Heber Valley — Where Families Gather to Reunite

Utah Wasatch Mountains Midway
Utah Wasatch Mountains Midway Michael Jolley
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Nestled between Utah’s two most magnificent mountain ranges is Heber Valley, a gem in the crown of peaks adorning the state. Thousands of families come to this region for snow sports in winter, water sports in summer, and for sightseeing year-round. But the Wasatch Front cities draw most of the traffic and bustle, so not everyone gets to experience the quieter side of the mountains. Heber Valley, safely tucked away on the east side of the Wasatch, has small-town feel with big appeal.

The towns of the valley are surrounded by green grass, blue water, and white-capped mountains. This tranquility seems a world away from the clamor of big cities to the west, and is closer to so many family-friendly activities in Utah’s great outdoors. With skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, hiking, camping, mountain biking, horseback riding, off-roading, snowmobiling, boating, whitewater rafting, fishing, golf, and more to choose from, every member of your family is sure to have fun. Entertainment and arts abound here as well, including shopping and dining, rodeos, the Heber Valley Railroad, historic aircraft museum, live music, theater, artist studios, and films. All these combined with unique resorts and private lodges make Heber Valley the perfect location for your next family reunion.

One such getaway is Homestead Resort in Midway, which stands out not only for its heritage dating back to the time of Heber Valley’s homesteaders, but also for the underground warm spring known as Homestead Crater. This large limestone cave with a skylight in the roof has naturally formed and filled with crystal blue, geothermally heated mineral water. This surreal geologic phenomenon is uniquely Utah and found only in Heber Valley. You can swim, lounge on floating docks, learn paddleboard yoga, snorkel, and even scuba dive, as this is the only warm spring in the continental United States open publically for diving. Experiencing the crater does not require staying at Homestead, but the resort is a perfect choice because of its proximity, variety of comfortable room styles, fine dining, beautiful gardens, event venues, golf course, and family-friendly festivals and performances.

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Some of the earliest settlers in Heber Valley were Swiss and German immigrants, and the region retains much of this heritage today. In fact, the town of Midway has been called "Utah’s Little Switzerland," and no establishment better embodies this than Zermatt Resort. Featuring European-inspired architecture, cuisine, and hospitality, the Zermatt makes you feel as if you’ve been whisked away to the Swiss Alps. In the resort’s two restaurants, internationally trained chefs serve up award-winning steaks, smokehouse meats, and pizza the way it was meant to be. The in-house bakery creates authentic European treats like flaky eclairs and rich danishes.

Zermatt features accommodations to match, with luxurious double rooms, suites, and villas. Activities include a spa, pool, hot tub, tennis, shuffleboard, mini golf, hiking, and biking on the grounds. All of this is merely auxiliary, however, to the endless outdoor adventures that surround Midway. Zermatt provides direct access and package reservations for experiencing it all, in summer and winter.

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South of Heber City, nestled deep in the quiet woods, is Daniels Summit Lodge. With the look and feel of the pioneers’ log cabins, this resort inspires tales of the Old West, yet offers modern comforts. Spacious rooms, suites, and a hillside log home provide custom lodging options for your whole family, all of which come with the nearby adventure in Uinta National Forest. The miles of marked trails that begin at the resort are perfect for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding in the summer, snowshoeing or skiing in the winter. The resort can provide equipment, horses, and guides. For motorized recreation, don’t miss out on off-road vehicles and snowmobiles, both available from the lodge for both guided and unguided tours. After an action-packed day, return to relax at the spa and watch the sun set over the mountains.

In addition to the resorts, Heber Valley features three large lodges that can easily accommodate your entire group and place you in the heart of it all for adventure and relaxation. The lodges provide various combinations of amenities and on-site activities including swimming pool, hot tub, spa, basketball court, racquetball, game room, movie theater, banquet hall, and outdoor lounging, but each lodge has its own unique character. Timber Moose Lodge is the largest private log cabin in the country and features 9,000 square feet of outdoor deck space, an indoor swimming pool, and a crows nest viewing room—all set upon a hilltop overlooking Deer Valley Reservoir and the surrounding landscape. Silver Springs Lodge has an unbeatable location just minutes from the best ski resorts, golf courses, and lakes, but just as close to conveniences of town. Stone Hill Lodge offers woodland solitude on a forested hillside, with terraced gardens and flowing water, and an in-ground trampoline on the property. Any of the three make the perfect gathering place for your family to enjoy one-stop access to the best of Heber Valley.

With a one-of-a-kind hot spring, world-class golf courses, rich history and culture, refreshing lakes, miles of open space, Utah’s tallest mountains, and the Greatest Snow on Earth all at your fingertips, Heber Valley is the perfect place for your family to enjoy an action-packed vacation or to simply sit on the porch and take it all in. To plan the perfect getaway, explore all Heber Valley’s wonders on gohebervalley.com.

Originally written for Utah Office of Tourism.

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