Sundance Mountain Resort
You probably know that Sundance is the passion project of Robert Redford, the actor with floppy hair and the voice of a sage. But you may not know that the Sundance Mountain Resort is separate from the film festival, which is held mostly in Park City, a 45 minute drive from his resort.
Sundance Resort is home to the Institute that nurtures rising writers and directors, and they have all sorts of writer’s workshops throughout the year.
Unlike Park City, the goal of Redford’s Sundance Resort, as he says on the resort’s infochannel, “has always been to develop very little and preserve a great deal.”
Sounds picked out of a Norman McLane novel. But the resort is eco-friendly and its condos and mountain homes, made of local stone, cedar, fir and pine blend into the treeline.
Sundance offers several mountain homes, which are ideal for larger groups but tough to nail down because it's up to the owners to rent them. Doesn't hurt to ask, though. The suites and smaller rooms are in multi-family buildings that skirt the base of the mountain and are plenty nice.
We strongly recommend River Run because you fall asleep to the babbling of Stewart Creek.
Sundance will send a driver to scoop you up from the airport in an Acura. And you should have your driver stop at a Harmons Grocery store to stock up on beer and food for the room.
Book one night at The Tree Room, for fine dining. Do the rest of your meals at the Foundry Grill for casual BLD service (the pizza and ribs are king) and the General Store for picnic foods and snacks.
The Owl Bar has music on the weekends, and serves a limited menu from the Foundry. This is a classic bar, the sort of thing you’d see in a western like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
The Provo River is blue ribbon fishing. That means the stream is pristine and has over 83 fish per mile without having to be stocked. Sundance offers some of the best guides for this little known fly fishing destination.
If you’re traveling with a lady, take her. Women are entering the sport at a faster clip than men. Our guide, the resort’s fly fishing ambassador Brian Wimmer (also an actor), says that’s because they have the natural finesse and they don’t “horse the rod” like men.
If you’re a novice, the Provo is perfect. If you’re a vet, ask to spend one day on the Strawberry, a four-mile stretch of tailwater below the Strawberry Reservoir. The fish here are very skittish so rewards go to the soft-footed.
And even if you catch nothing, you’re walking along one of the most gorgeous streams in the States; trout do live in stunning places.
Sundance’s guides travel in style. You’re ferried to the river in an Acura SUV, and Wimmer brought cold beers and gourmet cheese and salami for relaxing after the long day.
Hiking and Mountain Biking
In the fall you can hike all over Mount Timpanogos, the massive mountain that shadows Sundance. There are 25 miles of mountain biking trails, with incredible jumps.
The three mile hike to Stewart Falls is a must-do, especially now that the leaves are changing.
Your muscles will be sore from hiking, biking and casting. Book a massage in advance for the last day. Their spa is Native American-themed and redolent of cedar. It soothes the body and spirit.