Once winter descends on Utah’s Heber Valley, the landscape is sprinkled with the Greatest Snow on Earth™ and transformed into a magical wonderland. Instead of hiding indoors, why not take advantage of some of Heber Valley’s best snow season adventures? Enjoy winter in the Wasatch with Heber Valley snow season adventures for the whole family like skiing, snowmobiling, ice skating, and sleigh rides. You’ll find a wide variety of ways to spend time with the family on a winter vacation— here are some of our favorite options.
1. Ski Deer Valley
One of Deer Valley’s best-kept secrets is skipping the drive through downtown Park City drive and accessing the resort’s trails via a gondola across from Jordanelle Reservoir. Located right next to the highway near Heber Valley, this entrance features free parking and Deer Valley amenities like boot warmers and ski storage. Take in views of Reservoir and the Uinta Mountains from inside the cushy, enclosed gondola all the way to the top.
2. Go Snowshoeing
Just because it’s snowy doesn’t mean hiking season is over. Strap on a pair of snowshoes, pack a thermos of hot cocoa, and forge a trail through the powder at Wasatch Mountain State Park or the Uinta National Forest at Daniels Summit. Go it alone or hire a guide from Park City Yoga Adventures to show you the way. They’ll bring the snowshoes, poles, and packs, too, so you won’t have to worry about a thing. For those who don’t like tramping through deep, fresh snow, try Soldier Hollow’s groomed snowshoeing trails.
3. Snowmobile at Daniels Summit
Just beyond the town of Heber stretches the vast, untracked wilderness of the Uinta National Forest, where snowmobilers can explore more than 1,000 miles of trails beginning at Daniels Summit Lodge. The family-run hotel is a one-stop snowmobiling shop that rents machines, grooms the trails daily, and provides maps and guidance to maximize your fun. A well-placed home base for your Heber Valley exploration, Daniels Summit Lodge is surrounded by forest but has all the creature comforts you need in a vacation from warm chocolate chip cookies to a pool for the kids.
4. Visit the Midway Ice Castles
Step into the world of Frozen with your little ones at Midway’s fairytale frozen fortress. Built each year by hand, the Midway Ice Castle features 5,000 icicles that are colorfully lighted each night. Pint-sized ice slides for kids to race down, fire dancers, and hot cocoa stations let you make an evening of the experience. Just be sure to book your tickets online in advance as time slots sell out fast.
5. Go Tubing or Nordic Skiing at Soldier Hollow
Bundle up and take your crew to Soldier Hollow, the site of the 2002 Winter Olympic biathlon and Nordic events, to ride Utah’s longest tubing lanes. Tubing hills are lit for nighttime riding, and various difficulty levels means everyone from timid tubers to avid adventurers get their kicks. Plus, these lift-served lanes tow you and your tube to the top, so you can focus on the fun part—sliding down. Or burn a few calories and explore Soldier Hollow’s Olympic Nordic trails with your family on cross-country skis. Rent a pair of classic skis and venture onto 20 miles of skate and classic trails ranging from easy rollers to challenging advanced courses. Lessons are available on site.
6. Ride the Heber Valley Railroad.
All aboard! Take a ride on the Heber Valley Railroad—an 1800s-era train used for hauling hay and produce to market. It’s now open to passengers year-round, and in the winter, trains feature great entertainment as they rumble through Heber Valley with scenic snowy views of Deer Creek Reservoir and Soldier Hollow.
7. Take a Sleigh Ride
Experience winter like yesteryears with a horse-drawn sleigh ride through Heber Valley’s frosted, snowy terrain. Bells jingle as horses prance through the woods while your family stays warm under a heap of cozy blankets. Singing Over the River and Through the Woods is optional—but recommended. Choose from Rocky Mountain Outfitters or KB Horses,two Heber Valley-run outfitters.
8. Snorkel & Soak at Homestead Crater
After a chilly day on the slopes, the Midway Homestead Crater's therapeutic Caribbean blue waters are a welcome respite for cold kiddos. This geothermal spring is found inside a dome of limestone rock formed more than 10,000 years ago that towers 55 feet in the air. It maintains a balmy year-round temperature of 90–96 degrees so you can snorkel anytime with your kids—even when it’s snowing outside. While you won’t spot fish through your snorkel mask, you’ll be able to make out the scuba divers practicing their skills 65 feet below.
Originally written by RootsRated Media for Utah Office of Tourism.