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(2022 - Winter Issue)


The origin of the term “sweet spot” can be traced to several different sources: The part of a bat that hits a baseball farthest, the most sensitive area on a lover’s neck, the section of a maple’s trunk that yields the most syrup. If its origin could be traced to a place, however, Utah’s Heber Valley fits the bill as well as anywhere on Earth.

This picturesque amalgam of snow-clad mountains, fragrant forests, and ice-covered lakes and rivers is especially sweet in winter. Where else, after all, can visitors coming from nearby Salt Lake City International Airport partake in the myriad winter pursuits?

Downhill Skiing at Sundance Mountain Resort

Founded in 1969 by Oscar-winning actor and director Robert Redford, Sundance is all about savouring the finer things in life: the great outdoors, art, gourmet cuisine, spa treatments, and so on. As well as skiing, snowboarding, hiking or biking across 2,023 hectares of protected wilderness, visitors can feast on world-class cuisine and try their hand at painting, pottery, jewellery-making, and soap-making before unwinding in a lavish spa. sundanceresort.com

Other great places to downhill ski: Deer Valley Resort, Park City Mountain Resort, Brighton Resort. deervalley.com; parkcitymountain.com; brightonresort.com

Cross-country Skiing at Soldier Hollow Nordic Center

Constructed for the 2002 Winter Olympics, this athletic hub just south of the lively town of Midway hosted events spanning the biathlon, cross-country, and Nordic combined competitions. The legacy of the Games remains strong at Soldier Hollow—as it does across the Heber Valley and throughout Utah—with visitors of all abilities taking part in the Olympic sports alongside more casual pursuits like snow-tubing, snowshoeing and sleigh-riding. utaholympiclegacy.org/location/soldier-hollow

Other great places to cross-country ski: Wasatch Mountain State Park, Sundance Mountain Resort, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. stateparks.utah.gov/parks/wasatch-mountain; sundanceresort.com; fs.usda.gov/uwcnf

Ice Skating at Midway Ice Rink

Midway’s charmingly Swiss-themed Town Square is home to Utah’s largest and most scenic outdoor ice skating rink. With the Wasatch Mountain ridgeline outlined by the setting sun, the simple, nostalgic pleasures of the rink are a great way to cap a fun-filled day. No skates? No problem: Skate rentals are available on-site. midwayicerink.com

Snowshoeing in Wasatch Mountain State Park

Spanning 9,308 hectares of snowy mountain ridges and valleys, Wasatch Mountain State Park is home to snowshoeing trails ranging from beginner-friendly loops to adventurous treks across boulder fields. The action starts at the park’s expansive Visitor Center, where snowshoe rentals are available for exploring packed, deep-powder trails radiating outwards. The most challenging of these is a 19-kilometre route that starts at the top of spectacular Guardsman Pass and descends all the way to the Visitor Center. stateparks.utah.gov/parks/wasatch-mountain

Other great places to snowshoe: Sundance Mountain Resort, Soldier Hollow Nordic Center, Jordanelle State Park, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. sundanceresort.com; utaholympiclegacy.org/location/soldier-hollow; stateparks.utah.gov/parks/jordanelle; fs.usda.gov/uwcnf

Hitting the Spa at Zermatt Utah

Nestled in the majestic mountains between Park City and Sundance, the Zermatt Resort is home to opulent accommodations, Swiss-inspired architecture, delicious dining, and last but not least, a world-class spa. Treatments at the latter include a 75-minute Aromavedic Holistic Massage incorporating an apricot and flower exfoliating cream and floral and Ayurvedic oil blends, and a 45-minute Leg Revival Treatment that applies Cryotonic Gel to guests’ tightly wrapped gams before a stretching massage loosens muscles and improves blood flow.  zermattresort.com

Other great places to hit the spa: Spa at Sundance; A Good Spa Day; La Remède Spa at St. Regis Deer Valley. sundanceresort.com/spa; agoodspaday.com; st-regis.marriott.com

Dining at 30-plus Restaurants

Across the Heber Valley, dozens of restaurants serve up everything from award-winning cheeses and artisan chocolate to locally made gelato and grass-fed beef raised in surrounding fields. gohebervalley.com/dining

Must-do: Snowmobiling

Jaw-dropping scenery, wide-open spaces, bountiful snowfall and more than 600 kilometres of trails lure snowmobilers from around the world to the Heber Valley.

Daniels Summit Lodge is one of several outfitters that offer snowmobile rentals and guided trips along the groomed trails that criss-cross the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Options range from family-friendly rides to challenging climbs up to 3,048 metres of elevation. danielssummit.com

Other outfitters include High Valley Rental and Lofty Peaks. highvalleyrental.com; loftypeaks.com

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