Ogden is at the center of a flat plain, with clean and attractive family-friendly suburban communities spreading south that include Clearfield, Layton, Kaysville and Farmington. Ogden is sort of the unassuming, shy but quietly prosperous little sister of the booming “SLC” (Salt Lake City) and Provo to the south. The large Hill Air Force Base is a major employer, and the area also hosts a number of mostly technology-oriented manufacturers. These include Thiokol, Iomega, and Levelor, as well as a large processing center for the IRS. The area is a freight transportation hub, as goods arrive by road and rail through canyons to the east and are rerouted to all points west.
Suburbs are clean, well laid out, and affordable. Homes are high quality, with large lots and comfortable neighborhoods with a traditional feel. In part because of the Mormon influence, the area has a strong community feel, with excellent education and healthcare facilities. The Mormon influence also brings conservative social norms and traditions.
The Wasatch Mountains provide not only an excellent view but also a source of almost limitless mountain recreation. The rest of the state is a recreational paradise as well. Most arts and big-city amenities are found south in SLC, and many commute that direction to work. Cost of living, though growing, is reasonable. Median home prices represent a bargain considering the quality of homes in the area. Overall, the Ogden area has a lot of strengths and few notable weaknesses.
Ogden is located in a 15-mile wide flat valley defined by the Great Salt Lake to the west and the Wasatch Mountains to the east, which rise to peaks exceeding 12,000 feet. The valley rises gradually towards the base of the mountains, with few natural trees until higher elevations are reached in the mountains. The peaks are snowcapped much of the year, providing a stunning scenic backdrop for much of the area. Influenced by the mountains and the Great Salt Lake, the climate is semiarid continental with four distinct seasons. Summers are hot and dry but generally tolerable because of low humidity and cool nights. Winters are cold but usually not severe. Average annual snowfall is under 60 inches in the valley but much higher in the mountains. Temperature inversions can bring heavy fog at times in winter and haze and poor air quality at times in other seasons. The lake and mountains together create summer breezes and more precipitation than would otherwise occur in this high-desert environment. Heavy precipitation comes from Pacific storms in spring. First freeze is mid-October, last is late April.