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: Indian Cuisine

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While dining at Needles Lodge with breathtaking views, experience traditional Indian cuisine and exciting live entertainment!

The menu will include Kachumber Salad, Raita, Aviyal, Lamb Vindaloo, Goan Fish Curry, Kashmiri Palav, Butter Chicken, Kheer, Mango Cheesecake and many more delicious traditional Indian dishes. See the full menu here: Culinary Expeditions – Indian

The Dining Discovery: Indian Culinary Expedition is $70 per person. It will be held on Saturday, August 30th, 2014 at 6:00 pm at Needles Lodge and includes tax, gratuity, 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.

 

Culinary Expedition: Caribbean

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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

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 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.

 

 

First Annual Burger Challenge March 30th

Like Burgers and fries?  Like to ski/ride? Then we have the perfect event “stacked” up for you!  For a $40 entry fee, you will get to experience the thrills of the mountain, while enjoying the delectable bites of Snowbasin Resort’s Signature Burgers in all three of our majestic lodges.

Here’s the deal:

You start at the base of Needles Gondola by the Moose at 11am and take the Gondola up to Needles Lodge.  Upon entry, you will be treated to the incredible Needles ‘Bomber’ Burger which is a half-pound of all natural grass fed beef from Idaho flat grilled and topped with 1000 island dressing, sauerkraut, 6oz of grilled corned beef, Swiss cheese, on a toasted brioche bun with pickles (yes you have to eat the pickles).

As soon as you are done – which is a totally clean plate – you grab your gear and ski or ride down to the base where you will have to take the John Paul Express Quad to your next Culinary Adventure.  At John Paul Lodge, the Signature Burger, the JP ‘Mondo’ Burger, will be ready for the next round of food inhaling.  The John Paul Burger is a half-pound of flat grilled all natural grass fed beef topped with marinara, a 1/3 pound grilled Italian Sausage, and provolone cheese on a toasted brioche bun.  If you can choke down the JP Mondo Burger, then your last stop awaits at Earl’s Lodge.

At Earl’s Lodge you will be greeted like warriors returning from battle from our Culinary Team.  The final monumental food-gasm will be the mighty Basin Burger from Earl’s Grill which is a half-pound of all natural grass fed beef flame grilled topped with 4 slices of bacon, 1/3 pound of house smoked pulled pork, BBQ sauce, crispy Fried onions on a toasted brioche bun.  Just to sweeten the pot, you will have to eat a full portion of fries along with 2 Kobe Beef Sliders from the Cinnabar – in one seating.  If you finish first, you claim the prize and bragging rights for life.  Are you ready for the challenge?

Prizes include:

  1. 2014-2015 Season Pass
  2. NEFF Jacket & Dragon Goggles
  3. Helmet
  4. Snowbasin Swag
  5. More Snowbasin Swag

Cost:  $40 – limit to the 1st 40 participants

Advance Registration by calling Tim Eastley at 801-620-1045 or teastley@snowbasin.com

Day of Registration on 3.30.14:  Huntington Room in Earl’s Lodge from 8:30-10am

**All Skier Responsibility codes are still in place including staying in control and observing all ‘Slow’ skiing zones.  Snowbasin Resort is not condoning unsafe skiing/riding, or skiing out of control.