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As the Wasatch Front population continues to swell, it's harder to tell where Salt Lake City ends and the next major city, Ogden, begins. In between are a string of towns that serve primarily as bedroom communities. The drive north, through and beyond these communities, bordered by the shores of the Great Salt Lake on the west and the Wasatch Mountains on the east, takes you through a world of recreational options. With a population of more than 80,000, Ogden combines a small-town feel with the infrastructure of a larger city. The oldest town in Utah, Ogden was founded by mountain man Miles Goodyear, who settled here with his family in the early 1840s. The Mormons arrived in the area in 1847, and in 1869 Ogden became a hub for the transcontinental railroad. The city quickly became a major Western crossroads. During World War II there was a considerable military presence here. This continues today, thanks to the proximity of Hill Air Force Base. Ogden is also a college town; Weber State University is within the city limits.
These days, Ogden has become a multisport mecca, where outdoor adventure blends with emerging urban chic. You can head east into the Upper Ogden Valley—only 20 minutes from downtown—for climbing, biking, hiking, and world-class skiing, or paddle the kayak park on the Ogden River. After your adrenaline binge, recharge in the historic 25th Street district, the metropolitan complement to this recreation-heavy stronghold. During the railroad heyday, 25th Street, directly east of the railroad depot, was infamous for its bars and bordellos. The buildings that once contained all the notorious businesses have been preserved and now house restaurants, clubs, crafts and antiques shops, and kitchen stores.
Ogden at a Glance
- 25th Street Historic District
- Eccles Community Art Center
- Fort Buenaventura Park
- George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park
- Hill Aerospace Museum
- Ogden Nature Center
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