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Home / Articles / Guides / Summer Guide /  Ogling Ogden
Summer Guide

Ogling Ogden

Festivals & fun in the city to the north.

By Kelli Stitzer & Rachel Piper
Posted // June 8,2011 -

A lot of Salt Lakers have the nasty habit of turning up their noses at our neighbors to the north. It’s an undeserved snub—O-Town has oodles to do, see and savor, and its beautiful, craggy mountains—and the outdoor activities they offer—are just a stone’s throw away from a thriving downtown and all its quirky local shops and restaurants.

The summer months kick off with the annual Ogden Arts Festival ( on Historic 25th Street, held this year June 10-11. More than 5,000 visitors come to the festival, with the crowd growing each year. June 10’s “Taste of Downtown” features food and beverages from some of Ogden’s best-loved restaurants. On June 11, festival-goers can browse arts and crafts from more than 80 local artists, as well as enjoy a beer garden, live music, free films and kids activities.


Another reason to spend summer in this city is Ogden Pioneer Days ( Each year, during the week of July 24, the city hosts one of the biggest celebrations in the state. Between seven days of rodeos, fireworks, parades, pageants, crafts, family activities and music, the event has something for the young, old and everyone in between. Festivals later in the summer include the 40-plus-year Greek Food Festival, in September.

If you’re more likely to strap on a helmet of some sort and lather on the sunscreen rather than hit art galleries or early-morning parades, don’t worry: Ogden absolutely rocks the outdoors.

In recent years, several publications, including The New York Times, have named Ogden as one of the best outdoor-adventure scenes in the entire country. Just 13 miles up Ogden Canyon, Pineview Reservoir is home to this year’s Skyline Mountain Marathon ( on Aug. 20, with trails twisting and turning up Ben Lomond Trail to the highpoint of 8,743 feet and down through the Eden Valley. Die-hard runners can expect 26.2 miles of pure bliss—snakes, a moose or two and brutal terrain.

Right.jpgIf your idea of enjoying the great outdoors doesn’t involve running shoes, Pineview Reservoir also has a 3,000-acre surface area and 28 miles of shoreline, making it a perfect—and very popular—spot for boating, water-skiing, fishing and lounging in the sand (and hiking, if you just can’t sit still). Folks who want to spend a few days enjoying this year’s record water levels can pitch a tent or park an RV at Anderson Cove Campground. Huntsville’s Shooting Star Saloon (7350 E. 200 South, Huntsville, 801-745-2002), the oldest bar in the state, is just a short walk or drive from the reservoir. The famous Star Burger—two patties, cheese, the usual burger fixings and a grilled knackwurst to top it off—provides enough cholesterol to last all summer long.

Nothing says “summer” like strapping on shorts and a CamelBak and heading to Ogden’s array of hiking trails, offering dizzying heights, cool evergreen shade, expansive vistas, challenging rock scrambles and leisurely scenic jaunts. Indian Trail (22nd Street, Ogden) is an 8 1/2-mile round-trip moderate day hike that climbs 1,200 feet to the beautiful Nevada Viewpoint.

Ogden Canyon offers both scenic views and dining, activities and shopping for the whole family. Eccles Dinosaur Park (1544 E. Park Blvd., Ogden, 801-393-3466, features more than 100 full-size dinosaur sculptures, educational activities and Dino Day Camp for the kids. Just across the way is Rainbow Gardens (1851 Valley Drive, Ogden, 801-621-1606,, a huge gift-shop emporium. Farther up the canyon, the vast menu at The Oaks (750 Ogden Canyon) is complemented by the views of the rushing Weber River from the restaurant’s large deck.

A day in Ogden proper could be spent browsing local shops and eateries on Historic 25th Street and along Washington Boulevard. For a quirkier retail experience, head a few miles up the freeway to Smith & Edwards Co. (3936 N. Highway 126, Ogden, 801-731-1120,, Utah’s “unique retail destination” since 1947. The 171,000-square-foot store and 60-acre yard sells everything from military surplus, Dutch ovens, camping gear and Western wear to toys, candy, housewares and jewelry.

Finish off a long day with a low-key night at downtown's Lindquist Field (2330 Lincoln Ave., Ogden, 801-393-2400), home of the Ogden Raptors, a farm team for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Whether you're a baseball die-hard or someone who simply enjoys the prospect of peanuts, Cracker Jack, beer and mountain views under the summer sky, this is the place to spend a summer night.

Or, if you've had enough of the great outdoors, catch a musical or comedy show at the Terrace Plaza Playhouse (99 E. 4700 South, Ogden, 801-393-0070, The beautiful, historic Peery’s Egyptian Theater (2415 Washington Blvd., Ogden, 801-534-6306, also hosts community-theater performances, as well as $5 screenings of classic movies such as Jaws and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and sing-alongs to favorite summer-themed movie musicals like Grease. For live jazz, check out the Wine Cellar (2550 Washington Blvd., 801-399-3600,, or if head-banging rock is more your thing, The Basement (329 E. 24th St., 801-540-0334, is an all-ages music venue with ridiculously cheap cover charges.

Bottom line: It may be time to adjust your attitude about Ogden. It “O”verflows with things to do, day or night. And FrontRunner will take you there and back for about $10.

Next //
Camping for Beginners:
Where to go and what to bring.
By Wina Sturgeon

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Post a comment
Posted // June 18,2011 at 19:54

My Ogden Mom could beat up your Salt Lake Mom

so there


Posted // June 9,2011 at 10:48

before you folks get too serious about defending whatever nasty part of this valley you live in let's try and agree on something beforehand - if you're honest it should be easy to do. the entire wasatch front is a dump. all of it. the entire valley is filled with ugly, cheap, plastic tract homes, beige strip malls and extremely boring churches. the entire valley is a polluted piece of crap. it doesn't matter whether you live in ogden or slc or kaysville or layton - it's all ugly, dull, poorly designed and about as asthetically pleasing as a festering boil. when you guys fight over which nasty city in this state is the best or worst it's like you're fighting over the last two whores in nevada's cheapest whorehouse.


Posted // June 10,2011 at 15:30 - Sorry, but you're just, plain wrong. Ther are lots of really nice neighborhoods right here in SLC. Most are in small pockets here and there. The Avenues/Marmalade district, Harvard-Yale area, Westminster area, Federal Heights, Holladay, etc. No argument on air quality; it's toxic and terrible all over. I agree that some areas are out of a science fiction movie, like Thanksgiving Point residential developments and most neighborhoods with cookie-cutter shopping centers like West and South Jordan. Still a better quality of life than Ogden.


Posted // June 9,2011 at 06:53


Posted // June 8,2011 at 21:34

Shhhh! It's our little secret! And I quite enjoy having it all to myself - well, me and all my very cool urban hipster meets outdoor type friends! Good thing you forgot to mention that we have a streetcar in the works!


Posted // June 12,2011 at 12:24 - A nice Queen Anne Victorian between two 7 plexes housing ex cons and drug addicts. Same with the bike paths, enjoy the vagrants bathing while you roll by.


Posted // June 9,2011 at 23:09 - There's no need to get mean. I have the option of living anywhere I want (inside or out of Utah) -- and I choose Ogden! Partially because of the fact that no one else gets it. It means plenty of uncrowded hiking/biking trails and fresh powder stashes literally minutes from my historic 1890 Queen Anne Victorian house.


Posted // June 9,2011 at 13:56 - Down, boy. I don't live in Olympus Cove. I'm not sure you live in Ogden, either, but the half-century of experience living 30 miles south of it tells me you're still an asshole regardless of your location. Personally, I'm glad some people like Ogden, frankly. As long as you don't have to spend much time there, it's fine.


Posted // June 9,2011 at 10:36 - @ Not Greek: Ladies and Gentlemen! May I present one of Ogden's finest! This class act is representative of Ogden at it's best.


Posted // June 9,2011 at 10:07 - I knew Olympus Cove was filled with some pompous ass sacks, but this cunt muscle really proves a point.


Posted // June 9,2011 at 09:31 - I don't think you have to worry about your secret getting out. For me to drive to Ogden to recreate when I live at the base of Mt.Olympus would be like Walt Disney making a special trip to visit Lagoon.


Posted // June 8,2011 at 20:14

Thanks for writing a positive article about our town. Many of us are working hard to reclaim this City and bring it back to its original glory. Ogden has an abundance of amazing historic houses and buildings. People from all over the country see this and are relocating here. Check out the miles of bike path along the Ogden River that now ties into the Weber River Path and Riverdale! Thanks Weber Pathways! And everyone who has a passion for Ogden.