Heber Valley is the place for winter recreation

Whether you are a die-hard winter athlete, simply want to relax while taking in spectacular views or fall somewhere in between, what you want can be found in Heber Valley. In some areas of the county, there is not a lot to do during the snowy, cool months, but that is not the case here.

The Heber Valley is a destination where people love to come during the winter. “I think most people are looking for an escape from the ho-hum of wintertime blues. They also come to be reminded of what it’s like to slow life down for a moment to just enjoy spending time with each other in a place that is welcoming and inviting,” said Dallin Koecher, Heber Valley Chamber of Commerce communications manager.

It’s no secret that skiers love Utah and the Heber Valley is the perfect location — within minutes of both Deer Valley in Park City and Sundance Ski Resort. With affordable lodging, many skiers choose to stay more than just a day to try out the different slopes. But skiing is only one choice for fun in this wintry part of Utah.

If more level ground is your thing, there are ample spaces for snowshoeing in the valley. In fact, over 90 percent of Wasatch County is open space with state parks, BLM and national forest land available.

The Homestead Crater is one of the biggest draws to the valley and does not disappoint. The crater is a geothermal spring within a 55-tall limestone rock. The crater formed when melting snow on the Wasatch Mountains seeped deep within the earth. A hole at the top of the dome-shaped rock allows sunlight and fresh air while the interior stays heated by mineral water. With easy access, guests can swim, scuba dive, snorkel, take a therapeutic soak or engage in a paddleboard yoga class.

“The Midway Ice Castle draws in folks from all over Utah to see a mountain of glowing ice illuminated with thousands of LED lights and to explore the slides, caves, fountains and entertainment,” Koecher said. All winter long, master sculptors work their magic by building and constructing new creations within the ice castle, which is two acres in size.

The Heber Valley Railroad North Pole Express, in which riders enjoy caroling, hot cocoa, a train ride to the North Pole and visits from Santa is a very popular family tradition, according to Koecher.

There cannot be a winter wonderland without tubing. “Featuring the longest tubing lanes in Utah and a magic carpet conveyor system to get riders back to the top quickly, tubing at Soldier Hollow is every kid’s dream come true, all the fun without all the work,” Koecher said.

Other winter activities that are available in Heber Valley include ice skating, snowmobiling and even sleigh rides. “Heber Valley provides a great escape from the hustle and bustle of city life with clean, crisp air and great outdoor winter activities. Our visitors love being reminded of the memories they made as kids and love making new memories with their kids,” Koecher said.

While living at Red Ledges, a private community in Heber Valley, members can enjoy all that Heber Valley has to offer and more. Red Ledges provides a full schedule of winter activities, including a skiing club that visits nearby resorts, cross-country skiing, hiking and snowshoeing on the property and seasonal get-togethers. Tennis and golf, which are typically summer sports, are played year-round at Red Ledges with an enclosed tennis court and a Jim McLean Golf School with winter training facilities. For more information, go to www.RedLedges.com.

For more information about the winter fun at Heber Valley, check out www.gohebervalley.com.

This article originally appeared on heraldextra.com