mt ogden

The WSU Mount Ogden Hike Tradition

 Join the Tradition!

Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023

Mt. Ogden | Snowbasin | Earl's Lodge parking

Price: Free

Age: Families are welcome, all children must be accompanied by an adult. Please carefully select the appropriate hiking group for your abilities. 

Transportation: A 15 passenger van will meet at 7:30 a.m. at the Outdoor Adventure and Welcome Center, to transport folks who are not transporting themselves to Snowbasin. The bus will return around 4 p.m. Please email Hayley Prine to confirm transportation:

Equipment: No equipment will be provided, but the equipment is available at the WSU Outdoor Program Rental Center. 

WSU Mount Ogden Hike Tradition Flyer / Trail Maps (PDF)  Google Earth Aerial View Map (JPG)


Check In

  • 8:00 a.m. Participant check in at Moose Plaza

Guided Hike

Hike in this historic tradition! Please arrive early to leave time to fill your water and take a final bathroom break if needed.
Review and self-select an appropriate hiking group before the start! 

8:30 a.m. | Leave the Moose Plaza at Snowbasin

Traditional Program

12:00 p.m. | Guided & Individual hikers will meet at the saddle* for the traditional program.

*The saddle is just below the final steep ascent to the Mount Ogden summit.

The Saddle is where the tradition is kept, and we pay tribute to the Weber Academy hikers of 1922. Welcome by the WSU Outdoor Program, speeches by President Brad Mortensen and distinguished guests, the traditional singing of Purple and White, and our WSU Fight Song and raffle prizes.

Event Wrap-Up

3:30 p.m. | Each hiker will travel at their own pace, end times may vary.

All participants are encouraged to descend with group leaders to the Needles Lodge and Snowbasin gondola after the program. (There is no cost to ride down) participants wishing to descend the full hike route will be on their own, there will be NO GUIDED OPTIONS. 


Please Pre-Register!

Register Online

Assumption of Risk Form, General: ONLINE WAIVER

*Please Note: that if you register for this program you should plan to participate in the program for its entire duration. Do not plan to leave the mountain before 3 p.m. Thanks

Hiking Options: Choose a Trail & Group Based on Your Skill Level

Please self-select an appropriate Trail & Group Based on Your Skill Level.

Mount Ogden Via Snowbasin (guided or unguided)

You are welcome to choose to hike this route on your own or check-in at the Moose Plaza to join a guided group. 

→Option 1

Hike the Snowbasin Service Roads to the saddle/Mount Ogden Summit.

  • Difficulty: Challenging. 8.4 miles round trip (competitive hike route, when gondola is not running). 7 miles when the gondola is running for the descent.
  • Elevation Gain: 3,400 feet
  • Trailhead: Moose Plaza/Earl's Lodge
  • Trail: Follows ski area access roads to the saddle.

Top of Wildcat lift = over 1/3 of the way. Top of “Porky” lift = 3/4 of the way.

Saddle = another 20 minutes of steep trail to the summit.

→Option 2

Cost is $29 per person to ride the Gondola, then hike the trail from Needles Lodge to the saddle/Mount Ogden Summit. This option does still require a significant hike! 

Hike 1/3 of Mount Ogden Via Snowbasin:

  • Difficulty: Challenging but shorter. 2.8 Miles round trip (best option for those with children or simply attend the Traditional Program at the saddle).
  • Elevation gain: 400 feet
  • Trailhead Moose Plaza (Gondola)
  • Trail: Follows a steep ascent to the ridge then traverse to the saddle before ascending the steep trail to the Mount Ogden Summit

*If selecting option two, please purchase your Gondola tickets in advance by visiting Snowbasin and select September 23 as the date. 

Guided Group 1 (FREE): Meet at Moose Plaza at 8 a.m. If you like spandex and sweat and have a need for speed, this group is for you, this group will hike at a consistent, speedy pace with few rests or stops. 

Guided Group 2 (FREE): Meet at the Moose Plaza at 8 a.m. If you are a good hiker but enjoy taking in the scenery this group is for you. This group will take periodic stops to regroup rest eat and drink. 

Guided Group 3 (FREE): Meet at Moose Plaza at 8 a.m. If you are a first-timer or need to pace yourself slowly and want to hike the full route, this group is for you. This group will take regular stops to regroup rest eat and drink. 

Guided Group 4 ($29 Fee for Gondola): Meet at the Moose Plaza at 9:00 a.m. If you are looking for the shortest route, this group is for you. This route is still strenuous and steep. After riding the gondola up you still have a 1.4-mile hike to the saddle and Mt Ogden Summit. Each participant will need to pre-purchase a gondola ticket at a rate of $29 (see below for details). Please purchase your Gondola tickets in advance by visiting the Snowbasin Hiking & Gondola Tickets and selecting September 23rd as the date. Be sure to bring your confirmation to redeem your ticket on-site. As a group, we will ride the gondola to Needles Lodge where we will stop in for a restroom break and top off the water. The 2.8-mile round-trip hiking portion is still steep and uneven but is significantly shorter than options 1-3. This trail ascends 400' to the Summit of Mount Ogden. Guests wishing to attend the traditional program and avoid the steep final ascent to the Summit are welcome to stop at the saddle where the program takes place at 12:00 p.m.

Mount Ogden via Taylor Canyon (unguided)

Difficulty: Very tough. 10.2 miles round trip
Elevation gain: 4,800 feet
Trailhead: Top of 27th Street
Trail: 1 mile up Taylor Canyon - turn right to “Malan’s Lookout.” Malan’s Peak = about 1/3 of the way. Malan’s Basin = 1/2 way + Last mile + (Basin to Saddle) not well defined in places. Steep!

Mount Ogden via Beus Canyon (unguided)

Difficulty: Long and tough. 12 miles round trip
Elevation gain: 4,600 feet
Trailhead: Top of 46th Street, Beus trailhead parking lot
Trail: Two miles up Beus Canyon (1/3 of the way) trail climbs right, to the ridge above Burch Creek canyon. The trail climbs steadily along and over ridges to the saddle.

**Unauthorized motorized vehicles are not permitted on the Snowbasin roadways. 

The Mount Ogden Hike, from the original Weber State Newspaper, The Acorn

Weber has long dwelt in the peaceful valley surrounded by the splendor of the Wasatch Mountains and overshadowed by its glorious peaks. But being ever restless with the desire to rise, she burst the bands of lo-land seclusion and with one mighty aunty of purpose established herself on that magnificent peak, Mount Ogden. 

The morning of October 5th was clear and cool. Four o’clock was the time set for the gathering at the mouth of Taylors Canyon. From all directions came the eager hikers. The roads and paths leading to the meeting place were flecked with the lights of automobiles, in most cases those of anxious parents, reluctant to sanction such a hazardous undertaking. 

“The dawn! The dawn!” cried one. 

Just at that instant into the still morning air came the old yet much loved “Star-Spangled Banner”, and after that the “Purple and White”. The band was in splendid form. It played as it had never played before. Its echo bounded from cliff to cliff until it became lost in the broad expanse of the hillside. 

To the Sophomores fell the responsibility of carrying the sand, cement, and water; the Juniors were to bring the flagpole; the Seniors were to set the pole; the College was to procure and raise the flag, while the Faculty was to help wherever needed. 

The hike to Malan’s was not difficult, as the course lay over a well-beaten trail. At the cabin site, a halt was called, where breakfast became the most important proceeding. One hour of rest and again the steady climb upward. From the cabin site to Mount Ogden the trail is steep, rugged, and poorly defined. Especially did the last thousand feet test the mettle of the little band. On all sides and in every direction were hikers, leg-weary and sore, pulling themselves up by every possible bush and shrub. 

However, while the larger group was pulling the tugging to make the summit, a small group was manfully bearing the responsibility of bringing up the flagpole. This was in four sections, and as the horses refused to work, it had to be carried most of the way. As it was made of steel and weighed three hundred pounds, those carrying it had no easy job. 

At two o’clock p.m. the last weary hiker, the last bag of cement, sand, and water, the last length of flagpole reached the top. Lunch baskets were soon emptied and real rest was enjoyed by the foot-sore climbers. 

A group of students soon joined the lengths of the post together and put it into the great hole which had been blasted by the pioneer hikers some few days before. At the base of the pole was burning a glass bottle in which was placed a scroll bearing the names of those who took the hike. The pole, twenty feet in height, was set three feet into solid rock and closely cemented. 

The pole set, the call to the colors was given and three hundred seventy-five loyal Weberites came to attention while slowly and dramatically the two grandest of flags were flung to the clear autumn breezes. The “Star Spangled Banner” and “Purple and White” were sung as they have never been sung before. A never-to-be-forgotten program followed, with that honored and beloved Weberite, David O. McKay, as the chief speaker and enter of interest. After appropriate remarks, Brother McKay offered the dedicatory prayer, one which will live long in the memory of those who heard it. 

At five o’clock began the journey homeward. Being much freshened by the long rest the hikers soon reached Malan’s Heights, and the cabin site became a scene of bonfires and rapidly disappearing lunches. A clear sky and full moon added much to the thrill of the mountain descent. 

As the curfew called forth the hour of nine, the last weary hiker trudged into the city. Thus ended the most momentous day in Weber’s history.