Where can I ski as a family? The answer is simple: Ogden, Utah! Read on, and we’ll tell you why!
From the moment you and your family arrive at the newly redesigned SLC International Airport, you’ll know your decision to ski in Ogden will make for one memorable family ski trip. The new sections of the airport feature a clean, stunning, 21st Century design built with energy efficient and sustainable features. Those features are on track to receive an LEED certification which, when awarded, will make SLC one of nine such eco-friendly airports in the country.
Move through the concourse and you’ll find you and your family's ski and snowboard gear on the oversized baggage carousel. You may make new friends with other powder hunters and family ski vacationers as you gather your gear.
As your Ogden destination is only 40 minutes from the airport, let’s talk about getting here from SLC. If you’re renting a car, the rental counters are ready to serve you. A bit of advice: if you haven’t, make sure to upgrade to four-wheel drive since Powder Mountain Road doesn’t mess around. It’s a must-see on your itinerary whether or not you originally planned to ski or snowboard.
A bit of advice about driving in the region though. If you’re unfamiliar with driving on 16% mountain grades, then you may wish to opt for public transportation or shared rides. Consider grabbing TRAX into Salt Lake City, then transfer over to the FrontRunner train to Ogden.
Best of all? If the kids haven’t tried out buses, trains, or trolleys, this is an added adventure! So, come on parents, get ready to do your best “Choo-choo” sounds! Or, get ready to sing “The Wheels on the Bus.”
There’s also a free downtown trolley which gets you from the train platform in Ogden to your hotel! For less driving, take the UTA Ski Bus to get from your hotel to Snowbasin Resort and Powder Mountain every morning. Then, the same bus will shuttle you back every afternoon!
With all the amenities for transportation, you may be able to plan your vacation without getting behind the wheel!
Of course, you are here to ski Ogden with your family! Ogden does pride itself in having less-intensive runs perfect for the adult newbie or junior future skiing pro. But, what if the kids don’t want to hit the slopes all day? Fortunately, there are several options that don’t involve skis, snowboards, or snow. And, you’re still in the mountains even if you take a break from the slopes. Ogden proudly offers everything from an aerospace museum, outdoor dinosaur park with life-size recreations sure to thrill the little one having their “dinosaur phase,” to an incredible children’s museum. There’s also an Instagram-ready botanical garden, a nature center, and for the fishing fans -- you can cast your line without a fishing license at a local trout farm.
We are proud to say staying here near the powder and the slopes, the skiing and après-ski, comes with a variety of options. Once you checked into your kid-friendly hotel check in with the front desk on dining options if you haven’t consulted or booked a table through an app or personal recommendation. But here’s the thing about Ogden: pretty much any stranger you bump into is willing to do the same! That’s because Ogden isn’t a place where visitors feel like outsiders. When you're here, you're a local. Tell Ogdenites where you’re from. Share your stories and they’ll share theirs.
You may have heard from other skiing families that Ogden is friendly, down-to-earth, and laid back. Well...they’re right! You will probably pick up a few new Facebook friends, or follow and be followed on Instagram just from sharing your pics, tips, and...sips.
Speaking of Sips, when you visit Ogden our family-friendly, kid-friendly dining options doesn’t mean moms or dads can’t enjoy some adult refreshment. Your hotel, trusted apps, or your happy hour bartender will recommend two or three other bars you should check out while you’re in town.
Likewise, that friendly bartender or server will tell you about a dozen other restaurants that you must experience. Sit back, and relax, as the brewer at one brewpub tells you the story of the beer you’re drinking. Competition between independently owned bars and restaurants isn’t as strong as sharing all that Ogden has to experience. Don’t be surprised if the brewer tells you about the great things his friends around town produce! You see, there’s plenty to go around in this town and Ogden shares its abundance. Get to know the hardcore skier or snowboarder seated beside you, and they’ll share directions to their favorite stashes, slopes, and trails. You can act like a local, and buy them a beer as a thank you, before you set out to explore the world-famous Ogden ski resorts.
You are going to want to split your time between two of our world class ski resorts, each offering a different feel and experience for you and your family.
If you’re driving to Snowbasin in your rental car, take a couple of people up with you. We expect you made a few friends during your evening on 25th Street, and that can be good for you because Snowbasin gives preferred parking to carpools. Even if you go it alone, you’ll still park closer to the base area at Snowbasin ski resort than at nearly any other resort.
Not driving, so you can really enjoy your vacation? If you’re taking the ski bus, the front desk will tell you exactly when and where the bus will arrive for pick-up.
You’ll be drawn to the opulent lodges at the base area, but there will be plenty of time for that later during your après-ski. That’s French for “tired parents need an adult beverage.” You need only stop long enough to pick up your pass. You’ll see small clusters of people gathered around the giant, bronze moose sculpture on the plaza. It’s pretty much the designated meeting spot, and if you made the right friends the night before, they probably said, “Meet me at the moose.”
Jump on the Needles gondola. During the 10-minute ride to the top, you’ll make new friends. Maybe with other families who ski, or maybe with some locals. You will hear at least one person say, “We usually go to [insert name of other Utah kid friendly ski resort here], but this year we figured we’d try Snowbasin. It’s been great for the whole family. Next time, we’re just coming here.”
Don’t worry if it takes a few runs to get your ski legs under you before heading to the John Paul high-speed quad lift! From the top of the lift, you’ll take the Olympic Tram and stand atop majestic DeMoisy Peak and gaze at four states: Utah, directly below, and Nevada, Idaho, and Wyoming as you slowly turn and scan the horizon. Get your phones and cameras out for that family ski trip photo opp!
Unless you take the easy way down on the cat track, this is where you’ll check off that item on your bucket list that says, “Ski the same downhill course that Bode Miller and Picabo Street did during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.” It’s on your bucket list between “Throw a pitch at Fenway Park” and “Play 18 holes at Augusta National.” You know, in the part of your list that includes world-class athletic experiences that you’ll never check off…except this one.
When you reach the bottom, your burning legs will be beggin’ for a break. Time to head into Earl’s Lodge. Even if you don’t have to go to the bathroom, you have to go to the bathroom…just to see what all the fuss is about. If you walk out claiming you’ve never seen nicer restrooms at a ski resort, you better be able to back it up.
You’ll take a few more runs before you realize you’re only beginning to scratch the surface of all the skiing and slope fun at Snowbasin! On one of your Strawberry Gondola rides, you’ll pull out your phone to check your calendar to see if there’s anything that can’t be pushed so you can extend your stay.
Now, how about a little more apres-ski for the parents? Start winding down your day at the Cinnabar. That’s inside Earl’s Lodge where you’ll order the best gin and tonic you’ve ever had. The bartender will inform you the secret is the award-winning gin that’s distilled just down the hill at New World Distillery. Ask about their highly-recommended distillery tour and tasting. You’ll want to check it out, so pull out your phone and make a reservation.
By the time you get back down to Ogden, you’ll pretty much have the lay of the land. You might head for that sushi place that looked amazing, or maybe the live music joint, or the comedy club, or the historic theater, or the dive bar, or the artisan pizza place.
You’ll bump into some folks at the intersection of Lincoln Ave. and 25th Street trying to decide where to go. Clearly, they just arrived and need a little direction. Good thing you’re pretty much a local at this point, and you’ll point them the right way.
You’re going to experience the steepest road you’ve ever traveled as you head to Powder Mountain. Even if you rented that four-wheel drive at the airport, you may want to park at the shuttle stop in Eden and take the bus to the top. With 16% grades, this road was built prior to modern department of transportation protocols and it’s construction wouldn’t be allowed today.
Why is it called Eden, you ask? An early surveyor found the site to be so pristine he felt it was the only fitting name. You’ll feel the same way when you behold all that Powder Mountain Ski Resort offers the novice or experienced skiing enthusiast.
A word to our would-be guests: our avalanche control and snow removal are top notch. But, on epic Utah powder days, even round-the-clock crews can’t always keep up and delays are inevitable during big powder dumps. We apologize in advance for Mother Nature.
When you get to the top, take it all in! There is no more aptly named resort in the world as you stand atop this mountain of powder! With its expansive acreage and a daily cap on skiers, Powder Mountain is famous for holding untouched stashes of snow for days, or even weeks after storms. That can sound intimidating to beginner and intermediate skiers or snowboarders, but never fear! You and the family will be happy to know 8,464 of Pow Mow's skiable acres is groomed terrain as well.
You’ll pick up a standard resort pass and meet a knowledgeable mountain host near the Mountain Adventure Yurt for a complimentary tour of the resort. When you’re done, you’ll drop into either the Hidden Lake Cantina for a quick taco, or the Timberline Cafeteria for a slice of Lucky Slice pizza. Afterwards, you may want to drop a few bucks for a Lightning Ridge or Raintree Snowcat ticket to experience the abundance of powder country and side country terrain that you observed during your mountain tour.
Or, perhaps you and the family may realize there’s plenty of terrain you haven’t touched. In that case, forego the snowcats, hit up the trails again!
Of course, Powder Mountain Ski Resort also offers you a bit of “après-ski” as the day winds down, your legs tucker out, and the kids need a snack. So it’s time to cram into the Powder Keg to warm your belly with a bowl of steaming ramen and a beer or two. You won’t have your own table. This is another place where you’ll make new friends in Ogden as you sit elbow-to-elbow and listen to live music cranking from the tiny but powerful stage.
As the sun sets over the snowy peaks and dips, friendly locals will clear the tables to make room for dancing! Get up to join them, and the kids too will wanna’ boogie! If there’s a snowstorm outside, no one, that’s including the band, will be in a hurry to leave. Just hunker down to ride out the storm with more tunes and another round as snowplow operators work to clear the road and get you safely off the mountain.
After your après-ski it’s time to head back home to Ogden. Sure, you’re only visiting but we want you to feel welcome, so feel free to call it home. You might already have a dinner reservation, or want to hit up that sushi place with all the rave reviews. Consider taking in some live music or dining at the Lighthouse Lounge. For those of you with picky eaters, you can’t go wrong with dinner at Ogden’s Slackwater Pub and Pizzeria.
Are the kids old enough to leave in the hotel for a few hours? Does your hotel offer babysitting services? Is it time for the parents to have a date night? Well, if you and your significant other want some adult time, consider going out to jam at the live music joint, laugh at the comedy club, take in a show at historic Peery’s Egyptian Theater, or head over to the newest five-star bar in town: Sidebar at Ogden's Own Distillery.