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We really should ski Powder Mountain sometime.

That’s something Phil and I have said to each other nearly every time we've been in Utah over the past seven or eight years; 2019 was the year we ended up skiing Powder Mountain, and we are kicking ourselves for not doing it sooner.

As we drove up the rugged and ill-kept road, we wondered if our GPS was leading us astray, but then we saw it, the rustic building that is the Timberline Lodge of Powder Mountain. The well-maintained period dining area in the cafeteria speaks clearly about the average PowMow skier, which is anything but average.

In the lower level of Timberline Lodge you’ll find the Powder Keg, which was highly recommended by both locals and staff as a favorite place to eat and have a beverage to top off a great day of powder. This is where Phil and I ended our day with a delicious prime rib sandwich for a mere $12, not something you'll find at an average resort.

We met up with marketing manager JP, who was eager to give us a mountain tour and share some little-known facts about Powder and the things that make it so special.

Powder Mountain was ranch land owned by the Cobabe family. Dr Cobabe began to amass more land, taking the acreage from 8,000 to 14,000 by the time he opened the ski area in February 1972. He built a sawmill and used timber from cutting ski trails to build the Timberline Lodge as well as other buildings on the property. When the mountain opened, the Sundown lift was the only one in operation, but prior to the official opening, they used the mountain cat to give some skiers a taste of what Powder could offer.

Powder is one of the few mountains that limit season passes (only 3,000 are sold per year) and day tickets (1,500 per day) to restrict crowds and preserve the powder, hence the hashtag Powder Mountain proudly uses #preservingthepow.


You won’t find any snow guns at Powder Mountain because it relies on Mother Nature to provide the goods, but you will find cat skiing. You won't find lift lines, but you will find a new Hidden Lake lift; it replaced the original in 2006, eliminating the 24-min ride that the old lift was known for. You won't find fancy restaurants, but you will find incredibly good food at an affordable price. You’ll also find a private lodge and some homes on the mountain that are a part of the multiphase expansion implemented by Summit Group after the acquisition in 2017 to give private homeowners a unique experience.

To summarize our day at Powder Mountain, we found it to be a great combination of funky roots vibe and cool contemporary mountain. Mostly we’re wondering why it took us so long to ski this incredibly fun mountain and are starting to plan our next Powder experience. There are no fancy marble-clad bathrooms, just a friendly vibe that makes any ski trip enjoyable. If you’re sitting at your computer pondering which ski adventure you’re going to take next season, you’d be remiss if you don’t put Powder Mountain at the top of your list -- but book ahead, because lodging is limited.
  • Who is it for? Those who enjoy mountains that are off the beaten path.
  • Who is it not for? Skiers looking for the ski village experience.
  • Insider tip: Powder Mountain offers affordable mountain guides.

About author
Pugski Tester Tricia
Height: 5'5"

Weight: 145 lb

Years skiing: 30+

Days per year: 75+

Home mountains: Mt Rose, Palisades Tahoe, Alpine Meadows

Preferred terrain: Trees, of course, but making tracks in fresh corduroy brings a smile to my face, too.

Skiing style: Finesse

Preferred ski characteristics: I like a ski that is strong enough to hold an edge but soft enough to bend with some energy and feedback.

Boots: K2 Anthem Pro 120, Lange RS Purple Haze Heritage Boot, Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 115 BOA, Salomon Supra BOA,

About me: "Do what you love, love what you do" are the words I live by. Skiing became my passion from the moment I turned 18; a little over 25 years later, I moved to the Lake Tahoe Basin to make skiing my life and career. Along with helping skiers face to face, I am the site manager and owner here on pugski.com and review product for various manufacturers, both hardgoods and softgoods as well as work with manufacturer focus groups to help improve ski gear for women.


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