There's nothing quite as satisfying as a gourmet meal after a long day on the slopes, and a number of Rocky Mountain resorts spice up the experience with a snowcat ride for on-mountain dining.
SnoCountry put out a call for some of the best “sleigh-ride” meals in the Rockies and came up with a sample listing.
Red River. A heated 12-person snowcat leaves the base of the northern New Mexico mountain at 5:30 and again 7:15 p.m for a ride up to 10,350 feet and the Ski Tip Lodge. Once there, the chef lays out a prix-fixe three-course meal. Round trip takes about two hours, and scheduled runs go Thursday through Sunday.
Park City. Depart the Legacy Lodge at the Park City side of the mountain for four hours of luxury dining and night views. It takes about 25 minutes to get to The Viking Yurt, at 8,500 feet. Once there, a six-course meal with a decided Norwegian bent awaits – including sorbet palate cleanser served on Norwegian rocks. One sitting of 40 people, seven nights a week.
Aspen Highlands. Halfway up Highlands sits Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro. On Wednesday and Thursday evenings, a snowcat makes the half-hour ride to a spacious cabin, where a choice of four-course gourmet meals has been prepared. Check out scallops and Spanish chorizo charred octopus, shishito peppers, and heirloom bean sofrito entree.
Breckenridge. On Thursday-Saturday, a snowcat-drawn carriage makes the short ride to Ten Mile Station – amazingly quiet being so close to town. The chef lays out a four-course prix-fixe spread, with speciality of elk tenderloin medallions. Finish off with orange crème brulée.
Steamboat. On Friday or Saturday, hop the gondola, then snuggle into a snowcat-sleigh for a 25-minute, cross-mountain ride to Ragnar's. Scandanavian cuisine courses through a five-course meal. Try this one out: Coffee Marinated Petite Filet, Rosti Potato, Asparagus, Smoked Tomato Coulis, Bearnaise, Chive Oil.