A Winter Wonderland
Experiencing it All on Utah's Slopes
January 1, 2008
For as long as many can remember, Utah has touted itself as being home to The Greatest Snow on Earth. And with 13 winter resorts dotting the map and the most successful winter Olympics ever under its belt, the state has become a draw for powder-minded people from around the world. There’s no better time to take full advantage of this perfect winter playground we have in our own backyard.
In the inaugural Executive Getaways article, we venture away slightly from the typical ski weekend that has made Utah famous and look at three of the most illustrious ways to experience the best white stuff the Wasatch Front has to offer.
An Olympic Experience
Really, it’s the stuff dreams are made of: Swooshing down an Olympic-sized slope, speeding through the hairpin turns of a bobsled track, experiencing the kick of flying off of a ski jump. Consider those dreams a reality with facilities for each of these Olympic events just minutes from downtown Salt Lake.
Park City-based Axis Freeride has training camps available for individuals or groups who are interested in skiing as close to the Olympic experience as you can get. Coached by Olympic aerialist Chris “Hatch” Haslock, the curriculum includes one- or two-day programs at the Olympic Park, skiing at Park City Mountain Resort, access to the terrain park, half pipe and Big Mountain and lunch at a local Park City restaurant. Special pricing is available and contact information can be found at the company’s website. Volunteer coordinator Mary Partridge says the winter program is new this year and grew from the success of the summer fantasy camp the group has previously offered.
A Different Diversion
For some, the force of gravity pulling them down a mountain just isn’t enough of a thrill. Some people need more power, more grit, more kick. Enter Daniels Summit Lodge.
With more than 200 miles of groomed trails in the Uinta National Forest, Daniels Summit is among the premier snowmobile destinations in the state. Machine rentals start at $129 and guided tours or self-directed adventures await each visitor. After exploring the hillsides and meadows for a few hours or a few days, the lodge welcomes travelers with comfortable rooms, the Lodge Pole Grill and a professional day spa for a chance to slow down and relax. Daniels Summit Lodge is located 15 miles past Heber City on Utah Highway 40.
In The Lap of Luxury
For those snowbirds who have already lived their dreams of adventure and sports, there is no better way to experience the mountain in the winter than through one of the state’s many luxury resorts.
Deer Valley is probably the first to come to mind for many, but with an award-winning resort like Sundance just around the mountain, the availability of upscale winter vacation offerings is unmatched.
Voted the second best resort in the nation by Conde Nast Traveler, the Sundance Resort has made a name for itself around the world. Based on the forethought and backing of Robert Redford, the Utah County resort has created a chic venue for environmentalism, relaxation and retreat. Winter packages include dining at the award-winning Tree Room and massages at the Spa at Sundance. Skiers and boarders will enjoy more than 450 acres of terrain on the southeast side of Mt. Timpanogos before nestling into a hotel voted among the best in the world by Travel+Leisure magazine.
Deer Valley Resort
Deer Valley lies in the upper echelon of resort living. With ski packages starting at $277 per night in a resort lodge and the five-star Stein Eriksen lodge awaiting the affluent, the resort has created a consummate winter experience. But don’t think Deer Valley is just a place to lounge near a fireplace sipping wine and hobnobbing with the rich and famous. SKI magazine has ranked Deer Valley the No. 1 ski area in North America three times during the last six seasons, with specific accolades going to the resort in the categories of grooming, service, on-mountain food and weather.