Rating for a once-a-year, barely intermediate skier: A
On-mountain food: D
Lack of Crowds: A+
Powder Mountain, north of Salt Lake City, is one of our favorite ski resorts. The number one reason? Absolute lack of crowds. In addition, there are long, gentle green runs that even I can handle.
It is near the city of Ogden, which has a nice little downtown with lodging, restaurants, and shops. The last time we were in Salt Lake, we stayed a few days in both Ogden and Murray (on the south side), to avoid the long drive either way, since we like ski resorts on both the north and south ends. An alternative would be to stay somewhere in the middle, like downtown Salt Lake. It all depends on which resorts you like.
Powder Mountain is unusual in that there are two separate ski areas, with two different lift tickets sold. As you approach from Ogden, there is a small ski area on the left side with very short runs, called the Sundown side. It’s a good place to try your skis out on the first day with a cheaper lift ticket. The greens are a little steep, and the blues are even steeper. This area also has night skiing. The view at the top is great too! But there might not be enough runs to keep a better skier occupied for an entire day.
The larger, main ski area of Powder Mountain is to the right, a little further up the road. The runs there are long and gentle, and the lift ride from bottom to top is old and very slow, but that gives intermittent skiers like myself a wonderful break! The view at the top on a clear day is wonderful, because you can see the snow-capped mountain peaks of neighboring areas. Parking was not a problem on either side.
On one of our first visits to Powder Mountain, I noticed from the trail map that you could ski from the small side, where we had parked, over to the larger side. So we did, and spent the remainder of the day skiing on the larger side. At the end of the day, we funneled back to the base area and realized we were nowhere near our car. We asked an employee how to get back and were told there were two ways: we could take off our skis and walk (quite a distance in ski boots), or actually ski back via a sidewalk alongside the main road that connected the two areas. So yes, we skied a snow-covered sidewalk! It was a little nerve-wracking whenever a car passed, but fortunately, Powder Mountain does not have the traffic of someplace like Park City, so we made it back ok. There is also nowhere to do any kind of turn on a sidewalk, which meant I kept a slight wedge the whole way back, and my knees ached!
We had lunch at the Hidden Lake Lodge, found at the top of Powder Mountain. The choices were typical stadium fare: hot dogs, chili, hamburgers, nothing special. I had the chili and it was not the best. Powder Mountain is someplace you go to ski, not eat, so you just have to keep that in mind.
Each time we go back to Salt Lake City, we add a new ski resort, and drop an old one. Powder Mountain remains on the “must-do” list for us!