With so much to do in Park City, it is easy to understand why visitors would go there and not leave the city until they head home. Park City, Utah is hard to pull yourself away from especially when the skiing is as good as it was when we visited (see Powder Paradise: Our Incredible Trip to Park City, Utah). No one wants to miss a powder day when you only get to ski a few days out west a year. Nonetheless, when the opportunity arose to snowmobile with long-time friend Jessica Turner of Visit Heber Valley, we jumped on it.
My family and I had never been snowmobiling before and here was our chance. Not to mention that Jessica had been selling me on the virtues of Heber Valley since she first took the job there a couple of years ago. The time had come to determine if Heber Valley lived up to its billing and let's just say it did not disappoint. From the quaint breakfast nook we visited to the incredible snowmobile tour and our delicious lunch after, Heber Valley offered an excellent respite from our three days of skiing in Park City.
Starting Our Day With Breakfast in Midway
With the snow coming down pretty heavily, we left the Westgate Park City Resort and Spa early to give us time to get to Heber Valley. Turns out that it does not snow nearly as much in the valley as it does in the mountains. Consequently, the ride was smooth and we were almost 45 minutes early when we pulled into the parking lot and Wasatch Excursions to snowmobile. Letting Jessica know we were already there, she promptly suggested we meet her for coffee and a bite to eat at the nearby Fill'er Up Coffee Station.
Despite Midway's smaller size, the downtown area offers plenty of wonderful surprises, including Fill'er Up Coffee Station. This unique coffee shop is housed in a beautifully renovated 1930s gas station and is sure to catch your eye with its charming and playful decor. From the outside, the facade of the original gas station has been preserved, complete with car-themed attractions that our children loved. As you step inside, the quaint car theme continues, evident in every corner of this adorable establishment.
One striking feature of Fill'er Up is the incredible accent wall, made entirely of WW1 munitions boxes that had been discovered during the renovation process. The wall provides a sensational backdrop that complements the overall charm of the coffee shop, inviting visitors to marvel at this exquisite piece of history.
The quirky and charming decor may get you to pull in the parking lot, but it's the superb food and coffee that makes this place truly special. The coffee shop boasts an impressive selection of specialty coffees, all of which pair perfectly with their freshly baked pastries and scrumptious breakfast sandwiches.
My personal favorite was the Mocha Latte with Mexican chocolate and pepper. It was a sweet and luxurious gratification with a surprising kick of spice that warmed me up on the chilly day. We also indulged in a delicious coconut bar that tantalized our taste buds and filled us up before we set out on our adventure on the nearby trails. Fill'er Up is a quintessential Midway and proves the best things come in small packages.
Snowmobiling With Wasatch Excursions
This being our first time snowmobiling, we had no idea what to expect. Not one of us had ever even sat on a snowmobile before, nevermind driving one. That said, we kitted up in the house gear to look official and headed out to hop on the snowmobiles. Complete with heated handles and throttle they put the bouge in bougie snowmobile. Once in the saddle, our energetic and passionate guide gave us a thorough run down of how to drive these high-powered machines. Armed with this extensive knowledge, it was off to the races.
My wife who was leading the way white-knuckled it the entire first leg of the trip. Let's just say speed was not her forte. To be fair though, there is a bit of a learning curve to riding and turning the snowmobile especially when the snow was coming down as hard as it was that day. Plus, her permanent cruise control of about 15 mph gave us a nice look at the snow-covered Wasatch Mountain State Park.
Winding in and around the narrow pathways created by our guide we slowly climbed in elevation ultimately leading to breathtaking snowy views of the valley below. Whether it was the beautiful snow-covered Aspens that highlighted the borders of the trails or the peaks of the Wasatch Mountains off in the distance the sites were certainly hard to surpass.
Our snowmobiling excursion was not just a leisurely ride through the scenic forest; it was an adventure that offered thrilling moments. As we made our way to the open fields, we finally had the chance to let our snowmobiles rip. It wasn't a scene straight out of "Fast and Furious," but it was an exhilarating experience.
The straightaways allowed us to fully engage the machines and push them to their limits, giving us the chance to see how fast we could rev them up before careening into the turns with ease. It was an adrenaline-fueled experience that left us all breathless and feeling alive.
Our snowmobiling adventure with Wasatch Excursions was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As we glided on the well-maintained trails, the anticipation and excitement were unmistakable. Even with minimal experience, my family and I were blown away by the thrilling ride in some of the toughest conditions (at least we thought they were) on that day.
The professionalism and expertise of our guide and the rest of the team at Wasatch Excursions were outstanding. They provided us with unparalleled service and went above and beyond to make sure our adventure was nothing short of unforgettable. Our guide even captured stunning photos and videos that served as a testament to the phenomenal day.
The snow-covered terrain was simply breathtaking, and the freedom of riding through it on a snowmobile was indescribable. We couldn't get enough of the sweeping views and the adrenaline rush that came with twisting and turning through the snowy landscape.
If you're seeking a break from skiing in Park City, I highly recommend Wasatch Excursions for your snowmobiling adventure. It was an experience we will always cherish and remember fondly.
Après at Back 40 Restaurant, Heber City
Snowmobiling through Wasatch Mountain State Park was amazing but there was no need to end our visit to Heber Valley right after it. Just like any other outdoor activity we partake in, gathering after to share stories over food and drink is always a must. So it was from there that we headed to one of the popular Heber City dining options, Back 40 Restaurant.
Back 40 Restaurant is a popular dining spot located in Heber City, Utah. Its setting is in an old historic building, that was once a general store and has since been renovated into a cozy restaurant. This ultimately makes for a charming dining space with a rustic and appealing atmosphere.
The Back 40 Restaurant menu is made up of predominantly American cuisine, featuring items like burgers, sandwiches, salads, and a good variety of local craft beer.
As someone who appreciates locally sourced drinks, I couldn't resist trying the ROHA Back Porch Blonde Ale. The first sip of this light, yet flavorful ale was so refreshing that I knew I had made the right choice. It was the perfect complement to my Cauliflower soup, especially since I was seeking to warm up from the chilly weather outside.
While my wife and I enjoyed my drink, my daughters opted for Back 40's indulgent hot chocolate to ward off the cold. The rich, decadent drink was the perfect way to warm up their bones after our snowy ride through the Wasatch Mountains.
The Back 40 Burger is a must-try for all burger enthusiasts. This hearty burger is made with locally sourced, organic, grass-fed beef which gives it a rich and savory flavor. The beef patty is generously topped with fresh lettuce, ripe tomatoes, sweet caramelized onions, and tender pastrami slices. To add to the deliciousness, the Back 40 Burger is garnished with a mouth-watering special sauce and Heber Valley Creamery's jalapeno bacon cheddar, which adds a perfect kick of spice. With such a loaded bun, you can expect burger juice to run down your forearm, signaling a truly wonderful burger indulgence.
If you have some room left after devouring that carnivorous pleasure you can and should end your meal on a sweet note. Back 40 is known for its delectable desserts like pecan pie and peach cobbler. Sadly, I overindulged on my lunch and couldn't fit anything else in my stomach, but next time I visit I will be sure to save room for the sweet taste of dessert.
Dessert or not, our time in Heber Valley had come to an end. Taking a break from skiing in Park City to go snowmobiling in Heber Valley was a thrilling and exciting way to experience the beauty of Utah's Wasatch Mountain State Park. With its breathtaking scenery and miles of unspoiled terrain, Heber Valley is the ideal destination for an exciting snowmobile adventure. Throw in our stops at the unique Fill'er Up Coffee Station for breakfast and our après snowmobiling lunch at the amazing Back 40 Restaurant and this day is one we'll talk about forever.
Be sure to check back next week for the third and final installment detailing our trip to Park City, Utah. Featuring detailed reviews of the key pieces of gear we used to get us through the trip, it is a must-read blog post.