This winter marks the 20th anniversary of the Viking Yurt. Joy Vik notes, “When we opened, I had dark brown natural hair. Now, my hair matches the snow.”

Just like Joy, the Viking Yurt is filled with laughter and fun. For 20 years, Joy and her husband Geir have curated an experience filled with adventure, culture, delicious food and tasty beverages in a unique setting.

To celebrate, the Viks are importing a beer from Norway. Aass Brewery is the oldest brewery in Norway and, until now, it has only been available at the Norwegian Pavilion at the Epcot Center in Florida.

Open for lunch each day, the deck chairs are ideal for drinking a cold beer, hot spiced wine, whiskey, cider or coffee with Bailey’s. Hearty homemade sandwiches, cookies and strudels replicate a European lunch.

Each evening, the Viking Yurt transforms into a fine dining adventure and four-hour winter journey. The evening begins with a 23-minute sleigh ride up to the yurt under the bright winter stars.

Guests are greeted with music and a pewter mug filled with hot glogg to warm their hands aft er the sleigh ride. Then, they enjoy a six-course gourmet dinner. Each course has an imaginative presentation and entertaining twist. For example, the palate cleansing sorbet is served in rocks from Norway.

Th e Viking Yurt closes on March 31st each season. Th is gives the staff the opportunity to enjoy a ski day. Then, Joy and Geir fly to Europe for their own ski “vacation” where Joy customizes the menu and experience for the following year. Joy explains, “I got my salad recipe from April skiing in Verbier, France and the soup was inspired by a trip to Alesund, Norway.”

Two years ago, standing at the top of La Plagne in the French Alps, Joy fell in love with a gigantic metal heart. Seeing the line of people waiting to take their photo with it framed by the mountains, Joy knew she wanted to replicate it at the Viking Yurt. Geir, to get the right scale, posed with skis in hand. Th en, when they returned, Geir found a metal fabricator to recreate it.

It was finished just in time for the 2018-19 season. The heart at Viking Yurt sits in front of the Uinta Mountains and is a lovely backdrop for photos and special events.
To delight guests further, the Viking Yurt is also open for summer dining.

The hospitality, setting and faire of the Viking Yurt is an adventure that cannot be missed each year.

by Julie Hooker