Wes Welch, owner of Huntsville’s Atomic Chalet, jokes that he is in the business of selling sleep. The bed and breakfast, surrounded by trees on a quiet peninsula on Pineview Reservoir, is an ideal place to escape the noise and worries of your life and catch up on some much-needed rest.
At the same time, the Chalet is a base camp for all sorts of recreation, including boating and hiking in the summer and some of Utah’s best skiing in the winter. This combination of peace and adventure that draws visitors to Huntsville is also what brought Wes to the valley in the first place.
Raised in Southern California, Wes spent his youth surfing and playing volleyball on San Onofre beach, just down from the nuclear power plant. When he and his family started coming to Powder Mountain and Snow Basin in the winter to ski, they found the same peace and freedom that they felt on their home beach. A friend started to call a 100-year-old house on the peninsula the Atomic Chalet in honor of their own nuclear-adjacent home.
Later, while Wes was playing professional volleyball in Europe, he spent his weekends skiing in the Alps and staying in small Swiss cabins, which became his inspiration for the future bed and breakfast. When he returned from Europe he joined the professional beach volleyball tour, all the while dreaming of opening the Atomic Chalet.
Finally, in 1998, Wes bought the house and started the necessary renovations and additions. He opened his doors in 2000, in time to host the 2002 men’s US Olympic ski team. The Chalet has allowed Wes to embrace the peaceful pace of life in Huntsville, host old friends and meet new ones, and go skiing several times a week in the winter (which is a big motivation).
While Wes’s story certainly gives personality to the Atomic Chalet, he insists “the B&B isn’t about me. It’s about Huntsville and this valley.” So if the allure of the Atomic Chalet alone isn’t enough to convince you to come to Huntsville, here’s a little more motivation:
Huntsville is close enough to both Ogden and Salt Lake to make it perfect for a short road trip or an extended vacation. The drive through Ogden Canyon, around Pineview Reservoir, and up Monte Cristo is so beautiful that it is a featured ride in the Harley Davidson Ride Atlas and attracts sightseers from Utah and across the country.
Staying in Huntsville puts you in easy distance from recreational opportunities, including boating, swimming, fishing, mountain biking, and skiing. Next door to the Atomic Chalet is Diamond Peaks Heli-Ski Adventures, which offers helicopter tours and flights to the top of nearby ski slopes.
Don’t let the lake and ski resorts make you think you can only come in summer and winter, though. Wes explains, “The low seasons (April-May and Sept-Oct) are often the most beautiful and tranquil months of the year,” so if you come at those times you can “experience the Valley at its idyllic times.”
Whatever the time of year, if you need a getaway, keep Huntsville and the Atomic Chalet in mind.