There are certainly enough fun things to do in Salt Lake City, Utah, to fill up your entire visit, but why miss out on all the splendor offered by the surrounding areas? Whether you’re looking to head out for a handful of hours or an entire day, we’ve compiled several day trips that you shouldn’t miss.
Adventure for All
For 42 glorious miles, the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway treats visitors to one of Utah and Wyoming's most scenic mountain drives. Beginning around 50 miles outside of Salt Lake in Kamas, Utah, the drive climbs from lower farmlands to a forested mountainous area over 10,600 feet. During the drive, among the many gems you'll experience is Bald Mountain Pass with its sweeping views, the crystal clear reflections of Mirror Lake, numerous waterfalls, and inspiring scenic outlooks.
If you haven’t been, a visit to the Great Salt Lake is a must. Drive a mere 30 minutes from the city to witness 2,100 square miles of saltwater making up the eighth-largest saltwater lake in the world. View wildlife, hike around, go for a swim or saltwater float, or enjoy some boating time. The area is home to Antelope Island State Park The largest island in the Great Salt Lake is home to up to 700 bison and other animals like antelope, deer, and bighorn sheep.
A short ninety-minute drive from Salt Lake City, and you’re in the ever-popular Bonneville Salt Flats, home to the famous Speed Week. This prehistoric, evaporated salt lake covers 30,000 acres. With a bit of imagination, the barren and unique landscape can feel like another planet. If you schedule your visit to coincide with sunrise or sunset, you’ll return with some unreal photographs of the setting.
Jump in your car, and within 40 minutes you’re in fabulous Park City. Spend time exploring this once booming silver mining town’s Historic Main Street filled with first-class dining and shopping, all housed within charming historic buildings. Being among these memorable buildings against a backdrop of fresh snow is like stepping into a storybook.
If you visit during ski season, you can indulge in the same powdery slopes that hosted many exciting events for the 2002 Winter Olympics.
The incomparable Timpanogos Cave National Monument is a little over 40 minutes’ drive from Salt Lake City. Here you’ll find an otherworldly realm beneath the ground. Walk through limestone chambers, experience stunning vistas, and uncover the science behind these formations. Be prepared for a hike to the cave entrance with a gain of over 1,000 feet. Once there, take in the unbeatable view of American Fork Canyon.