Park City in Winter
On the Slopes and in the Snow
I’m always impressed by how many north Texans like to ski. Growing up near several ski resorts in Michigan, my friends and I were clicking our boots into bindings and schussing down the hills from an early age. Despite not having such opportunities in Dallas, people here love to head west and hit the slopes. One destination that’s quickly growing in popularity is Park City, Utah, just a quick 40-minute drive from Salt Lake City.
The weather was perfect when my future daughter-in-law Abbey and I visited Deer Valley in the Wasatch Range, where the winter season runs from December through early April. It had been a while since I last skied; still, I didn’t anticipate that my legs would feel like noodles afterward. We stayed at The Chateaux Deer Valley, part of the Stein Collection, which also owns the adjacent Stein Eriksen Lodge. Inspired by the Olympic legend and his Norwegian heritage, it has the feel of an elegant European ski lodge. Fortunately, it also has a Forbes Five-Star spa, and healing massages got us ready for more outdoor fun. Next up was Woodward Park City, home to Utah’s longest snow-tubing runs. Bouncing down the hills at high speeds had me giggling like a 12-year-old.
In between all of the sporty stuff, make time to visit Park City’s Historic Main Street. The former silver mining town offers a bevy of quaint shops and top-notch restaurants. Among them is the award-winning Riverhorse on Main, where the eclectic menu frequently changes. The ahi tuna tartare is a must-try, as is the wild game trio (elk, buffalo, and venison). And, depending on your poison, try a wine tasting at Old Town Cellars or a whiskey tasting at High West Distillery’s saloon.
Wining and dining opportunities abound at the Stein Collection properties, too. The popular Golden Hirsch is known for its contemporary Alpine fare and cheese or chocolate fondues. On one memorable evening, we enjoyed a sleigh ride after the lifts had shut down for the night. It was meditative to take in the stunning beauty of the mountains and the stillness of the evening, broken only by the muted clop-clop of the horse’s hooves on the snow and the jingle of the sleigh bells. Dinner at the four-star Glitretind that evening was served in one of its Alpenglobes. Of the many appealing options on the menu, we chose Wild Mushroom Agnolotti, followed by Maine Sea Scallops and a filet of Double R Ranch Beef; everything was delicious. As our gold leaf-topped sticky toffee pudding arrived, right on cue, fluffy snowflakes began gracefully falling from the sky—a final touch to a truly magical evening. —Christine Perez
Park City in Summer
Hiking, Art, and Cuisine
The absence of snow did not take away from the beauty of the mountains as my friend and I approached Montage Deer Valley resort, perched near a Park City peak at roughly 8,300 feet of elevation. The resort is split between hotel rooms and residences and adorned much like a luxury hunting cabin.
After checking in and admiring our suite, complete with a woodsy fireplace and luxurious soaking tub, we headed to Buzz, the resort’s coffee shop, for a quick bite and boost. Make sure to sample a few of the in-house made bonbons showcased in the shop’s large glass case.
We met up with one of the resort’s guides for a hike to neighboring Blood’s Lake. The roughly two-mile hike from the trailhead to the lake provides a wonderful look at local flora and fauna during the summer, my favorite being the white Aspen trees characteristic of the area. The hike was a good mix of ease and challenge, culminating at the clear waters of the small lake. We dared to rope swing into the cold but refreshing water, joining a small group of hikers and swimmers.
Afterward, we returned to the resort for dinner at Apex Steakhouse, on the hotel’s lower level. My friend and I split the seafood platter to start, sharing decadent Alaskan king crab, oysters, and spicy tuna poke. I chose the Elk Chop for my main, opting for sides of grilled seasonal veggies and sauteed wild mushrooms with onions and black truffle vinaigrette. For dessert, I recommend the sorbet selection.
The next day, we awoke early for a horseback ride along the mountainside. The hour-long jaunt provided ample The next day, we awoke early for a horseback ride along the mountainside. The hour-long jaunt provided ample scenic views to enjoy and was accessible to any level of equestrian. Having ridden regularly as a child, I was thrilled to get back on that horse and make use of riding skills passed down to me by my mother.
After the ride, we headed into town to peruse the local shopping, restaurants, and art galleries. We started with a peek around Dolly’s Bookstore, wound our way through the town’s more than 16 art galleries, including Park City Fine Art, which showcased pieces from Salvador Dali to TV and radio host Glenn Beck’s personal art collection. Seeking a sweet treat, we opted for local favorite Java Cow ice cream (by then, at least three people had recommended it to us), where the Purple Cow—blackberry ice cream with white and dark chocolate chunks—is a must-try. We finished our rounds through Park City’s downtown with a stop at Atticus Tea & Coffee, where I’d recommend The Finch (a Cubano-style espresso with raw sugar and cinnamon).
Next up was a return to Montage Deer Valley to visit its 35,000 square foot spa—the largest in Utah. I was excited to experience its signature Masterpiece Facial, which includes anti-aging treatment from six masks, the star of which is the firming collagen treatment. Swiss brand Valmont’s products left me feeling firmer and more hydrated, and I learned a lot about my skin from my aesthetician, Jordana. I spent at least an hour post-treatment enjoying the spa’s steam shower, hot tub, and plunge pool.
For dinner, we chose Yama, the resort’s sushi restaurant, named for the Japanese word for mountain. Choose the For dinner, we chose Yama, the resort’s sushi restaurant, named for the Japanese word for mountain. Choose the Sushi Nachos to start—my friend and I still talk about the delicious combination of king crab, tuna, scallion, avocado, tare, and wakame atop black truffle wontons. The Wasatch roll was an excellent main, showcasing Mountain Ale-battered tempura shrimp and spicy tuna salmon alongside avocado, tobiko, cucumber, and spicy aioli. I’d also recommend the Chef’s Ngiri Plate. The Dessert Experience, which offers tastes of every item on the dessert menu, was the perfect way to finish the night—Kelsey J. Vanderschoot