There’s nothing like a ski trip to make the most of the fresh powder once winter comes around. Skiing along with snowmobiling, snowshoeing, Apres ski, s’mores, hot cider, and more are practically snow trip essentials. That’s why I was stoked to be invited to Deer Valley and Heber Valley by the Utah Office of Tourism for a quintessential ski trip this past winter. First and foremost, I would have the opportunity to ski for the very first time in my life. Secondly, I’d get the chance to partake in many other winter activities like snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and more! I had a blast living my best snow-bunny life and in the end, I discovered that skiing in Park City hardly scratches the surface of things to do. From skiing in Deer Valley to discovering what Heber Valley has to offer, there’s plenty to experience in the area. Trust me when I say that you’ll want to stay longer or plan your next trip to Park City before you’ve even left. I’ve created a guide for all that you can see, do, and eat on your next winter trip in Deer Valley and Heber Valley.
The best option for visiting Park City is to fly directly into Salt Lake City. Once you’ve landed, you can arrange a car or take an Uber about 50 minutes out to Park City.
If you want to visit Heber Valley from Park City, you’ll need to arrange transportation to drive 20 minutes to Heber Valley. Heber is a small town so a rental car would be the best form of transportation in order to navigate the area.
How To Get Around Deer Valley and Heber Valley:
You can easily use ridesharing apps and taxis to get around the Deer Valley area but they aren’t as readily available in Heber Valley. I’d recommend renting a car if you plan on exploring both areas!
The Lodges at Deer Valley are practically steps away from the slopes, which makes it the perfect launchpad for skiing and exploring Park City! You’ll get the quintessential ski lodge vibes while having plenty of amenities that will help you make the most of your time in Deer Valley. You’ll receive free breakfast, hot tub access, complimentary shuttle access, complimentary ride-sharing(imagine Uber or Lyft…but free!), fresh daily cookies, and so much more! There’s also a restaurant on-site that served what may have been one of the best steaks I’ve ever had. Service is impeccable and you’re less than 10 minutes away from exploring downtown Park City!
If you’re searching for a place to stay in Heber Valley, Homestead resort is it. While being steeped in history, the modern farmhouse design will take you by surprise. There’s an on-site restaurant and you’re only steps away from The Crater – which is an underground thermal pool reminiscent of cenotes you might find in Mexico. This sprawling property was absolutely stunning!
Go Skiing In Deer Valley – Did you even visit Park Valley if you didn’t ski? I’m nearly 30 and I went skiing for the first time on this trip. I took lessons and I may have been learning to ski alongside 2-year-olds but I honestly had the time of my life. Skiing has always appealed to me but it was never a priority because….
1. I live in Texas. What snow?
2. It’s cold. Refer to 2
3. Skiing and snowsports can be expensive
4. Never saw people that looked like me doing it!
Deer Valley is known to have some of the best instructors, so it’s ideal for more experienced skiers and beginners like myself. If skiing has been on your bucket list, then this is the place to do it. Allow yourself to be a beginner and fall and feel a bit silly. Once you get going, I promise you’ll feel so free.
If skiing isn’t your thing, then there’s still plenty of fun and thrill for your to indulge in on tour visit! What else can you get up to?
Go Snowshoeing In Deer Valley – Skiing May not be for you, but what about hiking? Snowshoeing is essentially hiking, but you’ll be rocking specialized gear to help you navigate through the snow. This is a great way to spend time outdoors, explore more of the area on foot, and move your body. I truly enjoyed Snowshoeing with All Season Adventures because it allowed me to experience Deer Valley in a completely different way. This was my first time snowshoeing and I cannot wait for the opportunity to do it again.
Go snowmobiling in Heber Valley – If you haven’t been snowmobiling, it’s similar to jet skiing – but you’re in the snow. If you go with Wasatch Excursions, you’ll ride through Wasatch Mountain State Park which you may know as the site of the winter Olympics. As an adrenaline junkie, this was by far one of my favorite things I did while visiting Heber Valley. I had a blast zipping and zooming through Aspens that nearly touched the clouds. Wasatch Mountain State Park was absolutely beautiful. This one is definitely for the thrill-seekers.
Dine in a snowglobe in Heber Valley – Eat inside of a heated snowglobe at Cafe Galleria. Oh and prep your playlist bc there’s a USB and personal speaker in each snow-globe to set the vibe! You’ll truly feel like you’re in a winter wonderland as you brunch it up in your very own personal bubble. If you find yourself visiting for brunch, then you should definitely order the French toast. Thank me later!
Go Tubing at Soldier Hollow – You’ll slide through 1200ft long lanes of snow and I’ll definitely be jealous because I didn’t have time to do this one myself. That just means I need to return, right? Tag me because I’ll be living vicariously through you!
Go Cross Country Skiing at Soldier Hollow – Since they’re at the same spot, spend an entire day at Soldier Hollow before/after tubing so that you can squeeze in some Cross Country Skiing. While I didn’t have enough time to partake this time around, I loved every minute the first time that I went cross-country skiing. It’s a bit of a workout, but it’s a great way to explore the area. Take it easy as you navigate more of Wasatch Mountain State Park via Cross Country Skis.
Go Swimming In the Heated Crater – If you wanna soak (or dive) in a geothermal hot spring, then you’ll love The Crater! You can even do stand-up paddleboard yoga inside – just be sure to book a spot ahead of time! Don’t forget to pack a swimsuit!
As you can see, you’ll have plenty to fill your time in both Deer Valley and Heber Valley. The list of winter activities is endless.
Fireside Dining – This is a unique dining experience where you’ll feast on food that’s being cooked fireside. You’ll choose from four courses of unlimited fare that are being prepared by stone fireplaces. From fresh fondue to chocolate-dipped fruit, you’re in store for a delicious swiss-inspired dinner. You can even arrange a horse-drawn sleigh ride to get the full winter experience! Be sure to book a table before you arrive!
Riverhorse on Main – This is Park City’s top-rated restaurant and it’s a must-visit. Be prepared to be wow-ed by dishes like Lobster Gnocchi and Pan Seared Ahi Tuna. If you’re a live music lover, then you’re in for a treat. River Horse brings in performers daily so that you can enjoy your meal to the sound of sweet tunes!
High West Saloon – If there’s one place you should be for Apres Ski, it’s High West Saloon. It’s located in Old Town Park City at the base of a ski resort. In fact, it’s the only ski-in/ski-out distillery. It serves up some ski-town classics like Poutine, Fondue, and Charcuterie. Pair that with the ‘High West Flight’ to sample the best spirits that they have to offer. If you’re interested in learning more about High West and the Whiskey making process, you can book a distillery tour.
Café Galleria – Whether you want to dine inside of a snowglobe or sit inside of their eclectic cafe, this eatery deserves a spot on your foodie bucket list. The breakfast that they serve is that home-style cooking that feels all too familiar. Outside of breakfast hours, you’ll have the chance to enjoy Rustic Italian-inspired cooking.
The Corner – Who doesn’t enjoy cheese croquettes and country-fried cauliflower? I know I do and that’s why I’ve gotta recommend The Corner. This restaurant serves upscale American classics. Check their website calendar to drop in for some live-music performances to enjoy while you dine.
Royal Street Cafe and Fresh Tracks at Deer Valley Resort – I’ve gotta say this is some of the best resort food I’ve ever had. I fully expected over-priced sandwiches and hot dogs, but Fresh Tracks provided healthy bowls while Royal Street Cafe served up fresh Salmon. These aren’t your standard ski-lodge restaurants!
The Brass Tag – Since I was staying at the Lodges at Deer Valley, The Brass Tag was conveniently located onsite. This was my first meal upon my arrival in Deer Valley and it was undoubtedly the best place for me to kick off my trip. Firstly, the fondue is incredible. Secondly, the steak was cooked to perfection. *Chef’s Kiss* Don’t even get me started on the breakfast buffet!
You’ll definitely want to be prepared for the cold weather so that you can actually enjoy all of the activities you have planned. The most important thing is to pack layers upon layers so that you can be prepared for weather fluctuations throughout the day. Here’s what I suggest bringing:
Hand warmers are lifesavers
Thick socks – Merino wool is best!
An insulated puffer
Waterproof pant/jacket shells for ski days
A lightweight fleece jacket
A buff and/or balaclava to wear under your helmet
A heavy coat to rock to Apres Ski
Swimsuit for heated pools, saunas, and The Crater
This Texas girl was definitely nervous about freezing but the weather was manageable because I came prepared! When it comes to ski gear, ask close family/friends or search for used gear on sites like Facebook Marketplace. Check Amazon for affordable winterwear and rent poles/skis at Deer Valley Resort.
I admittedly found myself wanting to extend my flight so that I could cross everything off of my winter bucket list. So many things to do, so little time. Trust me when I say, you’ll want to make the most of every moment. The best part is that there’s something for everyone in Deer Valley and Heber Valley. I traveled solo, but you could easily bring your girls, your partner, and even your children. Not only that, there’s a wide array of activities for every kind of traveler. You have the opportunity to chase the thrill while skiing or snowmobiling. On the contrary, you can keep movement to a minimum by simply hitting up your resort spa or enjoying Apres Ski.
Personally, this was the perfect destination for me to step out of my comfort zone and travel differently. I usually find myself traveling to warm weather destinations, so packing for the snow certainly proved to be a challenge! In the end, it was so worth it. I was able to physically push myself and do things that I’d never done before. It was a bit out of my comfort zone but I found myself pleasantly surprised by both Deer Valley and Heber Valley. And isn’t that what travel is all about? If you’re considering a winter or ski trip, these towns should be at the very top of your list!
Hey, I'm Ciara. I’m a global citizen and lover of travel. Want to know more?
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