Most people in Utah know Heber Valley as summer destination for all things outdoor. However, when the temperatures drop and thick snow covers the grounds, the winters in Heber Valley heat up. Here’s the top eight things you need to do with your family this winter up in Heber Valley.
One of the year’s most popular events at the Heber Valley Railroad is the North Pole Express. Running from November 27 through December 24 the North Pole Express takes riders along a magical train ride full of singing, hot cocoa, cookies, and a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Each child gets a special visit from Santa along with a gift for all the good little boys and girls. The North Pole Express is guaranteed to become an instant family holiday tradition.
The Homestead Crater is a great winter activity to heat up on a cold winter’s day. Relax as you float effortlessly across the 95-degree Caribbean blue water, or for the more adventurous types rent scuba gear to practice your skills. Add a little more Zen to the winter with paddleboard yoga on the waters of the Crater.
During the frosty winter months in the Heber Valley, millions of gallons of water and thousands of lights transform into a two-acre masterpiece of glowing ice with tall spires, charming courtyards, and awe inspiring arches. Grab a hot chocolate and bring your camera to capture the moments as you explore the castle. The Ice Castle opens December 30, 2016 and runs through late February, weather permitting.
Whether you want groomed trails or untracked isolation, snowmobiling opportunities abound in the Heber Valley. Take a guided tour through Wasatch Mountain State Park, or strike out on your own into the pristine wilderness near Daniels Summit Lodge and Strawberry Reservoir. With over 1,000 miles of trails you’ll never have to take the same trail twice.
Soldier Hollow has more than 20 miles of Nordic ski and snowshoe trails that wind through the trees and hills. Soldier Hollow also offers the longest tubing lanes in Utah. The hill has lengthy 1,200-foot sliding lanes with lift service for towing tubers up the hill for tubing day or night.
Within minutes of the Heber Valley skiers can access 21 chairlifts to over 100 runs throughout 2,000 acres of terrain at Deer Valley through the gondola entrance near Jordanelle. The Gondola access gives skiers the best of Park City skiing without the hassle of down town driving. Arrive early, parking will fill up.
Snowshoeing is an excellent way to experience Utah’s “Greatest Snow on Earth.” With snowshoe and cross country skis available to rent, get your heart pumping in the cool, crisp, clean mountain air. Take a guided moonlight snowshoe hike with a park naturalist and see Wasatch Mountain State Park like you’ve never seen it before.
The Midway Outdoor Ice Rink is the perfect family activity this winter. Open seven days a week and rentals available for every size, your family will love the beautiful scenery and wonderful atmosphere of the ice rink. Warm up in the warming hut with a cup of hot cocoa. The Ice rink usually opens the week before Thanksgiving.
Ice Fishing –
Fishing in the Heber Valley is great all year long and with three large reservoirs throughout the area access to ice fishing is an anglers delight. Most lakes will freeze towards the end of December and thaw in late spring. Ice fishing is a popular sport among new and experienced fishermen because the fish are hungry and eager to bite. Strawberry Bay Marina is the only outfitter in the area with guided Ice fishing excursions and will help you hook the big one.
Sleigh Rides –
Heber Valley has a few outfitters that will take you around some of the most beautiful areas of the valley. A sleigh ride is great for family activities, groups parties, or company outings. Bundle up under a warm blanket and enjoy the jingle of jingle bells as you ride with Rocky Mountain Outfitters or KB Horses, two most popular sleigh ride outfitters in Heber Valley.