Family Ski Resort Guide | Snowbasin Resort

By Local Lexi Sep 8, 2021
On the slopes of Snowbasin Resort, you can trace the tracks of former Olympic athletes, savor fine dining and experience breathtaking views.
Family Ski Resort Guide | Snowbasin Resort

Near Ogden, Utah lies a resort that feels worlds away from the hustle and bustle of city life, freeways, traffic and civilization. Discover Snowbasin Resort, an official 2002 Winter Olympic venue known for its bowls, glades, powder stashes, tremendous groomers, fine dining and luxe amenities.

With nearly 3,000 acres of terrain, Snowbasin has no shortage of topography for families to explore. Just try and see if you can ski from the top of the Needles Gondola to the bottom without stopping—we dare you—it’s a real thigh burner! When your legs need a break, enjoy award-winning dining at one of Snowbasin’s four scenic lodges. 

Relish the rich heritage of Snowbasin and test your mettle on the slopes that hosted the Men’s and Women’s Downhill, Super G, Combined and Paralympic ski racing events in the 2002 Winter Olympics. Don't miss our Snowbasin history article here.

This resort contains a well-rounded mix of beginner, intermediate and advanced terrain serviced by modern, high-speed lifts. This is the place to come stack some vertical, enjoy untracked powder, uncrowded slopes, steep glades, open bowls and some of the longest groomers in Utah.

When you head indoors, soak in the luxurious décor, thickly carpeted floors, roaring fireplaces and stonework. Take five in a plush wingback chair and just enjoy the cozy scene.

Snowbasin Resort is located over the mountain ridge and east of Ogden, Utah. Approximate driving times (in favorable driving conditions) and distances are listed below:
Ogden: 20 miles – 30 minutes
Salt Lake City: 42 miles – 50 minutes
Logan: 71 miles – 1 hour, 15 minutes
Provo: 86 miles – 1 hour, 30 minutes
St. George: 345 miles – 4 hours, 50 minutes

In a 5th Grader’s Words: “The terrain can be calm and cruisey with rollers that you can catch air on or it can be challenging with moguls through the trees. The runs are really long to practice turns and everybody can ski what they want.” -Emily, Age 10


Skiable Acres: 2,950 Acres
Vertical Drop: 2,915 Feet
Number of Runs: 106
Terrain: 20% Beginner, 50% Intermediate, 30% Advanced & 26km of Nordic Skiing Trails
Chairlifts: 6 Chairlifts, 2 Gondolas, 1 Tram, 2 Surface Lifts
Night Skiing: No
Deals for Kids: Kids 4 and under ski free

New for the 2021-2022 Season!
Snowbasin spent the summer and fall of 2021 dismantling the old Middle Basin three-person chair and installing a high-speed six-person chair, the Middle Bowl Express. The ride time has been reduced from 12 minutes to six minutes and will follow a similar path to the old lift with better access to the Needles Lodge.

Snowbasin Resort is just 30 minutes from Ogden and 50 minutes from downtown Salt Lake, but it feels a world away from the hubbub of the busy Wasatch Front. It’s a worthy place to escape, enjoy family time and savor a special meal together. It’s a great resort for families of wildly different abilities because the variety of terrain provides diversion for all skill levels.

Snowbasin has one main base area anchored by Earl's Lodge. With lodges located at the top or bottom of every major lift, it’s a cinch to meet up during the day at Snowbasin. Note that families with beginners or learners may want to meet at Earl’s lodge as there is no green-rated terrain off the Strawberry Gondola or John Paul Express. It is possible to download the John Paul Express if you’d like to take in the views and dine at John Paul Lodge anyway.

You’ll begin your day by parking in one of the terraced lots and catching an open-air shuttle to Earl’s Lodge if necessary. Remember that carpoolers earn priority parking! At the base area, you’ll find grinning Snowbasin employees near the bronze moose statue, eager to answer any questions you may have.

Learners will either check-in 45 minutes early at Snowbasin Snow Sports School for lessons or warm up on the Littlecat Express chairlift which services the Powder Puff green-rated trail. There are also two short surface lifts in this area for true beginners. If you’re ready to take it up a notch or start your day on blue-rated runs, hop aboard the Becker chairlift. The Slo Road to Bear Hollow to Snow Shoe runs are all gentle enough for learners to build their confidence. Intermediate skiers can drop into Willow or head for the Strawberry Gondola via Bear Springs.

Intermediate skiers have tons of options with blue-rated terrain accessible from all lifts excluding the Allen Peak Tram. The Needles Gondola swiftly takes riders from the base to the Needles Lodge. Discover a thigh-burning groomer on the Needles Run. There are also terrain parks accessible from either the Needles Gondola or the Wildcat Express.

At the south end of the resort lies the Strawberry Gondola with open bowls and scenic groomers. Enjoy sweeping views of Ogden, the Great Salt Lake and Ogden Valley.

Pro Tip: See if you can ski Snowbasin’s longest run without stopping, the Elk Ridge blue-rated run off the top of Strawberry Gondola.

Expert skiers and snowboarders will want to experience the double black terrain of Sister’s Bowl, Middle Bowl Cirque and Lone Tree from Strawberry Gondola. There is also ample black diamond terrain accessible via the Porcupine and John Paul Express chairlifts. On the northern end of the resort you’ll find steep tree skiing and the world-famous Olympic downhill courses as well as incredible views from the John Paul Lodge.

Pro Tip: You’ll want to experience the ‘beer can’ style tramway that once dropped Olympians atop the Downhill Courses. The views from the Allen Peak Tram are also jaw dropping. If you’re feeling a little dizzy you can ride right back down the tram.


New for 2021-2022!
While parking will remain free at Snowbasin, the resort spent the summer expanding existing parking infrastructure and adding 350 additional stalls in the Maples and Canyon Rim lots. As always, priority parking will be provided to those who carpool with three or more riders.

Snowbasin has multiple parking lots; there are five terraced lots in Earl’s Lot adjacent to Earl’s Lodge, then there are the Maples lot, the Canyon Rim Lot and an additional Overflow Parking Lot that is only used on occasion during peak periods. Open-air shuttles are provided by the resort to transport guests from the parking terraces to Earl’s Lodge where friendly staff will great you and answer any questions. You can also pull up front and drop gear into complimentary green wagons to simplify logistics before you locate a parking space.

Note that Snowbasin is offering preferred parking spaces for carpools with 3 or more people in Terrace A of Earl's Lot.

Consider riding the UTA Ski Bus to avoid driving and help reduce road 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 675 services stops from Layton and Ogden and the Kent Smith Memorial Park to Snowbasin. Check the UTA website for a current schedule and read our Guide to Ride the Ski Bus.



Earl's Lodge is the heart of Snowbasin Resort and the main base area. Lift tickets can be purchased from the ticket window outside of the Grizzly Center, the equipment rental desk inside the Grizzly Center, or at the activities desk inside Earl’s Lodge. You can save a little bit of money by purchasing tickets in advance online and picking them up in the pre-purchase line outside the Grizzly Center.

Snowbasin offers an onsite basket check for gear on the lower level of Earl’s Lodge. The Guest Service Center also checks small and large bags or loose items for safekeeping during the day.

Rental equipment is located in the Grizzly Center adjacent to Earl’s Lodge. An overnight ski check is available here for $5.



The Snowbasin Snow Sports School is situated in the Learning Center inside the Grizzly Center adjacent to Earl’s Lodge at the main base area. It is advised to arrive 45 minutes prior to your scheduled lesson if rental gear is required. In addition to ski and snowboarding lessons, Snowbasin supports a handful of annual Women’s Camps, Ski Team Programs and programming with Ogden Valley Adaptive Sports. Visit the Snowbasin website for more information. For the best rates, you should purchase lessons in advance online. 

Pro Tip: Make sure to book your lesson and rental equipment in advance to guarantee availability. 

Learn & Earn
Snowbasin’s nationally ranked and wildly successful program guides students on a 3-year journey to take never-ever skiers and snowboarders to proficiency and total enjoyment of snow sports. Deals, packages, and specials incentivize learners to continue their progression and momentum.  Check out Snowbasin’s website to learn about the program and the incentives. This program always sells out prior to the start of each season so it is wise to book early.

Adaptive Lessons
Adaptive skiers can partner with Ogden Valley Adaptive Sports (OVAS) for adaptive lessons at Snowbasin. Lessons build self-confidence and better self-esteem by overcoming perceived limitations with certified adaptive instructors on the latest equipment. To schedule an adaptive sports experience or to find out more information contact OVAS at 801-695-7074

Private Lessons
Offered in all-day or half-day formats, Snowbasin’s Private Lessons are unique in that you may include up to 5 guests. Snowbasin’s instructors strive to forge a personal relationship with their students and provide an exceptional experience to achieve target goals. One very unique and tempting aspect of Snowbasin’s Private Lesson program: guests can request early gondola/lift access one hour prior to the public opening. Reservations are recommended.

Adult Lessons (Ages 13+)
Adult group lessons are all-day lessons available for every experience level for skiers and snowboarders aged 13 and up. Lessons run from 10 AM to 3 PM and there is an option to upgrade to the All-Inclusive Package which includes the lesson, rental equipment, and a lift ticket. Lessons can be purchased in one, two or three day blocks. Peak/holiday pricing will increase the cost of lessons. 

Youth Lessons
Children are grouped by age and ability level in Snowbasin’s award-winning Snow Sports School. Instructors tailor lessons around the needs and abilities of all students aged 4-6 or 7-12. See below.

Dino-Mites (Ages 4-6)
Lessons for children aged 4-6 are only offered in a private format. Younger children will focus on fostering excitement about skiing and snowboarding by using Adventure Trails and building confidence. Lesson formats last one, two or three hours and can be booked for morning or afternoon sessions. Rental packages can be added.

Raptors (Age 7-12)
Focusing on the development of fundamental skills, Raptors teaches age-appropriate methodologies to provide children with the knowledge to safely navigate around the mountain. This all-day program includes lunch with the option to add rental equipment and a lift ticket. Raptors classes can be booked for one, two or three days sessions. 

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Rental equipment can be picked up in the Grizzly Center adjacent to Earl’s Lodge. This ski and tune shop is your one-stop-shop for anything you may need or desire at Snowbasin. The shop also stocks a selection of replacement parts and can handle edge sharpening, grinding, repairs, deburring, polishing, waxing, binding mounting, binding adjustments and ski check for $5 nightly.

Pro Tip: Make sure to book equipment rentals in advance!

Snowbasin Rental Shop maintains a top-of-the-line rental fleet just steps from the snow. A few tiers of equipment rentals and demos are available and multi-day rental packages can save some pennies. Don’t forget the All-Inclusive Package which bundles a lesson, equipment rental, and a lift ticket into one price. Snowbasin’s rental packages include skis or a snowboard, boots, poles and a helmet. The following items are also available to rent:
Helmets (included in equipment rental packages)
Ski Poles

The Grizzly Center Retail Shop curates a wide selection of gifts, equipment, outerwear, accessories, logo gear, sundries, artwork, lip balm, sunscreen, and unique European brands including Dale of Norway, Obermeyer, Karbon, etc.



Snowbasin Resort does not offer any slopeside lodging, but the resort has teamed up with top-rated lodging partners near and far to provide a memorable experience and excellent customer service. Snowbasin recommends Lakeside Resort Properties (with a complimentary ski shuttle), the Wolf Creek Rentals, and the new Compass Rose Lodge (pictured above). Visit Ski Utah's lodging tool or check out our article on Ogden Valley's best lodging - click here.


It should be noted that outside food and beverages are not permitted in Snowbasin’s lodges. There are four different areas to dine—three of which are located on the slopes—making it easy to grab a bite from just about anywhere on the mountain.

In Earl’s Lodge from the main base area there are two dining options: Earl’s Servery and Cinnabar Lounge. Note that families or groups with beginners or learners will most likely want to eat here, as there are no green-rated runs to access the remaining three lodges. Earl’s Servery offers cafeteria-style dining in an upscale atmosphere with gorgeous views and six crackling fireplaces. Seating is also available outside with firepits and slopeside views and access. Breakfast is available (don’t miss the pastries) and the diverse lunch menu will keep even the pickiest eaters satisfied. Cinnabar is the après hub at Snowbasin. This gastropub features a family-friendly atmosphere with a full wine and bar menu. On weekends, plated brunch tempts patrons off the slopes in addition to live musical acts.

Pro Tip: The best dining deal at Snowbasin is the $25 loaded pizza at Earl’s Lodge. Feed the whole fam!

Upon exiting the Needles Gondola you’ll find the Needles Lodge offering a scenic mountain top lunch with a sunny outdoor patio. Views of the Ogden Valley are complemented with a southwest-inspired menu and a Tex-Mex station. Typical ski resort fare like hamburgers, sandwiches, soups, garden salads, and pitas are also available. The Overlook at Snowbasin Resort, a new bar added in 2021, serves a variety of beer, wine, and spirits and a specialty food menu. The views are stunning for Ages 21+ during winter operations.

With equally stunning views, the John Paul Lodge is situated at the top of the John Paul chairlift. Diners can gape at dramatic 360-degree views and imagine Olympians blitzing down the adjacent 2002 Olympic race course; patio dining is available. Don’t miss the Belgian waffles for breakfast! For lunch the savory options include chili, wood fired pizza, delectable sandwiches, grilled meats and fresh salads. The terrain off the John Paul lift is only appropriate for strong intermediate or advanced skiers, however rides down the chairlift are offered for those who still want to experience the John Paul Lodge.

For those lapping Strawberry Gondola, there is the Snowbasin Strawberry Cafe at the gondola base, open until 2:30 PM. The gourmet sausages should not be missed. This is a great spot to stop for a latte, a pastry, or warm up with soup or freshly made wraps and sandwiches. There is a grab-and-go menu for those who are busy stacking vert.   


On-site childcare is not currently offered at Snowbasin. If you don’t want to book kids in ski or snowboard lessons, Snowbasin recommends the High Altitude Kids center nearby in Eden, Utah for childcare for toddlers 18 months in age 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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For a memorable visit, consider these unique points of interest when planning a trip to Snowbasin Resort.

Flowrider, Ogden, Utah
In Ogden at the Salomon Center you’ll find an indoor hybrid waterpark with an endless wave. Combining the sports of surfing, skateboarding, wakeboarding, snowboarding and bodyboarding, the Flowrider encompasses the thrilling sport of flowboarding atop a moving wave on a ramp. Sessions start every hour on the hour. Reservations are required.

Ogden Nature Center
Located in the heart of Ogden is a 152-acre oasis; a nature preserve with an educational center open to the public year-round. The Ogden Nature Center offers a wide variety of educational programming, walking trails and workshops. Children will enjoy meeting birds of prey, a treehouse, bird watching from bird blinds and the view from the lofty spotting tower.


Ogden Valley's Best Accommodations - Click Here
Ski Utah's Resort Histories | Snowbasin - Click Here
5 Reasons to Choose Snowbasin - Click Here
The Different Sides of Snowbasin - Click Here
Snowbasin's Legacy of Fun - Click Here