The Washington Times, Jill Robinson — Nearly every time I hear someone talking about going to Salt Lake City for an outdoor adventure, it’s all about skiing. While that’s certainly a reason to pack your bags and head to the mountains in Utah, there is a wealth of reasons that outdoor enthusiasts should consider Salt Lake City as a vacation destination.
I was in town in August with hundreds of like-minded people at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, where brands representing everything from tents to backpacks to clothing show off what’s coming up for next season. Most of us split our time between the convention center and the outdoors.
There’s plenty of space in the mountains surrounding Salt Lake City to get your fill of outdoor activities, but unless you desire a mountain-specific adventure, you don’t have to go far out of town.
The City Creek Canyon Trail starts from downtown Salt Lake City, which makes it convenient for hikers and runners. Bicyclists can use the trail only on odd-numbered days in summer. Just east of the State Capitol, follow the creek through a city park, and within two miles, you’re walking in a national forest. Hikers often head to City Creek Meadows, four miles from the road’s end. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the views.
Mill Creek Canyon, just outside Salt Lake City, offers ample hiking, mountain biking and picnic opportunities. If you travel with your dog, this is a great trail for your pal to enjoy. Dogs are required to be leashed on even-numbered days, and well-behaved pups can walk along leash-free on odd-numbered days. Bikers are prohibited on the Upper Mill Creek trails on days when dogs are off leash.
Not far from Salt Lake City is the Snowbird ski resort, which is open for outdoor enjoyment year-round. When I was there in August, I went hiking among the wildflowers in Mineral Basin and mountain biking down trails. Now that we’re nearing winter, it’ll soon be time for ski and snow fun.
Not a lot of people think of Salt Lake City as a foodie haunt. But while in town, I had a few memorable experiences, beginning with Zy Restaurant. Lunch and dinner menus feature crisp salads, tasty sandwiches (the pulled pork sandwich is my favorite), duck tacos, baked mac & cheese, pecan pork with wild mushrooms, steelhead trout with a fire-roasted pepper purée, and much more. Don’t leave without sampling from the cheese or whiskey tasting menus. Then, challenge yourself to not want to eat there for every meal you’re in town.