A series in which we explore Utah's lesser-known ski areas to discover their lure, lore and legends...
In Utah's far north lies the Bear River Mountain Range and a newcomer to Utah's portfolio of storied ski areas: Cherry Peak. Since 2015 Cherry Peak has been spinning lifts to the delight of locals in the Cache Valley and the neighboring towns of Logan and Richmond. Tucked between the narrow confines of Cherry Canyon and beneath Cherry Peak itself, this humble resort is only just getting started...
Unlike many of the other ski mountains across the state of Utah, Cherry Peak occupies a quiet corner of pastoral paradise, far from the beaten track. No traffic jams, no daunting mountain passes, it's just a scenic drive through farm country and on up a quiet lane to the base area of this unique property. Since 2015 Cherry Peak Resort has been spinning lifts and providing joy and community to the towns of Northern Utah. This family-owned and operated resort cultivates a neighborly feel and the vibe is what you'd expect to find at a ski area 30 years ago.
It's a friendly place run by a handful of dedicated people that strive to make Cherry Peak a cornerstone of the community's winter traditions. The resort runs all its chairlifts for night skiing and the unique "Freshies at 5" program involves busting out a few laps on the snowcat to provide the night skiers with sparkling, fresh rows of groomed snow. The guests are the focus at Cherry Peak and providing the best experience possible is the mountain's mission.
In this episode of the Fixed Grip Chronicles, we meet Dustin Hansen, the tireless Operations Director for Cherry Peak. It takes a lot to run a ski area and the task is seemingly insurmountable without a fleet of dedicated staff members. Dustin relies on just a handful of trusty employees to keep Cherry Peak humming day and night. He doesn't sleep much in the winter and in fact, he's been known to crash out on the hospital beds that serve as the area's emergency medical clinic. He's back up hours before dawn, submitting the daily weather report and driving the ski resort's cat through the dark to craft perfect corduroy for the guests he knows are relying on him.
The story of Cherry Peak is about the dedication and unnoticed effort that goes into keeping a ski area turning. So much of what resort employees do happens behind closed doors, up on the hill, or in the darkest hours of night. Much sleep is lost as Dustin and his band of loyal employees work throughout the winter to fuel their local community's desire for good times, fresh turns, and mountain fun. The uncrowded slopes, the friendly atmosphere, and the freshly groomed slopes are all the cherry on top of this small but mighty ski area.
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT CHERRY PEAK
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