Work up that appetite
Work up that appetite (Photo: Ross Kribbs)

Earn Your Dinner at These 10 Mountain Restaurants

Ski or snowshoe by moonlight, and you’ll deserve the gourmet feast that follows

Work up that appetite
Megan Michelson

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You won’t feel guilty eating a second helping of dessert at these mountaintop lodges and huts from Vermont to Colorado. You’ll earn your dinner with a guided, nighttime cross-country ski or snowshoe before sitting down to a multi-course meal.

The Chalet

Alpine Meadows, California

At dusk, you’ll snowshoe from Alpine Meadows’ base lodge a quarter of a mile up a gentle groomed slope to an intimate on-mountain lodge known as the Chalet. From there, you and 50 of your new best friends will sit down for a formal European-inspired meal, with hot soups and grilled meats and apfel streudel for dessert.

Hazie’s Restaurant

Steamboat Springs, Colorado

From January through March, you can ride Steamboat’s gondola up at night, go for a mile-long snowshoe walk with moonlit views of the Yampa Valley, then head to the mountaintop Hazie’s Restaurant for a three-course dinner featuring elk or sea bass, then end the evening with a gondola ride back down the mountain.

Tennessee Pass Cookhouse

Leadville, Colorado

Deep in Colorado’s Sawatch Mountains lies the Nordic ski center of Tennessee Pass, where you can cross-country ski along 25 kilometers of trail by day and sleep in a log bunk bed in an off-the-grid yurt by night. It’s a one-mile-long ski to reach the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse, where four-course meals of Colorado-raised rack of lamb and homemade pie are served to hungry diners.

Stowe Mountain Lodge

Stowe, Vermont

You’ll head out from Vermont’s Stowe Mountain Lodge at night for an hour-long snowshoe trek using a headlamp and the moonlight and end up at a nearby yurt, located within the Nordic ski trails. Wine, cheese, and a four-course dinner await. For dessert, you’ll roast s’mores over an outdoor fire pit.

Boulder Yurt

Sun Valley, Idaho

Sun Valley Trekking leads guided night hikes out to the Boulder Yurt, accessed via a one-and-a-half-mile snowshoe or Nordic ski from the trailhead. The yurt has a full kitchen, manned by a backcountry chef, plus a wood stove and sleeping areas in case you want to spend the night.

Pine Creek Cookhouse

Aspen, Colorado

Located in the Elk Mountains outside of Aspen, the Pine Creek Cookhouse is a legendary place to dine. You’ll ski or snowshoe into dinner amongst Ashcroft Ski Touring’s 20 kilometers of Nordic trails across 730 rolling, snow-covered acres. Then chow on a mountain-inspired meal of buffalo tenderloin or stuffed acorn squash at an elevation of 9,500 feet.

The Yurt at Solitude

Solitude, Utah

Depart from Solitude’s Powderhorn Adventure Center on snowshoes and hike less than a mile into the woods before arriving at a glowing Mongolian yurt that can seat up to 24 people for a cozy dinner. Chefs whip up a gourmet four-course meal with dishes like tomato bisque, roasted duck, and chocolate cake.

Magic Meadows Yurt

Crested Butte, Colorado

Sure, you’ve got to ski a mile to your meal. But once you arrive at the solar-powered Magic Meadows Yurt within Crested Butte’s Nordic Center, you’ll be treated to a wood-burning stove, live music, and cocktails made with locally-distilled rum. A five-course dinner of butternut squash soup and winter risotto follows.

Tipi Camp

Jackson, Wyoming

On this guided snowshoe tour with Jackson Hole Vintage Adventures, your guide will pick you up at your hotel and outfit you with snowshoes. You’ll hike through the snow, following lit lanterns, to a tipi camp aglow under the Tetons. Wild salmon or buffalo are on the dinner menu, followed by desserts baked on site in a Dutch oven.

Top of the Notch

Smugglers’ Notch, Vermont

Ride the Sterling lift at Smugglers’ Notch Resort to the Top of the Notch, a rustic mountaintop cabin. There, you’ll enjoy a summit snowshoe tour, followed by a candlelit catered dinner. A menu favorite? A roasted Vermont-stuffed chicken breast, packed with McIntosh apples, Cabot cheddar, and maple-cured ham and coated with a cider cream sauce.

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Lead Photo: Ross Kribbs