It’s so fun when you discover a ski mountain that has its own distinct vibe. Powder Mountain in Utah is it. This humble but huge ski mountain – Powder – began in 1972, but you could say it’s just getting started.
Powder is so unique, up a black diamond access road from Eden, you will find homey alpine lodges and mostly fixed grip lifts, dozens of maintained trails, even two in-bounds cat ski operations, plus guided side country tours – skiing in all directions. Powder is also the latest yuppy paradise, with mod private ski homes popping up on the otherwise uncrowded slopes. This is Club Ted for ski moguls and entrepreneurs..
Powder will be partially private for homeowners’ by 2024-2025 ski season, with two lifts in the Homeowner residential community for owners/investors exclusively. “To pay our bills, we need to sell more real estate, and to do that we are introducing private homeowner-only skiing a year from now,” said CEO Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO who has invested $100 mill in Powder with another $20 mill bringing 3 new lifts soon. Hastings said, “To stay independent and uncrowded, we needed to change, and we didn’t want to join the successful but crowded multi-resort pass model (i.e., Snowbasin) or sell to a conglomerate (i.e., Vail Resorts).
Powder has just 9 lifts currently total including a high-speed Hidden Lake Express quad as the centerpiece serving groomed boulevards for family friendly skiing. Powder is 100% natural snow, and totally authentic. Powder is definitely among our Top 10 Utah Family Ski Resorts.
Powder Mountain 2,876-acres of lift-served terrain is served primarily by relaxed rides up incredibly scenic snow covered slopes. The pace is slower, the vibe is health, outdoorsy and friendly. Ski instructors offer all day kids camps. Dozens of groomed blue and black runs make up the central ski area, with lots of fresh powder opportunities just off the trails in the trees and side chutes, its a snowy playground. Cababe Canyon, Mary’s Bowl and Lefty’s are easily reached with an off-piste feel to some of the natural terrain.
Powder’s 5,081 acres of side-country terrain is an entire other realm to explore, via guided tours, snow cat rides ($25 a pop) and off-piste adventuring into glades like Woody’s World which eventually brings you to a road where a shuttle bus will pick you up – part of your lift ticket. Powder is opening 500 acres more terrain, called DMI – Don’t Mention It – 3,000′ vert of super steep snowcat guided skiing up Lightning Ridge.
Powder’s vast ski terrain – 8,464 acres total, is entirely privately-owned – kind of rare in the ski world where its often state or national forest. So they can do what they want, open areas they wish, allow hiking, cat skiing, you name it!
Powder feels private, uncrowded, un-hurried, in fact they limits ticket sales to 1,500 skiers a day. Powder is owned by The Summit Group, an organization of brilliant business minds, tech startup entrepreneurs, artists and band members who bought the resort in 2013 for $40 mill. In 2023, Netflix founder Reed Hastings acquired majority stake.
Two humble lodges, Timberline at the base, and Hidden Lake Lodge at the summit (where you can park and start your ski day as well) are your options for ski services and lunch. We love the Powder Keg at Timberline, rustic, real, serving delicious Pho noodle bowls at communal wood tables. This old alpine bar rocks après ski too with live music or Tuesday trivia. Burgers and Fried Chicken is the fare at Hidden Lake’s summit lodge, take your tray to the top floor for the best views. Bower Lodge is a new Powder après ski spot on your way down the mountain road.
Summit Powder Mountain Village is being formed by its think tank of entrepreneurs at the summit with an eventual development of 400 modern alpine homes, all ski in ski out in a mod minimalist design. Powder’s Summit includes community centers for social events, concerts, and their annual Summit Series that gathers 1,000 genius minds at Powder, the movers and shakers (read: founders of Facebook, Zappos, Twitter, and now Netflix) for “new media platforms and old-school conversation,” and activities from “ropes courses to robots”.
Nicknamed ClubTed, the Powder Summit attendees and investors aim to “build community, catalyze entrepreneurship, address global issues, and support artistic achievement, in an effort to make our world a more joyful place,” according to their Facebook page. Yes Mark Zuckerberg is on the list, along with Richard Branson. They have a Sky Lodge and Yurt for think-tank lectures currently. The “podular” Scandinavian style homes popping up around Powder Mountain are stark, minimal, boxy, they call them “ski-in, ski-out, ski-thru” as some feature glass bridge walkways you can literally ski under or “thru.” How novel. Other mountaintop homes are huge modern mansions with grand views, and multi-million $ budgets. Enviro-friendly or alpine obliteration? Time will tell for this Hollywood Silicon Valley build out.
For now, Powder has a nice mix of locals and folks from away. Powder’s original founder was Dr. Cobabe in 1972, a local physician, and son of the sheep rancher that owned this land. Tributes to Cobabe remain on the ski slopes – Cobabe Canyon, and in the 70’s vintage Powder Keg après ski bar inside Timberline Lodge.
The base town of Eden is still humble, with a few condo developments around golf courses, one market and a tiny liquor store. Most go to Ogden for dining, shopping and social.
You should take your family to ski Powder Mountain’s amazing terrain now, and keep an eye out on all that’s happening at the Summit Powder Mountain development. For a fun family-friendly affordable ski vacation, stay at Powder Mountain Getaways condos in Moose Hollow, just down the Powder access road in Eden. Or stay at the chic boutique Compass Rose Lodge in nearby Huntsville. Include a day or two skiing Snowbasin just a half hour away as part of your Utah family ski trip.
Powder Mountain Stats:
8,464 total ski able acres.
Lift served acres 2,876 with 144 runs
507 acres Cat Skiing and 5,081 acres total accessed by a hike or shuttle
9 Total Lifts. 4 chairlifts including 1 high speed quad
2,500 vertical drop
500 inches of snow annually
Opened in 1972