Insider's Guide - Winter in Heber Valley
- Posted On
- Jan 23, 2020
State and National Parks
The mystical magic of the Heber Valley is extra extraordinary in the winter. Where else in Utah can you: swim in a geothermal crater; visit an ice castle; take a ride on a holiday-themed historic railroad; enjoy an old-fashioned horse-drawn carriage ride; take a zipline tour; go tubing at a 2002 Olympic venue; enjoy 200 miles of snow-covered groomed trails; meet the cows on a local dairy farm tour; take a snowmobile tour; go ice fishing; go ice skating, shop along the streets of a Swiss village; and then enjoy dinner at locally-owned farm-to-table restaurant? Wow, that’s a lot of options…way more than you can do in one trip. And the best part is that this destination is just a short drive (45 miles) from Salt Lake City.
Stay Warm - One of the most unique experiences in the Heber Valley is the geothermal spring-fed Homestead Crater. The mineral-rich waters of this 55-foot tall, beehive-shaped, limestone formation maintain a consistent temperature of around 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
Work up a sweat - Wasatch Mountain State Park is the perfect family cross-country ski venue. They groom a 1.3-mile section of the golf course and provide inexpensive onsite gear rentals at the Visitor Center. Rentals are $12/adults, $6/kids for cross-country ski packages (skis, boots, poles), and snowshoe rentals are $6/adults and $3-6/kids.
Test your speed on the longest tubing lanes in Utah. Soldier Hollow, a 2002 Winter Olympic Venue, offers 1,200-foot-long tubing lanes. Tubing sessions are scheduled in two-hour blocks and reservations are recommended.
Take a guided tour - Get your adrenaline pumping on a fully-guided snowmobile tour through the pristine backcountry of Wasatch Mountain State Park with Wasatch Excursions. Or take in the winter sights at a much slower pace with a guided horseback ride. KB Horses is locally-owned and operated offering one to four-hour private custom tours.
For the princess…or prince in the family - May we suggest a horse-drawn carriage ride to the magical ice castle. This, straight out of a fairy tale, adventure is made possible by Rocky Mountain Outfitters and Midway Ice Castles and is sure to be one of those extra-special memorable childhood experiences.
Dinner is served - Dining options are plentiful in the Heber Valley, and the best way to get a true taste of an area is to keep it local. The Back 40 Ranch House Grill is a locally-owned and operated, family-friendly farm-to-table restaurant. For the sweet tooth in the family, be sure to check out the gooey cinnamon rolls at Midway Bakery on Main Street. A few other not-to-miss local favorites are Lola’s Street Kitchen and Dairy Keen – Home of the Train.
Nighty-night - Overnight opportunities abound – everything from hotels to condos to log cabins. Zermatt Resort located in Midway, is a Swiss-inspired 300-room resort, featuring a full-service spa, indoor swimming pool, family-friendly restaurant, and a European bakery. If a cozy log cabin is more your style, the cabins at Wasatch Mountain State Park are available year-round.