At the beginning of February, my girlfriends and I headed back to Deer Valley for a long weekend getaway! We had done the trip before in the summer and had so much fun we decided it was only fitting to do round two in the snow! Having experienced Deer Valley in both the summer and the winter, I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on what it has to offer. Deer Valley’s snow and skiing conditions are phenomenal. The town has a more mainstream mountain vibe and it definitely has a resort-style scene. It made the perfect setting for our girls’ getaway so I’m sharing all of my recommendations and to do’s if you’re looking into a winter (or summer) getaway to Utah of your own!
PLANE: One of the biggest perks of Deer Valley is the travel convenience. It’s about an hour from the airport, but visitors have the option of flying directly into Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) which services multiple airlines and cities.
UBER: It was SO convenient having the option to Uber throughout town. Deer Valley offers the options of “UBER Ski” — a great choice if you’re toting your gear up to the mountain for the day.
SHUTTLE SERVICE: Each time we have traveled here, my friend and her family always use Freestyle Transportation. It costs $125 for airport Transpo, but it’s a convenient option to pre-book if traveling with a family or group.
MONTAGE DEER VALLEY: Probably my favorite luxury Deer Valley resort and top recommendation if it’s in your price range. Everything is spot on from the homey decor, lavish spa, amenities, indoor/ outdoor pools, ski-in/ski-out accessibility, five different dining options, complimentary s’mores bar, bowling alley, Veuve Clicquot Après Ski Lounge, and on-site ski rentals and storage. My family and I always have incredible experiences with this hotel group and know from experience a stay at the Montage is truly a pampered vacation.
Washington School House Hotel: This charming luxury hotel’s tower kept catching my eye while in town and after doing a little digging I’m pleasantly surprised with the property! Think bright crisp decor, European touches, reclaimed wood, and an authentic boutique feel all inside a historic Park City School House. Great for couples or boutique hotels lovers. It’s walking distance to town and features a ski lounge, complimentary breakfast, and pool.
ST.REGIS DEER VALLEY: Located at the lower Snow Park area accessible by its own funicular, the St. Regis is another luxury lodging option with a more corporate mountain feel. The ski-in/ski-out accessibility, multitude of restaurants, pet-friendly hospitality, spa, and slope side pool are just a few reasons to consider a stay at this five diamond mountain resort.
STEIN ERIKSEN LODGE: I have yet to check out this Forbes’ acclaimed luxury resort, but it comes highly recommended by my friends. This mountainside luxury hotel projects an authentic lodge feel with Deer Valley’s only Five-Star spa.
The Chateaux Deer Valley: An ideal combination of adventure and relaxation, this four-star hotel boasts contemporary mountain decor, an award-winning Italian restaurant, and frequently offers lodging specials. (*Great alternative option if you want a nice stay and have a mid-tier budget)
VBRO: Each time I’ve traveled to Utah I’ve always stayed at my friend’s family’s house. It’s a convenient and fun option when you’re traveling with a group or wanting to cook your own meals. To still experience a resort-like feel splurge for a meal at the St. Regis or Montage and consider booking a spa day.
Peaks Hotel Park City: If you’re solely on a mission to ski and need a clean, budget-friendly place to stay this is a solid option down the road in Park City.
SKIING: Deer Valley is a skiers only mountain, so if you’re wanting to snowboard I recommend Park City, Sundance Resort, or Snowbird! The snow here is truly incredible. Not only does Deer Valley span across 6 mountains, but it’s also a really good place to improve your skiing. I found a lot of the runs weren’t as steep as I was used to, but the more advanced trails offer a variety of learning terrain. I recommend buying lift tickets online in advance. Deer Valley limits the # sold to avoid over-populating although we did experience long lift lines in the mornings. Rentals: If you need to rent equipment, you can do so with Deer Valley Rentals and reserve your skis online.
Snowmobiling: This is always a fun winter activity to enjoy with family or friends. There are quite a few companies to choose from but I’d look into Red Pine Tours, Thousand Peaks, and Summit Meadows Adventures. All priced around $120 per hour.
Dog-Sledding: If you haven’t experienced dog-sledding, I highly recommend adding it to your travel list. My friend from home recently traveled to Deer Valley and loved her experience with Luna Lobos Dog Sledding. For tips on what to wear or expect, read my dog sledding post here.
Midway Ice Castles: This was at the top of my to-do list, but unfortunately we had to skip it this trip because tickets were sold out. It’s already closed for the season, but I advise booking your ticket online at least a week out.
Montage Spa: There’s nothing like a spa day in the mountains. Even if you aren’t staying at a resort, I advise booking a day at the Montage Spa. Treatments can be quite expensive, but the resort offers day passes for $55 that include access to the indoor pool, indoor jacuzzis, and all the lavish spa amenities.
The Paint Mixer: For those of you who have always wanted to take a paint & sip class, Deer Valley makes the perfect setting! I advise booking ahead online and picking a class that serves wine. It’s a great activity if you’re traveling with a group and costs an avg. of $35 per person, excluding wine. They have a 2 drink maximum FYI!
Shopping in Town: The town of Deer Valley has quite a lot to offer. I recommend an afternoon of shopping on Main Street at some of my favorite spots: Dolly’s Bookstore, Cake Clothing Boutique, Gorsuch, and Rootd Home store.
Sundance: The industry’s most well-known independent film festival is held in Park City every year. Be prepared for prices to bump up, but there are plenty of screenings, lots of after parties and plenty to do in town during these few weeks.
Alpine Slide: A well-known attraction for Park City visitors. We did this on the day of our arrival during our trip in the summer, and while it’s more geared towards kids we still had fun; $16 per ride.
White Water Rafting: If you’re traveling in a group this is a fun summertime activity to add to the list! We expected to experience a few more rapids but we had a fun time with High Country Adventure located about 30 minutes outside of town.
Golf: I’m not the best golfer but Deer Valley has several 18 hole courses to enjoy during the summertime.
Hot Air Ballooning: This is another experience on my bucket list! If you’re up for an adventure and have the budget I’ve heard great things about Morning Star Ballons. ($250 per person for 1 hour)
Bistro 412: A local American favorite serving up delicious comfort dishes like baked brie and Croque madames. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
Cafe Terigo: The food here is even more appealing than the beautiful atmosphere. I recommend coming here for a nicer dinner and ordering the housemade ricotta with tomato jam and basil pesto followed by an entree of the house ravioli.
Grappa: A cozy Italian spot tucked away on Main Street. The hearty dinner menu was made for a meal in the mountains.
Wasatch: A great casual spot on Main Street to grab a beer, a bite to eat from the bar food menu, or watch a game.
Zoom: Probably my favorite spot in Deer Valley. I love the decor and the delicious American menu for lunch or dinner. Closed Sunday and Monday seasonally.
Java Cow: the local’s favorite ice cream stop
Cushing’s Cabin: A quaint mountain lodge, located atop Flagstaff Mountain at 9,100 feet. Great for a hot cocoa break or a bit to eat while skiing.
High West Distillery: One of my favorite summertime stops- great for lunch, drinks, and local whiskey tasting! I recommend a reservation at this gastro-distillery and ordering the beer pretzel!
Yuki Yama Sushi: Traditional Japanese food and sushi if you need a fix while in the mountains!
Park City Chinese & Thai: A hole in the wall with delicious pad thai. We ordered take out from here on the night of our arrival.
Chimayo: An upscale southwestern restaurant great for groups or an unconventional delicious dinner. Don’t miss the Chimayo margarita or the crown roast of BBQ spare ribs with caramelized pineapple glaze and buttermilk whipped potatoes.
Montage Smores Bar: This one’s for Montage guests, but if you venture to the second floor between 4-5 you’ll find the most elaborate fireside s’mores station overlooking the mountains.
St. Regis Bar: Even if you aren’t staying at the hotel, I recommend venturing over for an afternoon hot chocolate or hot toddy! Weather permitting, my favorite spot is the outdoor area next to the fire pits overlooking the mountain.
Veuve Clicquot Aprés Ski Lounge: Glasses of champagne cost $35 so this one’s definitely a splurge, but the Gorsuch decorated yurt is the ultimate lavish destination for an apres ski drink or bite to eat. I recommend going with a group and sharing a bottle! Open daily 12-4pm.
No Name Saloon: The “Best” bar in town three years in a row. Come here if you’re looking for the town’s oldest and most notorious spot to grab a drink.
Pink Elephant Coffee Shop: Located on Main Street above Billy’s Barbershop. The Best spot in town for a locally roasted, crafted cup o’ jo.
Packing for Deer Valley includes all the same ski/snow weather essentials listed in my Telluride Travel Guide, Telluride Town & Dogsledding and Telluride Skiing posts. If you’re traveling in the winter, you’ll definitely need a parka and snow boots + ski clothes if you plan on skiing. My most worn accessory (as you can tell) was this fur wrap headband then I wore lots of cozy sweaters and your traditional winter layers of course.
If traveling in the summer, I recommend a swimsuit, denim shorts, an active outfit for rafting or outdoor activities. Bring a pair of Jeans if you plan on horseback riding and a few maxi dresses/ warm weather tops for daytime and dinner.
Let me know if you’re heading to Deer Valley! I’d love to hear your favorites as well!