The Heber Valley in Utah is one of the small town gems in the country. Located just 40 minutes from Salt Lake City and 20 minutes from Provo, Heber City is the focal point of the region featuring fabulous natural scenery, breathtaking golf courses, and as much fresh air as your lungs will allow.
In 2014, the popular website livability.com ranked Heber City, Utah as the eighth best Small Town in the U.S. In addition to some terrific golf, there are many other reasons for the accolade.
Tourism anchors the economy in Heber City, thanks to a broad range of businesses supported by locals. The five-area public golf courses also have a lot of support from locals as well. Visitors from outside the region and out-of-state enjoy the cooler temperatures and fabulous scenery offered by each of the picturesque courses in Heber Valley. Here’s a quick run-down of the courses.
A major venue during the 2002 Winter Olympics, Soldier Hollow Golf Complex offers two championship 18-hole tracks, appropriately called the Gold Course and the Silver Course. A part of gorgeous Wasatch Mountain State Park, both courses are built on the mountainside above the Swiss-themed town of Midway, and offer stunning views of the expansive Heber Valley below. If you are looking for a workout, these two courses will accommodate you. The par 72 Gold Course stretches to 7,719 yards, while the tamer par 72 Silver Course is a mere 7,355 yards.
At the other end of Wasatch Mountain State Park are two additional 18-hole golf courses. The Mountain Course is a par 71 that stretches to 6,459 yards. Carts are mandatory because the front nine meanders two miles up the mountain, while the back nine brings golfers back to the clubhouse. Correspondingly, the Lake Course is longer, but considered easier. This par 72 track measures 6,942 yards.
In addition, Wasatch Mountain State Park offers 122 developed camp sites adjacent to the course. Many of the spaces offer electricity and other amenities including modern restrooms and showers.
A private course in Heber Valley worth mentioning is the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course at Red Ledges. It was recently named the Best Golf Course in Utah by Best of State Awards for the seventh consecutive year.
The last public golf course in Heber Valley is Crater Springs Golf Course, located at Homestead Resort. This picturesque par 72 track measures 7,095 yards from the back tees. Crater Springs Golf Course has one of Utah’s largest practice facilities.
Relax after golf
One of the most unique things to enjoy after a round of golf at Crater Springs is take in a leisurely soak in the Homestead Crater right there at the resort. This one-of-a-kind crater is a geothermal spring, hidden within a 55-foot tall, beehive-shaped limestone rock located on the Homestead property, a few steps from the golf course.
More than 10,000 years in the making, the crater formed when melting snow on the Wasatch Mountains seeped deep within the earth. The hole at the top of the dome lets in sunlight and fresh air while the interior stays heated by the mineral water at a constant range of 90 – 96 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is the place to relax after a round of golf! The crater is the only warm scuba diving destination in the continental U.S. If you plan on enjoying the warm waters of the crater, you need to make a reservation by calling 435-657-3840.
Mountain Valley RV Resort is one of the finest RV resorts in the western United States and the highest rated park in Utah. This immaculate resort is big rig friendly, and offers 80-foot by 30-foot pull-through sites. Cabins and tent sites are also available. Open year-round, the resort is sheltered by the stunning Rocky Mountains.
Another quality area RV resort is Rivers Edge at Deer Park, located at the base of the Jordanelle dam just outside of Heber City. Open year-round, Rivers Edge also accommodates big rigs, featuring 55-foot by 80-foot pull-through sites and all the amenities you expect.
Heber Valley Railroad is a must-visit. One of the most popular attractions in the Heber Valley is jumping aboard the Heber Valley Railroad. Like taking a trip back in time, the Heber Creeper, as it is affectionately known, offers several special events on the slow-moving train. Thursday through Saturday at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. the train departs the train station for a scenic slow ride along Deer Creek Reservoir or Provo Canyon. This year, the Heber Valley Railroad celebrates 117 years of service.
Rick Stedman is an avid golfer, RVer, and writer who lives in Olympia, Washington. Rick writes a weekly golf blog, “The 19th Hole,” which is published every Saturday at rvlife.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.