Family Ski Resort Guide | Powder Mountain

Family Ski Resort Guide | Powder Mountain

Local Lexi

By Local Lexi \ December 16 2019

After a trip through the bucolic Ogden valley, passing by many farms, cows, horses and quaint wooden barns, the grade of Highway 158 will abruptly lurch upward. The steep grade will eventually reveal the tracks of intrepid skiers and snowboarders to your right, remnants of epic lines and face shots in the famed Powder Country of Powder Mountain. Soon, the steep hill will reveal the cozy sight of an old lodge and the Sundown chairlift; this is the first (and smallest) base area.

Keep heading in an uphill direction to locate the remainder of the mountain’s seemingly endless acreage. Powder Mountain is a resort like no other in Utah, from the two upper parking areas, you ski down to a chairlift; kids will enjoy the novelty of this upside-down ski area!

Pro Tip: Blend in with the locals who affectionately dub Powder Mountain as ‘Pow Mow’.

There is a misconception that Powder Mountain is located far from the bustling metropolis of Salt Lake City and this tends to prevent Powder Mountain from feeling crowded. It truly is the perfect place to escape and uncover a few new stashes, unwind and virtually ski onto a lift. Powder Mountain caps the total number of skiers to 5,000 on any given day to preserve that feeling of solitude and you’ll seldom feel fenced in at Pow Mow. Powder Mountain claims they have one of the lowest numbers of guests per acre in the US!

For a reasonable fee, you can supercharge your day with unguided snowcat assisted laps up to the expert terrain off Lightning Ridge or Raintree. Cat rides can be purchased singly or punch passes are offered. Venture into the uniquely situated Powder Country, 1,200 acres of ungroomed wonderland, serviced by the complimentary Powder Country shuttle. If you’re a family with expert skiers, there are also guided backcountry tours and guided cat skiing excursions. 

If you’re a family that likes to get off the beaten track or you’re looking for a high-octane dose of adventure, Powder Mountain can deliver this in spades. It also features very reasonable rates for day tickets, considering the amount of terrain you can ski or snowboard. Its old-school feel is approachable and you’ll quickly feel at home around this down-to-earth resort.

Powder Mountain runs a handful of specials and discounts for Family Night, Ladies’ Night, Military personnel, College Days and children under 6 and seniors over 75 always ski for FREE! Head over to Pow Mow’s website for details.

Powder Mountain is perched above Ogden Valley in Northern Utah. Approximate driving times (in favorable driving conditions) and distances are listed below:
Ogden: 25 miles – 45 minutes
Salt Lake City: 58 miles – 1 hour, 10 minutes
Logan: 62 miles – 1 hour, 20 minutes
Provo: 102 miles – 2 hours
St. George: 375 miles – 5 hours, 45 minutes

Ski Utah Vid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_3eG5AFh10


In a 5th Grader’s Words:
“I like secret jumps and snow stashes hidden through the trees and the wide runs to practice your turns. The lift lines are short and the views are beautiful for taking lots of photos. Great spot for families!” - Emily, Age 10


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TERRAIN & MOUNTAIN STATS

Skiable Acres: 3,125 Acres of Lift-served Terrain

4,832 Acres of Lift-accessible Terrain (hike-to)
507 Acres of Guided Terrain (Accessible by Guided Tour or Adventure Snowcat)

Vertical Drop: 2,205 Feet
Number of Runs: 154
Terrain: 25% Beginner, 40% Intermediate, 35% Advanced, 2 Terrain Parks
Chairlifts: 6 and 2 Surface Tows and 1 Platter Tow
Night Skiing: Yes, Sundown and Tiger Tow from 3:00-9:00 PM

Powder Mountain’s sprawling terrain has something for just about everyone, rolling meadows, perfectly spaced glades of aspens, creative terrain parks, steeps, backcountry tech, a mountain peak to hike, single cat skiing laps, guided skiing, cat skiing tours, back bowls and lengthy groomers. If you have a family with wildly different preferences or ability levels, Powder Mountain is the perfect place to find toothy grins for everyone. This unpretentious resort also has a reputation for being low key and family-friendly.

With three distinct base areas, there are many places to launch your day at Pow Mow. Although, calling them base areas is somewhat misleading because two of the base areas require you to ski down to a lift to begin your day!

Approaching Powder Mountain, you will first encounter the Sundown base area. This is a great launching point for younger children or beginners, with the Sundown chairlift and Tiger Tow surface tow offering a variety of runs that all coalesce back at the Sundown Lodge. There are about 13 trails accessible from the Sundown base area ranging from green to single black diamond difficulty ratings. About 50 percent of these trails are groomed daily. If you want to try out night skiing at Powder Mountain, this is where the action happens. The Sundown Lodge has a small restaurant upstairs with a nice deck and ski and snowboard rentals downstairs. The Powder Mountain Snow Sports School is located at the Sundown base area, so if you’ve booked lessons, start your day here.

Continuing up the steep roadway you’ll next encounter the Timberline Lodge with the largest parking lot and two restaurants. This lodge offers access to most chairlifts and features great views, a huge variety of trails and delicious food. Learners can bag green-rated Drifter to Rendezvous and catch the Timberline chairlift or they may opt to continue on down, wrapping around the ridgeline to the Paradise chairlift. More adventurous skiers or intermediates can catch the Timberline chair for a warm up on the Powder Keg or Sidewinder blue-rated trails before launching off to explore the rest of the mountain. There are not many difficult trails accessible from Timberline Lodge so if you have expert skiers in your group, it may be best to continue on up to Hidden Lake Lodge.

Pro Tip: There are green-rated trails off all of Powder Mountain’s chairlifts, so groups of varying abilities have an easier time sticking together at Pow Mow.

Just a bit further up the road, Pow Mow’s highest lodge, the Hidden Lake Lodge, offers a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape. This lot offers the greatest number of accessible lifts and trails, though there are fewer parking spaces than the Timberline lot. From Hidden Lake, powderhounds can easily access the ungroomed majesty of Powder Country, catching a shuttle to return to the resort. From Hidden Lake you can also access two of the terrain parks or head out for Mary’s Bowl or Lefty’s Canyon. The Hidden Lake Express chairlift offers a nice mix of green, blue and black rated trails for groups or families. Beginners can cruise down the East 40 and Buttonwood trails to gain confidence.

To explore Powder Mountain’s southeastern terrain grab a quick bump up the Sunrise platter tow. Take a few mellow laps in Mary’s Bowl or explore the uncrowded terrain off the Village lift. Both Mary’s and the Village lifts offer excellent intermediate terrain that is seldom crowded. This is a wonderful zone for intermediates to hone their skills and enjoy a sense of solitude. When you’ve had your fill, head down Cobabe Canyon towards the base of the Paradise lift. There are nicely gladed trees on the Bluebell and Thimbleberry runs.

Expert skiers will want to spend time investigating Powder Country’s ungroomed terrain, catching the complimentary shuttle from the road back to the base area. Powder snow can often be found in this zone several days after a storm, if the temperatures remain cold. For a truly novel experience, expert skiers and riders will want to pay for a single cat ride up to Lightning Ridge. When the terrain has been opened by ski patrol, experienced skiers may even opt to bootpack to the top of 9,422’ James Peak. Black diamond terrain, endless powder stashes, chutes and tree skiing can be found off Lightning Ridge. The Paradise lift offers the greatest quantity of lift-accessed black diamond terrain off either side of the ridge.

Also consider booking a day with Powder Mountain’s Snowcat Powder Safari tours. Guests are treated to untracked backcountry terrain beyond the resort’s lift-accessed terrain boundaries. Explore a handful of different backcountry options to find the perfect package to suit your desires.

Note that skiing beyond any resort boundary line at Powder Mountain is not permitted unless it is a guided operation, as the powder beyond is reserved for cat skiing or guided tours. You can be fined for venturing beyond the boundary line.



PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Consider riding the UTA Ski Bus to avoid driving and help reduce highway and parking congestion. In the winter months, the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), runs daily service from November or December until March.
The UTA Ski Bus route 674 services stops in Ogden, the Park-n-Ride lot in Eden and the Moose Hollow Condos. Check the UTA website for a current schedule and read our Guide to Ride the Ski Bus.

Powder Mountain does provide supplementary transportation services in early December and through closing day in April when the UTA transit busses are not running.


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BASE AREA & MAIN LODGE

There are three base areas at Powder Mountain, from bottom to top there is the Sundown Lodge, the Timberline Lodge, and the Hidden Lake Lodge. The mountain does have a unique layout and you’ll actually be skiing down to the lift from the Timberline and Hidden Lake Lodges. There is limited terrain accessible from the Sundown Lodge and it is most appropriate for learners/beginners, those booked for lessons, or expert skiers and boarders wishing to catch a lift on the Lightning Ridge cat. All base areas feature a ticket office and rentals can be secured at either the Sundown or Timberline Lodges. The Snow Sports School is located at the Sundown base area.

The largest parking area is located at the Timberline Lodge but the majority of the mountain can be accessed by parking at the Hidden Lake Lodge. The logo shop is located adjacent to the Timberline Lodge.


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POWDER MOUNTAIN SNOWSPORTS SCHOOL

Lessons at Powder Mountain can be booked online and the Snow Sports School is located at the Sundown base area. From youngsters to first timers, to experienced skiers and riders looking to up their game, the folks at Powder Mountain serve as excellent mountain guides and expert teachers. Check Powder Mountain’s website for additional information about their Women’s Program, All-Mountain Adventure Team or Adaptive Sports programs.

Pro Tip: Reserve your lift tickets online to guarantee availability as Powder Mountain does enforce caps on daily ticket sales.

Private Lessons
Private or semi-private lessons are available for those who want individualized instruction or hope to learn in a small group setting with similarly skilled friends or family members. Lessons are offered in full day, half day or hourly blocks. Day passes and rentals are not included.

First Time Skiers and Snowboarders
This package suits those who have never tried skiing or snowboarding. These lessons are offered in half-day blocks and include rentals, lift tickets and three hours of instruction.

Group Lessons for Skiers and Snowboarders
These small group lessons are offered for all ability levels spanning beginner to advanced. Day passes and rentals are not included and these lessons are offered in half-day blocks.

Powder Club for Kids
For young skiers and snowboarders, these programs provide an entertaining day on the slopes while teaching skills and improving confidence. Removing anxiety and fear is a key component of these lessons and the Pow Mow staff strives to provide a safe and fun learning environment. Lessons are offered for skiers of ages 6-12 and snowboarders of ages 8-12. Choose from half-day, full-day, 3-day, or 5-day packages.

Powder Tykes
For the youngest kiddos on the hill, Power Tykes offers small group lessons for up to two children for skiers aged 3½-5 and snowboarders aged 5-7. Classes are designed to keep youngsters engaged while introducing new skills. A lift ticket and lunch is included with all lesson fees and rental equipment should be procured prior to class.

Locals Program
For area locals, the Powder Mountain Snow Sports School serves up a 5-week lesson package for ages 12 and up. These affordable lessons help teens progress with confidence, meet new friends and learn in a supportive environment. Lessons include the price of lift tickets though rentals are not included. Visit Powder Mountain’s website for session dates.


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SKI SHOP & EQUIPMENT RENTALS

There are two rental shops at Powder Mountain located in the Sundown Lodge and the Timberline lodge.

The Sundown Ski Shop is situated in the lower level of the Sundown Lodge and will remain open to service the night skiing operations.

Further up the hill, the Timberline Ski Shop is located in the resort center, adjacent to the Timberline Lodge. There you can purchase gear from reputable brands as well as Pow Mow logo gear, stickers and gifts. The shops offer rental and demo equipment from Salomon, Lib Tech, Gnu, Bent Metal, Burton, Never Summer, DPS, K2 and Scott. The Timberline Ski Shop also offers full-service repairs and tuning.

Both ski shops provide rentals for the following equipment at reasonable rates. Discounted rates are available for multi-day rentals.
Ski Package
Snowboard Package
Demo Skis or Snowboards
Alpine Touring Skis and Splitboards
Demo Alpine Touring Skis
Ski Boots
Snowboard Boots
Helmets


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LODGING AND DINING OPTIONS

For lodging at Powder Mountain, you can peruse options from Powder Mountain Getaways ranging from condos to townhomes to luxury ski-in/ski-out mountain homes. A few of the recommended options are as follows:

Moose Hollow Condominiums
These 1-4-bedroom properties can accommodate up to 12 guests. Rental will include access to the community barbeques, pool and hot tub. Conveniently located in Ogden Valley between Eden and Powder Mountain off Highway 158, the Moose Hollow Condos offer proximity to town and the mountain. The drive to Powder Mountain is approximately 12 minutes in fair driving conditions. 

Cascade Townhomes
With larger floor plans offering 4-6 bedrooms, the Cascade Townhomes are ideal for big groups or families of 6-20 individuals. They feature added amenities such as garages, theatre rooms, game rooms, gathering spaces and private hot tubs. With elegance and mountain charm, these lodges will ensure a relaxing vacation. The Cascade Townhomes are located near the Moose Hollow Condominium complex between Eden and Powder Mountain in Ogden Valley. The drive to Powder Mountain is approximately 12 minutes in fair driving conditions.

Luxury Mountaintop Homes
Ditch the car and immerse yourself in the Pow Mow way of life and incredible views with ski-in/ski-out slopeside rentals. Soak in the sights of the Great Salt Lake and Uinta Mountain Range with quick access to the Village chairlift. The Mountaintop Homes offer luxurious interiors and inspiring mountain modern design.


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For hungry bellies, all three base areas offer dining options for the pickiest of eaters. You’ll find reasonably priced food and hearty servings anywhere your skis take you. The Timberline Lodge has the most options, serving breakfast and lunch out of the Timberline Cafeteria from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pizza by the slice is baked daily from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. at Lucky Slice Pizza. However, the favorite among locals is definitely the Powder Keg, located on the lower level of the Timberline Lodge. Here you will find flame-broiled burgers, bowls of fantastic steaming ramen and interesting beers on tap.

Pro Tip: You will find live bands performing at the Powder Keg 3-5 times weekly. Head in early before 3 p.m. to secure a spot if you’re looking for a late afternoon meal.

Up top at the Hidden Lake Lodge lies the Hidden Lake Cantina. Open from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., the cantina serves up fresh mountain Mexican cuisine, snacks, and drinks. It’s also a great launch point to spend the rest of the afternoon exploring Pow Mow because you can access most areas on the mountain from this lodge.

Pro Tip: See if you can identify the four different states visible from the windows of the Hidden Lake Cantina. 

Back down at the Sundown Lodge you will find the Lucky Slice Pizzeria serving up a value menu in a cozy lodge for guests from 11:00 a.m. until 8:30 p.m.


CHILDCARE

Powder Mountain does not offer a dedicated childcare facility. They do recommend the High Altitude Kids center, located near Eden, Utah for childcare for toddlers 18 months through 12 years of age. This educational and recreational facility provides creative programming, developmental activities and exercises to foster social, cognitive and emotional growth in children.


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POINTS OF INTEREST

For a memorable visit, consider these unique points of interest when planning a trip to Powder Mountain.

Hitch a Ride on a Cat
Unlike anywhere else in Utah, you can purchase single rides on the Lightning Ridge/Raintree snowcat. This jaunt to the high country is well worth the reasonable price of a ticket to ride.

Ogden’s Dinosaur Park
Ogden’s George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park features a collection of prehistoric creatures ranging from crawlers to predators, to flying reptiles. With over 100 dinosaur sculptures, kids can easily imagine themselves inhabiting prehistoric times as the dinos are brought to life with robotics and state-of-the-art soundscapes. 

Hill Aerospace Museum
Located five miles south of Ogden on the Hill Air Force Base, the Hill Aerospace Museum exhibits nearly 100 aircraft and thousands of artifacts chronicling the history of aviation in the Air Force in Utah and across the United States.

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