Even when the skiers have gone home, Deer Valley is still one of the country’s most beautiful destinations.
“Spring in the mountains is quiet time,” says Colleen Logan of the Utah-based Icon Health & Fitness, the company behind brands such as NordicTrack, iFit and Altra. “The ski slopes are closed. The mountain landscape is in transition. Frequently, the cool days have bluebird skies, so outdoor activities are still enjoyable.”
With more than 2,000 acres to explore, dotted with blossoming wildflowers, roaming wildlife and quality places to eat and sleep, this sprawling ski resort also proves to be one of the best spots for a spring escape.
As the flowers and plants start popping up, so do the non-snow-focused outdoor activities. Head about 23 minutes northeast of Park City to Rockport Reservoir State Park for low-impact hiking, fishing, camping and, as it gets warmer, waterskiing.
If it still feels too cool to really get your feet wet, consider trying paddleboard yoga inside an ancient crater bubbling with a warm mineral spring that sits just 30 minutes from Deer Valley. Park City Yoga Adventures handles the classes, which you can reserve online — we recommend booking your session along with a sunset hike for a truly spectacular adventure.
Come late spring, mountain biking season officially kicks off when the chairlifts start going again (scheduled this year for June 15). Beginners can ride up the mountains on one of the Deer Valley, Canyons or Park City lifts and then enjoy 90-plus miles of prime biking tracks, while advanced riders can explore 400-plus miles of connecting regional trails.
Destination Sports and Adventures offers mountain bike rentals, classes and guided tours, making it easy to tailor a two-wheeled adventure to your skill level.
Another great biking option is the Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail, a scenic 28-mile, car-free path for those looking for a smooth ride or easy hike.
Whether you want to walk or run the dozens of trails found in and around Deer Valley, the clear, slightly-warm-yet-cool weather proves just right. “I love trail running in the spring because the varied terrain adds core and balance work to a regular run,” says Golden Harper, founder of the Utah-based Altra Footwear.
Download a handy map or consult your concierge about where to go before you take off. However, keep in mind that trail running or walking during this season means dirt at the lower elevations and mud and snow as you ascend. Two good hiking shoes for this varying terrain are the Altra Lone Peak and the Altra Timp, which were, coincidentally enough, named after the nearby mountain peaks that you can see from the top of Deer Valley.
With clear skies and gorgeous terrain, Deer Valley boasts impressive scenery. The best way to take in the sights is by hopping in a hot-air balloon. Park City Balloon Adventures offers one-hour sunrise flights that come complete with a post-flight champagne toast.
Another way to see the valley is by taking one of the aforementioned chair lifts to the top of the peaks and walking along the paths. The Silver Lake Trail on Bald Mountain is particularly scenic with its views of the Jordanelle Reservoir and the Uinta Mountains.
Explore beyond the verdant valley by booking a nearby adventure with Montage Expeditions from Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Montage Deer Valley. Each specialized day trip lets you explore one of Utah’s national parks, including Moab, Bryce Canyon, Zion and Yellowstone National Park. No matter which you pick, the jaunt will include a private charter plane, gourmet picnic lunch, a personal Montage tour guide and a chic stay upon your return to Deer Valley.
For a closer excursion, Park City is a mere five minutes away. There you’ll find plenty of shopping at stylish stores with character including Cake Boutique, Root’d and Park City Mercantile. If you’re looking to grab a good read, Dolly’s Bookstore on Main Street provides a cozy setting (along with a few resident cats).
Eat, Drink, Sleep
While in town, make sure your stay is as stellar as the surrounding vistas. For easy access to an array of warm-weather activities, rest your head at the aforementioned craftsman-chic Montage Deer Valley. After a day of exploring the rugged terrain, dine at the property’s elegant Yama Sushi restaurant or at chef Christian Ojeda’s Apex, a causal yet refined modern steakhouse. The resort’s Vista Lounge & Terrace provides a place to unwind with a glass of wine while taking in the striking landscape.
Another great option can be found at Four-Star The St. Regis Deer Valley. Here, rest your head in rustic elegance, nosh on modern mountain fare at chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s J&G Grill and reinvigorate at the resort’s Four-Star Remède Spa. With regards to the latter, be sure to book a muscle-melting massage, if only to take advantage of a soak in the whirlpools and the signature cooling cucumber eye treatment, which is a part of every spa service.