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500 Inches Of Snow, 8,000+ Acres, And No Crowds.

Uncrowded on a holiday weekend. Powder has plenty of room. Credit: Harriet Wallis

A Mountain Host greeted us with memorable words. “The snow here is all natural. Mother Nature makes all of it,” she said. “And it’s GMO-free,” she quipped.

We skied Powder Mountain during a recent holiday weekend when other resorts near Salt Lake City were packed to the gills, “PowMow’s” trails were not only uncrowded, they were sometimes absolutely empty. It was wonderfully relaxing. I didn’t need eyes in the back of my head. Nobody was going to run over me. And there was still patches of untracked snow from a storm nearly a week earlier.

To ensure a good experience, the mountain caps adult season passes at 3,000 and daily lift tickets to 1,500. It doesn’t accept the Ikon or other multi-resort passes. Do the math. At max capacity, every skier gets about 2 acres.

Seniors 75 and older get a free lift ticket or a season pass for $20. 

Good snow, uncrowded slopes and affordable senior prices  are just part of the equation. Powder Mountain is old school. It doesn’t do glitz. That’s it’s charm. There’s even an old fashioned blackboard where the list of upcoming bands to play in the Powder Keg bar are written in colored chalk.

Powder base lodge is unpretentious. Credit: Harriet Wallis

The day lodge is modest, the bathrooms are adequate, the cafeteria tables are set in long rows so everyone eats family style and gets acquainted with whoever sits down next to them. The lodge on the summit is similar, just smaller.

Six chairlifts serve 8,464 acres that include white knuckle slopes, aspen forests, and treeless snowfields. And in old school style, there’s a Poma. It hauls skiers up a short pitch that’s a gateway to vast terrain. Riding a Poma is a skill that older skiers remember well but younger skiers struggle to learn. After a few they get to experience what the good old days of skiing were like.

We chanced to meet Bob Leaverton, a veteran ski patroller, who has skied Powder Mountain for 35+ years. His three favorite things are: “the road, the people, and the snow.”

The last several miles up to the resort are steep, and that climb often deters visitors, he said. The people are friendly, and the snow is wonderful. Take it from a local.

For adrenaline junkies, Powder Mountain offers specialty adventures: in- and out-of bounds backcountry skiing, skin & ski, snowcat, and heli-skiing.

Historically, Frederick Cobabe accumulated the vast acreage as range for his herd of sheep. His son eventually purchased the livestock company and the land and turned it into a ski resort in 1972.

It’s currently owned by private investors who are developing an upscale community of Bauhaus-style homes set in the far reaches of the resort and linked by a network of trails and lifts that sprawl across that rolling, not steep, terrain. It can take most of the day to ski a circuit all around the resort.

But if its a powder day, do what the mountain resort is named for: Ski the powder.

Yes, that’s the lift line. Where is everyone? Credit: Harriet Wallis

5 Comments

  1. Avatar Jan Brunvand says:

    Nice update, Harriet. I profiled PowMow for SeniorsSkiing back on January 6, 2016. Little has changed since then except for a couple of new lifts to serve the future village. You call the day lodges “modest”; I rated them “charitably . . as ‘rustic’.” And while you dub the bathrooms “adequate,” I would go so far as to call them grungy. I prefer the food at the base lodge (esp. the pizza) to the Mexican-themed menu up top where they play music too loud for my old ears. But if you want elegant lodges and classy restrooms, stop at Snowbasin on the drive back to Salt Lake City. Also, don’t miss the Shooting Star Saloon in Huntsville while you are at either area. Skiing, of course, is the main attraction at PowMow, and it’s fantastic, uncrowded, inexpensive, extensive, etc.

  2. Avatar Gary Nielsen says:

    Great Article Harriet! Being a native Utahn, I too have loved Powder Mountain for years since it first opened in the 1970s. In Utah, Powder Mountain is known as “Utah’s Best Kept Secret” and through our nonprofit organization called Life Elevated Utah”, I have been running week-long ski programs at Powder Mountain for the older skiers between the ages of 60-90+ years old for the past few years. We stay right on the mountain next to the Timberline Ticket Office which is right next to the slope in a comfortable 1980’s style lodge. This is a true ski-in, a ski-out experience in which our older skiers simply love! We only have 5 hotel rooms, each with a private bathroom. The rooms have great views of Sundown Lift and slopes looking out from each room’s patio doors. We are running our 4th week of 7 weeks during this 2020 ski season. We would love to have wonderful Senior Skiing readers join us for any of our 8 weeks of ski tours next 2021 ski season. Our programs are 6 days of skiing Monday-Saturday with programs beginning and ending each Sunday. We provide transportation to/from SLC Airport, prepare 3 delicious meals per day for our small ski groups in our kitchen located in the lodge, cover 7 nights lodging, help set up ski lessons, mountain tours, and many other skiing amenities that will make your Powder Mountain Ski week one of your best memorable ski weeks you have had! Join our email list to get information for next year’s Powder Mountain ski programs by emailing [email protected]
    Our ski weeks are open for enrollment now for 2021 between the weeks of Jan. 10 – Mar. 7, 2021! Each ski week fills quickly! Join us for skiing the Greatest Snow on Earth at the country’s largest ski resort!

  3. Avatar Jim maloney says:

    Your article should have mentioned that Powder Mountain limits the number of lift tickets they sell each day similar to what Deer Valley does.

  4. Avatar Shadow Gorrill says:

    As senior snowboarders we love Powder Mountain. Will spend time there in March!

  5. Avatar danno in SLC says:

    just dont drive your own car up to the base (which is at the top).
    or if you do, make CERTAIN you have plenty meat on the brake pads!
    (ask me how i know)
    is absolutely the STEEPEST road upto a ski area i have ever….

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