When most people think of going skiing or snowboarding—sometimes collectively referred to as “snowriding”—at a high-quality destination within the continental United States, they usually think of Colorado, California, or in some cases, Wyoming or Montana. However, snowriding purists and those seeking the highest in adventure, quality and value, know that the mountains within the state of Utah, many located within one hour driving distance from the Salt Lake City airport, provide the setting for the greatest skiing and snowboarding experiences in the world at great value and convenience.
What does all this mean for your snowriding clients? Simply a longer vacation and more fun and adventure in the snow. Time is not wasted traveling, with various opportunities to ski or ride the day clients arrive in Utah. Also, clients will avoid ending their trip with layovers and instead they’ll end it with first tracks as they’ll be able to ski a half or full day in the morning and begin their journey home in the afternoon or early evening.
Utah has justifiably registered and trademarked its snow as the “Greatest Snow on Earth.” Utah’s phenomenal snowfall is no accident. It represents a miraculous combination of both meteorological and geographic convergence; a phenomenal combination of quality and quantity. A mathematical equation that results in often over 500 light, fluffy annual inches of snow; and it is not unheard of for seasons to accumulate over 700 inches covering the Wasatch Mountains from October through June.
These factors contribute to an unparalleled finished product. Utah’s special flakes are delectable, raw in pure powder form, and can be groomed into perfect corduroy and anything in between. No snow is easier or more fun to ski or snowboard, which combined with its breathtaking beauty from all mountaintop vistas, generates a reflexive and indelible smile throughout a Utah snowriding vacation.
Salt Lake City is situated right at the base of the majestic Wasatch Mountains. This north/south range shoots up over 6,000 ft. in a matter of miles and contains 13 world-class ski and snowboard resorts, 11 of which are less than one hour by car from the center of the city.
Indeed, there are a multitude of destinations and adventures awaiting winter and springtime adventurists and passionate skiers and snowboarders, all set amidst first-rate mountains, accessible via scenic, easy, and relatively short drives from the Salt Lake City airport. The area boasts four canyons, including the Parleys Canyon Mountains, the Big Cottonwood Canyon Mountains, the Little Cottonwood Canyon Mountains and the Ogden Canyon Mountains—the latter being the focus of Recommend’s adventure on the slopes.
snowbasin & powder mountains Thirty-five minutes north of Salt Lake City lies the old town of Ogden, which has its roots in the railroad industry and was the junction city of the Transcontinental Railroad. Ogden offers an accessible and affordable lodging option, ranging from full-service hotel properties and motels, to B&Bs and boutique lodges in Upper Ogden Valley. Ogden recently added a ski shuttle from downtown through the valley, which further provides enhanced and convenient access from Ogden to the ski areas. Among good spots to stay is the 292-room Marriott Ogden Hotel, where clients can hang out on the adjacent 25th Street in the heart of Ogden’s historic district; this street offers diverse dining, boutique shopping, national comedy acts at Wise Guys, a unique experience at Peery’s Egyptian Theatre, colorful history and museums at Union Station.
Sample rates at the Marriott Ogden Hotel are $179 pp per night (or $209 for two people) and include accommodations, one lift ticket to one of the nearby resorts—Wolf, Powder or Snowbasin—breakfast and transportation.
Other area accommodations, incidentally, include the family-friendly Wolf Creek Resort in Eden and Lakeside Village, which is close to Snowbasin.
In addition to its historic roots, abundance of amenities, and accommodations at a reasonable cost, Ogden serves as a great base while guests venture east each morning up Ogden Canyon to access two of the most special and usually least-populated ski mountains in all of Utah—Snowbasin and Powder Mountain. These two mountains represent two of Utah’s biggest secrets (although purists may be aware of each) especially given the role Snowbasin played in the 2002 Winter Olympics, as it served as the site of the men’s and women’s downhill skiing events.