Snowbasin Resort: A Huffington Post Travel Ski Resort Guide
The Huffington Post
| By Chris Wessling
Snowbasin Resort in Utah is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. As part of a series on ski resorts, Huffington Post Travel offers our guide to Snowbasin, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.
Situated on Mount Ogden, Snowbasin Resort is aptly named: This upscale ski haven is graced by hundreds of inches of the white fluffy stuff each year. Located 35 miles north of Salt Lake City, Snowbasin is less than an hour from the city's international airport. The resort is friendly to skiers of all skill levels, with more than 100 runs, dozens of instructors and daycare facilities available. Nearly a third of the runs are rated as black diamond, but Snowbasin also has a tubing hill for visitors who prefer to enjoy the slopes sitting down.
Snowbasin offers more than 16 miles of groomed Nordic trails, three terrain parks and 3,000 acres for skiing on some of the best powder on Earth. The season at Snowbasin typically starts in late November and ends in mid-April. The resort experiences about 400 inches of snowfall annually, and it can cover up to 600 acres with snowmaking machines when Mother Nature doesn't cooperate. Snowbasin is located entirely on Mount Odgen, a 9,570-foot-high peak with three main canyons. With the mountain's vertical drop of 2,950 feet, the truly adventurous can satisfy their need for speed, or take their time down Elk Ridge, which is the longest run at 2.9 miles.
Trails And Lifts
With 113 ski runs, Snowbasin has something for all skill levels: 20 percent are for beginners (green circle), 50 percent are rated as medium difficulty (blue square) and 30 percent are for experts (black diamond). The resort features two signature downhill runs: Grizzly and Wildflower -- both of which gained fame during the 2002 Winter Olympics. Snowbasin has 11 lifts: one tram, two high-speed gondolas, two high-speed quads, four fixed-grips, one magic carpet and one surface tow. There are three terrain parks, one superpipe and five Nordic trails. Snowbasin does not offer nighttime skiing.
To ski or snowboard at Snowbasin, expect to pay between $14, for seniors 75 and older and $72, for adults. Children 6 and younger are free and multi-day lift tickets and group rates are available at discounted rates. Private and group lessons are available, as are clinics. Ski and snowboarding equipment -- everything from boots to clothing -- is also ready to rent, with rates ranging from $5 for poles to $50 for full equipment packages. Name brands on hand include Rossingnol, Fisher, K-2, Volkl and Stockli.
When it's time to take a break from the slopes, visitors to Snowbasin have a wealth of options for dining and drinking. Saturday night and Sunday brunch buffets can be enjoyed at Needles Lodge, which is well known for its Austrian cuisine. Grab a gourmet coffee or specialty hot drink at Strawberry Xpresso, and enjoy a quick bite. Unwind with a fine wine, mixed drink or just about any beverage imaginable while basking in the warm glow of the massive fireplace at Cinnabar Lounge. Retail shopping on the mountain is not extensive, and most visitors take a short ride to nearby downtown Ogden (17 miles away) when they're in the mood to make a purchase or enjoy a day at the spa. But the upscale and beautifully decorated Grizzly Center shop does offer typical ski-related products.
WATCH: Snowbasin Resort
Experience the majestic thrills of Snowbasin during the 2011 Winter Dew Tour championship.