“Still Untamed” is the tagline on the Ogden, Utah, city website, words that are more a matter of pride than marketing speak for many of this town’s 80,000 residents. Completion of the transcontinental railroad there in 1869 fueled Ogden’s evolution from lonely fur trader’s outpost to hardscrabble industrial hub—and gave rise to 25th Street, A.K.A. Two-Bit Street, one of the most notorious red light districts in the West.
Today, historic 25th Street’s speakeasies and brothels have given way to galleries, restaurants, and boutiques, and Ogden has been lauded far and wide for it’s near endless outdoor recreation opportunities thanks to its neighboring mountains. But the town’s gritty, “in Utah, but not of Utah” ethos remains. Ogden is ideal for a mountain getaway: It has the amenities of a glitzy mountain destination, but is less-crowded, more affordable, and—gratefully—a little rough around the edges.
Outdoor Fun and Things to do in Ogden, Utah
Take a stroll or pedal along the 9.6 mile paved Ogden River Parkway that runs from the in-town confluence of the Ogden and Weber rivers to the mouth of Ogden Canyon. Hikers and mountain bikers can revel in the city’s singletrack-riddled eastern foothills. Find official trailheads at Rainbow Gardens (at the mouth of Ogden Canyon) and at the tops of 22nd Street, 29th Street, and 36th Street.
The Ogden-area ski resorts—Snowbasin, Powder Mountain, and Nordic Valley—are located about 30 miles into the mountains from downtown. Expect a motherlode of elbow room at Powder Mountain, where day passes to access its 8,000 acres are capped at 1,500 per day. In summer, Pow Mow (as it is referred to by locals) hosts 18-plus miles of hiking and mountain biking trails.