8 Reasons Heber Valley Makes One of the Best Winter Family Vacation Destinations

Ice castles, warm water scuba diving more within 45 minutes of Salt Lake City airport

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Considered Utah’s Little Switzerland, Heber Valley might just be the ideal family vacation destination that you haven’t heard of yet. While its fresh mountain air and myriad of activities make it a year-round getaway, it is especially fantastic in the winter. These are only some of the many reasons why Heber Valley with kids is a great idea.

Unplug in Nature

Families can unplug amid nature in Heber Valley, Utah.

A Heber Valley vacation is an active one that involves trading digital devices for fun in the great outdoors. From building snowmen to snowmobiling, there is so much to do that even the pickiest of kids will not miss their favorite TV shows and apps.

A Convenient Location

Heber Valley is located midway between Sundance Resort and Park City, just 45 minutes from the Salt Lake City airport. It’s so close yet it feels so far away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Snorkel and Scuba Dive in Warm Water – Really!

Kids will love snorkeling in Homestead Crater's naturally warm water in Heber Valley.

The Homestead Crater might just be reason enough to visit Heber Valley. It’s a geothermal hot spring, Mother Nature’s hot tub, hidden within a 55-foot-tall beehive-shaped limestone rock that formed when melted snow from the Wasatch Mountains seeped deep into the earth. That would be two miles below, to be exact. As the water percolated upward, it picked up minerals along the way to create the volcano-shaped Homestead Crater.

You can do SUP yoga year round at the Homestead Crater geothermal hot spring in Heber Valley.

It is the only warm scuba diving destination in the continental United States. How cool is that? And, it’s Caribbean blue mineral water. In addition to snorkeling, swimming and scuba diving, guests can even take a stand-up paddle board yoga class. Yes, all of this can be done even in winter!

Not-Your-Average Ice Castle

Heber Valley's ice castle is a unique structure that is different than traditional ice palaces as it begins with a single icicles that gets watered and molded to other icicles until a massive structure forms.

Most ice palaces are built from blocks, but the Ice Castle here is built using a different technique that involves placement of a single icicle that gets watered and molded to other icicles until it forms a massive structure that is similar to organic structures found in nature. Then, it’s up to about 10-20 artists to shape tunnels, archways, slot canyons, slides, thrones and more.

The Only Real Glacier in Utah

The enormous Mt. Timpanogos, often informally referred to as Timpe, is considered the most popular mountain in the state of Utah and is certainly the most climbed. It has the only real glacier in Utah. Adventurous travelers will love seeing it during a climb.

Fly Fishing in Winter

So Many Family-Friendly Snow Sports

Of course, traditional snow sports like cross country skiing are possible in Heber Valley.

Go cross country skiing in Heber Valley, Utah.

Families can snow shoe, ice skate, go inner tubing, take sleigh rides and so much more, too.

Families love taking sleigh rides in Heber Valley, Utah.

Heber Valley Railroad

Board the Heber Valley Railroad’s 1920’s era rail cars for a 16 mile journey from Heber Valley to Provo Canyon.

The historic Heber Valley Railroad is a fun thing to do with kids in Heber Valley with kids.

The railroad offers seasonal theme rides such as the North Pole Express, a recreation of “The Polar Express.” The scenery is spectacular in any season, often with wildlife sightings along the way.

Unique Lodging for Multigenerational Travel

The Zermatt resort in Heber Valley is a European villa experience with guest room suites for any size of family.

Base your Heber Valley family vacation at Homestead Resort, Zermatt Resort or Daniels Summit Lodge. Kids will love the cozy built-in bunkbed at the historical Homestead Resort while adults appreciate a rich history of providing warm meals and merriment for visitors.

The Zermatt Resort can accommodate any size of family with guest room suites and a European villa experience.

The Daniels Summit Lodge has the look and feel of a log cabin nestled deep in the woods, with unlimited snowmobiling from back porch into the Uinta National Forest. Here, three family lodges sleep over 40+ people and also have huge kitchens and unique play areas, a private fishing pond, and 360 degree breathtaking views at the Timber Moose Lodge, Silver Springs Lodge and Stone Hill Lodge. How cool is that?

Learn more about Heber Valley here. Have you been?

*Photos are used courtesy of Heber Valley who has graciously sponsored this post.

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