Golf, hike, bike, boat, fish, ride locomotives, ski, sled and eat until your bellies are happy as can be
So there’s a magical valley (Heber Valley) just over them hills (the Wasatch Mountains) where 3 state parks, hot springs, mountain trails, golfing greens, a railroad and 7 resorts can host every single picky person in your immediate and extended family. Take that, Uncle Jimmy, who always wants to go fishing when everyone else wants to ride to the top of a mountain for a picnic. Fish away, Uncle Jimmy, because the rest of the crew will meet up with you for dinner and a sunset boat ride.
And bless this valley for its basecamp ease--its 7 resorts are scattered throughout the valley so you feel like you really have stepped into rural countryside utopia while keeping everyone corralled in one pretty place. Thus, Heber Valley is The Valley of Family Bliss. Read on if you want to know about resorts and things to do while you’re blissing out.
Adventure in Heber Valley
BOATING : JORDANELLE RESERVOIR + DEER CREEK RESERVOIR (Zipline on the shore!)
+ Picnics, Camping, Fishing, & Hiking
Boating? In Utah? Yesiree. Heber Valley includes two of Utah’s favorite reservoirs, Jordanelle and Deer Creek, where families have been water skiing, wakeboarding, tubing and knee-boarding for generations--and now all the hip kids are paddle boarding. When it’s hot outside who can beat boats, picnics, and epic wipeouts? Hello, summer. Hello, stories you’ll be laughing about for years.
And windsurfing still happens here because it’s vintage 80’s friendly. Find a rainbow sail if you’re lucky.
Zipline anyone? Deer Creek is stepping up the adventure ante. In case anyone in your group thinks plain-ol’ boating is boring you can send them over for a little adrenaline rush.
EXPLORE WASATCH MOUNTAIN STATE PARK
Hike, Bike, Fish, Horseback Ride, ATV, Golf, Camp (Pine Creek Campground)
All year outdoor adventure anyone? Anything from trail running to golfing is itinerary fodder. What’s so great about this state park? How about hiking, biking, fishing, horseback riding, ATV-ing, camping, golfing--yes, all 18 holes, please and thank you.
For the kids and the kids-at-heart. This historic train will take you for a ride winding through, around and on the edge of the valley. What childhood doesn’t include tantrum-worthy desires to ride a train? Well, now you can finally live out your dreams and make sure your kid doesn’t have a tragically un-railroaded childhood as well. Claim your dreams.
79 degrees and sunny in the summer ain't a bad weather forecast to try your hand at some of Heber Valley's 90 holes of public play. Choose from courses at Crater Springs at the Homestead, Wasatch Mountain Lake and Soldier Hollow.
SKI + SNOWSHOE + SNOWMOBILE
One of the world’s best cross-country ski tracks is in this very valley of bliss. And when winter comes, all those summer hiking trails are perfect for snowshoeing. Who says winter is for hunkering down? Who make up that term anyway? Someone who didn’t know about snowshoeing, obviously. And then, and then, there’s snowmobiling if you like a bit of speed added to your mountain adventure. Head to the hills--way back there.
FAMILY REUNION-WORTHY BASECAMPS
HOMESTEAD RESORT + GEOTHERMAL HOT SPRING
Resorts with just pools? How boring. You and your adventurous family are looking for something more...geothermal and oh so natural. Goodbye chlorine. Hello family healing sessions day after day sitting in the Homestead’s Crater, which only took Mother Nature 10,000 years to build. Also, scuba dive. Yes, you can scuba here. Stay here with your crew if you’re into it. And it doesn't stop there. This is a resort with activities and lodging options for all.
ZERMATT RESORT (LITTLE SWITZERLAND)
You want a cultured, well-traveled bunch of humans in your family, huh? Well, here’s an affordable way to give your kids a taste of what it must’ve been like to be Heidi surrounded by gorgeous mountains and traditional architecture. And you’re orange juice at breakfast won’t be nearly as expensive as it is in the real Zermatt. European adventure and goodies for a rural price tag. You’re welcome.
Rugged comfort is not an oxymoron for this establishment. If you really want to access the wildness of nature while still enjoying a hot shower and superb bed, Daniels Summit is your lodge. And the convenience of guides and outdoor toys is sorta unbeatable.
STONEHILL LODGE MOUNTAIN RETREAT
Dear family vacation fairies,Please set up an incredible home for me and my littles to stay in complete with gorgeous bedrooms, a kitchen to fill with all of our favorite aromas, a place to crash after a day exploring the mountains and boating in mountain lakes.
SILVER SPRINGS LODGE
There’s a reason people often choose to get married here--to start their little family unit here. Who wouldn’t want to start their family in a mountain setting in a venue that believes luxury is for all stages of life.
TIMBER MOOSE LODGE - FAMILY-OWNED + HUGE
This family-run lodge is the largest private log cabin in the country with 26,400 feet of interior space, 9,300 square feet of decks and balconies. And then there’s 13 bedrooms, 16 bathrooms, and sleeping room for up to 60. 60! Bring the whole fam damily.
And there’s blissful valley for you. Get planning now so the whole family can reunion-ize in this gorgeous land of milk and honey. And adventure.