The Sundance Resort named #18 in Travel and Leisure’s top 50 U.S. Resorts

By Carla Boecklin

The Sundance Resort, ranked #18 in Travel & Leisure’s top 50 U.S. Resorts on the 2011 “World’s Best” list, offers world-class cold weather activities during the winter. Creator Robert Redford is himself often found on the property’s slopes, enjoying the Wasatch powder. However, as the snow and ice melt and give way to spring and summer, the resort undergoes a refreshing animation. The creative Sundance spirit reawakens during longer days and warmer temperatures.

Warm weather fun such as horseback riding replaces the need for skis and snowshoes on the 5,000 acre property at the base of Mount Timpanogos. The Sundance Stables boasts the “best trail system in the world,” and offer western trail rides for individuals and for groups (the resort enforces no more than six riders per one cowboy guide to keep the experience intimate). Include a reservation for a Chuck Wagon dinner (Saturdays at 4:30pm), where you can catch a wagon ride to Elk Meadows for a Cowboy meal! For information: 801.223.6000. Golfing, river rafting, hiking, fly fishing, and mountain biking are also among the popular summer activities at Sundance. For an exciting (and less exerting!) enterprise, the ski lifts remain open for scenic rides to the top of Ray’s Summit, where you can catch unparalleled panoramic views of the mountains. Full Moon Rides are also available throughout the summer. For information: 801.223.4121. Be sure to stop by the General Store for some Sundance apparel before hitting the trails!

Summertime also delivers a cross-section of entertainment on the Sundance property. This year, the resort is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its collaboration with Nashville’s famed Bluebird Café. Sundance General Manager Chad Linebaugh remarks that, since 2001, the Bluebird Café Concert Series at the Sundance Resort Eccles Stage has brought “a little of Nashville to Utah to showcase these great talents,” and this year’s lineup is no different. Songwriting legend Big “Al” Anderson and Grammy-winner Josh Kear are two of the artists that will be performing in the outdoor amphitheater this season. For information: 866.734.4428.

The celebrated Author Series at Sundance is also celebrating its 10th anniversary. Since its inception, the Series has played host to a variety of writers that each encompass the Sundance character of independence, creativity, diversity, and conservation. Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times business reporter Gretchen Morgenson, famed sports journalist John Feinstein, fiction writer Ann Packer, and burn victim-cum-inspirational storyteller Stephanie Nielson create the lineup for this year’s Series.
For information: 866.734.4428.

Whether you are popping into the historic Owl Bar for a cocktail and live music, bellying up to the Deli for pastries and wine, relaxing in the Foundry Grill over a casual meal, or indulging in the award-winning Tree Room’s fine dining, the excellent food and drink will also draw you to Sundance during the summer months. Couple your culinary sojourn with a showing of “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” this season’s Sundance Summer Theater Production.  For information: 866.734.4428.

Whatever your fancy, the summers at Sundance are sure to engage and delight your senses!