures are endless, but here are 8 of the must-do’s for getting out around Ogden.
The mountains that give Ogden’s incredible backdrop are a chain of peaks that rise to more than 8,000 feet of elevation. Two summits really rise above them all, Willard Peak and Ben Lomond at well over 9,000 feet tall. One epic trail follows the entire ridgeline and climbs to the top of the Northern Wasatch. This is the Skyline Trail. Great for hiking and mountain biking once the snow has mostly melted, the trail extends north and south from North Ogden Divide, and both directions feature a set of steep switchbacks before gaining the rolling, high-altitude ridgeline and commanding views over both sides of the range—Salt Lake Valley to the west and Ogden Valley to the east.
Just outside of town, mountain snowmelt feeds a 200-foot cascade in the aptly named Waterfall Canyon. Beginning from trailheads at the top of 27th Street or 29th Street, a family-friendly trail leads to the falls. The path features brilliant spring wildflowers and views over Ogden on the gradual ascent into the canyon. Once inside the tight gorge, the trail steepens but soon rewards you with the huge waterfall at the end.
Bonneville Shoreline Trail runs the length of the Salt Lake Valley at the foot of the mountains. The section over Ogden grants great views over the city and the lake. Rolling terrain, proximity to town, and plenty of trailheads to choose from make this the perfect choice for hiking, biking, and trail running to start or finish the day. Junctions with other trails around Mount Ogden Park and up shorter canyons such as Taylor Canyon or Jump-Off Canyon give options for longer adventures.
In Ogden Valley lies a large lake with calm water, surrounded by the peaks of the Wasatch Mountains. Pineview Reservoir has sandy beaches, boat launches, fishing, and wetlands and meadows with great opportunities for spotting wildlife. Multiple campgrounds and day-use areas give lots of options for access. This is the perfect spot to relax and cool off when the summer gets hot.
Most trails around Ogden are open to mountain bikes, but Ogden Canyon has some of the best. Begin at Wheeler Creek Trailhead on the wide trail that gently ascends the canyon, then choose your adventure once the canyon forks at Art Nord Trailhead. From here, singletrack trails travel through open meadows, deep forests, over creeks, and around alpine ponds to connect more amazing riding at Snowbasin Resort to the south or Ogden Canyon Overlook and Sardine Peak to the north. Find a list of trails at www.weberpathways.org
Ogden is central to tons of climbing on the wild and varied rock of the Wasatch, and some of the best crags are located right next to town. he sport climbing at 9th Street is the most easily accessible. The wall rises right over town, making for awesome views. A variety of difficulties cater to all abilities and south-facing aspect makes it suitable most of the year.
The free Blues, Brews & BBQ summer concert series is held on Sundays from June through September at Snowbasin Resort. You'll get to hear national touring musicians who come to town while enjoying tasty BBQ. The celebration starts at noon each week, with three musical acts performing—a local musician, followed by a regional touring artist, and finishing with a national touring headliner, who usually takes the stage around 4 p.m. You'll find activities for the kids, like a spider jump, climbing wall, and playground, and the adults will enjoy the wide selection of local beers on tap on Earl’s Patio.
Take a walk around town to enjoy some of the city's public art. A few pieces function as landmarks, like the Ogden Arch, which can be found where the Ogden River flows under Washington Boulevard. Others are hidden gems for you to discover, like the Ogden Intermodal Transportation Center (where you catch the train and most buses), which houses bronze installations on the train platform, a suspended indoor sculpture, and a beautiful metalwork installation on the exterior of a reclaimed train car. Take advantage of the First Friday Art Stroll each month, which features extended hours at most galleries and special exhibits inside many of Historic 25th Street’s shops and restaurants. In the summer, the First Friday Art Stroll spills into the streets with activities for kids, local musicians, performance art exhibitions, and more.
Written by Jesse Weber for RootsRated in partnership with Utah Office of Tourism.