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Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Winter Retreat - Winter 2015

Travel

Winter Escape

Brian Head, Utah, is a high altitude getaway

Story by Kim Cooper Findling

Las Vegas is fantastic for many things, but for a high elevation, mountainous, snow-sports laden winter vacation, you need to get out of town. Head north and west to Brian Head, Utah—just three hours from Vegas but a world away. Known for incredible natural beauty, lots of recreational options, killer views and great snow, Brian Head is a wonderful weekend getaway for the Vegas resident.  

Brian Head Resort is the ski mountain here; located at 9600 feet on Brian Head Peak in the southern Wasatch Mountain Range, it’s the highest ski base in Utah. Brian Head Resort is known for its elevation as well as the fact that it boasts over 360 inches of snowfall a year—that’s some serious snow! Covering over 650 acres of available terrain, the Resort has two connected mountains, Giant Steps and Navajo, with a total of 71 runs and eight chair lifts, offering skiing and snowboarding. Tubing hills are also available in two locations, at each mountain. Each mountain also has a full service base lodge facility, offering food and shelter, not to mention incredible views of and access to the surrounding natural area.

R.J Escobar, director of sales and marketing for full service lodging destination The Grand Lodge at Brian Head, summarizes the natural ecosystem of Brian Head like this: “They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I think this one is for everyone. The beauty of the flora and fauna and the views from the mountains here are amazing. The natural world is truly a gift here.” 

The Grand Lodge at Brian Head is in the Town of Brian Head, just minutes from the ski hill. The Grand Lodge offers access to all of the area’s beautiful scenery, too. “The location is what makes this place so special,” says Escobar, adding that the finely crafted architecture of the lodge adds to and compliments the environment. Designed and constructed in a grand old western lodge style, the hotel offers 100 guest rooms and suites, each luxurious and comfortable. “The hotel was built with a lot of love,” he says. “The folks who built this hotel put everything into it. Every detail was undertaken with care.”

The Lodge at Brian Head offers fine dining at Leany’s Steakhouse, which delivers tasty dishes like ribs, salmon and paella in addition to all of the steak classics. More casual fare is available at Lift Bar & Patio, which also offers billiards and an outdoor patio with fire pit. The Red Leaf Spa offers soothing treatments in a luxurious environment including an indoor spa, sauna, and steam room. There’s nothing better than a massage after a long day of skiing the snowy slopes, or a simple soak in the indoor or outdoor spa pools.

A retreat to a snowy landscape in winter can’t be beat. “We're weather-driven,” says Escobar, adding that Vegas residents love to escape to Brian Head in all seasons: in the summer to flee the heat, in the winter to taste the snowy mountains. “From Vegas, you get in your car, take a lovely drive, and in three hours you’re there. You’re in a beautiful chalet.” 

Brian Head’s history is interesting, particularly its name, the origin of which is uncertain. Brian Head was originally known as Monument Peak and was used by early surveyors and expedition leaders as a point of reference. One story claims that the famous explorer John Wesley Powell saw the peak above all the others and named it after an official in the Geographical Survey Office by the name of Bryan. Another story claims that the residents of Parowan changed the name in 1890 to Bryan Head in honor of the American politician, William Jennings Bryan.

Brian Head Resort was first opened for skiing in the winter of 1964/1965. Ten years later, in 1975, the area around the Resort was established as the Town of Brian Head. The Resort grew from its beginning as a one chair lift operation to a complete resort surrounded by scenic beauty and pristine air.

Brian Head offers a few other great lodging options aside from the Lodge at Brian Head. The Cedar Breaks Lodge and Spa is a full-service, family-oriented resort, with a great little café on site called the Cedar Breaks Café. Its signature restaurant, Double Black Diamond Steak House, serves a delicious American menu including house-blackened ahi, petit beef Wellington, thick cut bacon wrapped venison medallion, caesar salad and fire roasted red beet salad. In Brian Head Town, Mi Pueblo Fine Mexican Cuisine is another great option for tasty Mexican fare, and Pizano’s Pizzaria delivers reliable pizza dinners to families.

Brian Head is near Cedar Breaks National Monument, Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park, but in the winter, it’s all about the ski hill, which is known for excellent, consistent snow conditions. Brian Head is just minutes off of Interstate 15 near Parowan, Utah.

 

Grand Lodge Brian Head

314 Hunter Ridge Dr., Brian Head

435-677-9000

www.grandlodgebrianhead.com

 

 

Brian Head Resort

329 Utah 143, Brian Head ‎

435-677-2035 ‎

www.brianhead.com

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