Rave Hike – A high alpine, flowering beauty for the whole family

Needle's Cirque, Hiking Snowbasin Resort

As a family we have a list of rules to live by. For example:

Rule 1: Never put off an adventure for tomorrow, when you can do it today.

Rule 2: If you wait for everything to be perfect… You’ll never go.

As the summer heats up, I find myself yearning for the crisp alpine air come Friday. All the local trails are now too hot on most days, and so we headed up to Snowbasin last weekend to escape. And as you’ll see, this particular day became a rule 3 day.

Rule 3: Why not?

Snowbasin has a plethora of hiking trails perfect for the whole family. Whether it is the family loop near the base, Maples Trail from the lower parking lot or an epic all day hike on the Needles Trail from the base, you will be rewarded with lush greenery and sparkling peaks.

Over the holiday weekend we took the family up with a modest hiking goal: Take the Needles Gondola up and hike up the cirque to overlook Ogden and the Great Salt Lake. Then head back for lunch at the lodge.

After riding up the gondola, we started up the Cirque Practice Loop trail. There was still some snow for the kids and the pups to frolic in. A well defined trail branches off from the Cirque Loop and heads up some steeper switchbacks to the ridge. Indian Paint Brush and Bluebells nodded their blooms to the beat of the wind. The view was glorious.

Hiking into the cirque

It was so perfect in fact, no one was ready to be done once we accomplished our original goal. Why not follow the single track trail north and summit a few of the minor peaks? So we did, following cairns and then heading straight up the ridge to the top.

But of course the day was going so well, the kids were hiking strong and Mount Ogden was just over from us, its rocky summit beaconing. We had plenty of water, plenty of snacks, and everyone felt strong. So… why not?

We scrambled down to the “road” that comes up from the Porcupine Trail. The road and trail to the summit of Mount Ogden is not for the faint of heart. I’d suggest hikers are comfortable with loose rock, a steep incline, and  scrambling hands-and-feet to the towers at the top. Everyone in the group did fantastic, kids included. Though I will admit I was a bit nervous with the kids at the summit. It is not a place to let them run free and explore as there are cliffs on the north side.

Peering over the ridge at the top of the cirque

Peering over the ridge at the top of the cirque.

We headed back the way we came, dodging the previous summits and sticking to the trail all the way back to the Needles Lodge.

We missed lunch that day, our hike exceeded our original intentions. But as we descended on the gondola, we looked back up at Mount Ogden’s impressive summit. We could now say we’d been there. And while our stomachs protested our missing of lunch at the lodge, everyone was both refreshed and exhausted from a good day’s adventure.

Not one bit of the hike along the ridge-line was wasted energy. The flowers and views are truly glorious. And I left truly impressed with what my kids could accomplish.

This hike is fantastic for families and visitors, showcasing the best parts of the Wasatch Range and offering birds-eye views of the valleys on either sides. You can turn and head back at any point. But at-least set your goal on the ridge above the cirque. You will not regret it.

Stats:

  • Mileage to top of Cirque: .7 miles
  • Total RT Mileage: 4.6 miles
  • Total Moving Time: 2h 20 minutes

map hiking Mt Ogden from Needles Lodge

Culinary Expedition: Caribbean

Caribbean B - 374x210

While dining at Needles Lodge with breathtaking views, be whisked away to the Caribbean for delicious cuisine and exciting live entertainment!

The menu will include Herb and Coconut Crusted Mako, Shark Fillets with Sauteed Kale, Mofongo, Pineapple Fried Rice, Jicama Salad, a Caribbean fruit display, Spiced Rum Cake, and a live Jamaican Jerk Goat carving station, as well as many more traditional Caribbean dishes. See the full menu here: Culinary Expeditions – Caribbean

The Dining Discovery: Caribbean Culinary Expedition is $70 per person. It will be held on August 2nd, 2014 at 6:00 pm at Needles Lodge and includes a ride up the gondola and live entertainment. To make reservations, please call (801) 620-1021. For more information on Dining Discovery events, click here.

Live entertainment from The Cabana Band :  https://www.gigsalad.com/the_cabana_band_salt_lake_city

Steel Drum Island Music and  Covers of Jimmy Buffet, UB40, Harry Belafonte, and more.

Culinary Expedition: Mediterranean

Mediterranean A - 374x210

 While dining at Needles Lodge with breathtaking views, be whisked away to the Mediterranean for delicious cuisine and exciting live entertainment!

The menu will include fresh shaved fennel, fig and mozzarella salad, Greek salad, grilled baby artichokes with green olive dip, lemon-stuffed grilled Branzino, herb grilled lamb chops on a bed of mint and arugula couscous, seafood paella, steamed mussels, and chef carved red wine braised flank steak stuffed with asparagus and ricotta and many more traditional Mediterranean dishes. See the full menu here: Culinary Expeditions – Mediterranean

The Dining Discovery: Mediterranean Culinary Expedition is $70 per person. It will be held on July 5th, 2014 at 6:00 pm at Needles Lodge and includes a ride up the gondola and live entertainment. To make reservations, please call (801) 620-1021.

Live entertainment from Bradley Quinn Lever and Tracy H. Cope.

Bradley Quinn Lever is a classically-trained, contemporary pop singer who performs live musical theatre. He most recently performed at Hale Centre Theatre in “Les Miserables,” as the revolutionary leader Enjolras. Favorite roles include Disney’s Tarzan and Joseph. You may also recognize him from Michael McLean’s “The Forgotten Carols” tour as the lead vocalist. “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent” – Victor Hugo.

Tracy H. Cope  has played and worked for over 40 different shows including: The Radio City Rockettes, PTC, Rodgers, Temple Square, Ed Kenley Centennial Amphitheater. Tracy has enjoyed playing for Snowbasin for many years.  She also has played for the Miss Utah Pageant, local hospitals, WSU, recording studios, U of U, rock bands, retirement homes and weddings.  She also loves to ski and ride her unicycle!

For more information on Dining Discovery events, click here.

 

 

Dining Discovery: Explore your Cravings

Dining Discovery - 374x210

We are revamping our summer dining with the new Dining Discovery: Explore your Cravings program. The Dining Discovery program will encompass many aspects of dining at Snowbasin Resort and include Culinary Expeditions, Cooking and Eating Classes, Mountain Top Brunches,  Burger Spa, and Spirit & Food Pairing Series.

The Dining Discovery: Culinary Expedition dinners will replace the weekly Saturday night dining at Needles Lodge, with several events throughout the summer, each with its own theme. These top of the gondola dinners are an exciting and unique experience, with live music and atmosphere to give a taste of the culture that encompasses the designated cuisine.

For reservations, please call (801) 620-1021.

Schedule of Dining Discovery Events:

Saturday, July 5th - Culinary Expedition: Mediterranean

Friday, July 18th – Dining Discovery: Shellfish Cooking Class

Saturday, August 2nd – Culinary Expedition: Caribbean

Saturday, August 30th - Culinary Expedition: Indian

Friday, September 5th - Spirit & Food Pairings: Wine Maker’s Pairing Dinner

Saturday, September 27th – Culinary Expedition: Farm to Table

 

 

How A Ski Lift Works

Join one of our most popular hikes and learn what makes our lift go round and round. Tour lift terminals, lift shacks, motor rooms and the world famous Needles Gondola Parking Garage. Your Lift Maintenance Guide will explain the principles of ski lift operations and help you appreciate your ride to the top. 

Difficulty: Light (Narrow stairways, enclosed spaces and ladders may be encountered.)

Duration: 2-3 hours

(On mountain activity. Lift ticket is required.)

*Tours meet Saturday & Sundays 1 pm at the Moose.  Bring hiking shoes, a hat, sunscreen, snacks and water. Tours last from 1-4 hours. Tours in the base area do not require a gondola ticket.