Powder Mountain Tops SKI Magazine Rankings

After a winter like last year’s, during which a record-setting amount of the Greatest Snow On Earth blanketed the Beehive State, it’s no surprise to see Utah resorts receiving some well-earned accolades. Still, it caught our attention when Powder Mountain, with its famously low-key vibes, topped the SKI magazine western resort rankings for 2024. The publication—part of the Outside mega-conglomerate—electronically polled more than 200,000 people to compile this year’s rankings. Previous reader surveys have regularly leaned toward destinations with swankier accouterments than the ski-centric Pow Mow offers, but readers this year clearly gravitated to the resort’s core skiing experience. 

Utah had three other resorts make the top 10 including Snowbasin at #2, Alta at #4 and Deer Valley at #9. Readers criminally underrated Snowbird at #13, while Park City rebounded from a COVID-induced shellacking to come in at #15 on the heels of an adequately staffed and operationally smooth season. 

Snowbird and Alta were lauded for their incomparable snow and challenging terrain, Deer Valley for its attention to detail, and Park City for its staggering competence, but there must be something in the water up near Ogden and Eden where Powder Mountain and Snowbasin topped all rivals. Reader comments suggest Snowbasin got a bump from road closure chaos in the Cottonwood Canyons, bolstering the resort’s frequently undervalued snow, terrain and dining. Powder Mountain, it seems, has caught the imagination of skiers who’ve become weary of crowded, expensive resort experiences that have become so commonplace. 

Pow Mow limits daily lift tickets to keep lift lines in check and offers a refreshingly uncomplicated experience. Ski down, hop on a lift, and maybe stop in an unpretentious lodge for a reasonably-priced burger and beer if the mood strikes. The resort also gets a ton of snow and has more than 8,400 acres of skiable terrain above the Northern Ogden Valley. They even offer $19 night skiing, a welcome sight in a world of soaring lift ticket prices. 

Uncrowded and uncomplicated. What’s not to love? Powder Mountain – Ian Matteson

While it feels just to see the charmingly old-school Powder Mountain gets its due, the honor comes at a time of change for the resort. In September, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings purchased a majority stake in the resort with a $100 million investment. Starting this year, that investment will go towards expanding skiable terrain with guided side-country access and a new Nordic skiing and snowshoeing trail system.  

However, $100 million will buy a lot more than that, so it remains to be seen how the rest of the capital improvements manifest. I don’t know Hastings, but I do know that I, and likely many of you, helped support his investment through our monthly couch-baed subscriptions, and it’d be a real shame to see Powder Mountain’s understated charm degraded by an influx of cash. Here’s hoping Powder Mountain can Netflix and chill, retaining its uniquely gritty character and its hold on the top spot in the rankings without being dragged down the path of luxury and exclusivity that’s plagued the ski industry enough to help the resort reach the lofty SKI magazine pinnacle. 

Never change, Pow Mow. 

Want to know more? Read our Wasatch in the Winter Basecamp guides to exploring resorts in Ogden, Salt Lake and Park City

Tony Gill
Tony Gillhttps://www.saltlakemagazine.com/
Tony Gill is the outdoor and Park City editor for Salt Lake Magazine and previously toiled as editor-in-chief of Telemark Skier Magazine. Most of his time ignoring emails is spent aboard an under-geared single-speed on the trails above his home.

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