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  1. #1
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    Moving to Salt Lake!

    Hi all! The wife and I are planning to move to Salt Lake in February. I know that there are miles and miles of amazing trails out that way, but I was curious what they are like during the winter. Is it pretty ride-able year round? Or will we be passing the time snowboarding until spring?

    Also, if anyone is in need of new riding buddies!

  2. #2
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    I rode part of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail in February this year, then it snowed again and buried it not long after that. I have a friend that works down there, I believe near Ogden, and she does a good bit of snow biking in the winter. Plenty of places to do that, but you'll need a fat bike.

    If you want dirt year round, you're only a couple of hours from St George or Moab. Both are popular destinations; I've crossed paths with riders from places like Pennsylvania, Florida, Montana, and Canada on rides down there.

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  3. #3
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    There will be times that valley floor trails will be OK during the winter, especially with global warming and drought. But don't count on it. Also know that because of our soil, muddy trails are a major no-no. Like already said, go to Southern Utah for winter and early spring riding. Or get a fat bike and go up in elevation.
    And have proper chains/tires to get up the Canyons when snowboarding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmmUT View Post
    There will be times that valley floor trails will be OK during the winter, especially with global warming and drought. But don't count on it. Also know that because of our soil, muddy trails are a major no-no. Like already said, go to Southern Utah for winter and early spring riding. Or get a fat bike and go up in elevation.
    And have proper chains/tires to get up the Canyons when snowboarding.
    This is more or less what I expected. It is not too much of a worry, as the snowboarding is a huge part of the draw to Salt Lake for us. Thanks for the reply!

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    Quote Originally Posted by clintj View Post
    I rode part of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail in February this year, then it snowed again and buried it not long after that. I have a friend that works down there, I believe near Ogden, and she does a good bit of snow biking in the winter. Plenty of places to do that, but you'll need a fat bike.

    If you want dirt year round, you're only a couple of hours from St George or Moab. Both are popular destinations; I've crossed paths with riders from places like Pennsylvania, Florida, Montana, and Canada on rides down there.

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    Thanks for the reply! Salt Lake's central location for Moab, Jacksonhole, and other places is another huge part of the draw for us!

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    Right on. If you head up this way to ride either east Idaho or JH, shoot me a message. I've lived up here nine years now and know some good spots. Best riding up here is from around April to end of October most years; knock a month off each end for Jackson.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lgmoto356 View Post
    Thanks for the reply! Salt Lake's central location for Moab, Jacksonhole, and other places is another huge part of the draw for us!
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  7. #7
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    I don't want to rain on your parade. Salt Lake is a great place, but are you aware of the winter inversion and summer ozone issues?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    I don't want to rain on your parade. Salt Lake is a great place, but are you aware of the winter inversion and summer ozone issues?
    I am. We lived in Huntington Beach Ca for a few years, so we have had quite a bit of both. Though I don't know how different they present in a cold weather climate, as opposed to somewhere that is always relatively warm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by clintj View Post
    Right on. If you head up this way to ride either east Idaho or JH, shoot me a message. I've lived up here nine years now and know some good spots. Best riding up here is from around April to end of October most years; knock a month off each end for Jackson.

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    I greatly appreciate that, and I defintely will!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lgmoto356 View Post
    I am. We lived in Huntington Beach Ca for a few years, so we have had quite a bit of both. Though I don't know how different they present in a cold weather climate, as opposed to somewhere that is always relatively warm.
    I don't think Huntington Beach is anywhere near as bad as Salt Lake City in the winter!
    Have you been to SLC in the winter between storms?

  11. #11
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    I would only live in SLC if I had a very flexible job that let me leave anytime, and no kids. The pollution is... very bad.

    It's been making over Parley's Summit to Park City the last few days which makes me start thinking about bailing on UT entirely. With the population growth along the Wasatch front/back, things are going to get way worse.

    -Walt

  12. #12
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    Yeah, driving out to Home Depot from Jeremy yesterday afternoon you could see the gunk making its way over the summit. Kind of disturbing!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    Yeah, driving out to Home Depot from Jeremy yesterday afternoon you could see the gunk making its way over the summit. Kind of disturbing!
    Wow, the responses here and on Reddit have definitely given me pause, which I appreciate. That is exactly why I try to get info from those who know.

    That said, I get a lot of reports that Ogden is much better. I really just assumed that it would be too expensive due to its proximity to the ski resorts. But after a bit more research it is actually well within our budget.

    Looking at charts, it actually appears to be better than Huntington and significantly better than SLC, on average.

    WOuld you say that I am more or less on the right track with this line of thinking?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    I would only live in SLC if I had a very flexible job that let me leave anytime, and no kids. The pollution is... very bad.

    It's been making over Parley's Summit to Park City the last few days which makes me start thinking about bailing on UT entirely. With the population growth along the Wasatch front/back, things are going to get way worse.

    -Walt
    We work online and would just be renting. So really the cost of bailing would just be a deposit. That said, as I said in another reply, the overwhelming feedback on just how bad it is has definitely given cause for pause.

    But research and feedback sound like Ogden is much better in terms of air quality, and offers the same great access to mountain biking, hiking, and snowboarding that SLC does.

    In your experience, is it much better there?

    Because we work online, we are able to move places to chase our passions, rather than jobs. We really just want a relatively affordable place with great access to snowboarding, mountain biking, backpacking, etc. This is what led us to the SLC area in the first place.

    If you had any feedback on Ogden or other places in the area, it would be greatly appreciated!

  15. #15
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    Do you know where you'll be working? I-15 traffic can be rough any time, and snow makes it even more entertaining. It's not as bad as CA traffic, but why set yourself up for a long daily commute if you can avoid it?

    I drove the length of 15 coming back from St George Sunday, and the only non-foggy area was around Ogden. There's also good access to the BST for riding, a bike park with jump lines, and if you're northbound that's about where traffic starts to loosen up and move well.

    Heads up, too. The UT cops heavily patrol 15, and I'll usually see a few people pulled over every time I'm down there.

    Edit:looks like we cross talked, so never mind the commute part.

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lgmoto356 View Post
    We work online and would just be renting. So really the cost of bailing would just be a deposit. That said, as I said in another reply, the overwhelming feedback on just how bad it is has definitely given cause for pause.

    But research and feedback sound like Ogden is much better in terms of air quality, and offers the same great access to mountain biking, hiking, and snowboarding that SLC does.

    In your experience, is it much better there?

    Because we work online, we are able to move places to chase our passions, rather than jobs. We really just want a relatively affordable place with great access to snowboarding, mountain biking, backpacking, etc. This is what led us to the SLC area in the first place.

    If you had any feedback on Ogden or other places in the area, it would be greatly appreciated!
    Any of the Wasatch front valleys have the inversion issue. The inversion itself, isn't the problem- it's the pollution that gets stuck with it. I'm not sure how Ogden stacks up with Salt Lake. There are a few independent and official air quality trackers you can look at.
    Ogden is coming up- it's cheaper and less crowded mountains and slopes. I live right near downtown SLC but have a pass at Snowbasin since less traffic.

    I will actually have two rooms open to rent to either one single or a couple in February or March if y'all are looking for a place still. Big house and yard with just me and one other- both professional types. PM me if you want more info.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmmUT View Post
    Any of the Wasatch front valleys have the inversion issue. The inversion itself, isn't the problem- it's the pollution that gets stuck with it. I'm not sure how Ogden stacks up with Salt Lake. There are a few independent and official air quality trackers you can look at.
    Ogden is coming up- it's cheaper and less crowded mountains and slopes. I live right near downtown SLC but have a pass at Snowbasin since less traffic.

    I will actually have two rooms open to rent to either one single or a couple in February or March if y'all are looking for a place still. Big house and yard with just me and one other- both professional types. PM me if you want more info.
    Very interested, Just sent you a PM!

  18. #18
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    I get where those who consider the inversion here to be such a focus. I'm going to offer a slightly contrasting opinion here.
    Lived here most of my 53 yrs. People say it's worse now, but I remember the pea soup that used to happen in the 80's when I was in high school. Could literally not drive over a few mph in that stuff.
    I live and work in the salt lake valley. Pretty much anytime you have some snow cover on the ground and then cooler temperatures you will see conditions that build the inversion.
    I don't worry much about it. Usually, you get a few days of it slowly building up a bit then some type of weather event comes through and either mostly or entirely clears it out.
    Sure, there is usually once a season or so where we have a high pressure parked over the area and it builds up and gets pretty thick. Maybe I'd look at it differently if I was one who bike commuted year round, but that's not me.
    It's usually pretty easy to get up out of it as well for some blue sky therapy when you need it too.
    Maybe I'm just fortunate that it doesn't bug me too much. I follow all the yellow and red burn day rules, don't even have a wood burning stove or fireplace in my home and for me the few days a year it's bad really isn't that big of a deal to me.
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  19. #19
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    OP, look at Santa Fe (cheap to live, amazing mountain biking and decent skiing). I'd live there over SLC for sure. Hell, I'd live there over PC if it weren't for my kids needing to go to a school where they won't get stabbed (Santa Fe has atrocious public schools).

    SLC has most of the sucky aspects of a big city (tons of traffic, polluted, noisy) with none of the advantages (great arts/culture/beer scene) due to the large LDS population that are very nice folks but don't get out much and very conservative state government. Population pressure is going to make all of that stuff much, much worse (UDOT has talked about having to double-deck I-15 in another decade!) in the medium and long term.

    But you're mobile, come try it out and see what you think. Go visit Santa Fe first though.

    -Walt

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    OP, look at Santa Fe (cheap to live, amazing mountain biking and decent skiing). I'd live there over SLC for sure. Hell, I'd live there over PC if it weren't for my kids needing to go to a school where they won't get stabbed (Santa Fe has atrocious public schools).

    SLC has most of the sucky aspects of a big city (tons of traffic, polluted, noisy) with none of the advantages (great arts/culture/beer scene) due to the large LDS population that are very nice folks but don't get out much and very conservative state government. Population pressure is going to make all of that stuff much, much worse (UDOT has talked about having to double-deck I-15 in another decade!) in the medium and long term.

    But you're mobile, come try it out and see what you think. Go visit Santa Fe first though.

    -Walt
    Unfortunately, all of NM is high crime when compared to almost anywhere in Utah. A friend of mine lives outside of ABQ and he said it s a real shitshow down there. Santa Fe is not quite as bad, but still way worse than anywhere I would want to live. Believe it or not, Taos is one of the worst places in NM for crime.

    NM has great terrain, great weather, cheap housing, and low taxes. So why are people bailing out?

    https://www.usnews.com/news/best-sta...eing-the-state

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lgmoto356 View Post
    We work online and would just be renting.

    Because we work online, we are able to move places to chase our passions, rather than jobs. We really just want a relatively affordable place with great access to snowboarding, mountain biking, backpacking, etc.

    If you had any feedback on Ogden or other places in the area, it would be greatly appreciated!
    The Wasatch back, while not perfect, will give you plenty of mountain biking and skiing/snowboarding. I would stay east of the ridgeline that defines the Wasatch, for pollution reasons. The east side of the range by Ogden is pretty nice. I'd stay away from Heber, also, even though it's on the east side.

    You could check out the area near Alta, Wyoming, since you can live/work anywhere. It's near Grand Targhee, which is great, and a stone's throw from Jackson Hole. If you rent on the Wyoming side, no income tax. The hiking, kayaking, skiing, snowboarding are all far better than the Wasatch. There's also great climbing/mountaineering. I doubt it has the variety of trails Park City has, but I'm told the trails they have are excellent. I just got back from skiing there a week ago. They've only gotten 10 feet of snow, so far!

  22. #22
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    Or to throw another idea out, Pocatello Idaho. Singletracks.com top ten cheapest MTB city, college town, access to all the sports you listed. The downside is a seven to eight month summer riding season and it can hit 20 below.

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    Unfortunately, all of NM is high crime when compared to almost anywhere in Utah. A friend of mine lives outside of ABQ and he said it s a real shitshow down there. Santa Fe is not quite as bad, but still way worse than anywhere I would want to live. Believe it or not, Taos is one of the worst places in NM for crime.

    NM has great terrain, great weather, cheap housing, and low taxes. So why are people bailing out?

    https://www.usnews.com/news/best-sta...eing-the-state
    Huh. Well, I spend plenty of time there, grew up there, and have lots of friends who live there. Santa Fe might be high crime if you live in some terrible part of town. Otherwise, meh. Not a big deal. Lock your garage and have renter's insurance and you're good.

    Low/no population growth? Sounds freaking awesome to me... especially as compared to the everything-is-turning-into-condos shitshow that is the Wasatch.

    But yeah, if you have kids... the only place I'd live is Los Alamos.

    -Walt

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    Unfortunately, all of NM is high crime when compared to almost anywhere in Utah. A friend of mine lives outside of ABQ and he said it s a real shitshow down there. Santa Fe is not quite as bad, but still way worse than anywhere I would want to live. Believe it or not, Taos is one of the worst places in NM for crime.

    NM has great terrain, great weather, cheap housing, and low taxes. So why are people bailing out?

    https://www.usnews.com/news/best-sta...eing-the-state
    I was actually driving from SoCal to Alabama once, with pretty much everything I owned in my truck. Stopped for the night in ABQ, and woke to find all of my stuff gone and my truck destroyed. NM still gives me nightmares lol.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    Huh. Well, I spend plenty of time there, grew up there, and have lots of friends who live there. Santa Fe might be high crime if you live in some terrible part of town. Otherwise, meh. Not a big deal. Lock your garage and have renter's insurance and you're good.

    Low/no population growth? Sounds freaking awesome to me... especially as compared to the everything-is-turning-into-condos shitshow that is the Wasatch.

    But yeah, if you have kids... the only place I'd live is Los Alamos.

    -Walt
    That does all sound intriguing, in spite of my bad NM experience. I will definitely look into it! we don't have kids, and don't plan to in the foreseeable future, so that is not a worry. And worst case scenario wherever we go, the security deposit is all we would really lose if we happened to hate something so much we didn't even stay for a year, which I feel is highly unlikely anywhere. We survived winter in Krattigen Switzerland!

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    On the issue of inversions - would it be accurate to say that they're worst on the East Bench up against the Wasatch? I'm thinking communities like Sandy, Holladay, Cottonwood, etc because the weather front gets stuck by the mountains until a stronger one pushes it on.

    So IF that's accurate, does that mean that inversions are less common, less severe in the suburbs SW of SLC like Herriman, Stansbury, Tooele ?
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  27. #27
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    From my perspective, our winter inversions usually start to build first downtown. They then increase to the south as well as some to the north into Davis county.

    I would say they increase first along the I-15 corridor, and then radiate east and west from there, usually hitting the east foothills before and a little worse than they do going west due mostly to distance and elevation.

    Utah county experiences a similar effect aroung downtown provo and the I-15 corridor. I think it is much rarer that they reach out to the Saratoga Springs/Eagle Mountain areas compared to the east bench areas.
    Stansbury & Tooele are entirely separate valley areas which do see their own inversions, but I not really tied to those in the salt lake valley.
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