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Snowbasin is one of the oldest, continuously operating ski resorts in the United States and it provides all the style of a superior resort coupled with the excitement of a world class venue. The area was named by a Mrs Geneve Wood in 1939 after she won the contest to name the as yet undeveloped area three miles (six kilometres) east of Ogden, Utah. Development of the Snowbasin area began in 1940 at the recommendation of Alf Engen and the Civilian Conservation Corps. The resort opened for business the following year with two rope tows serving 6 runs, a ski school and a fleet of dog-sled taxis. The opening ceremony was spectacular with ski jumpers showering the crowds with flowers and racers competing in downhill and slalom events. Earl Holding, who already owned Sun Valley acquired Sunbasin in 1984 and had big plans to develop the resort. The Sun Valley Co, began negotiations with the US Forest Service for a land exchange deal involving some 5,000 acres. $3 million were invested in on-mountain improvements and in 1986, the Becker and Porcupine triple chairlifts opened and Snowbasin's uplift capacity rose to 7,400 skiers per hour. Access to Snowbasin was dramatically improved with the construction of the Trappers Loop Highway. Over the next few years Snowbasin proved itself in hosting several big ski events and in 1995 Salt Lake City was successful in its bid to host the 2002 Olympic Games. Snowbasin had been chosen to host the Downhill and Super G events. Congress passed the Land Exchange Act in 1996 which allowed the land swap and base-area development to proceed and Snowbasin's expansion was finally about to happen. Four major new lifts were added - two 8-passenger gondolas, a high-speed quad and the Olympic Tram. The land-exchange deal with the Forest Service was completed in 2000 and the Snowbasin Road built, providing a more direct route from the Salt Lake Valley reducing round-trip drive time by 30 minutes. On the mountain, three new day lodges were added in the build up to 2002. Utah's positioning in the Rocky Mountains benefits from a phenomenal weather pattern which provides the area with its coveted snow conditions. Clouds filled with Pacific Ocean moisture from the west coast travel across western deserts, where most of the moisture is baked out. When those clouds hit the Rockies, temperatures cool, precipitation begins, and the snow that falls is perfect - ultra-light, dry and fluffy just like talcum powder!
snowbasin 612852 piste

The location for downhill and Super G events in the 2002 Winter Olympics. Snowbasin has the same owners as Sun Valley in Idaho. Snowbasin is one of the oldest continuously operating ski areas in the US. Ever since the first hearty skier schussed down the slopes in 1939, people from all over the United States have come to enjoy the powder snow and majestic mountain scenery.


Snowbasin has more than 100 designated runs with something for everyone. Half the runs are best for intermediates, 20% for novices and 30% for experts. Serviced by 13 lifts including two 8-passenger gondolas and a high speed detachable quad, the mountain's uplift capacity is 14,500 skiers per hour. Installed since Olympic selection, the new lifts have given access to even more terrain and almost doubled the skiable acreage to 3200 acres. The Olympic events will be held in the John Paul ski area taking up about 30% of the skiable terrain. The area was named in honour of John Paul Jones, an avid believer in the Snowbasin concept, who sadly died in WW2 before he could ever see the realisation of his dream for the mountain. The John Paul lift and one of the new day lodges have also been named in his memory. The Olympic downhill course was designed by Bernard Russi, 1972 Olympic gold winner and it has been said that this run with 2,900 vertical feet will be one of the the best downhill courses in the world.

Eating Out

On the mountain, three day lodges were added in the build up to 2002 - all with one main theme - grand fireplaces. The Olympic Day Lodge features five massive fireplaces and a front row view of the mountain complete with wine service and a diverse menu. Earl's Lodge has a full service menu. The John Paul Lodge, located at 8,900 feet, is accessible to skiers and non-skiers via the lift of the same name. Food service, dining area and rest room facilities all feature. The lodge revolves around a large 2-storey fireplace where visitors can warm up as they look out over the valley or up at the start houses for the Olympic downhill courses. The Needles Lodge nestles at 9,300 feet practically at the centre of the resort. Similar in structure to the other lodges, it features both indoor and outdoor dining for guests. A windscreen surrounds the outdoor eatery so both summer and winter visitors can enjoy the fresh mountain air without the stiff mountain breezes. Large picture windows allow diners to enjoy the scenic views of the mountain and the Ogden Valley.


Huntsville, the nearby town, has a choice of bars and clubs. Further afield Salt Lake City has a wider variety of clubs for music and dancing, the Comedy Circuit for light entertainment, and a great sampling from the arts - Ballet West, the Utah Symphony, the Salt Lake Acting and Pioneer Theatre Company and The Promised Valley Playhouse. On the "darker side" there's the Hansen Planetarium. Sports Fans should be sure not to miss the Golden Eagles Hockey Team or the world famous Utah Jazz basketball. In 2009 a new law came into effect changing Utah’s bar scene. In the past purchasing a temporary membership was required to get into a bar or club. Bars, pubs and clubs now have an open door policy to welcome all comers over 21 and no longer require customers to purchase a temporary membership.


All lifts are open to snowboarders and retaining devices are required.

Vertical drop
Resort height
Salt Lake City
Train station