By: Ryan Alford – Snowshoe Magazine
A place of refuge, a scenic break from reality, a smart choice for any snowshoer…Johnson Mill Bed and Breakfast in Midway, Utah is a perfected place for a little well-deserved R&R&S (rest and relaxation and snowshoeing).
This carefully revived historic mill built in 1893 sits atop 14 acres of some our nation’s most unspoiled terrain – a genuine space for any snowshoer seeking relief from everyday irritants. Picturesque is at lack of appropriate definition to completely understand what Johnson Mill serves to those weary persons traveling to its sanctuary.
“The government has bought about 30 acres of land that’s adjacent to my 14 acres,” said Robert Johnson, owner and caretaker of Johnson Mill. “Walking out of my place, you’ve got half a mile along the Provo River . The guests that have come back from hiking along the river have said it’s unbelievably beautiful. And, we maintain about two feet of snow around here – perfect for snowshoeing.”
One of the more important factors in snowshoeing is the individual experience. And, as snowshoeing redeems itself as an individual sport, more snowshoers across the country are focused on finding that place of ultimate reflection and satisfaction. That place for some can be the Johnson Mill Bed and Breakfast.
The Mill provides an open space for snowshoers to visit and indiscriminately peruse its amenities. For the snowshoeing athlete, this is a quality escape to seclusion to reflect on future competitions and races. For the everyday snowshoer, the setting couldn’t be any more absolute. And, for the beginner, Johnson Mill is a brisk plunge into bed and breakfast revelry – with snowshoes supplied to those who don’t own them.
Sitting at the foot of Utah’s sacred Wasatch Mountains and the majesty of the Uinta National Forest, Johnson Mill is surrounded by some of the world’s most famous winter sports playgrounds: Sundance Ski Resort, Deer Creek Lake State Park, the Provo River, Alta Ski Resort, Snowbird Ski Resort, Brighton Ski Resort, Solitude Ski Resort, Deer Valley Ski Resort, Park City Ski Resort, Jordanelle Lake State Park, The Canyons Ski Resort, and many other recreational areas.
“To me, one of the sterling qualities that we have to offer is nature and an appreciation of it,” said Johnson. “We’re completely surrounded by the Rocky Mountains . In terms of snowshoeing, there are trails galore. There is a wonderful golf course here called the Wasatch Golf Course and they have trails, specifically for snowshoeing, that go up into the mountains that are just absolutely stunning.”
Midway, placed delicately among the purity of the land at an elevation of approximately 5,567 feet, is more than a one-of-a-kind town – it’s drastically underserved as a get-away destination. For those gravitating to Park City , Utah for a slice of posh, many don’t know that Midway is 15 to 20 minutes to the south.
One point of interest for any snowshoer is Soldier Hollow, a Nordic center that hosted several winter Olympic events in 2002 (six biathlons, 10 cross-country skiing events, and two skiing portions of the Nordic combined). Throughout its extensive set of trails, Soldier Hollow has exclusive terrain for snowshoers: A three-kilometer trail plus terrain at the Wasatch Mountain State Park .
Nevertheless, Johnson Mill becomes the perfect staging site for a snowshoeing adventure throughout Midway and Utah ‘s Heber Valley . “Our rates go from $130 a night up to $225 for our honeymoon suite. But, our deluxe rooms run about $180. Our motto is ‘Come and listen to the quiet,’ which gives you a hint of what we are here,” said Johnson.