Western Rivers Expedition owners take over Viking Yurt in Park City

The Viking Yurt will operate from mid-December through mid-March, offering one seating at 7 p.m. for up to 40 guests each night

PARK CITY, Utah — Under the new ownership of the Merrill family, the Viking Yurt experience returns this winter, offering a culinary journey steeped in Nordic tradition. Brian and Dena Merrill and their son Dylan will oversee nightly sleigh rides and six-course gourmet dining experiences housed in the elevated yurt, located mid-mountain at Park City Mountain, starting this December.

The journey of Brian and Dena Merrill is a tale of romance, adventure, and entrepreneurship. It began on the waters of the Colorado and Green rivers as they worked as whitewater rafting guides for Western River Expeditions. Their passion for guiding adventurous souls along rivers persisted until Brian’s pursuit of legal studies took them to the University of Maryland School of Law. While Brian practiced law in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the yearning for something more fulfilling eventually brought them back to Utah and Western River Expeditions.

In May 2023, the Merrill family took over the Viking Yurt from its original owners, Joy and Geir Vik. With seasonal staff from the Merrills’ Western River Expeditions company now devoting their winters to working at the Viking Yurt, meaningful collaboration between the two families flourished, resulting in a seamless transition. Committed to upholding the Viks’ prominent legacy, the Merrill family is dedicated to preserving the unparalleled experience of the Viking Yurt.

“We are thrilled to continue the time-honored traditions and luxurious novelty of the Viking Yurt for guests seeking a truly one-of-a-kind dining experience,” said Viking Yurt General Manager Dylan Merrill in a press release. “As guests ourselves for many years, our family has made new friends and unforgettable memories, and we look forward to creating those same memorable experiences for guests for many years to come.”

Courtesy Viking Yurt

Situated at the top of Crescent Lift at Park City Mountain Resort, the Viking Yurt offers an unparalleled destination dining experience in Park City. The signature Mountain Sleigh Ride dinner commences with guests departing Legacy Lodge on a 32-person, snow cat-pulled sleigh for a captivating 25-minute ride up to the Viking Yurt, offering breathtaking views of the night sky, snow-covered trees, city lights, and expansive mountains. Upon arriving at the yurt, guests are warmly greeted by a crackling fire, enchanting music, rustic atmosphere, and a mug of hot Glögg, a mulled spirt, followed by selections from a signature menu.

The Viking Yurt will operate from mid-December through mid-March, offering one seating at 7 p.m. for up to 40 guests each night. Regular pricing is $279.61 per person. Holiday pricing (Dec. 18 – Jan 1.) is $364.14 per person. Prices include tax and gratuity.

Dinner reservations are open and can be made at



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