No. 6 Snowshoe-friendly Nordic Center: Soldier Hollow Nordic Center, Midway, Utah

Located in the Wasatch Mountain State Park near Salt Lake City, Soldier Hollow Resort has a seriously impressive resume. Since its creation as the site for the biathlon and cross-county events for the 2002 winter Olympics, it hosted several major cross-country ski racing events, the Soldier Hollow Sheepdog Championships and the Intergalactic Snow Tubing Championships. It also provided the backdrop and film sites for several commercials as well as a popular Disney movie. Now, it keeps the Olympic spirit alive by providing a sensational recreation and competition facility for local residents, tourists and aspiring athletes from all over the world.

The world-class Olympic Nordic facility at Soldier Hollow.

The world-class Olympic Nordic facility at Soldier Hollow.

Not only does this world-class facility offer a 31 kilometer trail system for skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking and horseback riding, but also a state-of-the-art biathlon shooting range, an epic snow tubing hill with lights and music, an award-winning day lodge and a 36-hole championship golf course.

Trails here are open to both cross-country skiers and snowshoers, so it’s important to know proper trail etiquette and passing guidelines. According to Richard Hodges, Executive Director, the best trails for snowshoeing are the greens and blues, which indicate easy to moderate terrain, such as the Cowboy Way and Pony Express loops. Although Soldier Hollow is located in a bowl-like valley and doesn’t have much in the way of wooded terrain, Hodges says the views from the top of the ridges surrounding the facility are unbelievable and well worth the hike.  In addition to its on-site, groomed trails, the vast Wasatch Mountain trail system can be easily accessed nearby for those seeking more back-country terrain.

For a truly unique snowshoeing experience that you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere else, sign up for Soldier Hollow’s “Biathlon Experience” package.  Hailed as one of the few places in the U.S. where amateurs can try their hand at the fun and challenging biathlon event, you’ll spend an afternoon racing in the snow and shooting at a series of targets using official Olympic gear including a bib, rifle and 10 clips of ammunition. No experience is necessary as you’ll receive thorough instruction before competing against others in your group. Finally, climb onto the official awards podium to receive your certificate of completion, just like a real Olympian. This is a real treat for the whole family and considered a “must see” for Park City visitors.

Kids take aim on the Olympic biathlon course.

Kids take aim on the Olympic biathlon course.

In response to an increase of snowshoeing demand in the past few years, Soldier Hollow plans to offer snowshoeing tours by reservation for the upcoming season, both during regular daytime hours and also at night around full moon times. “We are seeing an active demographic taking to snowshoeing,” Hodges says. They also offer horse-drawn sleigh rides, night tubing and an enchanting ice castle to help enrich Soldier Hollow as a fun-filled day trip for locals and visitors alike.

Situated in the small town of Midway, UT, several resorts, motels and bed and breakfasts can be found for overnight accommodation. Also, both Salt Lake City and Park City are just a short drive away where an abundance of lodging and dining options can be found. The day lodge at Soldier Hollow provides guests with a full-service base camp offering food and beverage outlets, equipment rental services and a gift shop loaded with Olympic souvenirs. Brown bag lunches may be packed in for longer hikes or day trips.

A happy snowshoer at Soldier Hollow.

A happy snowshoer at Soldier Hollow.

In spite of all the bragging rights it has earned over the past decade, Soldier Hollow remains true to its humble Heber Valley roots and welcomes visitors of all types with open arms, from elite athletes seeking Olympic-qualifying status to vacationing families looking for fun and games in the snow.

 

 

  • Pass Rates: $11 adults 8+, $6 kids 7 and under.
  • Equipment Rental: $17 adults 8+, $10 kids 7 and under. Snowshoe rentals include optional use of poles. Snow boots also available.
  • Pet Policy: No pets allowed
  • Lodging: none on-site
  • Dining: Snack bar in day lodge

Visit soldierhollow.com for more information. Return to the full list of Nordic Centers.

This entry was posted in Destinations, News by Katie Hearsum. Bookmark the permalink.
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About Katie Hearsum

Katie is a lifestyle and travel writer based in Denver, CO. Her career has led her from horseback riding on a dude ranch in the Rocky Mountains to mountain biking in Bolivia to kayaking in Laos and back again. She considers chocolate a food group and has never met a pair of yoga pants she didn’t like.

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