Overview of Powder Mountain, Utah
Written by Greg and Heather Burke
Powder Mountain in Utah is just like its name – a haven for powder skiers. Powder Mountain feels private, uncrowded, and unbelievably special as they limit ticket sales to 1,500 skiers a day! Powder is owned by The Summit Group, an organization of brilliant business minds, tech startup entrepreneurs, billionaires, artists and band members that purchased Powder Mountain Ski Resort in Eden Utah in 2013. This impressive group of startup owners, nature goers, and party throwers have unveiled their Powder Summit ski village concept, but the ski area will continue to be authentic, all natural snow. It is humble but huge – 8,400 acres including 2,876 lift served acres (9 lifts total) plus 507 acres cat skiing (at $25 a ride) and 5,081 acres accessed by a hike or served by shuttle bus when you ski beyond the lifts. You get the drift, Powder is special and has been since 1972.
Arriving up the steep twisty access road, you'll see an old school Timberline Lodge (with a classic après ski pub – the Powder Keg). You can continue driving to park at the 8,900’ summit at the Hidden Lake Lodge - the centerpiece of the ski area with groomed boulevards and the only high speed quad for “resort-skiing”.
Warm up on Hidden Lake’s long runs like East 40 and Dr C named after the founder Dr Cobabe, before heading to the grittier Paradise - a fixed grip lift perfectly poised for a powder day at Powder with steeper chutes and bowls. To skiers’ left is the Village Lift and Mary’s Bowl – both fixed quads with gently pitched runs and pleasant trees to ski. This is where Powder Mountain Summit Village is being developed – note the gorgeous views on the mountaintop where the future planned private community will be constructed - restaurants, concert halls, recording studio, science and tech labs, and minimalist luxury alpine homes. Phase 1 is 140 homes, while the complete village design is 400 homes. It will be fascinating to see the Powder’s Summit evolve. For now, you can grab delicious Mexican fare at Hidden Lake Lodge, pizza at Sundown Lodge and delicious noodle bowls at the Powder Keg – where there’s lively music après ski and beer.
For alpine adventurists, ski into Powder Country, all the way to the bus pick up. Then ski Sundown – the resort aspect that stays open daily til 9:00 pm under the lights. From Sundown you can ski to the cat skiing pick up at Powder, a $25 ride gets you to Lightning Ridge for untracked trees and wide open faces of fresh powder. Powder has three cat skiing operations, plus guided side-country tours, skinning and hike to areas plus heli-skiing on James Peak. There is so much terrain at Powder, whether you like groomed green and blues or adventuring beyond while still being technically in bounds.
When I went earlier this year it snowed just perfectly the day before skiing. It wasn't too crowded, and the lift ticket wasn't outrageous. We had enough terrain for a variety of levels of skiers and snowboarders.
Slow lifts, no grooming, no snowmaking, no crowds, great snow, powder doesn't get tracted out in a couple of hours.