The first-timer’s guide to Snowbasin Resort

Posted By Allison on Mar 21, 2016

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If you thought the ski season was over, think again! Spring is my favorite time to ski in Utah because the weather is that much warmer, the days are that much longer and the sky is that much bluer. On our ski day at Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah last week, we left most of our layers at home – which made our morning a lot easier! – and never bothered to put on our gloves. The snow was nice and soft and we saw a few people skiing in shirt sleeves and shorts.

Since we started skiing last winter, Snowbasin has become one of my favorite resorts. Did you know that it was an Olympic venue in 2002? Because of that, it has world-class facilities, but it’s also a manageable size.

The first-timer's guide to Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah. This is a fun family resort for skiers of all abilities. | | ski | snowboard | ski lessons | winter vacation

Beginners’ luck

Snowbasin doesn’t have a lot of beginner trails, but Powder Puff at the base of the mountain is gentle enough to build even the most cautious skier’s confidence. There is an easy terrain park for skiers and boarders along Powder Puff that my kids love. Littlecat Express services this hill and the “perfect” learning hill at the top of Powder Puff.

When you’re ready to try something a little more challenging, take the Becker lift at the top of Littlecat farther up the hill. It has some fun green hills for beginners who are ready for a bigger challenge. If you know that some or all of your family are going to ride Littlecat or Becker all day, you can save money by purchasing the less expensive Littlecat or Littlecat+Becker day pass.

If you’re not a beginning skier, Snowbasin has miles and miles of trails for you. Give us another year or two and we’ll review them for you! Looking to ski the same hill as the Olympians? Look for Men’s Start and Women’s Start at the top right of the Snowbasin Trail Map.

Take a lesson

Snowbasin is where I learned the value of a lesson or guide, even if you already know how to ski. A few weeks ago at a media ski day, I skied with a guide at Snowbasin for the first time in 30 years and was amazed by how much it improved my day. Ted helped me get rid of some bad habits, showed me that I’m not as bad a skier as I thought and was able to take me to the hills that were just challenging enough for my abilities.

Many veteran ski instructors like Ted have clients who return year after year, because it’s helpful to have a guide when you tackle new and difficult terrain. Snowbasin Resort offers group and private lessons for all ages.

The first-timer's guide to Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah. This is a fun family resort for skiers of all abilities. | | ski | snowboard | ski lessons | winter vacation

Take a ride to Needles Lodge

With or without skis, ride Needles Gondola to to Needles Lodge at 8700 feet for breakfast or lunch. Then ski or ride the gondola all the way down. The views of the resort from the gondola and the lodge are SPECTACULAR! Dining at Needles Lodge is typically casual, cafeteria-style fare. Officially, bringing your own food into the dining area is not permitted, but we did it on an uncrowded day and didn’t have any trouble.

Check out the bathrooms

The lodge bathrooms at Snowbasin are on par with any you’d find in a luxury hotel, except that most patrons here are wearing snow gear and ski boots. Chances are, you’ll get a chance to see them no matter what, but you really should be sure to check them out.

The first-timer's guide to Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah. This is a fun family resort for skiers of all abilities. | | ski | snowboard | ski lessons | winter vacation

Unlike some of Utah’s larger resorts, Snowbasin doesn’t have on-site lodging or a large selection of dining, rentals, shopping, spas, etc. The resort is located just a few minutes from Ogden, but its immediate surroundings are rural, with few services. Non-skiers will not find a lot to do at Snowbasin Resort. Prices for equipment rental are not as competitive as at some resorts or local rental shops, because there are no other rental options at the resort. However, for convenience, quality and customer service, Snowbasin is a great choice for rentals.

Snowbasin Resort has one parking lot, with shuttles and a drop-off/pick-up zone and one lodge at the base of the mountain. All trails eventually lead to the base, so if your family skis apart during the day, there’s no getting lost and it’s easy to meet for lunch or at the end of the day at the base.

Here’s a short video clip of my kids’ lesson. I love how effortlessly Craig, our instructor skis backward down the hill! I’m also happy that I managed not to crash into my son trying to ski and get video on my iPhone at the same time.


How else can we help you?

We’ve got lots of resources to help you plan a great ski vacation at Snowbasin Resort!

Find a hotel, condo or vacation home in Ogden, Mountain Green or Huntsville at or

Buy discount lift tickets at

Find deals on snow gear at REI Outlet or Sierra Trading Post


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Hi there! I am the founder of Tips for Family Trips. I am a married mom of two children, ages 10 and 12, living near Salt Lake City, Utah. We took our first child on a two-week road trip when she was four weeks old and we have been traveling as a family ever since. We love to get out of the house to see and do fun things, both far away and in our own neighborhood.

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