Last updated December 14, 2020
“Reel, reel, reel! Don’t reel!” Those were the words my fly fishing guide yelled throughout my five-minute fight to reel in the brown trout that I now call “troutzilla.” And the best part of all? My mama was there to watch — and cheer me on — through the entire process.
This was just one of many memories that I created with my mom (but you can call her “Kathy”) during an early fall getaway to the Montage Deer Valley in Park City, Utah.
I visited Montage a few years ago and had a blast fly fishing and hiking. Park City offers plenty of outdoor fun and activity that I was craving. And thanks to the fact that Utah didn’t have any quarantine rules in place for out-of-staters, it was an ideal destination for our first mother-daughter getaway since the pandemic began.
It had been a long spring and summer for mom, so I really wanted to make this trip feel indulgent and safe. Read on to hear about our wellness getaway at Montage Deer Valley Resort and why I think it should be on your to-visit list for a little mother-daughter weekend getaway.
Travel to Montage Deer Valley
I live in Atlanta, so Delta is my go-to airline. The protocols they currently have in place make customers feel comfortable in a world with COVID-19. For example, there’s a cleaning protocol the planes go through between each flight, they keep the middle seat empty on flights, and they deliver your snack and a bottle of water in an individual plastic bag (that includes a little packet of hand sanitizer). On this trip, it also helped that mom and I were upgraded to first class on our nonstop flight, which made the experience even more enjoyable.
I arranged with Montage for a driver to pick us up at the airport in Salt Lake City and whisk us to Park City—definitely worth the splurge. It is a beautiful 30-45-minute drive up into the mountains, and it’s much more pleasant to be able to watch the scenery go by than have to focus on the road.
Upon arrival at the resort, we headed to a hybrid of two of their on-property restaurants to have a little lunch. The hybrid menu featured tastes from the property’s upscale concept, Apex, and from the more casual Burgers & Bourbon, too.
After we finished our meals, our room was ready and I was happily impressed. There was a gas fireplace, a deep soaking tub, and a patio that overlooked the valley below where Park City is located. It was the kind of room where you could spend much or all of your vacation and still be perfectly content.
Night Out Downtown
After we unpacked, Mom and I caught the complimentary Montage shuttle into town and did a bit of shopping on Main Street.
For those looking for the latest in activewear, check out Cake Boutique. This is where I found a snuggly-yet-chic fuzzy black Varley pullover that I’ll be living in all winter.
We then visited Riverhorse Provisions to pick up some snacks like green juices, hummus, goat cheese, and milk for the room, then closed off the night with dinner at the Riverhorse on Main where the concierge at the Montage managed to secure us a cozy table overlooking Main Street at sunset.
After enjoying a bit of bubbly, along with lobster pierogies and macadamia nut crusted Alaskan halibut, we caught the shuttle back up to the resort.
Sitting by the fire, I enjoyed a cup of in-room tea, courtesy of the electric tea kettle housekeeping delivered, and nodded off to sleep.
Fly Fishing Excursion
A spectacular sunrise, a fire in the fireplace, and a room service breakfast of a build-your-own-omelet with veggies, Gruyère, and bacon—that’s how our morning began. The beauty of having such a spacious room with a view is that Mom and I had no problem spending a majority of our morning there. With that said, we lazed about reading and chatting until it was time for the day’s main event—fly fishing.
During a previous trip to Montage, I learned to appreciate the sport. We went out with guides on the Provo River. As I took in my beautiful surroundings and felt the rush of adrenaline when reeling in a fish, I fell in love with fly fishing.
For a fee, the hotel will arrange for you to go out with a guide. Mom had no interest in actually fishing but loved the idea of spending the afternoon sitting along the river.
Our guide, Dylan, helped us find the perfect spot along the Provo. Dylan followed safety protocols and we felt safe the whole time. He provided all of the gear (i.e., waders, rods, flys) and a cooler of cold beers and sodas. His knowledge about fish and best tactics to catch them impressed me and made the outing incredibly fun while learning.
Four glorious hours of fishing flew by. While the first hour was bumpy, I started to figure out the rhythm to casting and catching fish. I remember looking over at my mom and seeing a smile on her face the entire time.
I was on cloud nine after such a successful day of fishing. Mom and I celebrated with a dinner of champions—burgers, fries, and some beautiful red wine at Apex/Burgers & Bourbon—before collapsing into bed after our day of fishing.
Hiking Deer Valley Trails
The beauty of staying at the Montage is the ability to walk out the door and have access to the trail system that criss-crosses Deer Valley.
If you’re looking for a more peaceful trail, opt to do the 1.5-hour hike on the Corvair Trail or the Mid-Mountain Trail. These hikes can be a mental and physical challenge as the property is located at an elevation of more than 8,000 feet, so you may need to move a bit slower than you might at a lower altitude and listen to your body.
(And FYI, the Montage also offers a schedule of fitness classes and has a beautiful gym area for those so inclined.)
Spa Treatments at Montage Deer Valley
Saturday afternoon, I headed to the spa to indulge in the High Altitude Re-centering treatment. Like every other aspect of the Montage experience, the spa did a great job to make me feel safe and comfortable. Masks were required at all times. While the snack area and relaxation rooms were closed due to the pandemic, there were packages of nuts and snacks upon opening my locker.
I selected this 90-minute therapy because it included a soak in a bathtub. To start off, there is a full-body exfoliation followed by a soak.
To end, the therapist massages using something they call a “soufleé” that literally melts onto and hydrates your skin. All this happened with a spectacular view of the mountains in the distance.
Departure from Montage
The final hours at Montage were spent at Apex/Burgers & Bourbon while enjoying the Apex portion of the restaurant menu, indulging in halibut and sweet corn chowder in front of the grand fireplace, and toasting to all of the Montage memories that had been made.
To get started on your trip to Montage Deer Valley or to learn more about similar wellness retreats, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a live chat. We are here to help create a healthier global community through wellness and active travel.