Looking for some fun in the Wasatch Mountains? Ogden, Utah, serves as the perfect home base, offering both easy access to a wide range of outdoor adventures alongside plenty of urban amenities. You’ll find great shopping, dining and nightlife, plus all the outdoor adventure you could want. A three-day weekend in Ogden isn’t enough time to cover everything, but it certainly will give you a taste of why this part of the state has become such a popular destination for outdoor lovers. Let’s get started.
Where to Fuel Up
Start your day off with a jolt at Kaffe Mercantile, a friendly neighborhood coffee shop on 26th Street in Ogden. You can grab an espresso, coffee or tea, and enjoy a quick sandwich or quiche for breakfast. The double drive-thru at Daily Rise Expresso on Washington Boulevard is another option for quality organic coffee and other creative options like their cold brew on nitro for those needing a pick-me-up on the go. If juice is more your thing, the A Good Life Café and Juice Bar uses the freshest ingredients in its house-made juices, and it also offers vegetarian, vegan, and wheat-free dining options.
Located at the foot of the Wasatch range and bordering the Great Salt Lake, Ogden is filled with outdoor possibilities in the summer. For those interested in hiking and mountain biking, the Ogden area features more than 170,000 acres of National Forest land and more than 260 miles of trails. The Skyline Trail is one of the area’s signature destination. The trailhead is at the top of North Ogden Divide Canyon Road, and from there you can access five of the area’s biggest peaks, including, Ben Lomond, Willard Park, Chilly Peak, Eyrie 8136, and Lewis Peak.
You can make the hike as difficult or easy as you like, and you’ll also find trails that are excellent for mountain biking and ATV riding. For those up to the challenge, the trip to the top of Ben Lomond Peak will offer the best sightseeing—but be prepared, it’s an eight-mile trip each way with 3,500 feet of vertical climbing. Along the way you’ll pass through forests, see the radiance of Ogden Valley and Ogden City, the Wasatch Mountain Range as it extends South past Salt Lake City, culminating with the panoramic views from the top.
Not sure you’re up for that climbing? Head to Snowbasin Resort and enjoy its 26 miles of hiking and biking trails. You can take the Needles Gondola to save 2,300 feet of climbing, not to mention enjoy a scenic ride up. Once there you can hike the Cirque Practice Loop Trail to the Needles Ridge Trail. You still have a 900-foot climb from where the gondola lets you off, and you’ll see a deep glacial cirque with snow that remains year-round. Once you reach the ridge, you’ll enjoy views of the city of Ogden, the Great Salt Lake, Pineview Reservoir, and the Ogden Valley.
But you don’t have to summit Ogden's mountain peaks to find natural wonders. Take a can’t-miss trek to the 200-foot tall waterfall that dominates the aptly named Waterfall Canyon. The Waterfall Canyon Trail is accessible for the whole family, and it features a wide variety of summer wildflowers as you enter the narrow canyon.
For those who want a more relaxing way to enjoy the outdoors, Ogden is a well-known fishing destination. Located at the confluence of the Weber and Ogden rivers, Ogden is known for its trout. Pineview Reservoir is also a good bet, with an ample supply of bluegill, crappie, perch, bullhead catfish, and smallmouth and largemouth bass. The reservoir, which is surrounded by Wasatch peaks, also has sandy beaches for swimming, boat launches, and great opportunities for spotting wildlife.
Ogden is also known for its rock climbing and it offers visitors everything from 1,000-foot tall adventure routes to sport climbing and indoor bouldering. The 26th Street Bouldering Field is a popular spot to get started outdoors.
Enjoy the City
As we mentioned, one of the things that makes Ogden unique as an outdoor destination is that all of the city amenities are also available. Need a break from all that outdoor exploring? Take a stroll along Historic 25th Street in Ogden, which dates back to the railroad boom. It’s now the city’s go-to spot for art galleries, shopping and entertainment. Ogden boasts everything from upscale boutiques and malls to quaint souvenir shops, fine antique stores and cutting-edge art galleries. You can also explore the Junction, which is home to iFly, Flowrider, iRock, a theater, and many great local restaurants.
Grab a Bite
Ogden may be laid back, but it takes its dining seriously. You can find everything from steakhouses to fresh sushi (at three locations) in the downtown area. For fine dining, consider Restaurant 1107, located in the historic Ben Lomond Hotel. Featuring "American cuisine at its finest," Restaurant 1107 is a quiet place known for its top-notch views of the city. For something more casual, the Roosters Brewing Companyhas built a strong following with its eclectic menu and hand-crafted beer. If you’re looking for a good burger, Warren’s Craft Burger lives up to its name. That’s doesn’t even scratch the surface of all the dining options available, but this link will help you find whatever suits your appetite.
Where to Stay
Hotels, bed and breakfasts, condos, and homes for rent are all an option when it comes to spending the night in Ogden. For an historic hotel, check out the Bigelow Hotel (formallyknown as the Ben Lomond Suites, which was constructed in 1927 and is considered one of three "grand hotels" in Utah. Lakeside Resort Properties offers all kinds of lodging close to Snowbasin Resort. For a complete guide on choosing a place to stay, click here.
No matter where you stay, you’re just minutes from outdoor adventure. Three days is a great introduction to the Ogden area—just be prepared to leave wanting more.
Originally written for Utah Office of Tourism.