Known in the late 1800s as Junction City because of the major crossroads of the north/south and east/west railroad lines, Ogden is a surprisingly diverse and eclectic city. It was Brigham Young's strategy to make the small Mormon village a business and shipping center in the 1870s. What he may not have bargained for was the flood of Irish, Chinese, German, Italian, Mexican and Greek immigrants who poured into the city, adding a richness that would forever change the community.
Strolling along historic 25th Street today there is still a quaint, small-town feeling reminiscent of the Old West, in the city's specialty shops, coffeehouses, microbrewery, restaurants, bakeries and farmer's market. The downtown area houses the recently restored Peery's Egyptian Theater, a screening location for the Sundance Film Festival where for 10 days every January the stars come to Ogden to attend world premiers of Independent Filmmakers best works. It also plays host to performances by Ballet West and the Utah Symphony. A world-class convention center is adjacent to the theater, which is the location of the Annual Ogden Medical-Surgical Society Meetings.
Nestled against the Wasatch Range of the Rocky Mountains, there is ample opportunity for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and snowshoeing, all within minutes of McKay-Dee Hospital. Three ski resorts are nearby, with 9 others scattered around the Ogden/Salt Lake area. Snowbasin is just 20 minutes up Ogden Canyon and was the site of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games races for downhill and the Super G. Several reservoirs and rivers are also within a short drive, offering all varieties of water sports, including sailing, water skiing and kayaking. Camping, hunting, backpacking, mountain biking, wildlife observation and fly fishing are just a few of the popular activities enjoyed locally.
Ogden has its share of beautiful golf courses that are accessible and affordable. A parkway along the Ogden River is available for walking, jogging, biking or inline skating, and children enjoy the life-sized dinosaurs in the park at the head of the parkway. A beautiful baseball stadium is home to the Ogden Raptors, a minor league affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The city of Ogden and its surrounding communities have developed an excellent educational base. Weber State University serves a student body of more than 12,000 and is conveniently located near the McKay-Dee Hospital Center. The local primary and secondary school system has an excellent reputation, winning national awards. There are also good private and charter schools available in the area.
Salt Lake City – Utah's Thriving Capital
Metropolitan Salt Lake City offers an array of fine-dining cuisine and a diverse nightlife, with fresh air cafes and dancing under the stars. Home to over 300 art organizations, the city is a cultural center with museums, year-round festivals and performances by the Utah Symphony, Ballet West, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, Utah Opera Company, Repertory Dance Theater, Pioneer Valley Theater and the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir. A host of professional sports abound in Salt Lake City, from Utah Jazz (NBA) basketball, Real Salt Lake (MLS) soccer to the Utah Grizzlies (EHL) hockey and professional baseball's Salt Lake Bee's (Triple-A).
Once a booming silver mine town, Park City thrives as a year-round resort community offering three world-class ski resorts, golf courses, art galleries, hot-air balloon rides and the Alpine slide. Park City is home to the U.S. Ski Team and Utah Winter Sports Park, which is the only ski jumping facility of its kind in the western United States. These facilities were used for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. Each January, Park City hosts the Sundance Film Festival, premiering the works of independent filmmakers from around the world.
Southern Utah – Red Rock Country
It's an easy weekend trip to the uniquely beautiful deserts of southern Utah. Majestic red rock formations and spectacular colored canyons make Zion's National Park, Lake Powell and Arches favorite getaways for camping, hiking and sightseeing. Cedar City, near the pinnacles of Bryce Canyon, hosts the nationally acclaimed Shakespearean Festival each summer. The deserts of Moab are famous for slickrock biking trails. The Colorado River's whitewater rafting and kayaking provide challenging adventures.