Wasatch Savage: Ogden's winter recreation guide

With winter in full effect, many Wildcats have begun to hibernate. The running shoes collect dust, because let’s face it — treadmills are impossibly boring, and who has time to leave the house and drive all the way to the gym when there are leftover holiday snacks and Netflix is practically calling you to your living-room throne? Fortunately, there are alternatives thanks to the mountainous terrain we’ve been so blessed to call our home here in Ogden. Snow may have capped our local peaks, but that doesn’t restrict their recreational value; it simply changes it for a season.

Ogden offers some of the best trails in northern Utah, just a TV remote’s throw away from most residents, and their adventure potential does not wane come winter. If you’re not a skier or snowboarder, the Ogden Valley is a cornucopia of winter activities. Arguably the most popular hike in Ogden is the ascent to Waterfall Canyon. Now, you longtime Ogdenites may roll your eyes at the trail you’ve no doubt conquered time and time again, but I raise the question, have you done it in the winter? In the colder months of the year, the waterfall becomes a fortress of ice reaching for the ground. This trail, commonly overlooked by locals due to its overwhelming popularity during the warm and sunny seasons, offers a new kind of privacy most haven’t experienced in Waterfall Canyon. It can be hiked with or without, but I urge you to be cautious. As the trail ends at the foot of the waterfall, use extreme caution when approaching the frozen pillars, as heavy chunks of ice routinely fall from the frozen waterfall. If your high-adventure needs aren’t fulfilled by the creekside hike to the frozen columns of water, for those prepared, the option of scaling the solid waterfall is there. Ice climbing is a lot like rock: You have to use picks and ropes to scale slick surfaces. This direction of high adventure is reserved for those who have the proper equipment and training.

If hiking isn’t your preferred winter activity, give ice fishing a shot. Just through Ogden Canyon lies Pineview Reservoir, and a great local ice-fishing area. Pineview is home to bluegill, bullhead catfish, crappie, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, tiger muskie (hybrid), trout and yellow perch. If you’ve got a taste for kokanee salmon, continue east past Pineview Reservoir until you land at the frozen Causey Reservoir. Local anglers have reported kokanee salmon success while fishing at a depth of at least 40 feet. Ice fishing is a great way to get outside, get some fresh air and catch yourself some dinner. Although ice fishing does require some specific equipment, available at sporting goods stores all over Ogden, the equipment is built to last and will be functional for years to come. Ensure you’ve obtained a fishing license and obey the fishing regulations set for the area where you intend to fish.

Last, but certainly not least, go sledding. Gather a group of friends, thermos of hot beverage in hand, and head for the mountains. Trappers Loop offers hill after hill of fresh snow just begging for some sled time. Other than being loads of fun, one of the best parts of sledding Trappers Loop this year is getting above the thick of the inversion that hangs over the valley. So give your lungs a break, grab your sled and spend some quality time on the slopes.

Stay savage, readers.