Utah’s long, bluebird summer days beg for adventure, making now the best time to explore what the mountains beyond Park City’s boundaries to have offer. Following are a few of our recommendations for a Sunday brunch day trip.
Blue Boar Inn
Immerse yourself in a European-style enclave at the Blue Boar Inn (1235 Warm Springs Rd, Midway, 435.654.1400, Sunday brunch: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.), nestled in the lush foothills of quaint Midway, with all of its Swiss-immigrant heritage and style. Antlers, animal heads, rich woodwork, and European flags abound inside, but dine outside on the courtyard-like Hinterhof patio, replete with cobblestones and flower boxes. Sunday brunch here spans five courses with your choice of entrées. Our fave is the smoked salmon Benedict. And for dessert: a honey-lavender scone with crème Chantilly and fresh berries. Afterward step across the street to the Homestead Crater, boasting a 55-foot beehive-shaped formation with 50 feet worth of 90- to 96-degree water. It’s a truly unique Utah wonder where you can swim, soak, take a stand-up paddleboard class, or even scuba dive in the healing waters.
Silver Fork Lodge
Take a drive along the unique Guardsman Pass Road (open in summer only) from Park City up to the Wasatch Mountains’ wildflower-strewn crest and down into Big Cottonwood Canyon (home to Brighton and Solitude ski resorts). There you’ll find the quaint Silver Fork Lodge (11332 E Big Cottonwood Canyon Rd, 801.533.9977, Sunday breakfast: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.), an old-school cabin decorated with vintage plates and hummingbird feeders that once housed a general store. (The town of Silver Fork was a tent community of 2,500 people and eight saloons back in the 1850s.) The from-scratch corned-beef hash (washed down with Henry Weinhard’s root beer served in a boot) will stick to your ribs, but you must have the legendary sourdough pancakes, made with starter that’s more than 50 years old. Once you’ve fueled up, drive back up to Brighton Resort and watch for moose while you hike the two-mile trail up to the lovely Lake Mary.
Just under an hour’s scenic drive from Park City up granite-cliffed Little Cottonwood Canyon is the rustic Alta Lodge (10230 E Little Cottonwood Canyon Rd, 801.742.3500, Sunday brunch: 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., June through October), where hiking-clad patrons enjoy a 40-item brunch buffet with seating on the patio, on the deck, or inside the casual, well-windowed dining room. You’ll be serenaded by acoustic jazz musicians while soaking in views of craggy Mount Superior. Fresh salads truly set this brunch apart; sample the seaweed, seafood, and Japanese calamari varieties. The chicken tikka masala is another favorite. Then take one of the most iconic wildflower hikes in the country, Catherine Pass, which wanders moderately through breathtaking meadows lush with wildflowers (nearly 300 species). At the 10,200-foot peak (1.5 miles from the Sunnyside parking lot on Albion Basin Road, a 1,200-vertical foot gain), you’ll enjoy views of Sunset Peak and Lake Catherine. Alta will be offering lift served hiking for the first time ever off the Sunnyside Chairlift on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays, July 9 – Sept 3 ($10 for adults; $15 for kids).