Sundance Resort in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains is situated around an hour’s drive from Salt Lake City, and less than half an hour from Provo. Acquired by actor Robert Redford in 1968, this ski resort is a year-round haven for outdoor enthusiasts, as it offers skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing in winter; as well as hiking, biking, horseback riding, and fishing in summer. Many Sundance Resort vacation rentals offer you and your family convenient access to almost all of the recreational and cultural activities in the area. Rent a log cabin retreat in the mountains and enjoy waking up to the sound of birdsong, or book a condo in the heart of town, just steps away from restaurants, shops, and nightlife, as well as the lifts and mountain trails. Wherever you stay, here are some of the top activities at Sundance Resort to keep the whole family entertained.
1. Take a Hike
There are miles of mountain trails to follow through stunning scenery with levels to suit all abilities. Get the kids outfitted in their comfy walking shoes, fill the backpacks with snacks and drinks, and step out. A popular hike visits the beautiful Stewart Falls. Take the chairlift to Ray’s summit, and head out through mountain forests and meadows to reach the falls. This beginner/intermediate hike takes around two hours. For something more challenging, try tackling the summit of Mount Timpanogos. At 11,749 feet, this is the second highest peak in the Wasatch Mountains. Drive to the Timpooneke Trailhead to experience a 7.5-mile one-way hike along a well-maintained trail to get to the top.
2. Go Mountain Biking
If you prefer to experience the mountain scenery on two wheels, Sundance boasts more than 25 miles of lift-serviced tracks for mountain biking. Take the lift up, and enjoy the exhilaration of the downhill descent. Or for a gentler ride, follow the Provo River Trail. If you don’t have bikes with you at your vacation rental, hire them from Sundance Mountain Outfitters. Their rental equipment includes dedicated downhill bikes and kids’ plus-size-tire bikes.
3. Ride Horses
Another great way to see the breathtaking views around your vacation home-away-from-home is from the back of a horse. Sundance Riding Stables caters for all levels and also offer lessons for individuals and groups to help you improve your skills. Your experience starts with an interview to ensure they match you with a suitable horse. Kids must be at least eight years old to join a trail ride, and the little ones can have their own cowboy or cowgirl experience on a parent-led pony ride.
4. Paddle or Tube the River
In warmer weather, cool off with a trip down the river. High Country Adventure runs river rafting, tubing, stand-up paddleboarding, and kayaking excursions on the Provo and Weber Rivers. Hire a set of inflatable single or tandem kayaks, or “duckies,” and set off on a two-hour mild white water guided trip with High Country Adventure. Your guide provides basic instructions to get you safely started and leads you off down the river. If the kids are 12 years old or more and you’ve all got decent swimming skills, try tubing. Kids aged eight or older can join the fun if they attach a tube to an adult’s.
5. Ride the Railroad
A trip aboard the Heber Valley Historic Railroad Company is a popular activity for visitors of all ages. Travel along the 16-mile track through spectacular scenery, looking out for wildlife on the Provo River such as bald eagles, deer, and elk. Popular excursions include the North Pole Express and the Murder Mystery Train. You can even combine the trip with snow tubing in winter on a ‘Tube ‘n’ Train trip and river rafting in summer on a Raft ‘n Rails adventure.
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6. Soar Above the Mountain on a Zip Line
View Mount Timpanogos from the sky as you soar past on a zip line. This thrilling experience takes you on a vertical drop of more than 2,000 feet at a speed of over 65 miles per hour. You can even ride side-by-side using the double cables to give or get some moral support. This year-round adventure can also be combined with a horseback riding package or a Raft n’ Zip package.
7. Go Fishing
If you are an avid angler, choose a vacation rental with a stream running through the grounds so you can drop a line almost from your own front porch. This is a great way to introduce children to the sport, and you can relax with a book while keeping a camera ready to capture their first catch. You can also enjoy a two-hour introduction to fly-fishing with High Country Fishing Guides where you can learn to cast from the banks of the Provo River. They supply waders and fishing equipment, so you can soon be pulling in trout for your barbecue.
8. Create Your Own Masterpiece
If you and the kids would like to spend some time indoors pursuing your creative sides, check out the Art Studio at the Sundance Mountain Resort. Daily workshops last two hours and include pottery, painting, photography, and printmaking. Call in advance to make reservations, and enjoy creating a perfect memento of your fabulous vacation.
9. Take to the Snowy Slopes
In winter months, Sundance becomes a snowy wonderland. Skiers can even find vacation rental homes that offer ski-in ski-out access. Head for the slopes to enjoy downhill skiing or snowboarding, and set out along the wide, groomed trails for some snowshoeing adventures. If the kids are new to winter sports, book a set of lessons at the Ski & Snowboard School to give them the confidence to strike out on their own.
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