Insider's Guide to the Après-Ski Lifestyle at Snowbasin

Needles Lodge
Needles Lodge Snowbasin Resort
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Snowbasin may be mostly about skiing, but those who go there save their appetites for eating at the resort. It would be a shame to pack a lunch (or breakfast, or snacks) when the resort has such exceptional food. Right off the bat, you can grab breakfast at Earl’s Lodge at the base area. You can find quality omelets, breakfast burritos, French toast, or even a veggie tofu hash to start your day on the right foot. You can grab a piping-hot coffee to enjoy on your gondola ride, and then on you go.

From there, the only really difficult decision of the day will be whether to lunch at the mountaintop Needles Lodge or the John Paul Lodge, also situated high up on the slopes. Both lodges are splendid places to warm up, soak in the luxury around you, and gaze out at the panoramic views of the valley beneath you. (Fortunately you don’t have to choose between the two lodges because skiing is an ideal double-lunch sport.)

John Paul Lodge
John Paul Lodge Austen Diamond

Perched at almost 9,000 feet, the Needles Lodge is a bit more vegetarian-friendly, while the John Paul Lodge has an incredible round dining room with near 360-degree views of the surrounding dramatic ridgelines, including the rocky chutes above Ogden Bowl. Both lodges offer quality beers on tap as well, so you can truly relax from the inside out and take everything in.

Once your muscles are worked from a full day of fun, you can slide into home plate in fine style by doing après back at the Cinnabar gastropub inside Earl’s Lodge. Yes, you’re allowed to wear your ski boots on the fine carpets, and you can drape your ski jacket over the rich leather chairs. Then stretch out, admire the high ceilings and candelabra light fixtures overhead, and contemplate your order.

Cinnabar Lounge
Cinnabar Lounge Austen Diamond

Hopefully you’ve worked up an appetite again, because their après menu is off the charts. Hopefully you came with a posse of friends so everyone can order something different and share, because it’s impossible to choose between Southwest Mac’n’Cheese, Blue Cheese Nachos, and Greek Chicken Tacos. There’s full menu of cocktails, spirits, and beers to wash it all down.

The Cinnabar even brings in performers multiple nights per week to play all manner of live music to keep diners entertained. It’s basically such a high-caliber après experience that you’d be tempted to drive up there after skiing elsewhere just for the Cinnabar.

A great resource on the Snowbasin area’s backcountry is the book Backcountry Skiing Utah by Tyson Bradley. Get detailed info before you go, and to shred safely, always consult the Utah Avalanche Center’s detailed daily forecast.

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