While riding in the 4WD van through the canyon in a snowstorm, the driver asked us which mountain we were staying at. When we said "The Silver Fork" he replied "Oh wow, how cool is that?" We weren't sure if that was a genuine sign of a good choice in accommodations or if we'd picked the "unusual choice" for the worse! But we were not disappointed one bit with our decision.
It turns out that the Silver Fork Lodge hasn't changed much since the 1950's in terms of the building and rooms. The place is all wood, and I mean ALL wood, sporting big rustic old beams, a narrow staircase up to the rooms, creaky floors and classic Western-themed decorations with a myriad of "cowboy and Indian" prints covering the wooden walls. The first word that quickly comes to mind when you enter is "cozy." The common areas are warm and inviting, and have no shame at all in being dated; proudly keeping all the robust antique furniture made from tree trunks that have probably seen World War II, and will likely be around for the next 50 years too. Coffee, reading materials and a warm stove draw you in to curl up with a good book or grab a nap.
The small number of rooms in the lodge are all upstairs above the common areas and restaurant. The rooms are modestly sized, and some might even be described as cramped, but the beds are comfortable, and you won't feel any chills, even on the coldest of nights. There were no problems with cleanliness, but some of the fixtures are showing their age and should probably be updated. Fair warning: the walls are paper-thin, and I'm not exaggerating when I say that you can hear everything that your neighbors are saying (or doing), and vice-versa. During the hours that the restaurant is open, there's also a decent amount of sound that comes in through the floor as well in the rooms which are furthest down the hall. Thankfully, we lucked out and didn't really have any issues with noise.
With regard to the restaurant, the food was very good and never left us wanting. The hearty breakfasts are included with your stay, and taking advantage of them feels more like walking downstairs to eat in the kitchen of your house than being in a hotel. You almost want to wear your pajamas in the dining room; it's just that comfy. The space is open with huge windows looking out to the vista, a roaring fireplace, and the same consistently kitschy decor found throughout the building. The difference here, though, is that it feels genuine. Every meal we had was tasty and came with large portions so bring your appetite. The usual American fare is here, but the Silver Fork spices it up with some innovative twists on classic dishes, so I recommend choosing the more unusual items if you can, because they're worth a try. The service was reliably good and we never had a reason not to tip. Be sure to try some of their house-made sourdough bread made from a starter that's older than I am.
Easily one of the best things about staying here is the free shuttle service that will bring you to pretty much anywhere in the canyon. Once we were done with our breakfast, we asked for a lift to whichever mountain we were skiing that day and were brought there post-haste. Once we were done skiing? We called the lodge on our cell and got picked up again. The combination of this and using a van service from the airport meant we didn't need to rent a car or brave Cottonwood's snow-covered roads! If nightlife and lively apres-ski is your thing, the shuttle can take you to the other resorts too, within reason.
The Silver Fork is where we will stay the next time we head to Brighton hands-down. Our days there consisted of: good night's sleep, tasty breakfast, free ride to mountain, ski all day, free ride to cozy room to change, delicious dinner, sleep, repeat. If you want to marathon ski or ride in Cottonwood Canyon, this is the place to rest your head.
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- Also Known As:
- The Silver Fork Lodge Brighton, Utah