Although Jason and I had dined at a yurt recently, (How many people can say that?) we ended up doing so again last month. When our friend Jeremy and his fiancé invited us to check out The Viking Yurt at Park City Mountain Resort with them, we said ja.
As it turns out, besides its round shape and mountainous setting, The Viking Yurt shares little in common with Solitude’s primitive Mongolian version. The Viking Yurt is posh, fully heated, pumping with electricity, and even has a grand piano somehow sandwiched in its innards. It may be remote but rustic it is not.
To get to The Viking Yurt, you hop on a massive sleigh pulled by a snow cat. It dashes you up 1,800 vertical feet, which takes about 25 minutes. At 8,700 feet, you find a warm mug of glogg, a spiced berry drink, awaiting you inside a surprisingly inviting shelter.
You are then served a six-course dinner with Scandinavian flair that begins with butternut squash soup and smoked trout salad. Next, to cleanse your palate, you’re given a scoop of sorbet stuffed in a rock from Norway. (My stone came from Goxdeglicindovajavinojaslovan.) The main dish, braised short ribs and Jarlsberg potatoes, follows. A cheese course, which features a variety of unusual fermented and pickled products, comes next, presented on aspen slabs. Then, a warm pear strudel with lingonberry ice cream crams itself into your already occupied stomach. Yummy!
After all that eating, you jump into the sleigh again and it drags your heavy butt back down the slopes. The particular night we went the moon was full so we were expecting a spectacular return ride but clouds came between us and that lunatic dream.
So which of the two yurts was my favorite? Would I rather be conquered by a Viking or a Khan? That’s a hard call because Vikings have those cool hats and Khans have… those cool hats. Really, the two experiences were dramatically different but we loved both of them. The food at Solitude was a little better and it was cool to watch it being prepared. Plus, it was refreshing to completely unplug from modern disruptions. However, if you want to be pampered at 8,700 feet, then The Viking Yurt may be your kind of hut dining. You can’t go wrong either way… unless you don’t like eating amazing food in unique settings. If that’s the case, you best stick to gobbling P&J in your PJs.