The Mile Post

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Oct 27, 2020

Explore key indicators in our changing community in Mile Post, presented by The Park Record and the Park City Board of Realtors Sponsor.

Check out the Mile Post by The Park Record.

COVID-19 has wealthy buyers fleeing to Park City

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Oct 13, 2020

COVID-19 has wealthy buyers fleeing to Park City - The Salt Lake Tribune

Park City • COVID-19 left Utah’s alpine resorts and mountain destinations financially hobbled when they lost the tail end of the ski season.

But Park City, Deer Valley and surrounding Summit and Wasatch counties are now seeing money pour into luxury homes, estates and open land with big sticker prices as the effects of the pandemic bring in new wealthy buyers.

Since June, a rush to sanctuary has real estate markets booming over pre-pandemic levels for multimillion-dollar homes and properties that offer secluded access to nature and a sense of security and safety.

Droves of families who’d been waiting out the pandemic in short-term rentals or second homes in the Wasatch Mountains are now buying into more exclusive enclaves and even shifting their primary residences.

Homes sales in Park City rose by 62% in July and August compared to the same time last year. Deals amounted to $446 million for those two months compared to $206 million in 2019, and September sales ran at a similar elevated pace, according to the latest data from the Park City Board of Realtors.

After a robust early summer, the luxury trend gained momentum as school resumed and folks settled in for an unpredictable winter. And this surge stretches beyond Park City and Deer Valley to nearby places such as Heber, Hideout and Francis.

“We are now on the list, and I wouldn’t say even the top five,” Park City Council member Tim Henney said of a town he’s seen evolve from mining relic to homes worth millions in two decades. “I’d say we’re on the top three of just about everybody.”

Park City’s median home price has edged above $2 million and will likely climb this fall, but new data shows homes around Jordanelle Reservoir — featuring spacious lots with lake access — have now displaced Old Town as the most expensive across Wasatch and Summit counties.

It’s too early to know how big or lasting these effects may be, but the phenomenon is already spurring new construction and sucking up hundreds of upscale vacation properties that often sit empty or rent on Airbnb, particularly in Summit County.

Well-heeled buyers relocating to Utah are also part of a global shift toward telecommuting, one that could carry some large dollars and social implications with it.

“So the question becomes, are we turning into a Zoom city?” asked Jim Wood, senior economist at the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, suggesting that post-pandemic housing trends may portend more permanent shifts in how residents work and live.

Park City’s allure? Lots of trails, open schools.

Many of those who can afford it are gravitating toward rural areas, lake properties, mountain resorts and beach havens, experts in luxury real estate say. Agents say some larger mansions, ranches and specialty properties that have languished on the market are now selling.

There is similar demand in Utah up and down the housing prices right now, according to sales data published over the summer. Buyers, the wealthy included, are taking advantage of low interest rates and seek out new homes for extra bedrooms, home offices, larger backyards and pools.

In Park City’s case, real estate agents and residents say newcomers are lured by access to a near-ubiquitous 600-trail network for hiking and biking and thousands of acres of adjacent open space.

“We’ve worked for years to protect all this land," said Dana Williams, a former mayor, “and it’s turned around to be one of the largest determining factors in purchasing real estate here.”

Open and in-person schools in Utah have also reportedly been a major draw to families with main residences in cities still under restrictions. Many have secured Park City area homes and rentals to give their kids a scholastic foothold in the Beehive State.

Though many longtime residents predict the trend will ultimately grow Park City’s population of about 8,500 permanent residents, Park City School District has actually seen a slight decline in student enrollment so far this year, a top aide to the district superintendent said.

At the same time, a shift to online education at many top college and universities has freed hundreds of affluent students to coalesce into Park City-based collaboration houses, where they’re sharing upscale rental homes or purchases in hopes of skiing through a season of remote learning.

For Shruthi Reddy Kinkead, retired investment banker from New Jersey, her family’s decision to relocate was about those open spaces and a sense of safety they bring.

She had built a long-standing bond with Deer Valley through regular visits, ever since the New Jersey ski enthusiast and her husband, Brian, got married in a mountain ceremony 10 years ago.

Kinkead said they lucked out by bringing the kids' online learning tools with them this March while on their yearly vacation to the family condominium in Deer Valley’s Snow Park. In a few days, she said, school back in Montclair went from normal to online under that state’s COVID-19 lockdowns and travel restrictions, leading the family of four to extend their Utah stay.

The outbreak eventually turned into a tipping point, and they recently bought a home in Summit County’s Park Meadows, switched the kids to area schools and are settling in as residents.

“If something goes bad,” Kinkead said, “at least you can spread out here.”

“You can’t do that in a very densely populated community like Montclair, which we love. It’s very sad to leave it. But at the same time, I think about long-term trends, health and safety, well-being of family, etc. For us, we felt that this is a safer environment to be in.”

Big-dollar circles

Park City’s hot market is also bringing new investors who are buying residential properties in bulk.

Tony Hsieh, ex-CEO of Zappos, the online shoe and clothing retailer, has made a string of purchases of high-end homes, vacant land and other sites in sought-after neighborhoods such as Empire Avenue and Aspen Springs, according to Summit County property records.

His buys in Park City exceed $18 million so far, including a glittering nine-bedroom, 17,350-square-foot lakeside property along Aspen Springs, valued in the range of $4.6 million, records indicate.

Hsieh, a wealthy author and Burning Man enthusiast, reportedly had a large stake in redeveloping portions of Las Vegas before stepping away from Zappos in late August after 20 years with the company.

Asked about similar plans in Park City, a spokesperson for one of Hsieh’s development firms, DTP Cos., told the Las Vegas Review-Journal only that he is “disconnecting” from his usual tech circles for a bit. The firm did not respond to inquiries from The Salt Lake Tribune.

Park City sources say his interests may now extend to some of the town’s distressed retail and hospitality locales.

The Main event

With the Sundance Film Festival, 2002 Winter Olympics and a long-standing marketing focus on year-round appeal, Park City has polished its glitzy side for more than two decades. The latest luxury boom is in the hundreds of homes, and rising, and its largess has had a mixed effect so far on tourist-dependent Main Street.

The mid-March closure of Utah’s ski resorts due to COVID-19 travel restrictions led to at least $153 million in lost visitor spending and wiped out hundreds of seasonal and permanent jobs, according to Visit Park City.

Since then, travel bans have all but gutted a usual hefty schedule of corporate meetings and special events, CEO Bill Malone said. Hotel occupancy numbers by midsummer were still as low as a third of normal and grew more volatile, he said, with families making trip decisions more last minute and often for more solitary unguided fun.

Overall, visitors are at about 50% now for the summer, Malone said.

And while they’ve enjoyed the trails, those extending their Park City stays or buying homes while they work or learn remotely “don’t spend like they’re on vacation,” he said. “You’re not buying a beer or an ice cream cone. You’re not going fly-fishing every day or you’re not taking the kids to alpine slides. So the spending is very different.”

Also uncertain is what kind of ski season this winter will bring, with domestic and international travel still depressed and resorts altering their seasons and protocols.

That will greatly impact the fortunes of historic downtown Park City, with its mix of underground taverns and eateries in close quarters. Though many have made the move to curbside, hospitality business has been shaky for months even as COVID-19 cases in both counties eased and restrictions came off before the state’s latest surge.

Locals say they’re seeing optimistic signs that activity isn’t ebbing as it usually does as the foliage turns. The region is into its shoulder season, between a usual summer peak and whatever version of a winter season this year will bring, and some sectors are looking up from a COVID-19 downturn.

Construction is growing dramatically by Summit County standards as developers chase housing demand, new subdivisions get underway, and some wealthy families launch long-planned custom home projects. The sector has seen a 20% boost in employment or about 400 new jobs since March, the county economic development director said.

Luxury purchases and other sales related to nesting and redecorating have seen an upswing in Park City in recent months. This comes as new arrivals, those on extended stays and people staging homes to sell shop heavily at Main Street’s high-end furniture and lighting stores and art galleries.

Park City’s vital hospitality sector may continue to lag as it navigates a diminished ski season. “But anything that has to do with home furnishings," Henney, the City Council member, said, “is crushing it.”

Luxury, from Hideout to Promontory

Around the region, the lure of luxury and seclusion is taking many forms.

High-end ski resorts such as St. Regis Deer Valley and Stein Eriksen Lodge have developed residential areas alongside their hotels to capture the patronage of well-to-do families vacationing in the Wasatch. That niche could now give them an advantage as other parts of the ski industry sag.

Multimillion-dollar properties with ski-in, ski-out access and built for sale are now being recast going into winter with a COVID-aware emphasis on how exclusive and safe they are, with private butler and dining options, state-of-the-art heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems — and the richness of isolated recreation nearby.

After selling $300 million in private residences added to its main resort building over prior seasons, St. Regis has timed the opening of nine new luxury condos in lower Deer Valley, priced from $2.7 million to $7.2 million apiece, for this November.

Stein Eriksen Lodge is now luring guests to its residential properties with “retreat to the mountains” themes, along with world-standard health and safety features for guests of "paramount importance.”

A new community called Promontory in the Snyderville Basin east of Park City has billed itself as one of the most exclusive and private in the West — an approach taking on new meaning now.

In the spurt of high-end buying since June, the 6,400-acre reserve of multimillion-dollar custom and prebuilt homes with luxury private amenities has landed transplants from Southern California, the Bay Area, New York and Chicago. Developers sold 86 homes or parcels in July and August in Promontory, more than three times as many as in the same window in 2019 — and about a fifth of all transactions in the region for those two months.

Regional effects

Whereas Park City is marketing an exclusive alpine vibe, developers on the mountainsides around Jordanelle Reservoir are catering to incoming homeowners seeking a lake experience, with larger private lots in gated projects, sweeping views and nearby water activities.

Homes around Jordanelle have a median price of $2.08 million and sales are more than a quarter or more higher than this time last year, data shows. Lands around the reservoir could allow for upward of 15,000 new housing units and other development in the years to come under current zoning, planning studies and permit data indicate.

Subdivisions at Tuhaye and the town of Hideout east of Jordanelle — with names like Soaring Hawk, Golden Eagle and Hideout Canyon — are being approved with visions of thousands of incoming residents in a post-pandemic era, according to the town’s elected officials.

Hideout is caught in a controversy over a proposed annexation that would push its northern limits across the line of Wasatch and Summit counties and onto Richardson Flat, for housing and commercial development on Park City’s eastern outskirts. The move has led Summit County to sue to block it.

Homes sales in Heber and environs, where vacation rentals are fewer than in Summit, rose by 14% in the three months ending in June, with demand continuing to rise since and the median price now well above $545,000. There, homes are selling on the merits of big backyards, a more rural community feel and trail access.

Sales of the Wasatch-Summit region’s least expensive housing, located in the Wanship/Hoytsville area, are up 62% over last year. Those homes now go for a median of $485,000, data shows — compared to current median price for the five-county Wasatch Front area of about $343,500.

Deer Valley sees ‘pent-up demand’ as it readies for a socially distanced ski season

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Jul 01, 2020

Deer Valley sees ‘pent-up demand’ as it readies for a socially distanced ski season  

The leader of the resort in a recent appearance during a City Hall-hosted online event said Deer Valley is taking lodging reservations for the next ski season from people in various parts of the U.S. Todd Shallan, who is the president and chief operating officer of Deer Valley, said the top five states for reservations are California, New York, Texas, Colorado and Utah. Shallan added that a business plan relying on regional crowds is not sustainable in the long term.

“I’ve had conversations with people who have said ‘Well, if I can’t fly there from California, I’ll drive. It’s only 10 hours. And I’m going to be there for a week or two weeks, so it doesn’t really matter, I can drive,’” Shallan said.

He predicted there will be crowds at Deer Valley for the ski season made up of local people and skiers from out of town. He also acknowledged there will be limitations based on capacity and ensuring social distancing.

“We will certainly prioritize season-pass holders and will certainly prioritize, you know, local guests as much as we possibly can. But we still have a bunch of lodging in this community that needs to be filled,” Shallan said. “And there’s a lot of people that depend on out-of-town visitors in our community, and our business community. So, there’s got to be a mix of both in order for all of us to be successful.”

Shallan said season-pass sales for the upcoming ski season are strong, which he described as a “great indicator” of the winter. He said lodging reservations for the ski season are also strong and another indicator for the winter.

“We know there’s a lot of pent-up demand. We just want to make sure that we accommodate that demand as safely as we can,” he said.

Shallan described that Deer Valley has not crafted the detailed plans for the ski season yet even though there are many questions about the season, such as the possibility of limiting capacity and social distancing.

Shallan’s comments followed shortly after the CEO of Vail Resorts, the Colorado-based owner of Park City Mountain Resort, addressed the upcoming ski season in a call with Wall Street analysts. Shallan’s comments and the broader ones by Vail Resorts leader Rob Katz provided the Park City community with some of the first direct information from the industry about the upcoming ski season since the spread of the novel coronavirus forced an early end to the 2019-2020 season.

The comments from the two are important even months before the ski season is scheduled to open as they provided at least an early glimpse of what skiers, snowboarders and businesses tied to the ski industry could expect as the season begins for the resorts in November and December.

The chief operating officer of PCMR, Mike Goar, appeared with Shallan during the recent online event. In his comments, Goar said there is an uncertainty regarding air travel and how the ski season could be impacted. Goar agreed with Shallan’s assessment that the local industry cannot rely exclusively on people who live in the region.

“Our business is not sustainable to operate into the future on solely a drive market. That doesn’t work for any of it,” he said.

Goar reinforced the earlier comments from the CEO of Vail Resorts as he spoke about the Southern Hemisphere’s ski season, which is beginning shortly. Katz in his recent comments spoke about learning from the ski season in the Southern Hemisphere, where Vail Resorts has properties. Goar said he is “generally optimistic” as the ski season starts in the Southern Hemisphere, saying operating procedures and social distancing will be monitored.

“We need to learn from the Australian resorts and how they’re managing crowds,” he said.

Article by the Park Record.

Home Buying

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Jun 23, 2020

Homebuyers will ‘gobble up’ houses for sale this summer, according to Barbara Corcoran, host of ABC’s Shark Tank and founder of the Corcoran Group, an New York City-based residential brokerage firm as interviewed by Yahoo! Finance.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. did not have enough homes for sale to meet demand. But with sellers slow to re-enter the market because of the nationwide lockdowns and demand higher than ever, the U.S. has become an even more competitive market, said Corcoran.

For the week ending June 13, inventory was down 27% compared to last year, according to Inventory hit a 25-year low in December 2019, with moderate improvement at the beginning of 2020. But it plunged when the pandemic hit the U.S. in mid-March and sellers pulled their homes off the market, according to an analysis by Odeta Kushi, deputy chief economist for First American Financial Corporation, a a Santa Ana, California-based provider of title insurance, settlement services and risk solutions for real estate transactions.

The coronavirus forced Americans to work from home and redefined how Americans see their home. Some Americans are now looking for new homes with bigger yards, home offices and more square footage, after spending months in lockdown. Studies also show that more buyers are now looking to the suburbs for their next home, according to Redfin. Plus, mortgage rates hit an all-time low this week, incentivizing even more buyers into the market.

When more people want a product than the market can supply, the price goes up. Home prices already rose to an all-time high before the pandemic, as homes in the U.S. sold for an average $384,900 in the first quarter of 2020 — well above highs before the Great Recession, which reached an average of $322,100 in its peak, according to the Federal Reserve of St. Louis.  With heightened demand, homes in the U.S. could get even more expensive this summer, according to economists.

CLICK HERE for the full article.

The 7 Best Places to Après-ski in Park City, Utah

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Feb 27, 2018

Main St. in Park City, UtahRob Hammer/Getty by


By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Dec 12, 2017

(Article by Visit Park City) Park City is filled with cheer during the holiday season! Explore the many ways you, your family, and friends can celebrate:


December 14, 15, 16, 17, 7:30 PM at Egyptian Theatre An annual holiday variety show at the Egyptian Theatre, the Park City Holiday Spectacular and Sing-A-Long! is a perfect way to get you and your family in the holiday spirit. The show features a choir-led sing-a-long with local talent. More information and tickets available on the Egyptian Theatre website.


December 16, 5:30 PM at Town Lift Plaza An annual holiday tradition in Park City, join the merriment as Santa and his magical sleigh come down Town Lift. It’s a sight to be seen and a fun way to celebrate with family, friends, as well as the community. Once Santa lands his sleigh, he will be available for photos by EpicMix.


December 16, 7:00 PM at Dejoria Center A free Christmas concert hosted at the Dejoria Center in Kamas, features the Wasatch Back Choir and Orchestra, Caribbean recording artist, Marj Desius, Shrink the Giant, and more.  Doors open at 6:30 PM. All ages are welcome.


December 16-31 at Park City Mountain Park City Mountain’s 16-day winter festival, Snowfest, includes a variety of live music, village entertainment and other festivities daily. Explore specifics on Park City Mountain’s event calendar


December 24, 9:00 AM-1:30 PM at Deer Valley Resort Spend time Christmas Eve visiting with Santa Claus at Deer Valley Resort. Santa will visit with guests from 9:00-11:00 AM in the Snow Park Lodge area before heading to Silver Lake from 12:00-1:30 PM. Bring your camera along for a photo op!


December 24, 5:30 PM at Park City Base Area A 55-year-old tradition, the Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade returns to the slopes to help ignite the holiday spirit. Bring your friends and family for holiday music at the Park City Base Area at 5:30 PM, before the parade kicks off at 6:00 PM.


Choose from a variety of Park City area restaurants to celebrate the holidays with. From black-tie soirees to 4, 5, and 7-course prix-fixe menus, you will leave with a full heart and full stomach. Explore the full list of specials on the Park City Area Restaurant’s website


December 28, 9:00 PM at O.P. Rockwell What better way to enjoy Christmas week than with a little Robert Randolph and the Family Band at O.P. Rockwell? Recently nominated for a 2018 Grammy Award for the Best Contemporary Blues Album, Robert Randolph and the Family Band is a show you don’t want to miss! Door opens at 8:00 PM and show starts at 9:00 PM. Tickets may be purchased in advance.


December 30, 6:00 PM at Deer Valley Resort Held on the resort’s Big Stick ski run on Bald Eagle Mountain, Deer Valley Resort’s annual Torchlight Parade is a don’t-miss Christmas Eve event. The parade begins at dusk, around 6:00 PM, with complimentary cookies and hot cider served in Snow Park Plaza.


December 31, 3:00-8:00 PM at Canyons Village Fireworks, fire pits, hot cocoa, and live music – we can’t think of a better way to kick off your New Year’s Eve celebrations. Held at Park City Mountain’s Canyons Village, the event is fun for all ages. Park at the Cabriolet Lot, or utilize Park City’s free transportation system.


December 31, 9:00 PM at O.P. Rockwell Join Badfeather, a five-piece local band from Salt Lake City, as they help kick off the New Year at O.P. Rockwell. Badfeather blends classic rock with soul, funk, and a little country-folk boogie. Show starts at 9:00 PM and tickets may be purchased in advance.


December 31, 8:00 PM at Park City Live Ring in the New Year with Park City Live’s Black & White Masquerade. An annual event, this year’s bash features DJ Ross One from New York City.  Party kicks off at 8:00 PM and tickets may be purchased in advance.



By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Oct 10, 2017

Fall in Utah Will is a Never-ending Scenic Drive

Here's some of our must-drive scenic routes through the months of September, October and November. Grab your chai-pumpkin-spiced-latte drink thing, a sweater, and your camera. It's going to be awesome.

Brigham City to Logan to Bear Lake

Follow US 89-91 from Brigham City north to Logan via Sardine Canyon (25 miles). Continue northeast from Logan on US 89 to Bear Lake through Logan Canyon (now a National Scenic Byway) and the Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Read More

Ogden Canyon to Huntsville to Woodruff

Follow UT 39 (Ogden Canyon) east from Ogden into the Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Read More

Ogden to Weber Canyon to Parley's Canyon to East Canyon to Emigration to Salt Lake City

Follow I-84 southeast from Ogden to the Morgan exit. Take UT 66 south to East Canyon State Park and UT 65. Continue south on UT 65 along Pioneer Memorial Highway to I-80. Take I-80 west to Salt Lake City.

Bountiful Peak Drive

This route connects Bountiful and Farmington on unpaved roads in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest. You can take the Lagoon exit in Farmington, head east to Main Stree and then stay on 600 north, and ends at 100 East. Merge onto Farmington Canyon Road.

Parley's Canyon to Emigration Canyon

This is a Salt Lake area version of tour #3a 25-mile loop tour along I-80 and Emigration Canyon. Near the entrance to Emigration Canyon, you'll pass by two landmarks: Hogle Zoo and This Is The Place Heritage Park. Other nearby sites: Fort Douglas (site of Olympic Village during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games) and the University of Utah. Option: follow I-80 east to Park City.

Big Cottonwood Canyon to Solitude to Brighton

In Salt Lake City, get off I-215 at Exit 6 and follow UT 190 south to the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon. Turn left here. UT 190 continues up this canyon. As you head up the canyon, you enter the Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Toward the top of the canyon, you'll pass Solitude Mountain Resort en route to the village of Brighton and Brighton Resort. Read More

Big Cottonwood Canyon to Guardsman's Pass to Park City to Heber Valley

Same directions to Big Cottonwood Canyon (preceding tour). Just below the village of Brighton, take the Guardsman's Pass road over the mountain to either Park City or Heber. Look for the signs. You'll make a left turn just after Solitude Resort.

Little Cottonwood Canyon

Get off I-215 south at Exit 6, then proceed south on UT 190. Continue straight through the Big Cottonwood Canyon intersection. The route becomes UT 210. Follow this road, which becomes Little Cottonwood Canyon (UT 210). The route ascends into the Wasatch-Cache National Forest. En route to Snowbird and Alta. Read More

Kamas to Mirror Lake

This 30-mile drive on UT 150 takes you from Kamas into the Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Read More

Alpine Loop - One of Utah's Most Spectacular Scenic Drives

Take UT 92 east from the Alpine / Timpanogos Cave National Monument exit #284 off I-15, or exit #272 off I-15 in Orem and take UT 52 east to US 189 to UT 92. UT 92-The Alpine Loop carves through dramatic mountain terrain as it traverses the Uinta National Forest. Regional sites include Provo Canyon, Bridal Veil Falls, Cascade Springs, Mt. Timpanogos, Tibble Fork Reservoir, Timpanogos Cave and Sundance Village. Read More

Vernal - Red Cloud Loop

Views of towering mountains highlight this route accessed 14 miles north of Vernal.Read More

Flaming Gorge - Uintas - Wildlife through the Ages National Scenic Byway

Running between Vernal and Manila on US Highway 191 and Utah Highway 44, this byway climbs foothills and major geological formations that go back a billion years and reveal the core of the Uinta Mountains near Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. Read More

Mt Nebo Scenic Loop

At 11,877 feet, Mt. Nebo is one of Utah's highest peaks. Access to this tour starts on the north side of the loop in Payson or from the south via UT 132 east of Nephi. Although the route is entirely paved, it is unsuitable for large RV's, large motorhomes and large trailers. Route covers large forest recreation area in the Uinta National Forest. Read More

Skyline Drive

The "backbone" of central Utah, the Skyline Drive winds along the Wasatch Plateau through the Manti La Sal and Fishlake National Forests. Read More

Price - Castle Valley

Several roads and canyons surrounding Price offer colorful autumn drives including Price Canyon (US 6), Indian Canyon (Scenic Byway US 191 from Helper to Duchesne) and Nine Mile Canyon

UT 10 between Price and I-70 provides access to the Manti-LaSal National Forest

Once in Fairview, you can head south on US 89 (Utah's Heritage Highway)

Tushar Plateau

This 40-mile drive on UT 153 connects Beaver and Junction, Utah, through the southern end of the high Fishlake National Forest.

Fish Lake Plateau

Take UT 25 from its junction with UT 24 between Burrville and Loa northeast to Fish Lake. The east fork of UT 25 meets UT 72 5 miles north of Fremont. Option: continue east from Loa on UT 24 to Capitol Reef National Park. Read More

Aquarius Plateau to Capitol Reef National Park to Boulder Mountain

Access these destinations via UT 24 at Torrey or UT 12 at Escalante. These routes cut through the southern tier of the high Dixie National Forest and it is advisable to carry a good area map. Although it is major south-central Utah highway, UT 12 between Boulder and Escalante is not for the faint of heart! Called the Hogsback, this segment of UT 12 features steep drop-offs on both sides of the road. See the "All American Road" that follows. Read More

Highway 12 - All American Road

Highway 12, a showcase of dramatic, naturally-sculpted sandstone, winds its way through some of the most stunning geography in the United States--Bryce Canyon National Park, the Grand-Staircase Escalante National Monument, Capitol Reef National Park and thousands of acres of the Dixie National Forest. Although this route has been chronicled for years by the travel and automobile-enthusiast press, it defies description and must be seen first-hand. Read More

LaSal Mountain Drive

Take UT 128 east from Moab for 16 miles along the Colorado River. Then turn right (southeast) onto County Road 73 that leads into Castle Valley. As you proceed through Castle Valley, you'll ascend into the Manti-LaSal National Forest. Although this route is paved, it may be temporarily impassable in case of snow. Due to several hairpin turns, parts of this route, particularly on the Castle Valley side, are unsuitable for large RV's, large motorhomes and large trailers. Top regional destinations include Canyonlands National Park, Arches National Park, Dead Horse Point State Park.

Highway 211 from Junction with US 191 to Canyonlands National Park

Called the Indian Creek Scenic Byway, this route begins at the junction with US 191 fourteen miles north of Monticello. Drive west on the two-lane paved road across a high sage plain before descending into a series of 'switchbacks' to Newspaper Rock--a sheltered alcove featuring rock art by several different ancient American cultures. Beyond Newspaper Rock the Byway continues through Indian Creek Canyon where cottonwood trees glow in gold...surrounded by red sandstone cliffs. The cottonwoods follow Indian Creek down to Dugout Ranch. Views encompass North and South Sixshooter Peaks. Cliffs rising from the valley floor reach 1,000+ feet to the Canyon Rims Recreation Area and Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands. Read More

Harts Draw Road from the Junction with Utah Highway 211

On the return trip from Indian Creek Scenic Byway (previous tour), three miles east of the 'switchbacks' and eight miles from the junction with US 191, you come to the junction of the Harts Draw Road. Turn south and start an easy climb on this paved two-lane road into the Manti La Sal National Forest.

Utah Highway 46 from US 191 east to the Colorado border

Resting on the southern slope of the Manti La Sal National Forest

Cedar Breaks National Monument to Brian Head to Dixie National Forest

The drive from Parowan up to the mountain resort community of Brian Head. A less challenging route that presents some of Utah's most stunning fall colors is UT 143 from Panguitch up to Cedar Breaks. The area around the junction of UT 143 and the Sidney Valley Road in particular hosts massive aspen groves that tend toward red in mid-late September. Regional attractions include Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks. Read More

St. George to Zion National Park

You are deep in the heart of "Utah's Dixie" now. Take UT 9 off I-15 and proceed east through the Virgin River Valley to Springdale and Zion National Park. Option: continue east on UT 9 through Zion to US 89, then north to UT 12 and on to Bryce Canyon National Park. Read More

Bryce Canyon National Park

The red rock spires, pinnacles and canyons of this Utah landmark form a perfect setting for the golden aspens that line the amphitheaters of Bryce Canyon. Reach Bryce Canyon from UT 12. At the junction of UT 12 and UT 63 turn south toward Ruby's Inn. No matter what your point of origin, you'll wind up on UT 12, the All American Road described above in the Aquarius Plateau tour. The drive from the junction of US 89 and UT 12 east to the Bryce turnoff at UT 63 takes you through the Dixie National Forest and Red Canyon, a brilliant "teaser" of what's ahead at Bryce. Read More

Trail Safety 101: When You Meet a Moose - By: Michaela Wagner

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Sep 20, 2017

Shutterstock 505376329 zjfogp

Moose are frequently spotted in and around Park City, but they’re not likely to be friendly if you get too close. Image: Shutterstock

If you’ve spent any time of Park City’s trails, you’ve probably spotted a moose or two. Around these parts, moose are even known to wander into town to take a stroll down Main Street (much to the delight of out-of-town visitors) or attack local gardens. Presumably, most people who live here know how to handle themselves around these notoriously irritable animals, but it’s always worth mentioning again for those of us who just can’t seem to help wanting to get closer.

If You Meet a Moose

  • Give the moose plenty of space and DO NOT approach it. Keep at least 50 feet between yourself and the moose while you walk past slowly. From a distance, a moose may simply be content to watch you warily or move away, but if you get closer, your presence might agitate it.
  • Make sure your dog is leashed and under control. The moose will likely decide you and/or your dog is a threat if your pup is running around and barking. Moose will not hesitate to kick a dog, which can be lethal.
  • Don’t get between a mama moose and her calves. If you happen upon a female, be extra careful to assess the scene in case she has little ones nearby. Baby moose are vulnerable to a number of predators, including cougars and bears, so mothers won’t hesitate to aggressively defend their young.

Reasons a Moose Might Charge & Signs of Aggression

Just like other animals, moose have their way of telling you their feeling threatened. An angry moose will likely pin its ears back, lower its head, or raise the hackles along its shoulders. If the moose starts moving towards you, it’s a crystal clear message for you to run and get under cover if possible. Usually, if you stay well away from them, moose will simply run away or eye you suspiciously as you pass. A stressed, cornered, or harassed moose, however, might decide to charge. Bull moose are more aggressive and particularly dangerous in September and October during the mating season while cows get prickly during the late spring during calving season.

If A Moose Charges

Should a moose decide to charge you, your only option is to run and take cover. Moose can reach speeds of 30+ m.p.h. so you probably won’t outrun it for long, but at least you’re not going to trigger a predatory response. Your best bet is to try find some kind of cover or climb up a tree if you have time. If the moose catches up and knocks you down, curl into a ball, cover your head as much as you can, and don’t move until the moose leaves. Getting up might make the moose think you’re a renewed threat.

Remember, if your provoke a moose, you’re setting yourself up for a loss since they’re much bigger and more dangerous than you. Best to make some noise, stay away, and let it go about its day.

A Foodie's Guide to Historic Park City - By Jenny Willden

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Sep 04, 2017

A Foodie's Guide to Historic Park City by

FoodNestled between two world-class ski resorts high above Salt Lake City, the former mining town of Park City is best known for its Olympic history and Sundance Film Festival. In recent years, however, the town has also earned itself a fine reputation as a year-round cuisine hot spot. Historic Main Street is the epicenter of this fun, foodie culture, and whether you’re craving the town’s best avocado toast, a rib-eye steak, or just a handcrafted cocktail, you’ll find it here.

Eye Openers

Get your buzz on at Pink Elephant Coffee, a locally owned café tucked above Prospect, a hip clothing boutique on Historic Main Street. The husband-wife team roasts all the coffee beans and makes perfect pourover brews. If you’re thirsting for something cooler, try a cold-pressed juice from Land Juicery, which shares Pink Elephant’s space.

When you need more than a cup of joe to kickstart your day, head to family-run favorite*[Atticus Coffee and Teahous*e]( on Lower Main Street for healthy breakfast favorites. Try a Buddha Bowl, chai-infused oatmeal with dried fruits, caramelized walnuts, cinnamon, and honey drizzle paired with a housemade tea latte.

A block off Main Street, newcomerHarvest specializes in trendy, healthy favorites, like paleo banana bread and smashed avocado toast. For an alternative to coffee, try their steaming Golden Mylk, a fusion of turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, pepper, and coconut milk.

Burgers and BBQ

For Park City’s best burger, head straight to No Name Saloon for a world famous buffalo burger. This local haunt is easily Park City’s most popular bar and the year-round heated patio is the best spot for people watching on Main Street.

Firewood is one of Main Street’s hottest new restaurants—literally. Everything’s cooked on open-flame grills with chef-selected wood like cedar and cherry to enhance the flavors. Whether you have a hankerin’ for Kobe rib eye, wild salmon, or smoked pork chops, you’ll find it at Firewood, paired with seasonally changing sides and vegetables. Guests can watch their dinner being prepared through windows separating the chic dining area from the kitchen. After dining, venture downstairs to the Nickel Bar for a handcrafted cocktail made with local liquor.

Budget Bests

When you’re looking to save money or feed a crowd, there’s no better place thanDavanza’s on Park Avenue. Opened in 1979, the 1,400 square-foot space packs in people seeking hearty street-style tacos and thin crust pizzas topped with homemade marinara sauce. Enjoy patio views of Park City’s beautiful mountains or inside seating amidst vintage beer cans.

Find no-fuss, authentic Mexican cuisine atBlue Iguana, at the top of Main in the heart of Historic Park City. Try the enchiladas smothered with their famous mole served with unlimited chips and fresh salsa.

Quick and Easy

For on-the-go dining, head toRiverhorse Provisions, a grocery café that’s the baby sister of Riverhorse on Main, one of Park City’s oldest and most venerated restaurants. Whether you’re heading on a hike or to an outdoor concert, Riverhorse Provisions at the top of Main is the place to pick up summer salads, veggie wraps, and gourmet grocery goods.

Divine Desserts

When you’re craving something sweet, visit award-winning American eatery, Handle for Park City’s best desserts. From creamy caramel pudding in a jar to rhubarb pie with brown sugar ice cream, this inventive eatery concocts incredible seasonal sweets, and one dish just isn’t enough.

For daytime desires, grab funky-flavored tiny donuts atPeace Love and Little Donuts on Lower Main Street. Choose from classics like glazed and sugared, or go wild with maple bacon, salted chocolate, and raspberry lemonade flavors.

For all the taste of camping without sleeping outside, head to High West Distillery and Saloonfor a gourmet s'more. Made for sharing, this giant treat starts with a molasses graham cracker stacked with a melted homemade marshmallow, and topped with dark chocolate from Salt Lake's Millcreek Cacao Roasters.

Late Night Libations

Now that you have food in your belly, it’s time to hit the town at Park City’s best bars. Start with a charcuterie plate and the "Official Wine of Apres" atOld Town Cellars, a tasting room that blends grapes from popular wine regions to create its own private label blends.

Next, visit the historic garage turned gastro distillery,High West Distillery and Saloon, for western mountain cuisine and cocktails made with their award-winning bourbons, ryes, and vodkas. Try the spiked High West Lemonade, which partners lemonade spiced with cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, and cloves spiked with vodka or bourbon and fresh mint. For an authentically Irish experience high in Utah’s mountains, stop byFlanagans Irish Bar on Main for a pint of Guinness or an Irish whiskey. A true local haunt, Flanagan’s cottage pub feel is a cozy place to gather with friends new and old.

Whether you’re looking to drink or dine, a stroll along Park City’s Historic Main Street is the perfect complement to whatever cuisine fills your belly. Great food, mountain air, and friendly locals add up to an experience that has helped earned Park City the well-deserved reputation as one of the best destinations in Utah.

Originally written for Utah Office of Tourism.

The Millennial Effect - By Beth Rinehart

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Aug 22, 2017

The Millennial Effect By Beth Rinehart It has become a reality: The fun-loving, selfie-taking, phone-hooked generation known as ‘Millennials’ can afford homes. While some people may still think of them as young kids, they’re all grown up—and they are becoming homeowners. Millennials — those born post 1980 through the early 2000s — are moving out of their childhood homes and forming their own households. Millennials now make up 42 percent of all homebuyers and 56 percent of the nation’s first-time homebuyers. They are a dominant force in the housing market, and according to a recent Pew Research Center report, have surpassed the baby boomers as the largest living generation.

Many Millennials experienced, firsthand, the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression. During the downturn, many of them graduated from college, entered the job market, and discovered that finding a job proved to be exceedingly difficult. Although the housing bubble contributed to the decline of the stock market in the late 2000s, studies have shown that currently Millennials are the most enthusiastic generation in relation to real estate, and they are turning away from stocks, because they believe real estate is a more profitable investment.

“Millennials are showing especially strong increases in job confidence and income gains, a necessary precursor for increased housing demand from first-time homebuyers,” says Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae, in a CNBC report by Diana Olick.

This strong sense of financial gain and confidence in the real estate market bodes well for the continuing trend of Millennials settling down and purchasing homes.

What Millennials Want As Millennials become homeowners, it’s important for sellers (and investors) to know what they are looking for in a home.

“Millennials want simplicity and convenience,” says Will Cooper, President of Business Development at Berkshire Hathaway Utah Properties, and the father of four Millennials. “Turn-key homes that are close to work and their friends. Millennials are typically climbing the career ladder, have high student loan debt, and can’t afford to make updates on their homes.”

Since most Millennial homebuyers have tight budgets due to college costs and constricted salary increases, the majority of their savings goes toward purchasing their homes. Updated kitchens and bathrooms provide a vast advantage for budget-conscious Millennials. Most Millennial buyers are happy to make some updates to their homes, but they realize the kitchen and bathrooms are the most expensive to renovate.

There are a few “must haves” on most Millennial homebuyers’ lists; at the top are location, open and multifunctional spaces, low maintenance properties and technologically efficient, green, sustainable homes. They follow current trends, in that they prefer open floor plans and space for entertaining, as opposed to sectioned-off kitchen, living, and dining rooms.

If there’s one room they are looking for, it’s a home office. With an increasing number of companies moving out of corporate offices and into work-from-home spaces, having a dedicated work area is important for Millennials.

Additional sought-after items include: smart home features, energy efficiency and low or no homeowner association dues. Because they use cell phones constantly, most Millennials see value in the ability to control their homes with their phones. Home value may increase or diminish, based on cell signals inside the home or available internet providers.

The manner in which Millennials search for homes is also changing; the majority search for homes on their phones, tablets or computers. Online photos essential in capturing the interest of a Millennial. Without professional photos showing the home in its best light, many Millennials will move on before ever stepping foot in the door. But, once they’re interested in a home, they rely on the expertise of their local Realtor® to decipher often inaccurate, or incomplete, information found on the internet.

Due to the “reality TV effect,” they are more likely to notice and comment on whether or not a home has been staged or decorated. Millennials expect a home to look as though it could be featured in the “after” shots of a HGTV program.

So if you want your home to appeal to the Millennial generation—with their cellphone in one hand and a venti-no-foam-extra-shot-almond-milk latte in the other — think contemporary, think technological, think green, and think: Designer Home Show ready.

Park City named one of the 'most stunning' mountain locations in the nation - Deseret News

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Aug 02, 2017

Scott Cramer - Dusk View of Park City Glowing. Scenic village from above with cool blue dusk light and glowing warm lights. Dusk View of Park City Glowing, a hotel and travel information website, just ranked the “most stunning” mountain travel spots across the country.

And Park City made the list.

The list showed off popular and “stunning mountain destinations” that aren’t near major cities.

Rather, the list displays places travelers will need to visit on their own.

“Not all of us have the pleasure of living in major U.S. cities like Seattle, Denver, and Los Angeles, where mountain views are a part of the daily routine,” the list’s description reads. “Most of us will have to travel to get our fill of these scenic natural creations, which were formed as a result of Earth's tectonic plates smashing together.”

The list doesn’t include a numbered ranking.

Park City sits toward the middle of the list. celebrates the city’s proximity to the Salt Lake City International Airport and “its legendary powder skiing.”

“While you're in town, head for Main Street, which is lined with 19th-century buildings that were built during the silver mining boom. Park City residents also support the arts with indoor and outdoor music venues, while the town hosts the Sundance Film Festival each January,” the Park City description reads.

Tullruide, Colorado, also made the list as an alternative mountain destination to Denver.

The list also includes spots such as Yosemite, California; Taos, New Mexico; and Stowe, Vermont.

Travel and Leisure previously gave Park City the No. 1 spot for top mountain towns.

The survey results were based off reader responses, which answered questions about travelers’ favorite spots. Readers were also asked to rank locations on affordability, restaurants and public parks.

Readers most enjoyed the city’s galleries, restaurants and theaters.

Park City ranked ahead of Taos and Asheville on that list.

“When the local mines closed, Park City, Utah, turned its ambitions above ground — to its 7,000 acres of Olympic-level ski terrain — helping it transition into one of the country’s premier resort destinations, and this year’s favorite mountain town,” according to Travel and Leisure.

In unrelated rankings, Park City also topped a USA Today list for its s’mores.

America’s 20 Best Mountain Bike Towns

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Jun 15, 2017

America’s 20 Best Mountain Bike Towns

To foster authentic bike culture, a town needs more than just high quality trails. These 20 mountain bike hamlets around the country (in no particular order) offer bucket-list rides, new trail development, a variety of outdoor recreation, and a fun, bike-friendly vibe. Bike on.

2017 SUMMER CONCERT ROUND UP by Emma Prysunka

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
May 31, 2017

2017 SUMMER CONCERT ROUND UP by Emma Prysunka

While Park City is often recognized as a world-class winter resort destination, summers here are truly magical.  Perfect temperatures, 400+ miles of easy-access trails, outdoor deck dining galore, and let us not forget the plethora of live music and outdoor concert venues.  Park City and Summit County’s live music scene is booming, and includes something for every budget (some are FREE!) and every taste.

DEER VALLEY MUSIC FESTIVAL - SUMMER HOME OF THE UTAH SYMPHONY/UTAH OPERA (USUO) When: Throughout the summer, starting in July Where: Deer Valley Resort’s Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater/various locations throughout Park City The Deer Valley Music Festival is the summer home to the Utah Symphony/Utah Opera.  Enjoy a unique variety of classical, chamber, and pops music at the Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater at Deer Valley Resort.  Where else can you see Patti Austin performing the songs of Ella Fitzgerald alongside the Utah Symphony? Deer Valley offers a variety of delicious concessions during these performances, or, if you’d rather, you may bring your own picnic basket and your favorite beverages into the venue. Explore the full summer 2017 lineup. Deer Valley Summer Concert Symphony

ST. REGIS BIG STARS BRIGHT NIGHTS, A PROGRAM OF THE PARK CITY INSTITUTE When: Throughout the summer, starting July Where: Deer Valley Resort’s Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater Live performances by your favorite stars and crisp mountain air with a beautiful Park City backdrop – what could be better? This year’s Big Stars Bright Nights concert series features artists like Aloe Blacc, X Ambassadors, Melissa Etheridge and Kellie Pickler. All shows take place at Deer Valley Resort’s Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater, where seating ranges from assigned lawn chairs close to the stage, to lawn seating where it is BYOB – bring your own blanket (and beer!).  Picnic baskets and outside beverages are allowed. Buy your tickets here.

CANYONS VILLAGE FREE SUMMER CONCERT SERIES When: Saturday evenings, starting in July Where: Canyons Village, Park City Mountain Resort Grab your dancing shoes, your family, and a blanket for these summertime concerts at Canyons Village, hosted by Park City Mountain Resort.  The stage, located on the hill just above Canyons Village base area, allows for scenic views of the resort area and Snyderville Basin. This concert series highlights musical acts from across the U.S., and they always get the crowd moving.  Picnics are welcome. Canyons Village Summer Concert Photo credit: Park City Mountain Resort 

GRAND VALLEY BANK COMMUNITY CONCERT SERIES AT DEER VALLEY RESORT When: Wednesday evenings, starting in June Where: Deer Valley Resort’s Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater This free concert series, held at the picturesque Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater at Deer Valley Resort, is a consistent favorite among locals and visitors alike. Grab a picnic, your favorite beverages, and a blanket, and allow an array of local and visiting musicians serenade you as you take in the beautiful Park City sunsets. The temperature cools off once the sun sets behind the mountains, so don’t forget a few warm layers.

DEJORIA CENTER SUMMER CONCERT SERIES  When: Thursday evenings, starting in June Where: Dejoria Center, Kamas A new addition to the list of Summit County music venues, Dejoria Center is located about 15 minutes from Park City in Kamas, UT and will offer free outdoor concerts every Thursday evening. Enjoy live music on the patio, accompanied by a beautiful backdrop of both the Uinta and Wasatch mountain ranges, before grabbing a bite to eat at the recently opened State Road Tavern or Bar Josephine. Dejoria Center will host a variety of other live entertainment throughout the summer, including their "First Friday" concert series. High Star Ranch

SILVER STAR CAFE When: Throughout the summer, starting in May Where: Silver Star Café, 1825 Three Kings Drive Located just off the beaten path, Silver Star Café is a rustic, cozy café, with delicious food, wine, beer and cocktails, accompanied by a beautiful outdoor seating area and a variety of live music offerings throughout the summer. Enjoy views of the Uinta Mountains, the Park City Golf Course, and Park City Mountain Resort as you listen to talented local musicians throughout the summer. Their 2017 summer lineup is something to get excited about! Silver-Star-Cafe Photo credit: Silver Star Cafe 

NEWPARK AMPHITHEATER When: Thursday evenings, June through August Where: Newpark Town Center (Kimball Junction) Located in the Kimball Junction area of Park City, Newpark Town Center’s Amphitheater sits between restaurants, shopping, and with Swaner Nature Preserve serving as a most perfect backdrop.  This free venue is incredibly family friendly, and offers a great space and environment for children to play.  The lineup for this free concert series features acts from all over the U.S.  Bring a cooler with your favorite local beer and some snacks, or grab a bite at one of the many restaurants in the Newpark area after the show.

WOODENSHOE PARK IN PEOA When: Friday evenings, starting in June Where: Woodenshoe Park, Peoa Peoa, UT is a small town, located just outside of Park City in Summit County and its outdoor concert venue, located in Woodenshoe Park, plays a large role in the vibrancy and sense of community created within the town.  Every Friday night throughout the summer, members of the Peoa community and greater Summit County join together for an evening of BBQing and dancing along to live music among family, friends, and neighbors.

Wait-- there is more! Check out Mountain Town Music’s website for a complete schedule of Park City summer concerts, some of which include:

  • Park Silly Sunday Farmers’ Market: Every Sunday, starting June 4, during Park Silly Farmers’ Market, stages are set up along Historic Main Street and feature local musicians
  • During Savor the Summit, June 17, Historic Main Street
  • Billy Blanco’s at Quarry Village: Every Sunday at 4:00 PM, starting in June

America's Greatest Places You Absolutely Have to Visit During Spring- By Jay Gentile

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
May 23, 2017

spring destinations
Antoni Murcia/Shutterstock
Sean Kurdziolek/Shutterstock
key largo florida
Lawrence Cruciana/Shutterstock
gulf shores alabama
Erika Goldring/WireImage/Getty Images
Antelope Valley, California
new orleans
Erika Goldring/Getty Images
Texas Hill Country
Dean Fikar/shutterstock
Shenandoah National Park
Jon Bilous/Shutterstock
Brockway Mountain, Michigan
Bonita R. Cheshier/Shutterstock
Breckenridge, Colorado
Park City, Utah
Johnny Adolphson/shutterstock

How to Experience Heber Valley's Luxurious Side - By Jenna Herzog

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
May 12, 2017

How to Experience Heber Valley's Luxurious Side, by Park City, UT
Heber Valley makes the perfect setting for a scenic and luxurious getaway.
Heber Valley makes the perfect setting for a scenic and luxurious getaway.

Approximately 40 miles from the bustle of Salt Lake City lies the hidden gem of Heber Valley. Nestled in the foothills of the impressive Wasatch Mountains and brimming with opportunities for year-round recreation, cozy lodging, and elegant dining, Heber Valley makes the perfect setting for a scenic and luxurious getaway.

Day 1

Whether planning a summer escape or a snowy winter vacation, the St. Regis Hotel at Deer Valley puts visitors within close reach of all that Heber Valley has to offer. With an ideal location in Park City at the base of the Deer Valley Resort, guests can head straight to the ski slopes in the winter, or the mountain biking and hiking trails in the summer. No matter what time of year, the St. Regis is known for its dining, exceptional spa, luxurious rooms and suites, and awe-inspiring mountain views. (For a complete guide to Heber Valley lodging options, click here).

Planning the perfect weekend in Heber Valley is all about tailoring your days around the activities of your choosing. Winter visitors at St. Regis will have ski-in, ski-out access to the slopes of Deer Valley Resort, which boasts 2,026 acres of groomed trails and more chairlifts than any other resort in Utah. Guests looking to mix it up can drive two minutes up the road to Park City Mountain Resort, where both skiers and snowboarders are welcome to enjoy the largest skiable terrain in the United States, featuring more than 300 trails.

Meanwhile, summer in Heber Valley offers opportunities for for many activities, including hiking, biking, fishing, boating, golfing, and simply relaxing by the mountains. Head to Deer Creek State Park for some of the state’s best fishing prospects, as well as boating, sailing, windsurfing, and swimming in the mountain-ringed Deer Creek Reservoir. Jordanelle State Park, situated along the Jordanelle Reservoir outside of Heber City, provides another great option for those looking to take a dip in the water or cast a fishing line.

Golfers will be in paradise in Heber Valley, with five award-winning golf courses to choose from, each boasting incredible mountain scenery. Just north of the town of Midway, Wasatch Mountain State Park features two golf courses: the gentler Lake Course and the more challenging Mountain Course, both carved right into the mountain and marked by pleasantly cool summer temperatures.

The Wasatch Range is also home to two golf courses at Soldier Hollow, where golfers are treated to spectacular views of Heber Valley down below. In the valley itself is another beautiful golf course, Crater Springs, an 18-hole championship course that nestled between the mountains. You’ll also find dining options for the whole family, ranging from casual sandwiches to Simon’s Restaurant, which features classic American fare made with fresh, local ingredients.

After a day spent on the slopes, by the water, or out on the golf course, savor the farm-to-table cuisine and excellent wine selection at St. Regis Deer Valley’s J&G Grill. Sample fresh meats, fish and salads from the menu designed by famous chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and sip a glass of wine, craft beer, or a specialty cocktail all while taking in the mountain views through the floor-to-ceiling windows. For the true wine aficionado, spend the evening in the St. Regis Wine Vault tasting from its cellar of more than 14,000 bottles.

Day 2

The next day, save time for the most unique experience Heber Valley has to offer: Homestead Crater. Located in the town of Midway, this geothermal spring is enclosed by 55-foot tall limestone walls and stays within a perfect temperature range of 90 to 96 degrees Fahrenheit every day of the year. The crater’s opening brings in fresh air and a stream of sunlight, making Homestead Crater an ideal setting for a mineral-water soak, scuba diving, snorkeling, or a guided paddleboard yoga session.

Visitors enter the crater through the rock tunnel constructed from the ground level of the property, then walk down to the wooden decks alongside the spring for easy access to the water. Bring a bathing suit for a therapeutic soak in the spring, or rent snorkeling equipment to explore beneath the surface. Experienced scuba divers can enjoy the warm waters on their own, while those interested in taking lessons and getting certified can do so in Homestead Crater as well.

After visiting Homestead Crater, indulge in an equally unique dining experience at the Blue Boar Inn & Restaurant in Midway. This one-of-a-kind restaurant has earned an exceptionally high Zagat rating of 26, as well as the Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence. With an elegant combination of classic European and American styles, the ambiance of the Blue Boar Inn sets the scene for five-star cuisine. Executive Chef Eric May mirrors this European and American fusion with the three-course menu, which changes seasonally to feature the freshest ingredients and herbs from the Inn’s garden. Enjoy your evening in the formal dining room or al fresco on the restaurant’s Hinterhof outdoor patio in the summer.

Looking to create your perfect weekend in Heber Valley? Check out its schedule of events to see just how much there is to do.


By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Apr 11, 2017


by Visit Park City

Park City’s food scene continues to evolve and grow, adding a different spice to a town once known for being a mecca specifically for outdoor enthusiasts.  With its variety of flavors, Park City’s restaurants truly have something for everyone – regardless of taste.  In addition to a long list of new eateries, some of the Park City favorites have redone their spaces and menus as well.

FIREWOOD ON MAIN Firewood brings unique and interesting flavors to Park City’s Historic Main Street, as it is committed to serving a menu cooked entirely by firewood.  The menu’s bold flavors pair well with the restaurant’s luxurious and rich, yet welcoming environment. Firewood opened in mid-December of 2016 and serves dinner from 5:30-9:30 PM Sunday-Thursday, and from 5:30-10:00 PM Friday and Saturday.

FIVE5EEDS After opening its doors in December of 2016, Five5eeds has kept with its motto of Great Food. Serious Coffee. The café utilizes seasonal and local ingredients to create delicious, Australian-inspired dishes, and an exceptional restaurant environment.  A delicious option for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or a quick treat, Five5eeds is open seven days a week from 7:30 AM-3:00 PM.

FRESHIES LOBSTER CO. Fresh Maine lobster… in Utah? Freshies Lobster Co. promises its customers lobster that arrives from the Maine shore to the Utah store in 24 hours. Freshies was established in 2009 with a food truck that they set up at the Park Silly Sunday Market and area farmers markets, and in December 2016 opened a café on Prospector Drive.  The café menu not only features their classic lobster rolls, but has soups, salads, and sandwiches, too! Open Monday-Saturday from 11:00 AM-8:00 PM and Sunday from 11:00 AM-3:00 PM, you can now satisfy your craving for an authentic Maine lobster roll seven days a week.

HARVEST CAFÉ A quaint café located near the bottom of Historic Main Street, Harvest’s menu includes Australian-inspired breakfast, lunch, and tasty coffee.  Harvest Café opened its doors in mid-November 2016 with fresh, simple decor, and fantastic natural light. The eatery prides itself on serving food and drinks that provide big tastes and flavors, while using seasonal ingredients and creativity.  Open from 8:00 AM-3:00 PM, seven days a week, Harvest Café is a must-stop for breakfast, brunch, or lunch.

RIVERHORSE PROVISIONS Riverhorse on Main, one of Park City’s fine dining favorites, recently opened its own provisions shop at the top of Historic Main Street.  Since opening its doors at the end of December 2016, Riverhorse Provisions has impressed visitors and locals alike with its variety of artisan grocery products, dine-in, take out, and prepared meal options. “Accessible gourmet on Main,” available for breakfast, lunch, après-ski (and any of your other needs!) seven days a week from 7:30 AM-7:00 PM.

VERSANTE HEARTH + BAR Located in the newly remodeled Park City Peaks Hotel, Versante Hearth + Bar opened its doors in the beginning of January 2017.  A great, casual addition to Park City’s culinary scene, Versante’s menu offers a variety of American and Italian-style favorites, including flatbread pizza, pasta, craft beer, and specialty cocktails – all at a great price point, too! Versante is open daily from 3:00 PM-12:00 AM, making it great option for après-ski.

RESTAURANT UPDATES: THE SPUR BAR AND GRILL An old Park City favorite with a brand new look, the Spur Bar and Grill recently renovated and expanded their space. A popular spot for live music and dancing, the Spur’s space (formerly accessible via an alleyway) now sits directly on Historic Main Street with an upstairs balcony and oversized windows that offer expansive views. Serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks, and dancing, the Spur is a go-to option for visitors and locals alike. Open from 10:00 PM-1:00 AM daily.

EATING ESTABLISHMENT Eating Establishment, located at the top of Historic Main Street, revamped in the fall of 2016 and has a new look along with a new menu. Eating Establishment has been open since 1972, making it the oldest continuously open restaurant in Park City. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the new space features a cozy dining room, breakfast counter, and a brand new bar offering classic cocktails. Perhaps also notable – Eating Establishment is partially-owned by actor Ty Burrell, who plays dad of three on Modern Family.  Open seven days a week from 8:00 AM-10:00 PM Friday-Sunday and 8:00 AM-3:00 PM, 5:00-10:00 PM Monday-Thursday.


By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Apr 03, 2017

The Sundance Film Festival is one of the most popular times to visit Park City. Park City, Utah, is a special place any time you visit. But there are certain events that come along each year that make it an extraordinary place to visit. Whether it’s the Torchlight Parade on Christmas Eve, the country’s most popular film festival, or a lung-burning mountain bike race, you’ll find events throughout the year that give you even more reasons to visit Park City. Here are nine annual events that keep people coming back every year.

1. SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL RR - Events, Snowboarding The action may be inside during the Sundance Film Fesitval, but that means you'll get much of the mountains to yourself.  Locals and longtime visitors to Park City have gotten used to the fact that for 10 days at the end of January, Hollywood takes over and paints the town black. During this time, lodging options are booked out in advance at the highest rates, and you will likely have a snowball’s chance of getting a table at a local restaurant or après hot spot. But it’s not a complete takeover: Locals know it’s usually one of the best times to ski. For one thing, it’s the right time of year when the Wasatch storm cycles really start dropping the white stuff on the peaks of Deer Valley and Park City Mountain resorts. Look for lodging out by Redstone and Kimball Junction like the Newpark Hotel. Think of the public bus system as a giant Uber that will drop you off at the mountains. Once you make it to the slopes, you’ll be thinking “where is everyone?” Plus, if you want to take in a movie or go people watching in downtown Park City, it’s all there for you. This year the festival takes place from January 19 to 29, 2017.


The Park City Point 2 Point mountain bike race started out as a single long ride through many of the area’s choicest cuts of singletrack trail, until inspiration hit founder Jay Burke with the idea that it would make a killer race event. The epic Labor Day event is 75 miles long and includes 12,000 vertical feet of climbing and descending. Yes, you’ll spend the better part of a year training for the race, but it will be worth the effort. The trail riding is spectacular, but it’s the community of participants that make this event so special. You just need to mark your calendar for February 15, 2017, which is when online registration opens for the 9th edition of this ride. It will sell out the limited number of spots in minutes.

3. TOUR OF UTAH RR- Events, Tour of Utah The Tour of Utah is one of the top road races in the country.  For road cyclists, the Tour of Utah is the top race in the state, and one of the best stage races in the country. The demanding, weeklong event travels across Utah, with the final stage and finish often in Park City. Spectators will find an all-day festival on historic Main Street to enjoy as the riders take on the final 78-mile stage that includes 7,883 feet in elevation changes, including the infamous climb of Empire Pass. The event begins on August 1 and finishes on August 7.

4. AUTUMN ALOFT RR - Autumn Aloft Look to the skies of Park City for the Autumn Aloft festival.  Each September, those in the hot-air balloon community—and those who enjoy the spectacle—come to Park City for the Autumn Aloft festival. The event is free to spectators, who can arrive in the morning to watch the launch or check out the evening balloon glow, where tethered balloons light up the night sky. The sight of the balloons soaring over the mountains in the fall makes this one of the best weekends to visit Park City.

5. THIN AIR INNOVATION FESTIVAL RR - Thin Air Festival The Thin Air Innovation Festival brings thought leaders to Park City. The Thin Air Innovation Festival is a newcomer to this bucket list, but the inaugural event held in 2016 was so successful, we think it will be around for years to come. It takes place in early to mid April, right about the last week the resorts are open in Park City. It’s a think-tank style event that combines engaging speakers and panels, with every year having a new theme to center on. The event is structured in a way that companies and groups can bring their meetings and “bolt-on” to what Thin Air offers, but it’s also open to curious individuals and entrepreneurs who want to network, learn something new, and engage with current thought leaders—and maybe write off a spring ski trip as a business expense. It’s capped off with an open air street concert on lower Main Street. The 2017 event takes place from April 5-7.

6. FREESTYLE WORLD CUP The best freestyle skiers in the world will be coming to Deer Valley for the FIS Freestyle World Cup—and you can watch their incredible acrobatic skill on the mountain. Using the same venue and runs as in the 2002 Olympics, competitors will be under the lights for this nighttime event that features a party atmosphere. Taking place from Feb. 1-4 (and airing on NBC), the competition will feature men’s and women’s aerial events on Friday night, with men’s and women’s moguls and dual moguls on Thursday and Saturday night. After the conclusion of the finals each night, stick around for a fireworks display.

7. KIMBALL ARTS FESTIVAL RR - Kimball Arts Festival The Kimball Arts Festival brings artists from all over the country to Park City.  This year, the Kimball Arts Festival celebrates its 48th anniversary of bringing artists to downtown Park City to display and sell their creations. You’ll find artwork in 12 different categories—from drawings, paintings, and photography to glass and wood creations—and the weekend is filled with cultural events to accompany the festival. In addition to the more than 200 artists in town, visitors will find live music, kids activities, fashion shows, dance exhibitions, and yoga classes. The Festival After Dark keeps the entertainment going into the night, with movie screenings and musical performances in Deer Valley’s Snow Park Amphitheater. The 2017 event takes place from August 4-6.


For more than 50 years, Christmas Eve in Park City has meant the Torchlight Parade. The annual tradition starts in the plaza of the Park City Mountain Resort, with live music, coffee, and hot cocoa. The crowd then moves to the base of the mountain and watches resort staff ski down the PayDay run while carrying red torchlights, creating a spectacle that’s not to be missed. This holiday tradition continues this year on December 24.

9. PARK CITY FOOD AND WINE CLASSIC RR - Park City Food and Wine The town is filled with wine lovers for the Park City Food and Wine Classic.  At the Park City Food and Wine Classic, food and wine lovers get a chance to meet some of the top tastemakers in the country. You’ll find winemakers, vineyard owners, and master sommeliers all discussing their favorites, while some of the country’s top chefs will preparing the perfect dishes to pair with your finds. The festival is filled with opportunities for tasting, as well as special events that pair outdoor activities in Park City with food and wine. Spend the morning mountain biking before enjoying a gourmet lunch with the perfect wine pairing. Take a class in preparing ceviche from a master chef, or simply stroll around the city sampling the incredible offerings. This year’s festival will be held from July 6-9, 2017.

Originally written by RootsRated.

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5 Things Every East Coast Skier Should Know About West Coast Skiing

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Mar 22, 2017

By: Jordi Lippe-McGraw

Growing up I was privileged enough to take annual ski trips with my family. Our go-to spot was Killington, Vermont, and I have very fond memories of hitting the slopes with my dad, enjoying family meals by the fire, and taking a dip in the hot tub. But, aside the occasional side trip to upstate New York or Connecticut, this was the only skiing I ever knew. That was until I took my first West Coast ski trip to Park City, Utah.

After hearing about the record snow fall the area got this year (and the lack of snow New York got), I decided to book a quick three-day getaway to the famous resort area. My assumptions were it would be pretty much the same as east coast skiing, so I should know what to expect. Right? Boy, was I wrong.

Here are five things every east coast skier should know about west coast skiing.


1. The Snow Is Scientifically Proven To Be The Best

Utah’s license plates proudly display the saying, “The Greatest Snow on Earth.” In fact, it’s even trademarked. While many will argue that spots like Colorado have the best skiing conditions, a number of Utah scientists and meteorologists over the years have done their research and make a compelling argument for their state.

“The secret of Utah’s unique and wonderful powder is the structure of the individual snow crystals,” said William Alde, retired chief meteorologist for the National Weather Service’s Salt Lake City office. “Under cold, relatively dry conditions, light crystal-type snowflakes called dendrites are produced. These snowflakes are thin and symmetrical in shape, and they float down through the cold atmosphere, accumulating like fluffy down or powder on Utah mountains.”

I’m not a scientist, but what I can tell you is that the conditions on the mountain were considerably better than what I was used to back east. Instead of dodging ice patches, I was able to actually get that floating feeling described by the experts making for a smoother (less terrifying) run.

2. Gourmet Meals Are The Norm At Ski Lodges

Whenever I would stop for a lunch break while on a family ski trip my options were typically a barely tolerable sandwich or lukewarm pizza. If I was lucky, a cup of instant hot chocolate would be an added treat. That is certainly not the case at any of the Park City resorts.

Over my three days in town, I skied Deer Valley, Canyons Village and Park City Mountain, all of which had some of the most delicious food ever. For lunch in Deer Valley, I enjoyed Artisan Fleur de Neige Flatbread with house made local sheep’s milk cheese at Royal Street Café. Back at Park City’s Cloud Dine on top of the mountain, a chef took about seven minutes to handcraft an Asian chicken salad and the hot chocolate was reminiscent of that from Angelina in Paris. Oh, and did I mention I never took my ski boots off?

The après ski situation was just as good, if not better. At the bottom of slope at Canyons Village a restaurant called The Farm served up a butternut squash cocktail and a macaroni-and-cheese version of spätzle complete with Oregon truffles. And The Mariposa at Silver Lake Lodge had a cheese plate consisting entirely of locally-made cheese by their in-house Belgium cheese maker.

I don’t know about you, but any place that will immediately reward my outdoor activities with delicious food has my vote.

3. The Hotel Rooms Are Basically Luxury Homes

While clearly I did not stay in every hotel in Park City, what I do know is I would happily call the one I did stay at home. The Hyatt Centric is one of the newer properties in the area having just been redone in the last year or so, but I expected to walk in and find a pretty standard hotel room. Again, I was sorely mistaken.

The room turned out to be a home with a kitchen I could do laps in (and I did), an upstairs loft (which I never ended up using), and had two bathrooms and two fireplaces (I used all of them). And it was decorated with little cozy hints of the area like a Utah-shaped pillow and pictures from local artists. It truly was a warm and homey place to come back to after a long day on the slopes.

Though I didn’t get to visit any other properties during my stay, I have heard from others who visited that places like the St. Regis, Montage Deer Valley, Stein Eriksen Lodge and the Waldorf Astoria are all luxurious in their own right.

4. It’s Not Miserably Cold On The Slopes

As a child and teen, I have vivid memories of my toes being completely numb after two runs on the slope. Most of my time was spent thawing out from the frigid temperatures and figuring just how many layers I needed so not even a centimeter of skin was showing. I feared it would be the same this time around as well. Again, I was wrong (sensing a theme yet?).

You know how being in the desert is often more tolerable than the tropics even if it’s hotter? It’s much easier to handle dry heat than it is wet. The same holds true for cold. Though the temperatures were below freezing and we did have to deal with some strong winds one day, I never once felt cold because the air was so dry. Yes, I had to use excessive amount of lotion and lip balm because of it, but not once did my toes go numb.

In fact, I was so comfortable, that I skied for the longest period of time ever in my whole life clocking in about five hours straight one day. Oh, but if you do get cold on the slopes, there’s a heated chairlift at the Canyons Village to warm you up between runs.

5. You Can Ski All Day Without Doing The Same Trail Twice

The scale of the mountains in Park City was something I was not prepared for. I am by no means a skiing aficionado and am intermediate level at best, so I’m happy sticking to the same green circle and blue square trails and doing them a few times. That was actually really my only option growing up and is likely why my ski days would end around lunch time (and the fact I couldn’t feel my feet by that point).

Out west, it feels like you are skiing across the state with the number of options of trails. While the trails were slightly more difficult than I was accustom to overall, I was amazed that after a few hours of skiing our guide would point where we started and it was miles away. Park City Mountain realized the extent of their property and even started to offer Peak To Peak Guided Ski Experiences where a ski instructor will take you on an all-day tour of the 7,300 acres. You can literally ski out of your hotel in the morning and on to the main street in Park City by evening without ever doing the same run twice.

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5 Places To Visit In The U.S. In 2017

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Mar 15, 2017


Here are 5 U.S. destinations that look especially fetching right now, thanks to new hotel and restaurant openings, special cultural events and big anniversaries.


In spring, the first Honolulu Biennial will bring international artists to show works alongside local artists.In 2016 the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina opened, as did the Surfjack Hotel and Swim Club in Waikiki. In the Chinatown district of Honolulu, the new Tchin Tchin! is a rooftop bar and small-plates eatery. Also in Honolulu, there’s SALT at Our Kaka’ako, a recently opened collection of eateries and shops. And don’t overlook the 15th Waikiki Spam Jam on April 29, a street festival that features Spam dishes from local restaurants, live music and related merriment.


Park City is 45 minutes from the Salt Lake City airport. It has an old-fashioned Main Street and the biggest ski resort in the country: Park City Mountain Resort, which combined with Canyons Resort in 2015, setting off changes all over town.

Chef John Murcko’s Firewood Restaurant opened in December on Main Street. Down the road, visitors can browse landscape photos at David Beavis Gallery, caffeinate at Pink Elephant Coffee Roasters, get a sugar fix at Peace, Love & Little Donuts or taste wine at Old Town Cellars, a private-label winery. (All opened in 2016.) But think twice before booking Jan. 19–29. Those are the 2017 Sundance Film Festival dates.


The 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love is coming, and San Francisco ventures such as the Magic Bus (which does ’60s-themed local tours), San Francisco Love Tours (which uses VW buses with psychedelic paint jobs) and Flower Power Walking Tours will make the most of it in Haight-Ashbury and beyond. Find Jimi Hendrix’s old place on Haight Street (the apartment, above a tobacco shop, is a private residence), and the North Beach coffee shop where Janis Joplin did some singing. Now it’s Maggie McGarry’s Irish Pub, and there’s more singing than ever.Various street fairs are in the works, including one in Haight-Ashbury in June, and ’60s-themed exhibitions are planned at the California Historical Society, the De Young Museum, the Berkeley Art Museum and San Francisco City Hall. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will still be celebrating its May 2016 expansion.


All the usual reasons to visit apply, plus this: In early summer, rangers will reopen the park’s Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, home to about 500 of California’s biggest trees. During the grove’s two-year closure, the National Park Service added hiking trails and boardwalks, upgraded toilets, removed a gift shop and rerouted tram traffic.


Boston is booming, adding restaurants and lodgings even as a commemorative note sounds: May 29 marks the centennial of the birth of favorite son John F. Kennedy. Expect special programming at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, and Kennedy’s birthplace in Brookline (a Boston suburb), now known as John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site. Meanwhile, the Godfrey Hotel Boston, a luxury boutique lodging in the Downtown Crossing area, opened in early 2016, as did Aloft and Element hotels on near the city convention center. A 326-room Yotel micro-hotel is due to open this year in Boston’s Seaport Innovation District.

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Seven Stunning Utah Chairlift Rides

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Mar 07, 2017


By Yeti \ March 2 2017 \ 7 Pictures

Utah's 14 resorts offer some incredible skiing. From moguls and groomers to chutes and drops, you'll be hard pressed to find more accessible and diverse terrain anywhere. If that's not enough, the lifts you use to get to all that fantastic skiing offer some of the most spectacular views around.

With no shortage of striking peaks and sprawling terrain, these photos show off some of our favorite views from the comforts of a cushy chairlift ride.

Supreme Lift, Alta

Scope all kinds of lines from the top of Utah's classic Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Stats & Views: Panoramic views of Mount Superior and Twin Peak summits paint a jagged ridgeline against a bluebird sky while you are whisked up to 10,595 feet. After unloading, choose your way down some of the best terrain around, including top notch moguls, groomers, and gnarly chutes.

Lift Conversation: Don't be surprised to hear stories of "the good old days" or plans to hit secret stashes.

Olympic Tram, Snowbasin

Lose your breath as you ascend to the top of what was once the start of the downhill ski events in the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Stats & Views: From the top, enjoy 360-degree views of the Wasatch Range and the Great Salt Lake, then let loose on the definitely-not-for-beginners run and feel your heart jump into your throat as you harness your inner Bode Miller and descend from 9,500 feet. The eight-person car gets a little cozy, but the eight-minute ride to the top offers a perfect perspective to appreciate the steepness of the run below, not to mention pristine views of the landscape sprawling out from the resort.

Lift Conversation: It's not unusual to hear fellow passengers' worried conversations about how on earth they are going to get down. Or did you know that Olympians reached speeds near 80 mph on the upper section of this downhill course.

Jordanelle Express Gondola, Deer Valley

Breathe in the winter air while gazing out across a beautiful mountain lake and the distant Uinta Mountains.

Stats & Views: The gondola offers a panoramic shot of Heber Valley and Jordanelle Reservoir all along the smooth five-minute ride to the peak. From the top, look out across the rest of the resort and peer down into Park City from your 7,930-foot perch.

Lift Conversation: Speculation about whether or not you'll run into a celebrity (and which one you're hoping to).

Great Western Express, Brighton

Views for days. Look closely, and you might be able to pick out runs and lifts at Solitude, Alta, and even the top of the tram at Snowbird.

Stats & Views: Spanning from base to summit (1,748 vertical feet), the lift allows for seven minutes of extended photo opportunities before you have to raise the bar and put your phone back in your pocket. Underneath the lift, several beginner, intermediate, and advanced runs trickle down from the 10,504 foot peak, making it a great lift for the whole family.

Lift Conversation: Friendly games of ski resort "I Spy" interjected with debate on who went the biggest on that last jump.

Giant Steps Express, Brian Head

Appreciate desert skiing at its finest, while shredding some of the deepest, driest snow around. 

Stats & Views: Southern Utah is not known for an abundance of skiing as much as it is for stunning desert terrain. Brian Head shows off both, offering views of gorgeous red rock cliffs covered in fresh Utah powder. Get a bird's eye view of desert peaks and valleys from the 10,970 foot summit. With the highest base elevation in Utah (9,600 feet), Brian Head offers the perfect combination of great scenery and other-worldly skiing.

Lift Conversation: Not much to hear on this ride, everyone is too stunned by the unique beauty of skiing near this red-rock landscape.

Ray's Lift, Sundance

Take in the true austerity of the Wasatch underneath one of its most impressive summits—Mount Timpanogos.

Stats & Views: Perched beneath one of the Wasatch Range's most iconic peaks, Ray's Lift offers a chance to revel in the glory of all 11,752 feet of Mount Timpanogos. Stare in awe for eight straight minutes as the lift delivers you to the top of the front mountain, or enjoy watching beginners get the hang of it on the run below the chair.

Lift Conversation: Mom/Dad can I have my ski treat now? (Perfect for beginners with slow, steady groomers underfoot, crash courses in ski and board basics, including how to properly get off the lift are often overheard).

The Tram, Snowbird

Wrap your head around the sheerness of the Wasatch from one of its most iconic fixtures

Stats & Views: While the Tram offers a single green run amidst a collection of intermediate and advanced terrain, one should still be comfortable with steep groomers before embarking on this vertigo-inducing ten minute ride. That being said, if the staggering, beautiful terrain seen while enjoying the 2,900 vertical foot trip gives cause for concern, there is always the option to ride back down. And might we recommend grabbing a bite at 11,000 feet before returning to the base?

Lift Conversation: Last one down is a rotten egg! Excited chatter and careful planning of the next run down the Cirque, not to mention the operator's obligatory spiel prior to unloading.

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