Fall at Snowbird as winter knocks on the door...

By Mountain Mama Sep 27, 2012
Utah ski resorts are awesome in the "off" months. From hiking to biking to enjoying the leaves, it's a great place to the be while waiting for the snow. We stayed the night at the Cliff Lodge, enjoyed Oktoberfest and let the kids explore.

Here we are...now in fall and I've been a little MIA.  Summer was long, hot and I had a lot of fun with the kids.  Really kicking back and enjoying Utah in the summer.  It is the time of year where people travel in not to ski, but to explore the beauty of Utah.  From Zion National Park to Moab to Northern Utahs mountains, there is tons to do.  I personally love the variety in this state and advise anyone coming for a ski vacation in the winter to come back for a visit in the summer.

I look back at my blogs from last winter and realize we are on the brink of another exciting winter!  Brennan has worn his snowboard boots at times this summer, his snowboard lives under his bed, he's been viewing his Burton DVD on a regular basis (I've included a picture of this) and Emily is talking about how this year she will be skiing faster and she's also moving up an age level in her classes (she just turned 7)-which will be a different blog in itself.

Before all this starts, we headed to Snowbird for a little escape from the everyday school and chores.  We stayed at the fantastic Cliff Lodge.  During the late summer and early fall, Snowbird hosts Oktoberfest.  Every year it seems to get bigger and better.  It is a great time to watch the leaves change on the mountain sides, have great food, drink, shop and check out kids activities.  I have to share that my kids love the mining for minerals the best.  Set up on the Snowbird plaza you get a bag of "sand" and you go to a mining area where you sift through your sand and "discover" your special beautiful rocks.  Remember, if you're  a child, the discovery of anything is a wonderful wide-eyed experience.  You can either do individual activities from the Zip Line to the Alpine Slide to bounce houses to a tram ride or you get an activitiy pass for the day.  It gives you and the kids unlimited access to all.  I've included a photo of Brennan on a bungy like contraption where his face tells it all...

This summer we also took swim lessons and finally feel comfortable in the water, so the pool area at the Cliff Lodge is a big deal for us.  So much so that we request a room on the same floor as the pool so we can run down the hall and out the door..no time to wait for elevators when there is swimming to be done.  The contrast from winter to summer is beautiful.  The pool is glassed in and you overlook Chickadee ski lift which is the beginner run in the winter and the zip line in the summer.  With a  big pool and 3 hot tubs, Emily and Brennan couldn't wait to run from the activities to the pool.  Temps are cool in the AM, but perfect in the afternoon.

The hiking is also top notch.  Make sure you have good hiking shoes/boots and plenty of water and take the Tram to the top of Hidden Peak at 11,000 feet.  You can then walk down Chips Run and even spot a few deer on your walk down.  For us, well that's too easy so Emily and I joined a group of friends on an annual hike where we drive to Alta's Albion Basin and walk up Sugarloaf Mountain, over Mt Baldy and descend to the tram.  Yep, Emily did that too!  I keep telling her it is getting her in shape for the upcoming ski season.  If her stamina carries through, she's going to do great this year!! I've included photos of that as well...before the snow hit.

Which brings me to the weather... The first snow has come and almost gone already.  Excitement is in the air for winter.  Being a Meteorologist, even though I work on a fill-in basis for the NBC affiliate, KSL, I always keep an eye on the weather.  The burning question is "what is this winter looking like?"  Well, if I could predict that I'd be in Vegas.  So, I will say I've looked ahead at all the magical computer models over the next few weeks and the persistant high of the summer is being knocked down...slowly.  So, for those eyes on Utah..maybe chilly storms Oct 10-14th?  Stay tuned...

On that note, please let me know what you'd like to know as a Mom, or Dad trying to teach kids to ski or snowboard, keep them entertained and enthused about winter.  I will be happy to entertain emails and ideas all season.  And..the new Ski Utah magazine which features my little kiddos. Request your free copy!