Snowmobile and sleigh rides, heli-skiing and dog-sledding adventures can be booked through this adventure company, which also offers hot-air ballooning, hiking and fishing expeditions in the summer.
A great toboggan ride is offered in the afternoons at the base of Park City Mountain. Alpine Coaster offers a fun, twisty downhill ride on a metal track. There’s a height restriction for those who want to drive but little ones can be passengers. Open from noon until 4 p.m.
Arches National Park
Art Galleries on Main Street
Bryce Canyon National Park
Unlike Zion, where visitors start out on the bottom of a valley, at Bryce hikers begin at the top. The Bryce Lodge is situated along the rim of the Amphitheater, which overlooks the most dramatic gathering of hoodoos. The easiest trails run along the rim; others drop into the landscapes for longer, more challenging hikes.
The other challenging hike at Bryce is Peek-a-Boo Loop, which starts at Bryce Point, itself a marvel of vistas, then drops into the canyon past spectacular hoodoo formations. If you're trying to decide between the two hikes, Fairyland is the more varied terrain while Peek a Boo spends the most time in and around Bryce's famous Amphitheater.
For day hikers, Canyonlands doesn't offer the many options of Arches and is more difficult to access with long driving distances between sights. But serious back-country explorers rave about its unparalleled terrain, with slot canyons, challenging hiking and some of the state's best river rafting.
Capitol Reef National Park
The size of this park — some 240,000 acres — is misleading, because it's fairly narrow and there are not as many day hiking trails as, say, in Zion or Bryce (there are more backcountry options). There are also no great hotel options nearby and inside the park, only campsites are offered. But if you are driving between Moab and Bryce Canyon, this park is a lovely place for a picnic lunch.
The drive through the red rock canyons along Route 24 is very scenic, and the picnic area near the Visitor Center is located near a small river beneath tall trees. The park is also home to the Fruita Historic District and orchards. The Mormon Fruita settlement dates from the late 1800s and its heirloom orchards are still blooming and harvested today, including apple, peach, cherry, pear and apricot trees. The Gifford House Store in the park includes a country store that sells jams, fruit pies and dried fruit, as well as a wide selection of books about this unique area.
For a unique experience, Pawsatch Snow Dogs can arrange dog sledding tours for groups of friends or families. Private tours can be arranged in both winter and summer to go dog sledding in the Park City area. If lucky, you may get to even hold one of the puppies while the older dogs take you for a ride.
For a break from the slopes, you can soak in the Crater, a 55-foot tall cavern filled with hot mineral spring water. The resort is open all year and offers swimming and snorkeling from 10 a.m.
Indagare Tours: Snowmobiles
For those interested in exploring the area on snowmobiles, Indagare can arrange half-day tours that begin and end at your hotel. The guide service can provide the snowmobiles as well as waterproof suits to keep you warm.
Le Spa Chateaux
On the floor beneath the lobby level of the Chateaux is the Le Spa Chateaux. It’s a tiny space with only one full-time aesthetician but it offers a wide range of treatments from pedicures and massages to facials and hot stone massages. Your best shot at securing a last-minute appointment is to request a morning slot, since it gets busiest in the afternoons with après-skiers.
When you’ve had enough outdoor activities, consider inviting one of the area’s famous chefs to come to your house for private cooking classes. Letty Flatt, the executive pastry chef of Deer Valley, is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute and the author of The Chocolate Snowball. She will instruct you and your family or friends in preparing divine pastries. She designed her cookbook to follow skiers’ levels of ability, so you can choose simple green recipes, such as the Chocolate Snowball itself, or go for a black diamond tiramisù yule log or a lemon and strawberry dacquoise.
Log Cabin Adventure
For a fun evening with the kids, book a sleigh ride up to the Snowed Inn for a ranch-style dinner.
What’s better than a deep-tissue massage at the end of a hard day of skiing? One that you get in your own house or hotel room, which is exactly what Massage Express delivers. You can choose from Swedish or deep-tissue massage or Shiatsu.
Located in the Red Rock country of southeastern Utah, this famously outdoorsy town is not easy to reach. The closest international airport is in Salt Lake City, a four-hour drive away. But the region, with two incredible national parks, several state parks and an abundance of rugged things to do, is a must-visit for active types.
The town of Moab is a hodge-podge of mass-market chain hotels, mixed in with B&Bs, restaurants, coffee shops and lots of outfitters offering everything from off-road RVs to canyoneering trips. It's not as quaint or charming as Springdale (outside Zion), but it's convenient and congenial – and makes you feel immediately part of the community here.
Moab also has a wonderful high-end hotel option: Sorrel River Ranch located a 30-minute drive up scenic Route 128, which runs along the Colorado River through stunning red rock canyons. Sorrel is a most comfortable base for exploring nearby Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. Other activities here include mountain biking, canyoneering, climbing and exploring off the beaten path, with state parks like Dead Horse also rating high in terms of scenery and hikes.
Indagare Tip: There's lots of great hiking outside the official parks. A stunning hike is Hidden Valley, which begins just south of Moab and traverses gorgeous terrain, culminating on a high plateau with sweeping views and a wall full of striking petroglyphs believed to have been created by the ancient Anasazi people.
Park City Museum
Remède Spa Park City
The 14,000-square-foot spa at St. Regis Deer Valley offers state-of-the-art treatment rooms and Remède specialty facials and massages as well as salon services.
Scenic Drive: Highway 12
Anyone making the drive from Moab to Bryce Canyon should consider adding an hour or so to the journey by taking Utah's Highway 12, an incredibly scenic road that starts behind Capitol Reef National Park and snakes through the Dixie National Forest (particularly stunning when the Aspen and Birch trees are in full yellow foliage during the fall) and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
There are vistas of expansive canyon landscapes, as well as beautiful valleys and small (very small) towns along the way. At the top of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, stop for a quick break at Kiva Koffeehaus (Hwy 12, Milemarker 73.86; Escalante), a lofty coffee place with homemade cinnamon rolls and the most breathtaking of views.
This local company will deliver all your ski rental gear (including helmets and snowboards if you are trying Park City) to your door and custom-fit everything there. If you prefer to have them meet you at the base at a specific time (right off the plane, for instance), they will do that, too. Children’s skis include Atomics and Volkls; performance lines for adults include Salomon, K2 and Atomic skis. You can reserve online. Open 7:45 A.M.–9 P.M.; there is a two-day-minimum rental.
Deer Valley Skier Services starts accepting reservations in June, so don’t delay booking even if you are only considering a vacation. You can get a full refund for your deposit as long as you cancel two days prior to the reservation. There are full-day ski classes for kids from ages three to teens; children from two months to twelve years can also be supervised in the Deer Valley Children’s Center. Reservations are essential.
Tip: All of our ski instructors here have been superb. Our children liked skiing with, Patti Olsen, their private instructor last year, so much they didn’t even take hot-chocolate breaks!
The massive spa at Montage includes an indoor pool and a wide range of excellent treatments. No expense has been spared on creating the mountain’s most indulgent spa and with an award-winning spa at their Laguna Beach property, the company knows how to give great spa experiences. You can even opt for a whole wellness program. Non-hotel guests are welcomed.
The spa at Stein Eriksen is not nearly as glamorous or extensive as those at Montage or St. Regis Deer Crest but for those who need a massage or facial mid-mountain, it is perfectly adequate.
Sundance Film Festival
The annual Sundance Film Festival draws a glamorous crowd. It is possible to register to purchase individual tickets online (they go on sale around Thanksgiving). Time slots are randomly assigned, but quantities are very limited and registering does not guarantee tickets. The hottest screenings may not be available, but usually you can join in the spirit by seeing something. However, there are also Day-of-Show Sales and a wait list system, which allows you to just go to the screening of your choice two hours early. And for real film buffs, there is a wonderful series of panels and concerts.
Utah Olympic Park
For a faster descent than you’ll get on the slopes, it’s possible to experience the thrill of Olympic bobsledding at 80 m.p.h. at the Utah Olympic Park. Riders, who are accompanied by experienced drivers, must be over the age of 16 and reservations are recommended.
Waldorf Astoria Spa
Located within the Waldorf Astoria, this spa was formerly one of five Golden Door Spa outposts in the world. Renamed as the Waldorf Astoria spa, the facility includes 15 treatment rooms, a full service nail and hair salon and fitness center. The treatment list is extensive, often combining new technologies and therapies with old concepts, and spa patrons can relax in the state-of-the-art steam room and outdoor lounge area after treatments.
Zion National Park
Zion is one of the state's most visited national parks, so planning your hikes around the crowds is crucial. If you can, avoid the busy months of June and July, visiting in the spring or fall instead. Hikes like the vertiginous Angels Landing and slot-canyon Narrows will be less busy then. Several of the Zion hikes are challenging (physically and mentally for those afraid of heights), but all reward with vistas that are humbling in their grandeur and beauty (a favorite for impressive expanses is Observation Point).
The Lodge rests like a funky college campus at the center of the park, and its restaurants and facilities draw hikers throughout the day. The lucky ones checked into one of the cabins here can wave the day-trippers good-bye at the end of the day and enjoy the starlit skies from inside this wonderful place.