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See the world differently after a visit to Snowbird

By Jennifer Durrant daily Herald - | Jul 13, 2014
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The Aerial Tram is just one of the amazing, scenery-filled activities you can enjoy in the cooler climes of Snowbird Resort. 

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The scenic ride aboard Snowbird's Aerial Tram is sure to delight every member of your family. Once at the top of the peak, enjoy a great hike back to the lodge. 

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The rock climbing wall is just one of the many activities found on the patio at of the Cliff Lodge at Snowbird. 

What do overworked and exhausted parents do when they need a break from busy work schedules and crazy kids? They run away!

No need to run too far away when we live so close to amazing weekend getaways.

Looking for a quick, quiet overnight retreat, my husband and I decided to take a short trip up Little Cottonwood Canyon a few weeks ago to explore the summertime beauty of Snowbird.

Why have I never been to Snowbird? Why have I never even just driven up Little Cottonwood Canyon to behold the lush green landscape speckled with clumps of wildflowers? It was immediately clear that this resort trip was long overdue.

Ominous clouds threatened to rain out our planned resort activities as we checked into the Cliff Lodge, but by the time we settled into our oversized deluxe room (The view was incredible!), the raindrops dissipated, leaving us with an even more inviting cooler clime to fully enjoy the mountain air. No umbrellas necessary.

Snowbird has built a great reputation for its family-friendly summertime activities boasting a calendar full of free outdoor movies and Cool Air Concerts, great ways to cap off a day filled with trips down the Alpine Slide, mountain biking or hiking the trails or even splashing around the pool.

With our all-day activity pass wristbands attached, we decided to try a ride on the Mountain Flyer. This comfortable zipline-like ride for two pulls you backward to a launch point some 1,000 linear feet above where you can enjoy the vistas of the mountain in front of you, and the Alpine Slide and Cliff Lodge pool below. When the ride is released, you swiftly sail back down to the Plaza Deck. This enjoyable ride wasn’t quite as butterfly-inducing as I had hoped, but that very abrupt stop made for a thrilling end.

While I was tempted to jump back on the Mountain Flyer for a second time, we decided to catch the Aerial Tram ride up the mountain instead, still worrying the sky might decide to rain on us.

Loaded into the tramcar with dozens of other sightseers, we began our picturesque ascent up the mountain to the top of Hidden Peak. Only a 1.6-mile ride, the trip seemed so much further as we climbed higher and higher, nearly reaching the low-hanging rain clouds.

Stunning. The views atop the mountain were simply stunning. As we meandered around the peak, admiring the many vistas in every direction, I was reminded of why my husband and I decided to run away to Snowbird. It was time for a nature break, time to enjoy the surrounding beauty.

Returning back to the Plaza Deck, we took a few minutes to watch some children bounce and flip on the popular Bungy Trampolines and older kids and adults zoom by on the Alpine Slide. Other family-friendly activities at the resort include a climbing wall, ropes course, air jumper and kids’ inflatables.

Opening later this month are the new Mountain Coaster and Peruvian Chairlift and Tunnel — activities I’m certainly interested in checking out.

The weekend we were at Snowbird, musician Keller Williams was the featured performer for the Cool Air Concert Series. Hundreds of people propped open their picnic baskets, set out their camp chairs and kicked back to enjoy a relaxing dinner noshing on their favorite foods.

Wanting to check out the musical stylings of Williams, yet wanting to check out the fine-dining options at the resort, we opted for a cheesy breadstick appetizer from Tram Car Pizza while enjoying the first 30 minutes or so of the performance.

Debating between the many restaurant options at The Cliff Lodge, we settled on the Mexican restaurant, El Chanate. We were not disappointed. The food was simply delicious.

Walking off our dinner, I managed to snap a few wildflower photos. As it turned out, our getaway coincided with the popular Wildflower Festival, but because of a busy Sunday schedule, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the various flower-filled hikes that were available. So we decided to take in the floral views on our walk around the resort instead.

Now, no weekend getaway is ever quite complete without a dip in the hot tub, so we suited up and headed to the pool area to round out our evening. There is something magical about sitting in a toasty hot tub that is shrouded in towering pine trees with soaring birds above and a crisp breeze nipping at your shoulders. Had the sky been clear that evening, the star show would have been magnificent.

Looking back on that short trip to Snowbird, I now realize two things: First, our visit was far too short, and second, I need to make Snowbird a regular addition to our summer activity calendar every year.

Snowbird Resort

Where: 9600 E. Little Cottonwood Canyon

Prices: Individual rides range from $9 to $17 per ride. All-Day Activities passes are $45 for adults and $32 for youth under 42 inches in height.

Hours: Activity rides are open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Extra: Be sure and check out the free activities as well. Snowbird’s summer calendar is filled with concerts, family flicks on the patio, wildflower tours and much more. 

Info: (800) 232-9542, www.snowbird.com


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