Insider's Guide to Brian Head
- Posted On
- Jan 24, 2020
- Road Trips
Brian Head is Utah’s highest resort town, sitting at 9,600 feet in elevation. This tiny southern Utah town, with a population of less than 100 full-time residents, “packs a punch” when it comes to winter adventures, especially the family-friendly variety.
Whether you are a mountain resort skiing/snowboarding family, or you prefer the solitude of Nordic skiing, or the fast-paced action of snowmobiling is more your speed, this winter destination has something for everyone. And, the best part of all, it is surrounded by the iconic red rock vistas of southern Utah, making this a winter destination like no other.
Brian Head Resort (Elevation: Base 9,600 / Summit 10,920 feet). New for the 19/20 season is the Navajo Express high-speed detachable quad chair lift that replaced the 30-year-old triple chair from the base of Navajo Mountain. The resort also relocated and expanded the Navajo Snow Tubing Park, adding more lanes and longer runs. The terrain at Brain Head is 65 percent beginner/intermediate, they have three terrain parks, and offer night skiing. Ticket prices range from $45-$83 for adults and $32-$60 for kids 6-12 years old.
Cedar Breaks National Monument (Elevation 10,000 feet) is a spectacular red rock amphitheater located 3 miles south of Brian Head on UT 143. During the winter months, access is limited to cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling due to the seasonal road closure of UT 148. The road closes at the junction of UT 143 and UT 148. This is the best place to park so you can explore the area. From this point, you can follow the snow-covered road by snowshoes or cross-county skis. The North View Overlook located a half mile from the park entrance is a great place to view the amphitheater. Throughout the winter, Cedar Breaks offers guided snowshoe tours and Winter Star Parties. Be sure to check the online calendar for specific dates. In 2017, Cedar Breaks was the first National Park Service unit in Utah to be designated as an International Dark Sky Park. This is one of the largest regions of natural darkness in the lower 48 states. Snowshoe and ski rental gear is available at Georg’s Ski Shop.
The town of Brian Head has some great winter trail options as well: Burt’s Road, Munoz Meadows, and the Town Trail. Burt’s Road starts just north of the Town Hall on the east side of UT 143, and you will head north along the snow-packed road. Munoz Meadows is just south of the Town Hall, accessed from the end Steam Engine Drive. The Town Trail, on the west side of UT 143, is paved and plowed throughout the winter. This trail non-motorized trail is 2 miles in length and can be accessed at various points along the route, with trailheads at Bear Flats Campground and the intersection of Aspen Drive and UT 143. Maps and more trail information is available online at VisitBrianHead.org or stop by the Visitor Center at 56 N Hwy 143.
Food + Lodging Trade in the sights and sounds of the busy city for the quiet and picturesque vibe of this high-elevation authentic mountain town. Lodging options range from two full-service hotels (swimming pools and spa services): Cedar Breaks Lodge and The Grand Lodge, to a variety of reasonably-priced condos and cabins. The town is home to seven restaurants; Pizano’s Pizzeria is a must for the pizza loving family.
Apres’ Ski & Nightlife The Last Chance Saloon at Giant Steps Lodge is a great family-friendly Après’ spot for music (live music every Saturday), food, and drinks (full bar menu plus kid options).