Snowcat Skiing - Utah
Sailing - Charleston | Kitesurfing - Bahamas | Nightime Kayaking - Puerto Rico | Snowshoeing - Vermont | Dog Sledding - Central Oregon | Snorkeling - St. John | Surfing - Barbados | Hiking - New Hampshire | Snowcat Skiing - Utah | Zip Lining - St. Lucia | ATV Riding - Virginia
Adventure Rating: 5
Adventure begins at 9,105 feet. That's where the Powder Mountain snowcat (aka the massive machine that grooms trails) drops you off for some of the best powder skiing and boarding in North America. From there, you have unlimited access to more than 2,000 acres of powder-packed tree runs. This relatively unknown resort, located just nineteen miles from Ogden, Utah, receives an average of 500 fluffy inches of Champagne powder each year. All this snow means that only expert skiers need apply, though a few soft wipeouts in-bounds, a lesson, and a pair of “fat” powder skis will probably be enough to get even intermediate skiers into the resort's snowcat-accessed backcountry.
Powder Mountain has several backcountry options. You can take a single snowcat ride to the top of Cobabe Peak ($12 for the cat ride, plus a $58 lift ticket) for access to 700 acres of steep, avalanche-patrolled terrain, while a full-day Snowcat Powder Safari will run you $300 and includes two guides, lunch, an avalanche beacon, and access to more than 2,000 acres. The bold might want to splurge with a six-run helicopter ski tour for $795 per person through Diamond Peaks Heli Ski Adventures.
This is definitely not Vail or Park City, but Ogden boasts a remoteness and simplicity that the other resorts towns can't. Your best bet for accommodation is Lakeside Resort Properties (lakesideresortproperties, 866-745-3194), which offers one- to four-bedroom condos twenty minutes from Powder Mountain (starting at $100 per night). The Red Moose Lodge is located in the nearby Wolf Mountain Resort. Here you'll find everything from basic hotel rooms ($129) to luxury suites ($199). Another reasonably priced spot is the recently renovated Ogden Marriott, where rooms start at around $169 a night. Hungry? Try some of the new restaurants in the revived historic district along 25th Street.
Need More Adventure?
More Skiing: If you want to go upscale, head over the hill to the ultra-tony Snowbasin Resort, where you'll find the best on-mountain dining this side of a little place we like to call Aspen. Lift ticket $65, Snowbasin Resort.
Surfing: Yep, that's right, you can surf in Utah … at the indoor wave pool at Ogden's Salomon Center, where you'll also find a wind tunnel, rock-climbing wall, and bowling. $20 per hour, Salomon Center.
MUST HAVE GEAR Salomon has its headquarters in Ogden, so try out its “Rocker Ski,” aka one of the widest skis available, making traversing fluffy powder easier. Price varies. Alpine Ski Center, 704-332-2824