By Darren Nelson feature writer for My Local Utah
Only an hour from Salt Lake City, and merely minutes east of Ogden, are the towns of Eden and Huntsville. Bordering the shorelines of Pineview Reservoir, these two idyllic communities on the east side of the Wasatch Range offer the perfect escape from the busy valleys to the west.
Each is close to Pineview for some fun summertime water recreation, and close to Snowbasin Resort for some world-class skiing in winter. The entire area is great for hiking, biking, fishing, and all kinds of outdoor activities. Plus, you are only minutes away from Ogden if you want to do things on a busier scale.
Huntsville, the city proper, is mostly located on a picturesque peninsula that juts out into Pineview Reservoir from the east shore. It offers beautiful views of the towering mountains to the west set against the blue of Pineview’s waters. This little hideaway town offers some fun things to do and see. Small shops and eateries can be found in the downtown area, including Utah’s oldest bar, the Shooting Star Saloon. Try the Saloon’s Star Burger for a tasty meal. The Red Rock grill offers some good barbeque, tacos, burgers, and more.
For some off-the-beaten-path experiences, visit the Huntsville Astronomic and Lunar Observatory. It’s a great place to do some stargazing free from the light noise of the Wasatch front. On the east side of town is the old Huntsville Monastery preserved by the Ogden Valley Land Trust. This former Trappist Cistercian enclave was closed in 2017, but the structures and farmland are still there.
Being located on a peninsula in a lake translates to Huntsville being the jumping-off point for a lot of water activities. The beach areas (made larger by low-water levels) provide plenty of space for beachgoers to picnic, swim, or just catch some rays. A nearby campground provides spaces for those that want a longer stay at the lake to take advantage of fishing and boating opportunities.
Speaking of staying longer, Huntsville offers several accommodations for visitors including the Compass Rose Lodge, the Jackson Fork Inn, the Atomic Chalet Bed & Breakfast, and the historic Valley House Inn.
If things are filled up in Huntsville, you can stay in the lovely town of Eden—literally a stone’s throw away. You can book a stay in Eden at the Snowberry Inn Bed& Breakfast, Powder Ridge Village, The WorldMark Wolf Creek, and the charming Edelweiss Bed & Breakfast.
Eden borders the northern shore of Pineview Reservoir, and like Huntsville, it offers great views of the mountains and lake. Tucked in between ski resorts like Snowbasin, Powder Mountain, and Wolf Mountain, Eden is a great place to be when visiting any of these resorts.
Eden has some fun spots for some good food. The Mad Moose Café offers great coffee and a variety of burgers, Paninis, salads, and more from their kitchen. Carlos and Harley’s offers some good Tex Mex fare and a nice patio area for summer days. Looking to mix in some fresh Italian with burgers and salads, then we suggest the cleverly named Eats of Eden.
Eden has a large 18-hole golf course (Wolf Creek) with beautiful views looking toward the lake and the mountains. A fun stop for kids would be the Carvers Cove Petting Farm, with lots of small farm animals like sheep, goats, pigs, rabbits, alpacas, llamas, donkeys, and cows for a hands-on experience.
It should not go without mentioning, that the trip to Eden and Huntsville through the scenic Ogden canyon offers some fun things to do and see as well. Starting (or ending, as it were) is Rainbow Gardens at the mouth of Ogden Canyon. This gift shop, craft store, and restaurant is a roadside attraction that cannot be explained, only experienced. A few food stops can be found inside the canyon including The Oaks Restaurant, a western-themed eatery with beautiful patio seating on the Odgen River. Just west of The Oaks is the Gray Cliff Lodge Restaurant, a steak, and chops restaurant featuring local trout on its menu.
A trip to the Huntsville/Eden valley is a great way to spend the day. Whether you want to waterski, fish, shop, hike, eat some good food, or just escape the heat, this is a fun excursion for couples or the whole family. Don’t forget your sunscreen and a camera.