TRAVEL: Awesome Heber Valley, Utah in 2 days: Itinerary

One of the performers on the Heber Valley Railroad. By Jefferson Graham

The Heber Valley of Utah, by Jefferson Graham

The Heber Valley of Utah is a tourist and photographer’s paradise, offering a mix of historical charm and natural beauty that has to be seen to be believed.

Park City, also in the northern section of the state, and Zion National Park, in the south, get the most attention, but the Heber Valley is worth checking out if you’ve never been there. It has so much to offer.

Whether you’re capturing the quaint Swiss architecture or sweeping views from Memorial Hill in Midway, the great residential and farming backroads of Heber or the serene reflections at Deer Creek, almost every corner of this valley is picture-perfect.

It’s why we decided to leave the Bubble and bring the PhotowalksTV cameras to the Valley, to share our love of the place with you. Watch the video, and then read on for details about what to do and where to go when visiting.

Logistics

The Heber Valley (Midway, Heber City, Deer Creek) is nestled between Park City and the Sundance Resort in northern Utah. To visit, most frm Los Angeles fly (LAX to Salt Lake City is a direct flight). From there, it’s a 20 minute drive south from Salt Lake City, or about four hours up the road from St. George in the South. For the ambitious drivers, such as myself, it’s a 12-hour glorious drive from Los Angeles, through Las Vegas, St. George and small Utah towns, ending in Provo (the home of the BYU college) and Provo Canyon, a backroad that will take you directly to Midway and Heber. After you cross Las Vegas, the terrain becomes redder and redder, and you really get to see the changing country before your very own eyes.

Note that you’re in the heart of “LDS” country (Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints) and many of the businesses listed here will be closed on Sunday.

The drive from Las Vegas to the Heber Valley is glorious. 

Itinerary for Exploring Heber Valley

Start your day in Deer Creek Reservoir

    • Morning Reflections: Early mornings are best for photographing the stunning reflections on the water against the backdrop of majestic Mount Timpanogos. From Midway, turn left at the intersection and drive a little ways until you find a good spot for photography. You’ll know when you see it. If you have a drone, this is an excellent place to get aerial shots of the vibrant green landscape and snow-capped mountains. You’ll get a better shot of the reflections this way. (See the thumbnail from the video above.)
    • Next stop: Walking Midway, a quaint Swiss village established in the 1850s.
      • The latest PhotowalksTV episode brings you to the Heber Valley of Utah. Photo by Jefferson Graham

      • Intersection of Main and Center Streets: Begin here to admire three vintage Swiss homes on three of the four corners. Wander through the side streets to see more beautifully restored homes and businesses, (Edelweiss Art Gallery, Pierce Cabinet) perfect for capturing the charm of the area through your lens.
      • Zermatt and Homestead Resorts: A short drive up the hill from the village center, these resorts offer a blend of Swiss-themed architecture and historical significance. The Zermatt Resort, opened in 2006, and the Homestead Resort, dating back to 1891, are must visits. Photo opps here include the Homestead Golf Course and the Utah Crater, along with the gorgeous countryside.
      • Visit the geothermal hot spring known as the Utah Crater for swimming and scuba Diving: This beehive-shaped limestone rock encases a warm water spring perfect for a unique underwater photography experience. Use panorama and vertical shots to capture the crater’s vastness. Get underwater shots with your late model smartphone, which is water resistant and perfectly capable of going a feet into the drink.
      • Head to Memorial Hill for panoramic views of Heber Valley.
        • 360° Viewpoint: This spot offers breathtaking views ideal for time-lapse photography. (Especially great later in the day, with lots of clouds.) If you get a cloudless sky, capture the valley as the shadows play across the landscape.
        • Heber Valley Artisan Cheese (920 River Road.) Taste what fresh cheese and milk is like, and take a tour of the farm. For an extra-sensory delight, try a homemade grilled cheese sandwich on the premises.
        • One of the performers on the Heber Valley Railroad. By Jefferson Graham

           

          • Day 2: Heber CityExplore Heber City’s charming streets and historical sites.
            • Main Street: Stroll through this area reminiscent of the 1950s with its old brick buildings and iconic bowling alley, the Holiday Lanes (565 N. Main) where you can still get a grilled cheese sandwich for under $5. The Heber Valley Visitor Center (475 N. Main) is directly next door, a great place to pick up maps and tips on where to go. Directly across the street is the Bagel Den (570 N. Main), which imports water from New York to make authentic tasting Gotham style bagels.
            • Heber Valley Railroad: Take a nostalgic 90-minute train ride through the backcountry, enjoying energetic singing and dancing along the way. Capture the scenic views from the train windows.
            • Lunch: Dairy Keen (199 S. Main) for Burgers, Fries, and Shakes: This local favorite is known for its 150 varieties of delicious milk shakes. Try unique flavors like raspberry lemon or chocolate-covered strawberry, which are as photogenic as they are tasty.Oreo is the most popular.
            • Milk Shakes from the Dairy Keen of Heber City, Utah. By Jefferson Graham

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              Note that many locals will ponder the question: “Dairy Keen or Granny’s?” Which one produces the best shakes? All subjective, but both are great.

            • Afternoon: Stop by the E-Power Bike and Board (44 W 100 S, Heber City) and rent an e-bike for a leisurely ride through the backroads of Heber, where you will encounter many farm animals who like to pose for photos. I especially like the view of Mt. Timp from 1200 S. 3600 East. Ride your bike out there and be awed.
            • Where to Stay & Eat

            • The Zermatt and Homestead resorts in Midway have the most rooms in the area, (over 400 combined) while Heber City has several smaller hotels, including the Holiday Inn Express and a Best Western, and the Swiss Alps Inn (owned by the family from the Dairy Keen.)
            • Beyond the Bagel Den, Dairy Keen, Granny’s and Holiday Lanes, Back 40 (1223 US 40) a former roadside bar that’s been upgraded, is considered one of the best in Heber, while Don Pedro has excellent Mexican food, Chick’s is an old-fashioned diner known for its Chicken Fried Steak and the Hub is a family owned classic that’s been serving great food since 1966.

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