Utah might be most famous for skiing destinations like Park City and Salt Lake City (SLC), but do you know about Ogden? That’s something only very few know, and even we’d like to keep it that way! This former frontier town stepped into the limelight with the arrival of the Transcontinental Railroad in the late 19th century, but today, modern-day Ogden is famed for its snowy expanses. In fact, Powder Magazine even ranked it the #1 Ski Town in the U.S. at one point in time. Lying just half an hour from SLC, the ski resorts in Ogden were the perfect gateway to the world-class winter recreation destination that is the Ogden Valley.
It’s home to the expansive Powder Mountain, the intimate Nordic Valley, the upscale Snowbasin, and the smaller but equally amazing Beaver Mountain and Cherry Peak resorts. All in all, Ogden was a paradise for winter adventure lovers like us who look forward to some great skiing. Bordering the towering Wasatch Range, Ogden’s skiing resorts also do great when it comes to après ski scenes and good and affordable lodging. Here’s a detailed guide to visiting Ogden for skiing and enjoying a memorable Utah winter vacation.
Meanwhile, why don’t you start off by reading about Utah’s best ski resorts?
Table of contents
Cherry Peak Resort
Most value-for-money. We begin with what is Ogden’s smallest skiing region, Cherry Peak Resort. This 2014-opened destination is Utah’s newest skiing resort and is extremely family-friendly. For one, it has a host of amazing skiing instructors as well as a large area for beginners like us to learn and practice skiing. Plus, we loved that it wasn’t overwhelmingly busy or huge while we were trying to learn, especially the kiddos. Plus, lift tickets are considerably cheaper than at the other larger Utah skiing resorts.
Besides traditional downhill skiing, there’s even a tubing hill here. All we did was grab the tubes, ride the magic carpet to the top, and then tube right down the hill. Did you know we could do this on our ticket as many times as we wanted? Yes! Facilities at the base lodge here include a ski shop, ski rentals, and a grill restaurant, aside from the ski instructors.
One of the most unique things about Cherry Peak is that from Monday through Thursday, it’s only open for night skiing and opens during the day, too, during the weekends. Check the schedule here before planning your skiing trip.
“Skiing at Cherry Peak was one of the best, most exciting times we had in Utah!”WOW Travel
The Terrain. Cherry Peak boasts a skiable terrain of 200 acres across 38 runs and 12 mi (20 km) of skiing routes. What’s more, they’re divided into 25% beginner’s routes, which is what makes this place so popular with those learning to ski. The rest is divided between intermediate routes (50%) and expert ones (25%).
The Town. Located less than 10 minutes away, Richmond is the closest town to Cherry Peak, but it’s largely residential and doesn’t have anything by way of après-ski, not even lodging. For that, you have to travel to Logan, a further 15-minute drive with lodging, eating, and drinking options.
At a glance
- Known for: Night skiing and great beginner’s routes
- Opening: Early December
- Closing: Mid-April.
- Elevation: 5,775 ft – (1,760 m)
- Summit: 7,050 ft – (2,149 m)
- Lifts: 4 (3 chairlifts, 1 magic carpet)
- Airport: Salt Lake City Airport, mi ( km)
- For a small ski resort, it has great snowmaking.
- This family-owned resort has a fun and great family-friendly vibe.
- It offers downhill tubing fun, too.
- Since it’s not a very established resort unlike others, accommodations and other infrastructure is still lesser.
Where to Stay: We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Logan, which lies around 20 minutes from Cherry Peak and a 10-minute drive from Logan’s historic district. We began our day with a full hot breakfast, after which the entire day was dedicated to skiing. On night skiing days, we’d spend the day in the indoor pool and hot tub, soaking, relaxing, and unwinding. Moreover, all rooms and suites are comfortably furnished and come with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen cable TVs, and even microwaves and fridges.
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Beaver Mountain Ski Resort
Family-oriented and family-owned and operated, Beaver Mountain Ski Resort sure knew how to give families one of the best skiing experiences around. The 1939-established, 828-acre-huge skiing region is the oldest family-owned ski resort in the country! It might be smaller than other Utah ski resorts, but it boasts well-maintained northeastern slopes. What’s more, it has a variety of terrain, making it perfect for skiers of all skill levels and abilities. Heck, it even has two terrain parks and even offers night skiing. Even though it doesn’t employ snowmaking equipment, it does get a lot of natural snowfall. Hence, it opens many weeks later than most other Utah resorts.
While snowboarding and alpine skiing are the most popular activities, there’s a dedicated area for XC or Nordic skiers near the base too. Tucked in the Bear River Mountains near the summit of Logan Canyon, Beaver Mountain has a good amount of facilities. These include a day lodge with a grill restaurant, a ski shop, and a full-service ski rental operation.
The Terrain. 18 mi (30 km) of skiing routes are spread across 47 runs, which are divided into 33% beginner runs, 40% intermediate runs, and 27% expert ones. Plus, some runs here measure more than 2 mi (3.2 km), so we could get into perfect groove run after run. Add to that a 1,700 ft (518 m) vertical drop, and you know why skiing Beaver Mountain is fun!
The Town. Garden City, on the western banks of Bear Lake, is the closest town, around 20 minutes away. It has a fair few choices for accommodations, especially along the lake, and a few restaurants and bars.
At a glance
- Known for: Well-groomed, sun-kissed slopes for traditional downhill and XC skiing.
- Opening: Beginning of December
- Closing: Mid-March
- Elevation: 7,200 ft (2,195 m)
- Summit: 8,800 ft (2,682 m)
- Lifts: 5 (4 chairlifts, 1 magic carpet)
- Airport: Salt Lake City Airport, 116 mi (187 km)
- It’s one of the best places for Nordic/XC skiing.
- It has a large variety of runs.
- The base lodge and facilities, albeit minimal, are excellent.
- There’s no onsite accommodation.
Where to Stay: The WorldMark Bear Lake is perhaps one of the largest hotels in the entire region, and not just Garden City. Located around 25 minutes from the ski area, this resort was perfect for relaxing before and after skiing at Beaver Mountain. Not only did it have both adults’ and kids’ swimming pools, but also, there was also an outdoor hot tub, a volleyball court, and two seasonal tennis courts. We loved the fully equipped apartments with separate living rooms, fireplaces, patios, and kitchens. Conveniences like laundry facilities, free Wi-Fi, and barbecue facilities wrap up the offerings here.
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Largest ski resort. The largest of the three Ogden skiing resorts, Powder Mountain, a.k.a. “Pow Mow,” is all about superlatives – more than 500 in of snow, super-fun, massive – you name it. This sprawling mountainscape offers a whopping 8,400 acres of prime skiable terrain. We relished in the groomed acres and the sidecountry and backcountry, which was thrilling to boot. When we weren’t skiing, we were taking snowcat tours to access some of the more remote acreage when we couldn’t hike or ski. But what’s unique here is that only 1,500 lift tickets are sold daily, thus ensuring North America’s lowest skier density. Clearly, Powder Mountain is a true adventure skier’s area, with 167 runs and no crowds.
Not only could we ski here, but the resort even has many programs for learners of all levels, including people who are first-timers and even children. In fact, there are many convenient ski packages for up to seven days that include everything from ski helmets and boots to instructions. Aside from traditional downhill skiing, Powder Mountain is a veritable holy ground for tricksters, thanks to the half-pipe and the two terrain parks. Plus, it even has night and cat skiing! The proof is in the powder, indeed.
The Terrain. 42 mi (68 km) of skiing routes and 167 runs mean that there’s something for everyone here. This is especially true since the runs here are divided into 25% blue runs, 40% red runs, and 35% black diamond ones. The pinnacle here is Woody’s World, which is 1,200 acres of untouched powder for thrilling backcountry skiing without the navigating or the hiking.
The Town. The town of Eden overlooking the Pineview Reservoir, 15 minutes from the resort, serves as its base town. That said, the resort has a couple of great drinking and dining options and even options for accommodation in townhomes, cabins, and condos.
At a glance
- Known for: The largest skiable terrain in any resort in the United States.
- Opening: Mid-December
- Closing: Mid-April
- Elevation: 6,900 ft (2,103 m)
- Summit: Lift-served – 8,900 ft (2,713 m), Snowcat – 9,422 ft (2872 m)
- Lifts: 9 (6 chairlifts, 3 surface lifts)
- Airport: Salt Lake City Airport, 56 mi (90 km)
- The resort has a unique, upside-down layout.
- It has both bus and snowcat-serviced skiing.
- There are fewer crowds, even on powder days, and there’s incredible snow preservation.
- There’s no snowmaking.
Where to Stay: Although there are choices for condos and vacation rentals at the resort, we stayed at the WorldMark Wolf Creek, around 10 minutes away. This family-friendly aparthotel boasted two outdoor pools, which we adults and kids could enjoy to the hilt. What’s more, we had the choices of different-sized apartments, all of which came with living rooms, fully-equipped kitchens, cable TVs, and fireplaces. Aside from the private terrace, the aparthotel also has a sauna, a fitness center, and laundry facilities.
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The 500-acre-huge Nordic Valley is what you call a boutique ski/snowboard resort deep in the heart of the Wasatch Mountains. This quaint hometown skiing resort boasts a 1,000-ft (305 m) vertical drop and 42 runs, of which 22 trails for beginners and intermediate skiers! So, we certainly had a whale of a time skiing these slopes. That said, it’s also known for featuring some of Utah’s best night skiing, opening up 80% of the mountain for skiing under the stars – and bright lights. Even our tiny skiers loved the Magic Carpet area with its short and enjoyable runs. Thanks to the Ski and Board School, skiers of all ability levels can take affordable daily lessons too.
Are you a terrain park lover? You’ll be thrilled at the Lair Terrain Park, which features more than 20 rails, fun box features, and plenty of kickers and rollers. During the coldest months of January and February, the Pineview Reservoir nearby transforms into a sea of ice – something straight out of a Tolkien Novel.
Interestingly, Nordic Valley was immortalized in the 2002 Winter Olympics, when it was hailed as one of the best downhill training ski areas. It suffices to say that Nordic Valley is one of the most budget-friendly, family-friendly, and accessible skiing areas in Utah.
The Terrain. Nordic Valley boasts 6 mi (9.5 km) of skiing routes divided into 26% blue runs, 42% red ones, and 32% black diamond runs. It’s particularly famous for downhill skiing here, having been discovered as pure gold during the 2002 Winter Olympics.
The Town. Sitting on the mountain right across from Powder Valley, Nordic Valley also has the same base town, Eden. That said, there are practically no accommodation options around the skiing area until you hit the shores of the Pineview Reservoir.
At a glance
- Known for: Best for newbie skiers and snowboarders.
- Opening: Beginning of December
- Closing: Beginning of April
- Elevation: 5,500 (1,676 m)
- Summit: 7,060 ft (2,152 m)
- Lifts: 5 (3 double chairlifts, 1 surface lift, 1 high-speed six)
- Airport: Salt Lake City Airport, 57 mi (91 km)
- It’s one of the more affordable skiing resorts around Ogden.
- It’s excellent for beginner skiers and snowboarders.
- It has great terrain parks.
- It doesn’t have any frills.
Where to Stay: The dreamy Snowberry Inn Bed & Breakfast on the banks of the Pineview Reservoir is where we stayed during our Nordic Valley skiing vacation. We had the choice of eight charming rooms, all with wooden beds, plush mattresses, modern bathrooms, and small seating areas. Our days began with superb breakfast spreads and ended at the barbeque after a day of skiing. There was even a spa tub where we could enjoy a luxurious soak to soothe our sore bodies.
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Snowbasin Ski Resort
Best overall. The 1939-opened, all-season Snowbasin Ski Resort is one of Ski Magazine’s top-rated skiing resorts in terms of grooming, lifts, on-mountain food, and service. With 3,000 skiable acres and a vertical drop of 3,000 ft (914 m), Snowbasin is best known for its manicured groomers, gladed runs, wide-open bowls, and massive powder stashes days after a snowstorm.
Not only is it one of North America’s best family skiing resorts, but also it’s one of the country’s oldest continuously operating skiing resorts as well. Being one of the 2002 Olympic venues for downhill skiing, Snowbasin has a fantastic mix of terrain as well as the most stunning views from the top. The resort itself boasts a wonderful day lodge with great cafeteria food, relatively fewer crowds, and a very friendly atmosphere.
Since there’s no slopeside accommodation, people usually stay all over the Ogden Valley. In fact, some properties even offer shuttle services to and from the slopes, so do check for those.
The Terrain. With 30 mi (48 km) of skiing routes divided into 10% beginner routes, 42% intermediate ones, and 48% expert ones, Snowbasin offers all sorts of groomed and ungroomed terrain. It’s an intermediate and advanced skier’s resort, clearly, with a majority of the black diamond runs being ungroomed, steep, and demanding.
The Town. One of the only things missing at Snowbasin is a base village and slopeside accommodation, which is why there’s no aprés-ski here. That said, it does offer a uniquely impressive experience with incredible surroundings, local vibes, and good powder. Huntsville, which lies 15 minutes away, is the town closest to the skiing resort and can be considered a base town.
At a glance
- Known for: Utah’s best value resort with a friendly, local vibe and wide-open bowls.
- Opening: Late November
- Closing: Mid-April
- Elevation: 6,391 ft (1,948 m)
- Summit: 9,350 ft (2,850 m)
- Lifts: 12 (1 wildcat handle tow, 2 magic carpets, 2 fixed-grip surface lifts, 4 high-speed quads/six-packs, 2 gondolas, 1 tram)
- Airport: Salt Lake City Airport, 45 mi (72 km)
- Snowbasin offers a good mix of terrain and tons of vertical.
- It has much smaller crowds as compared to other Utah ski resorts.
- On-mountain dining is excellent.
- No base village or accommodation
Where to Stay: Huntsville has a handful of staying options, one of which is the charming and unique boutique hotel of Compass Rose Lodge. We had an unforgettable stay here and loved the cozy rooms with premium, fluffy beds, vaulted ceilings, mod-cons, and lots of local artwork. Our days began with hearty, full breakfasts and ended at the picnic area or the terrace.
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While we loved all of Ogden’s skiing resorts, here’s a specialized list to help you choose – or prioritize which resort to visit first!
- Most value-for-money: Cherry Peak Resort
- Largest ski resort: Powder Mountain
- Best overall: Snowbasin Ski Resort
Is Ogden, Utah, a ski town?
Yes, modern-day Ogden is a family-friendly, world-class skiing town and has even been listed on Powder Magazine’s top ski towns in the country. That’s why there are so many options for a ski resort near Ogden, Utah.
What is the snowiest month in Utah?
While skiing begins by December in most ski resorts, January is Utah’s snowiest month.
Why is Utah snow better than Colorado?
Utah’s powder comes from the amazing Cottonwood Canyon microclimate and, thus, does better in terms of sheer volume too.