Word Is Out: Whisper Ridge To Open For Backcountry Powder
Powderhound cuts a fresh line through trees at Whisper Ridge in northern Utah. (Whisper Ridge/Facebook)
The Wasatch Front above Salt Lake City has long been a backcountry paradise for skiers and snowboarders willing to take a hike beyond the trams, gondolas and lifts at a dozen of Utah’s winter resorts. Now, there’s something in between.
Whisper Ridge will open for full operation this winter as the state’s only snowcat-only ski and snowboard resort. No chairlifts or lift lines here, just a fleet of eight snowcats that can carry up to 12 people to the untracked seclusion.
Located north of Ogden and west of Snowbasin and Powder Mountain, Whisper Ridge lies on some 60,000 acres of private land in the northern reaches of the Wasatch Range that has been used for grazing and hunting over the years.
Whisper Ridge’s terrain lies between the towns of Eden and Paradise near the Weber-Cache county line. Runs have up to a 3,300-foot drop and snowfall has averaged right around 330 inches the past few years, consistent with other resorts in Ogden Valley.
Not only does Whisper Ridge get folks out of the mainstream and into the wild during the day, it also provides overnight accommodations in 10 yurts perched on the high ground – an added perk that isn’t found anywhere else beyond hut-to-hut touring in Colorado.
It costs $450-495 a person (high season is Jan. 15 to March 1) for a day’s worth of snow cat rides at Whisper Ridge. Snowcats can be hired privately, beginning at $5,400.
Yurt rentals runs from $725 to $1,000 a night, depending upon season and size. Group rates for private rentals also available.
Whisper Ridge is the second ski area to open in Cache County in the past two season. Cherry Peak began running its lifts in 2015. Located farther north, Beaver Mountain opened in 1939.