A great family ski day can depend on many things. Weather. Snow conditions. Hassle factor in getting on the slopes. And of course, good food! After a fun morning of adventure my kids are always eager for a warm lunch and special treat. But as a parent, I’d like something more than just a cafeteria meal. Being more romantic than our kids, my husband and I love a beautiful lodge with great scenery AND great food.
Family Dining at Needles Lodge
At almost 9000’, Needles Lodge is one of my favorite dining experiences in the Wasatch. This beautiful log style lodge is perched just under Needles Cirque and has amazing views of the Northern Wasatch, Pineview Reservoir, and Morgan and Ogden Valleys.
But it is also a fantastic destination for the hungry family. Being a mom of three young kids, we spend most of the day on the Little Cat Express and Becker lifts at the bottom of the mountain. But a fun ride up the Needles Gondola delivers us into the heart of high alpine territory. If you purchase a beginner ticket (good on the Little Cat and Becker lifts), you may still ride the gondola up for lunch. Just leave your skis at the base and ride it back down when you are finished. And gondolas are like alpine amusement rides for the young at heart.
When arriving at Needles Lodge you will find large comfortable chairs and tables with expansive views out the windows. You can take any wet clothing and place it near the stone fireplace to dry.
Downstairs you will find additional seating and oversized sofas for lounging. We’ve even seen families “set up camp” with their infant in Needles Lodge, while mom and dad take turns making runs off the gondola.
Insider Food Tips
While all the meals we’ve had at Needles Lodge have been excellent, we do have a few family favorites. I would highly recommend any of the soups or burgers. Specifically the Creamy Tomato Basil Soup and Clam Chowder, when it is available. If you are looking to feed the entire family, the signature wood-fired pizza is always a favorite with our kids and one generous order of french fries usually satisfies this family of five.
At either of the upper mountain lodges, opt for a ceramic coffee cup rather than paper and enjoy free refills. This is part of Snowbasin’s new program to limit the amount of waste produced each season.
Whether skiing off the top, or just enjoying a beautiful gondola ride, make the Needles Lodge a must-visit for your family. I promise you won’t regret it.
Alyssa Erickson I am a wife, mom, rock climber, skier, coffee lover and all around adventure lover with a passion for writing. I have my B.A. in English Literature from the University of Colorado and am the founder of KidProject.org. I live and play near the Wasatch Range, partnering with my husband and teaching my kids to make the most of life and the One who gave it to us.