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With three ski resorts within 25 miles and 300 inches of snow per year, Ogden, Utah, is a sportsman’s (or -woman’s) dream town. But it’s not just about the location—it’s the mindset: Ogdenites thrive in the outdoors, sneaking in a few midday runs on their lunch breaks, training for a century ride before their morning cuppa joe. It helps that Snowbasin, Powder Mountain and tiny Wolf Mountain are a quick drive up Ogden Canyon and that 12 outdoor brands—among them Salomon, Atomic and Descente—have moved their offices here over the past several years. What also helps is a small but dynamic downtown centered around historic 25th Street. An Ogden weekend has more skiing than you can cover in a couple of days, but hey, it won’t hurt to try.
Acres of untracked powder, feet upon feet of vertical, some of the best ski-lodge food, well, anywhere—and no one in line. Snowbasin is a hidden treasure that’s worth the 20-minute drive from Ogden. A couple of daylodges leave no detail overlooked, from the Italian green glass chandelier in the foyer to the fabulous marble bathrooms. And that’s just at the base. On-mountain, 2,820 acres of terrain, from wide-open groomers to islands of trees, will delight. Don’t miss a ride up the Mt. Allen Tram to the top of the 2002 Olympic downhill and super G courses. Either Grizzly (men’s downhill) or Wildflower (women’s downhill) is groomed daily. Lift tickets: adults, $65; snowbasin.com
Truth – The lodging scene is not what brings people to Ogden. That said, a stay at the Marriott, with a good location right behind the town’s main drag, does the job. Rooms are nicely sized, and the views of Mt. Ben Lomond from the upper floors are lovely. A fitness center and a larger-than-average hotel pool round out the offerings. $79–$189; ski packages available; marriott.com
American and European influences combine to create a delicious, eclectic menu inside one of the town’s oldest buildings (circa 1888). Ask for a
seat in the light-filled garden room and try the chocolate-rubbed ribeye. Finish with the fuzzy peaches—lightly fried peach halves topped with ice cream. bistro258.blogspot.com
RELAX:Rooster’s Brewing Company
Brewmaster Steve Kirkland pleases the masses with 26 beers, including Polygamy Pale Ale, Bee’s Knees Honey Wheat and the rich and malty Junction City Chocolate Stout. Pair it with a plate of Onion Loops, and don’t leave without trying a mug of chilled root beer—brewed on-site, of course. roostersbrewingco.com
MUST TRY: The Salomon Center
In addition to housing a Gold’s Gym on the top floor, the 66,000-square-foot center offers three venues to try your extreme sport of choice: indoor skydiving at iFly; rock-climbing on the 55-foot wall at iRock; and surfing at Flowrider, a 10,000-gallon wave simulator. salomoncenter.com