Spend the dog days of summer at a higher elevation
If you went by the timing of the back-to-school sales, you’d think autumn started in August. Tell it to the thermometer, Target! Fall doesn’t actually kick off until the end of September, but even then Utah’s still so warm popsicles are a valid lunch option.
With a solid two months left before sweater weather, we put together a few different ways for a family to spend a summer day in the Wasatch Back. The other side of the Wasatch mountains — Mountain Green, Morgan, Park City, Heber, etc. — stays a full 10˚ cooler than the hazy, busy Wasatch Valley, so pack a lunch and make the most of the rest of summer.
SUMMER DAY 1: Trails & Symphony at Deer Valley
DEER VALLEY: Mountain bike or hike, chairlift ride, picnic & outdoor concert
MORNING: Mountain biking or hiking
Pack snacks and lots of water — you’re going to have a late lunch today.
MOUNTAIN BIKING TRAILS at DEER VALLEY
Ride a chairlift (adults $42, child 6-12 $33, kids under 5 FREE) for downhill biking, or, if you have huge muscles and deep lungs, you can climb the trails for free. Lifts run Wednesday - Sunday. Some trails are only downhill, like Tidal Wave.
- Tidal Wave | 2.7 miles | Beginner
- Deer Crest |1.9 miles | Moderate
- Fire Swamp | (difficult)
(See more DV biking.)
HIKING TRAILS AT DEER VALLEY
- Silver Lake Trail | 2.25 miles one way | Moderate
- Bald Mountain | 2.5 miles one way | Moderate
- Park Benchmark | 3.1 miles one way | Moderate
(See more DV hiking.)
LUNCH: Restaurants in Park City with a kids’ menu
• Baja Cantina • Bandits’ Grill & Bar • Billy Blanco’s • Red Rock Junction • Buona Vita • Butcher’s Chop House & Bar • Royal Street Cafe (Deer Valley) • Seafood Buffet (Deer Valley) • Silver Star Cafe • Squatters Roadhouse Grill & Pub • Sushi Blue • Fireside Dining (Deer Valley) • Flanigan’s Irish Pub & Restaurant • The Bridge Cafe & Grill • Vinto Pizza • Good Karma Restaurant • Wasatch Brew Pub • Grub Steak Restaurant
AFTERNOON: Stroll Main Street & Ice Cream
EVENING: Utah Symphony at Deer Valley
The symphony summers at Deer Valley, playing everything from Haydn and Mozart to Williams and Bowie. Bring a picnic dinner, a blanket and your listening ears.
SUMMER DAY 2: Naturalists & Olympians in Park City
MORNING: Swaner Preserve & EcoCenter
Take your kids to enjoy 1,200 acres of open space, a 10,000-square-foot education & museum building and over 10 miles of trails. There’s a youth EcoClub, Little Naturalist story time, field trips, summer camps, a demonstration garden, a climbing wall, geocaching adventures and more to keep the kids entertained all day.
LUNCH: Picnic at the preserve or lunch in the city (see restaurant list above).
AFTERNOON: Utah Olympic Park
• Ride the chairlift, the Summer Comet bobsled, the Alpine Slide or go extreme summer tubing
• Watch freestyle jump shows
• Brave the zipline, drop tower, freestyle jump, and canyon adventure course
Pick a kid-friendly restaurant from the list above, or stop by The Market for picnic victuals (make sure to get some locally made Red Bicycle bread). If you choose to picnic, head over to City Park.
SUMMER DAY 3: Wasatch Mountain State Park in Midway
There are multiple kid-friendly trails that start at the Wasatch Mountain State Park visitor center. Some are even stroller compatible. You can hike or bike on any of the trails.
LUNCH: Picnic at the Visitor Center
AFTERNOON: Golf or Drive the Adventure Highway
Play a round of golf right there in the park or go for a 3-hour scenic drive. (Neither of those is a great option with very young children, but if you have very young children, you’re bound to be great at improvising already.)
The Adventure Highway: 100 miles, 3 hoursFrom Kamas, take State Route 150 east to Soapstone Basin Road, then Soapstone Pass, Mill Hollow Reservoir, Lake Creek Summit and Strawberry Valley. (Find detailed directions here.) Bring the binoculars, snacks and your field guides. You’ll see wildlife, wildflowers and views of the Wasatch & Uinta Mountains.
DINNER: MIDWAY & HEBER RESTAURANTS
• Cafe Galleria (pizza, sandwiches) • Canton City (Chinese food) • Chick’s Cafe (burgers, sandwiches) • Dairy Keen (burgers, shakes, fries) • Don Pedro’s Restaurant (Mexican food) • Hub Cafe (American diner) • The Junction Pizzeria & Grill • Kneaders Bakery & Cafe • Kolaches on Main (Tex-Czech) • Lola’s Street Kitchen (BBQ, burgers, sandwiches) • Mazatlan Mexican Grill • Soldier Hollow Grill
SUMMER DAY 4: Beach Day at Pineview Reservoir
Pineview Reservoir is sandy, beachy heaven, perfect for when summer goes overboard with the heat.
Bring a beach towel, a floppy sun hat, 7 bottles of sunscreen,
romance novels from your summer reading list, life vests & other flotation devices, a friend with a boat, picnics for lunch & dinner and your best frisbee game.
Dinner in Ogden? Here are some restaurants you should try out:
• Even Stevens • Lucky Slice Pizza • Thai Curry Kitchen • The Greenery Restaurant • Blue Lemon • Craft Burger • Eats of Eden • Farrs Ice Cream • Kneaders Bakery & Cafe • Ligori’s •Huntsville Barbecue Company