Take time out of your noisy life and head to the peaceful Heber Valley. Just on the other side of the Wasatch, this fall-colored destination is perfect for the family.
How to get there
I-80 East to exit 146 and merge onto US-189. Even if you drive slowly through Parley’s Canyon, marveling at the beautiful fall colors, you’ll still be in Heber City in an hour. So don’t rush.
Where to stay
Crash in Heber City for easy access to Kamas, Midway and outdoor adventures. Stay in luxury at Daniels Summit Lodge, where you’ll have a fireplace, full-service kitchen and patio. If it’s still warm, have a barbeque. Ask about cabin/massage combo packages. Highway 40, Daniels Summit Pass, 435-548-2300, danielssummit.com
WHAT TO DO
Heber Valley Railroad
The vintage locomotive, Soldier Hollow Express, rides through beautiful foliage past Deer Creek Reservoir and Decker Bay. Take a special train to the pumpkin patch, get lost in the hay maze and pick a pumpkin to bring home with you. There’s pumpkin decorating, cookies and hot cocoa on the way back to the depot. Before or afterward, enjoy upscale, modern Western cuisine at the nearby Snake Creek Grill (650 W. 100 South) beforehand. 450 S. 600 West, 435-654-5601
The great outdoors
The Blue Ribbon Provo River, between Heber and Midway on Midway Lane, is our favorite fly-fishing spot, with brown, rainbow and cutthroat trout. Cascade Springs trail is 22 minutes from Heber City—southeast on Highway 189 and then a right on Highway 92. This hike takes you over paved and dirt trails in the shadow of Mount Timpanogos and only takes 15 minutes to a half hour. Want more of a challenge? Try Duchesne Ridge—Highway 248 to Kamas, State Route 32 to Francis. Then take State Route 25 east. Go 15 miles until you see the signs for Mill Hollow and be prepared to climb. Anglers should make sure they hook up with Rocky Mountain Outfitters (call 435-654-1655), the hook up for guided fly-fishing to some of the West’s best waters (and horseback rides).
One Day in Midway
Swim or scuba dive at the Homestead Resort’s crater, filled with 90-degree mineral water and located in a natural dome with a hole at the top to let in fresh air (700 N. Homestead Dr.). Lunch at the Cuckoo Café (195 E. Main St.) for paninis (less than $8) and dinner at the award-winning Blue Boar Inn (1235 Warm Springs Rd).
Wasatch Back Links
The golf course at Wasatch Mountain State Park has beautiful vistas all year long at 6,000 feet. Now, add the red, orange and yellow-hued trees. stateparks.utah.gov
Heber City’s Cowboy Poetry Gathering and Buckaroo Fair
Five days of cowboy merchandise and performances by the best cowboy poets and musicians in the West, plus the Cowboy Film Festival. hebercitycowboypoetry.com.