The Adventurer’s Playground: Ogden, Utah

Author: Alecia Pirulis  

Wasatch Mountains Near Ogden

Do you live for adventure? On weekends, are you backpacking in remote locations or tackling white-water rapids? Have you ever been rock climbing, spelunking, snowboarding, bungee jumping, sky diving, rappelling, bouldering, skiing, or ice climbing? Then you might be interested in a city that was called “a playground for adrenaline junkies” by the Wall Street Journal, “unpretentious and adrenalized” by Outside Magazine, and “the best new place to be” by National Geographic. You might be interested in Ogden, Utah.

From Ogden, you can be at one of 11 national parks, nine ski resorts, over 170,000 acres of national forest, and 13,000 acres of fresh water – all in less than a day’s drive. There are over 210 miles of trails for mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding. Ogden’s stunning mountain peaks and crystal-clear lakes and rivers aren’t just beautiful scenery – they offer myriad outdoor adventures, from snowshoeing and kayaking to skydiving and bouldering.

Ogden is described as rowdy, hip, funky, and cool. It’s a city famous for high adventure and extreme sports. It’s a place that Al Capone said was just too wild for him. And while the excitement the thrill-seekers come to find in Ogden has changed since the bootlegging and gambling days of the late 1800s and early 1900s, Ogden hasn’t lost its wild edge.

When you’re not scaling the rocky cliffs or plunging down a mountain on skis, Ogden is a terrific city with a strong economy. According to the New York Times, Ogden is one of the nation’s “best places to do business.” Forbes listed Ogden as one of its top “Places for Business and Careers” in 2013. Ogden is roughly 10 miles east of the Salt Lake and about 40 miles north of Salt Lake City, making it the economic hub for northern Utah. Major employers include the Internal Revenue Service, McKay Dee Hospital, Convergys, and Autoliv.

There’s always something happening in Ogden – even for those who prefer less extreme adventures. Fort Buenaventura was originally established in the early 1840s as a fur trapping and trading settlement. The reconstructed fort includes cabin replicas and a stockade, as well as picnic areas, canoe rentals, and camping.  Visit George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park and enjoy more than eight acres of life-sized dinosaurs. The park also includes hands-on exhibits and a working paleontology lab. For golfers, there are 18 golf courses in the area. There’s also the Ogden Symphony Ballet, the Eccles Arts Center, Peery’s Egyptian Theater, and the Treehouse Museum.

Historic 25th Street is a gorgeous historic district located downtown. This three-block district includes a variety of shops, antique stores, art galleries, and restaurants. It includes the historic Union Station, which houses four museums, a gift shop, a visitor’s center, a restaurant, and an art gallery. Downtown Ogden is also the location of the seasonal farmer’s market and a variety of festivals and events, including an annual arts festival, the annual Acoustic & Bluegrass Music Festival, and the Historic 25th Street Car & Motorcycle Show.

The fun doesn’t end after the gorgeous sunset. Nightlife in Ogden ranges from hip bars to cool clubs.  Historic 25th Street (dubbed the “Most Entertaining Street in Utah”) features terrific pubs, nightclubs, great restaurants, and live entertainment.

If all of that weren’t enough, Ogden is also a college town, home to Weber State University. This public university was established in 1889 and is located along the Wasatch Mountains. So after a day of extreme sports, you can settle in and watch some collegiate sports – head to Stewart Stadium and cheer on the Weber State Wildcats, who participate in NCAA Division I’s Big Sky Conference.

Ogden’s boisterous and adrenaline-fueled attitude – tempered by a strong work ethic and a diverse economy – make it the ideal destination for nature-lovers, thrill-seekers, and adventurers everywhere. Load up your skis, kayak, camping gear, snowboard, climbing gear, hiking boots, mountain bike, and your parachute and make your way to nature’s ultimate playground. Rent an apartment in Ogden now and take your adventures to the extreme.