By Mountain Mama \ March 29 2017 \ 0 Comments
Living in the Salt Lake Valley, you pretty much have your pick of ski resorts a stone's throw away. Pretty lucky. The Cottonwood Resorts and Park City resorts are so close, we end up staying closer to home. I've been in Salt Lake many years andBeaver Mountain has been on my bucket list for so long, but for some reason the season gets away from me. This was the year-we were heading north! Logan Canyon is truly one of the most beautiful drives, in both summer and winter. Hiking and picnics on the way to Bear Lake in the summer, beautiful climbs with snow covered mountains and a running stream in the winter.
We're getting pretty good at winter road tripping; pack a zillion jackets, skis, snowboard and the dog and we are off! Logan is only about a 90 mile drive, but I would suggest getting a room for the night and exploring both Cherry Peak and Beaver Mountain while in the area. Cherry Peak is Utah's newest resort and just a short 20 minute drive from Logan. The great thing is you can check into your room and head up for a quick night ski or do some tubing. We got a late start so opted for a swim and relax. (this is a Mom thing, right?) At this point in the season, my gas tank has been just hovering above E. If you have a minute, you'll want to look around Logan a bit. It is the home of Utah State University and keeps the small town lively in the heart of the school year. With plenty of history, restaurants and quaint shops, you could easily spend a little time looking around.
Once you leave Logan, it is a 27 mile drive to Beaver Mountain up Logan Canyon. It is a pretty drive with a bit of climbing. There is a shuttle available if you're rather visit with the family and look out the window. Unlike many of the bigger resorts, there are no "bad" parking spots. You know what I'm talking about...when you have to walk in your boots and carry all your gear so far you're ready to call it quits by the time you get to the ticket window.
Great transition...the ticket window. First...where in the world can you buy a full day adult ticket for $48? Beaver! Yep, kids looked at the prices and couldn't believe it!
#1 reason it is great for families...you can actually afford to ski with the whole family and even buy a hamburger for lunch.
#2 reason...the Matriarch of the mountain, Marge Seeholzer, is selling the tickets at the cute ticket window inside a little building that years ago served as the warming hut. This history story will warm your heart. Marge and her family still own Beaver Mountain and it may be the oldest family owned resort in the country. We walk in, she says hello and with a big smile says "Jodi, I've been waiting for you to come to ski here all these years!" Where can you possibly get that kind of greeting? Instantly she is chatting away, giving the kids stickers and taking photos.
I am not special, Marge is known to all the visitors and it is why they return. It is why I will also return. It goes back to the theory of "buying local." We've all heard that phrase before where you'd rather support the local grocery store than the big box store. It's like I've known her for years and she's right at home with my family. Of course, the stickers are a huge hit and Brennan can't wait to add to his sticker collection on his snowboard.
There are 4 chairlifts at Beaver. Your reaction may be, "what" that's not many. Au contraire! The access to tons of terrain on this powder day was amazing. It quickly became a new "favorite" for my group. With kids, I can't stand standing in line. No worries here.
So much fresh powder and dumping all day led to trying new tricks on the snowboard, Emily even checking out the terrain park (she's not big on this) and I even did a black diamond run or 2. Yes I did! Was it pretty, nope, but got down and with fresh snow, and a tumble or two.
#3 reason...you can't really get lost. Everything is well marked and we took a wrong turn here or there but all trails let us back to either Harry's Dream Lift or Marge's Triple lifts. Yes, she has her own chair named after her. When I asked Marge about it, she said "that was my husbands idea, not mine." I love that the names of the lifts and runs mean something. Yes, a lot of the resorts have this same theory, but for some reason this history warms my heart.
We stop for lunch and it is crowded at the Beaver Grill. It's the only place to eat and the burgers are amazing! What is great is when you walk in to the lodge, people have their boot bags stacked by the walls or in cubbies, their mittens or pants drying by the fireplace and it is so chill! No need to have everything locked up, just pop it over to the side-looks, no one will be bothering it there.
#4 reason-delicious fries and burgers...wow, was that delicious. I am not a foodie, we leave that up to Pam, our food blogger who featured the Big Beav Double Bypass Burger. However, when I saw that burger, honestly, biggest burger I have ever seen. No, I didn't eat that but lots of others did. We got dried out and off we went for a few more runs.
#5 reason-gratitude. Thankful that there are still small family run, family friendly resorts where the kids get tons of runs, it is affordable, we can walk back to the car to check on our dog because we can actually see our car from the lodge. "Where the owners know your name" and you're more than a number. Thank you Seeholzer family, we'll be back.
Beaver will be closing April 9th for the season. If you didn't make it up in the winter, no worries, you can head there in the summer to do some camping, hiking, biking or take in the Music Festival in August. Thinking may need to pop that on my calendar. Until next winter....
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