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Thread: SLC Vs. Ogden

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    SLC Vs. Ogden

    So I'm looking for a place to call home where I can potentially bike year round. A few people have mentioned SLC to me. I've heard Ogden is nice too, so I wanted to compare the two. Going off info I found online it seems SLC gets a bit more snowfall, which is a negative, but at the same time I'd be close to lift access DH and Park City.

    My other criteria would be all kinds of riding available in town from XC to AM to DJ. I don't mind driving to the bike parks for DH as long as it isn't over say an hour and a half away. I'd like to have at least one trail as my "home" trail that I can access by bike from the house.

    Thoughts and opinions? Any other places I should consider? For you SLC guys, is it strange living in a town full of Mormons? Do the Mormons on bikes shred the local trails in their slacks, white button downs and ties?

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    You do realize that the Mormon to non-Mormon ratio in the two towns you mentioned are about 50/50.

    If your basing your decision on where to ride SLC is far better.

    Friends don' t let friends live in Ogden.

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    Agreed SLC is better.

    Not so much better as there is just more to ride. However if year round riding is your goal SLC should not even be on your radar. In a good year you can ride dirt trails in the slc area from march to Nov. Thats a good year. Some years it snows in june and oct. If you have full eskimo gear you can ride in the winter on paved roads. I guess somepeople ride fat bikes in the snow but I have never tried it.
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    One nice option is SLC with winter trips to Southern Utah.

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    Quote Originally Posted by can't get right View Post
    You do realize that the Mormon to non-Mormon ratio in the two towns you mentioned are about 50/50.
    I knew there were a lot. Didn't realize it was an epidemic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedalfaraway View Post
    However if year round riding is your goal SLC should not even be on your radar.

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    If you're basing your move on biking year-round, shouldn't you be looking at southern UT or Arizona? You can mtb year round in northern UT for the most part, but you're going to be limited to low elevation bench trails in the winter. Better off putting the bike away and taking up skiing.

    As above, I'd say SLC has considerably more to offer and would be the obvious choice if you're basing your move on MTB. Ogden has some good trails, but you can more or less count them on your two hands. Pick up a copy of one of the UT mtb guidebooks and you'll see there are a lot more trails around SLC than up north. It also puts you closer to Park City and areas south.

    Ogden has more of a chill small city vibe, but I'd say it excels for winter sports more than summer sports. The lack of crowds at the ski resorts doesn't seem to translate to lack of crowds on the best mtb/hiking trails.

    As for Mormons, I think that's more in people's heads than anything. I don't really have any complaints outside of maybe the crappy beer selection in state liquor stores.

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    Southern Utah

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    Ogden is the place you want to be if you need easy access to meth. Otherwise, it wouldn't be my first choice. That being said, Southern Utah is the only part of the state that truly has year round riding. Jobs are a little scarce though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurkinite View Post
    Ogden is the place you want to be if you need easy access to meth. Otherwise, it wouldn't be my first choice.
    I could just easily say Hurricane is the place to go if you want to live on a creepy, cultish polygamy compound. But that wouldn't be entirely fair, either.

    I'd figure people that live in UT, a state more maligned than any other, wouldn't speak with such misinformed generalizations. But I guess I'd be wrong.

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    Come on guys play nice

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeWE View Post
    If you're basing your move on biking year-round, shouldn't you be looking at southern UT or Arizona? You can mtb year round in northern UT for the most part, but you're going to be limited to low elevation bench trails in the winter. Better off putting the bike away and taking up skiing.

    As above, I'd say SLC has considerably more to offer and would be the obvious choice if you're basing your move on MTB. Ogden has some good trails, but you can more or less count them on your two hands. Pick up a copy of one of the UT mtb guidebooks and you'll see there are a lot more trails around SLC than up north. It also puts you closer to Park City and areas south.

    Ogden has more of a chill small city vibe, but I'd say it excels for winter sports more than summer sports. The lack of crowds at the ski resorts doesn't seem to translate to lack of crowds on the best mtb/hiking trails.

    As for Mormons, I think that's more in people's heads than anything. I don't really have any complaints outside of maybe the crappy beer selection in state liquor stores.
    Any time I mention year round biking people recommend Arizona and New Mexico. First and foremost I don't want to live in the desert. There's just not enough green and I'll end up depressed. I was also able to scratch all Arizona's hot spots off the list because there is no lift access DH anywhere near Flagstaff, Phoenix, or Prescott (these are the towns that have been most recommended to me). You're looking at a 3.5 to 5+ hour drive to the nearest chair lift.

    I have not yet looked into southern Utah as much. I'm really wanting to live some place with a lot of trees and shaded single track. If southern Utah is mostly high desert I don't think it would be a place I'd want to call home. If there are some places in southern Utah that have lots of green and trees and close to a bike park please let me know. Only bike park I know about on that end of the state is Brian Head.

    When people tell me I won't be able to ride in the winter in SLC, are they only talking about the higher elevation trails? I'd be fine with lower elevation trails if they are rideable.

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    for all intent and purposes, Ogeden and SLC have the same climate. Neither are really year round riding. Depending on where you are from, it may seem like a more mild climate assuming you stay in the valley. 50/50 is a good rule of thumb in terms of LDS population. You'll certainly "feel it" but at the same time, pretty easy to surround yourself with like minded people.

    The only problem with Southern UT in terms of weather is it's hot as balls in the summer and if the LDS population on the Wasatch front has you worried, S UT will be a whole lot worse.

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    Check out Cedar City. Close to Brian Head and St. George.

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    Quote Originally Posted by uglyguy2 View Post
    Any time I mention year round biking people recommend Arizona and New Mexico. First and foremost I don't want to live in the desert. There's just not enough green and I'll end up depressed.
    Then the Western United states is pretty much out of the question Honestly, most of the places with good above average riding in this country are either desert, or covered in snow for part of the year. Especially if you want chairlift access.

    The way I see it, if you truly want year round riding not in the desert, you could deal with all the rain in the NW in a place like bellingham, Head to SoCal or the one place that might be worth living in the SE, Asheville. Not sue any of those places will put you close to lifts. Maybe somewhere in SoCal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by uglyguy2 View Post
    Any time I mention year round biking people recommend Arizona and New Mexico. First and foremost I don't want to live in the desert. There's just not enough green and I'll end up depressed. I was also able to scratch all Arizona's hot spots off the list because there is no lift access DH anywhere near Flagstaff, Phoenix, or Prescott (these are the towns that have been most recommended to me). You're looking at a 3.5 to 5+ hour drive to the nearest chair lift.

    I have not yet looked into southern Utah as much. I'm really wanting to live some place with a lot of trees and shaded single track. If southern Utah is mostly high desert I don't think it would be a place I'd want to call home. If there are some places in southern Utah that have lots of green and trees and close to a bike park please let me know. Only bike park I know about on that end of the state is Brian Head.

    When people tell me I won't be able to ride in the winter in SLC, are they only talking about the higher elevation trails? I'd be fine with lower elevation trails if they are rideable.
    You're not picky at all

    I agree with the above: You're going to have trouble finding something out west that isn't either desert or high elevation with snow in the winter. Have you been to the high desert? It includes some of the most beautiful, colorful land in the country, not really depressing at all.

    Also agree Cedar City is worth a look. Brian Head is both forested and has a bike park/dh trails, but it doesn't have a town. Cedar City is close to there and kind of on the threshold between forested mountains and desert. It's within a short drive of many of the state's best riding areas.

    SLC and Ogden are year-round riding with a couple big, black asterisks. The best trails are all inaccessible in the winterr. There are some low elevation/bench trails like Bonneville Shoreline and Antelope Island that are theoretically year round, but they still get snowed on and muddy, so depends on the day. If you just want to have the option of riding once in a while in the winter, then it's good enough, but if you want to seriously ride regularly throughout the winter, not so reliable.

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    Sorry if that came across wrong JoeWE. I sometimes forget that sharp-edged jokes don't always come across well on the internet. Nothing wrong with Ogden. I have plenty of family in Ogden and Roy.

    The heat down here can be a problem; it just depends on how bad you want to ride. Last night I rode Zen Trail in 104 degree heat after work. Sucked down 2 liters of water in about 90 minutes. A little Northern Utah shaded singletrack would have been welcomed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by uglyguy2 View Post
    Any time I mention year round biking people recommend Arizona and New Mexico. First and foremost I don't want to live in the desert. There's just not enough green and I'll end up depressed. I was also able to scratch all Arizona's hot spots off the list because there is no lift access DH anywhere near Flagstaff, Phoenix, or Prescott (these are the towns that have been most recommended to me). You're looking at a 3.5 to 5+ hour drive to the nearest chair lift.

    I have not yet looked into southern Utah as much. I'm really wanting to live some place with a lot of trees and shaded single track. If southern Utah is mostly high desert I don't think it would be a place I'd want to call home. If there are some places in southern Utah that have lots of green and trees and close to a bike park please let me know. Only bike park I know about on that end of the state is Brian Head.

    When people tell me I won't be able to ride in the winter in SLC, are they only talking about the higher elevation trails? I'd be fine with lower elevation trails if they are rideable.
    There's should be lift-access DH in Flagstaff in the next couple of years. There's some pretty sweet shuttle stuff and a strong, local crowd that hits it and some new, legal trails starting in 2013. With Sedona a 40 min drive there is year round riding. The other positive to a place like Flagstaff over an Ogden or SLC is you can ride to nearly all of the trails. There's not too many places that can say that.

    Take Park City out of the equation and it's surprising how little riding there is in SLC and Ogden. Don't get me wrong and maybe I just don't know where to go but my wife's family lives in Ogden. The trails I frequent are Bonneville Shoreline because it's out the door, Snowbasin/Wheelers which is a 25 min drive, or Skyline. After Mueller's and the newer stuff in North Fork there's not many other options that I know of.

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    Mormons

    Its true the Mormons are an epidemic. I think your best bet is to avoid utah. Just visit and drop a few K on motel rooms and resturants. Nothing to see here except mormons and smog.

    Seriously unless you have a problem with having great neighbors the LDS epidemic is a nonissue. We need to get a few more donkeys in the state congress so we can get rid of the nonsense liquor laws. Plus they send out some adolesent boys montly to collect money to put toward going fast. Not sure what they race but its good to see they want to go fast.
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    Ogden has plenty of good trails, in my opinion funner trails than salt lake. Park city beats them both for trails. If you want to live within riding distance of the mountain, Ogden is easily more affordable to buy a house near the mountains. Salt lake is about an hour from Ogden and so is Park city. In the winter you have to catch a patch of good weather. this year on Jan1 I was riding city creek canyon in salt lake. We usually head south in the winter or go play in the snow.
    Mormons are just people, you probably won't be able to tell most of them aprt from muslim or catholics ior baptist. Not an issue in my opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by can't get right View Post
    Friends don' t let friends live in Ogden.
    This.

    No offense to any mormons on this board, but im not going to lie, they arent the friendliest folk in the states. In fact ive felt more welcome in downtown cincinnati when i lived there.

    SLC or park city, or just go to Colorado. Or make it one up and move to flagstaff. That will be my next move im hoping. Sedona riding is better than moab IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeWE View Post
    Have you been to the high desert? It includes some of the most beautiful, colorful land in the country, not really depressing at all..
    ^^^^ This is the truth. The high desert is one of the most amazing and amazing beautiful places on earth. I certainly would not call it depressing, but i think it's awesome. And ya, it all changes with elevation. 40 minutes from my door, I'm in the alpine with the aspens.

    If often wondered about Flagstaff. Decent economy and super close to Sedona. Oh, and you just can NOT beat desert riding. It's the best around for my taste buds.

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    I live on the east side of SLC very near the mouth of Parley's Canyon (I-80 as it heads east out of SLC). From my door to the Park City Mountain Resort parking lot is 30 minutes. The Canyons with lift-served is 5 minutes closer and Deer Valley with lift-served is 5-10 more minutes past PCMR.

    If you want to see WHERE the trails are with regards to Ogden vs. SLC, look at skidmap.com. It's the most up-to-date and curated source of trails for Utah. Use skidmap.com in conjuction with utathmountainbiking.com and you'll get a pretty comprehensive picture of the state.

    In the spring and fall, when the bulk of trails are wet or snow-covered, most serious riders head south for weekend jaunts to Moab, Fruita, or St. George / Hurricane. I was able to ride every month this past year by taking trips south. But, as stated before, most folks rack the bikes in the winter and take up snow sports.

    If you're thinking...."I'll just ride when it's wet, no big deal"....well, it's a big deal. The soil can't handle traffic when it's muddy and the clay will stick to your bike in a way you can't imagine if you haven't experienced it. Another reason folks head south in the fall and spring. Maybe it's just me, but I like the desert when it's not a 104 degrees on the Zen trail.

    The most uh....progressive area is Salt Lake City proper. That is, east of I-15, north of I-80, and from the Capitol area south. Coincidentally, that's the area that is pretty close to the trails in SLC and close to access to Park City.

    If you're really looking for year-round riding that isn't in the desert, and don't mind getting muddy and wanting to eat a gun because of the grey skies, look at the Pacific Northwest on the west side of the Cascades.

    Good luck on the hunt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by While At Rome View Post
    This.

    No offense to any mormons on this board, but im not going to lie, they arent the friendliest folk in the states. In fact ive felt more welcome in downtown cincinnati when i lived there.
    That offends me... and all my wives.

    Seriously, though I have lived in Mormon hotbeds like Utah and Idaho and places where Mormons are rare like Georgia and Colorado. The misunderstanding comes when non-mormons don't realize how much socializing happens through the church networks.

    Mormons don't intentionally exclude non-mormons; it just happens because all the barbecues, softball/basketball/volleyball leagues get organized within the congregation. That's where everybody makes friends. That's where Utah networking (business and personal happens). When non-mormons get invited to stuff like that they usually reject the invitation (often quite rudely) because they think they are being put on the fast track to conversion. So the mormons just quit asking anybody who doesn't voluntarily show up. They're not intentionally excluding people; it's just that nobody likes rejection; even mormons.

    It's not cultish, it's just how it's always been since the first white people started living here. It's a nearly 200 year cultural heritage and moving here and complaining about it is like moving to Acapulco for the beach life and complaining about all the Mexicans and how everybody speak Spanish. It's not likely to change anytime soon.

    It happens the other way around too. For non-mormons social networks often centralize around copious amounts of alcohol. The mormons decline and don't get invited again.

    If you do move here, just keep in mind that for there are cultural differences that cause misunderstanding. Being mormon is much a culture as a religion. Understanding those differences before you get here will help you fit in a lot better.

    Hope that helps OP.

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    Thanks for posting that link to the skidmap project. I had never seen that. What a cool site.

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    I live in Ogden and love it. It is close to a lot of trails. I ride 25 miles right out my door on the Ogden BST. Wheeler to Snowbasin is 5 minutes up the canyon (as well as Skyline to Lewis peak). Ben Lomond is also very close.

    SLC is larger, so you will receive more positive responses than Ogden. Most people that bash Ogden haven't been there in awhile. Both towns have their ups & downs. SLC has better nightlife and food. Ogden is much less crowded and more affordable. In Ogden you can ride to the trails or downtown without hitting the road (if you live on the bench or by the river). Both have a good mix of demographics. I'd recommend checking them both out and see which one fits you best. I would agree that PC beats both if you can afford it. PM me if you have any questions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wookie View Post
    I live in Ogden and love it. It is close to a lot of trails. I ride 25 miles right out my door on the Ogden BST.
    BST Ogden looks pretty sweet: Bonneville Shoreline Trail Ogden - YouTube

    I could get used to having that as a home trail.

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    What side of town are the I Street jumps located on in SLC?

    Wookie: Any good dirt jump spots in Ogden?

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    I'm not a jumper, but there is a jump park essentially attached to the BST. Here's some info/video from a competition held there last year.
    12th Street Jumps 2011 - BMX Dirt Highlight Video | Alli Sports Action Sports

    <script src="http://player.ooyala.com/player.js?video_pcode=5veWg6Z7_V1u5lkVsqN4nM6x2Tz2 &height=360&embedCode=B3N2RyMjoNixe2RI0g4v7HvP6SQc QzZA&deepLinkEmbedCode=B3N2RyMjoNixe2RI0g4v7HvP6SQ cQzZA&width=640"></script>

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    Quote Originally Posted by uglyguy2 View Post
    What side of town are the I Street jumps located on in SLC?

    Wookie: Any good dirt jump spots in Ogden?
    The I Street jumps are north of SLC, above the Avenues neighborhood. The Lower Avenues have some relatively affordable apartments and they're close to the downtown area and the University. You can also step out your front door and climb up to the I Street jumps and the Bonneville Shoreline Trail without throwing your bike on your car. It's easy to get used to that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by authalic View Post
    The I Street jumps are north of SLC, above the Avenues neighborhood. The Lower Avenues have some relatively affordable apartments and they're close to the downtown area and the University. You can also step out your front door and climb up to the I Street jumps and the Bonneville Shoreline Trail without throwing your bike on your car. It's easy to get used to that.

    Cool man, thanks for the info. The BST looks like it would make a nice home trail, in either Ogden or SLC. But that would be cool having something like the I street jumps right there too so I'm leaning toward SLC if I decide to give Utah a try.

    Do they have a beginner or at least intermediate line at the jumps?

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    I'm not a DJ guy, but there are a couple options in addition to the I-Street jumps.

    Draper Bike Park (at the bottom of Corner Canyon trails): My Derailleur Broke! Need to ride!

    Draper Bike Park Eye candy: Draper Bike Park Christmas Eve 2011 - YouTube

    Then there's Trailside Park in Park City

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    Like others have said, I'd go with SLC. BST options, Mill Creek, Big & Little Cottonwood Canyons and/or Corner Canyon riding all very accessible (although none of it is bike accessible unless you live on the far eastern side of the valley, where property is most expensive, of course!). Just a short drive to all of these options, however. Plus, you're closer to Park City, and Utah county has some good options.

    Re: year round riding, it probably isn't the 'best' year round option in the country, but it really isn't bad IMO. Depends on the year and how much snow we get. This year, I rode several times in December, January, and Feb. on the trails -- not high elevation, mind you, but good riding areas like Corner Canyon, Lambert Park, and Mountain Ranch bike park. I managed to log about 1200 miles on my road bike during that period as well. But this year was definitely on the dry side, that is for sure.

    But the great thing about SLC is that So. Utah is 4 hrs away, as is Moab, and Vegas is only 5.5 -- close enough for a long weekend, at least in my book. So, most dedicated mtb'ers I know are able to take a trip or 3 during the winter months and find somewhere warmish to ride any time of year.

    As far as living with the Mormons, it is a non-issue for 90% of the non-LDS transplants I know. It is an issue for some people I've known, but they seem to struggle with majority culture issues wherever they live.
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    Also a non-LDS transplant and I've had no issue. Sure I complain about the insane liquor laws (which aren't as bad as out of state people believe) and the frequently odd political stances but unless you dislike friendly neighbors and a clean city then there's little that should stop you from considering SLC and the surrounding cities.

    I haven't spent much time in Odgen so I'll reserve my judgment on that, but I can say that SLC is a great place to live if you like the outdoors. I've moved to Sandy and live 15 minutes away from the Corner Canyon trails, which is farther than I would prefer but you can't have everything. My neighborhood is quiet and safe and the predominantly LDS neighbors don't vocally oppose my brewing beer in the backyard and I don't oppose them doing whatever it is that they want to do.

    Winter riding is patchy. If you ride early in the morning you can ride almost any day year round; that way the ground is frozen and we won't have to yell at you for rutting the trails which are very sensitive to tires when wet. Many people I know ride up in Park City during the winter on the machine groomed trails for XC skiing in Round Valley and have a great time. Once you start living here, you start realizing what a fantastic opportunity you have by living so close to southern Utah and Moab, a few hours in the car and you're in a completely different world.

    Also, you should take up skiing.

    I street has a small set of beginner sized jumps and moves pretty quickly up to the big bike hits. If you want to practice jumping before you tackle the big jumps then I would suggest Trailside, Eagle Mountain, or those Draper Jumps shown in the video. All have small to medium sized tables and can really help dial in your technique.
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