Julie Hollist Terrill, director, Cache Valley Visitor’s Bureau
Hello Cache Valley! Now that we’ve had time to recover from our fruitcake and fudge-induced holiday comas, it’s time to start the new year right by exploring great opportunities for family fun right here in our own back yard.
As the director of the Cache Valley Visitors Bureau, I personally invite you to come to our office in the historic courthouse at 199 N. Main St. My staff and I get paid to tell people where to go every day, and we’re good at it! Please don’t make the mistake of thinking a.) we’re only here for tourists or b.) you’ve done everything there is to do in Cache Valley. We’ve got more than 150 free brochures, itineraries, and maps to convince you otherwise.
If you can’t make it to our office, jump on our website: explorelogan.com. It has tons of info and the most comprehensive calendar of events you can find.
If you haven’t noticed, we do winter right around here so let’s get started. Jump in the car and head up Logan Canyon to milepost 482 (Red Banks) where you’ll be blown away by a 22-foot tall snowman built by the Paul Sorenson family and their friends. This heavyweight frozen spectacle is 35 feet around at the bottom and has been an annual tradition since 2010.
Since you’ll already be in the middle of the greatest snow on Earth, I’d suggest renting cross-country skis or snowshoes so you can glide or tromp through miles of trails, or even make your own. Snowshoes are perfect for people like me who have absolutely no coordination. You strap them on to regular shoes or boots, and off you go over the river and through the woods exploring the beauties of nature by just plain walking. Brilliant! You can also hook up with Cache Hikers for one or more of their weekly ski/snowshoe trips.
Keep your eyes peeled for beautiful birds. Cache Valley is on a migration route, so more than 300 species of birds are here each year. You can buy a pocket bird identification guide at the Visitors Bureau Gift Shop to help you know what you’re looking at.
If you want a little more excitement, go downhill skiing or snowboarding at Beaver Mountain or Cherry Peak Ski Resorts. Beaver is up Logan Canyon and is the longest running family-owned ski resort in the nation. It boasts four lifts, a great lodge, affordable ticket prices, excellent instructors if you need a lesson, and snow straight from heaven.
Meanwhile, Cherry Peak is Utah’s newest ski and snowboard resort and is located in Richmond. It also boasts an awesome 580-foot long tubing hill with a moving sidewalk so you don’t have to drag your sorry carcass to the top. Best news ever! Plan to rent your tubes there and have a great time.
Now for some real adrenaline: Rent brand new snowmobiles at Beaver Creek Lodge (even better, make it a getaway and stay the night) and enjoy almost 300 miles of groomed trails with views across three states at once. We’re ranked in the best snowmobiling in the nation and rated as Utah’s best.
Another dreamy wintertime adventure is taking a horse-drawn wagon ride through a huge herd of elk at Hardware Ranch Fridays through Sundays until February 12. You’ll get to see hundreds of huge bulls and cows up close and personal. Dress warmly and bring your camera. A drive to Hardware Ranch is worth it even after the sleigh rides end. Keep your eyes open for bald eagles.
The elk at Hardware Ranch; file photo by Mandy Bagley
If the cold weather isn’t for you, head indoors for a variety of live performances from Broadway shows to concerts and other entertainers to brighten your evenings. That’s not to mention classic films at the 1924 Utah Theatre. Don’t forget Aggie basketball, gymnastics meets, and hockey too.
Any time is a great time to experience our unique restaurants from Thai to Indian, Japanese, Italian, Mexican, or Greek, from fine dining to top- of-the-line diners and pubs, Cache Valley has your taste buds covered. Bon appétit!
Mark your calendars for the Cache Valley Cowboy Rendezvous, March 10-12 at the Cache County Event Center featuring dozens of cowboy poets and western singers, vendors, dances, cowboy church, and Billy Dean in Concert.
There’s no time for a long winter’s nap. Get out and explore the beauties of your own backyard! Visit the Cache Valley Visitors Bureau and Gift Shop Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., call 435-755-1890, or log on to explorelogan.com.