There are typically two schools of thought when it comes to Spring Break: grabbing an early taste of summer, or clinging to one last blast of winter. Ogden, Utah is one of the few locations where you can do both.
Skier and snowboarders are able to enjoy the late-season storms that often bless the higher elevations of Wasatch Range with its last doses of Utah’s famous “Greatest Snow on Earth.” In addition to some of the best snowpack of the year, there are epic powder days to be had even in early April. Meanwhile, warmer temperatures down in town open up access to miles and miles of mountain bike and hiking trails, climbing walls, golf courses, mild strolls through historic downtown Ogden…even temperate patio or rooftop cocktails and dining. A short drive North of Salt Lake City, Ogden, Utah is the place for spring breakers, family to thrill seekers alike.
As spring temperatures begin to warm the area, the Ogden area’s three ski resorts begin planning their closing dates based on snowpack. The first to close will be Nordic Valley, as it is is situated at the lowest elevation. Their annual pond skim is one of Ogden Valley’s biggest parties. This year’s pond skim is scheduled, appropriately, for March 20…the first day of spring.
Powder Mountain and Snowbasin Resort enjoy several more weeks of abundant snow at their higher elevations. Expect mostly bluebird days and soft groomers. The best snow conditions will be in the morning hours as overnight temperatures stabilize the snowpack. By afternoon, things soften up and it’s a great time to enjoy an après ski beer on one of the sun-soaked decks and patios around the resorts.
With daylight saving time in effect, there’s plenty of time after a solid day of skiing to drop down to Ogden and play a quick 9 holes on any one of their multitude of gorgeous and affordable municipal courses. For a challenge, hit Mount Ogden Golf Course at the base of the towering Wasatch Mountain Range. El Monte is also a local favorite at the mouth of Ogden Canyon.
If winter has put a bit of rust on your golf game, you might want to try The Barn with its more open fairways resulting in fewer lost balls.
While higher-elevation trails up in Ogden Valley are still snow packed and being utilized by snowshoers and fat bikers, virtually all of the trails around downtown Ogden are in prime condition for hiking and mountain biking in the spring.
Hikers will want to explore Waterfall Canyon in the foothills of Ogden. This is a popular trail in the heat of summer, but the springtime is when the popular falls begin to swell with spring run-off, and the trail sees less foot traffic than normal. The trailhead may be accessed from the parking lot at the top of 29th Street. Adjacent to Waterfall Canyon, and beginning from the same trailhead, is the Malan’s Peak trail. This challenging but short hike leads you up a steep incline to the outcropping peak about halfway up to Mount Ogden. The views from here are spectacular. On a clear day you can see into Idaho, deep into Salt Lake County and across the Great Salt Lake.
Mountain bikers should jump on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail at virtually any trailhead on the east side of town and select an out-and-back distance that feels comfortable. This trail, known as The BST by locals, is a relatively level ride along what was once the shoreline of ancient Lake Bonneville, the remnants of which are now the Great Salt Lake.
Any great day around Ogden should include some time in historic downtown Ogden itself. Peruse the shops and abundant public art along Historic 25th Street or in the up-and-coming Nine Rails Creative District and use your stroll to check the menus of the dozens of independent restaurants in the area to help you determine your dinner plans.
Cap your night off at one of the downtown breweries — Roosters, UTOG, Ogden River Brewing, Roosters B-Street — or in any of the myriad of downtown bars. Your best bet for live music will be on Fridays or Saturdays at either Lighthouse Lounge or Funk ’n Dive (recently voted “Best Dive Bar in America”)