Things to Do in Salt Lake City

About Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is the capital of Utah and its most populated city.  It was founded in 1847 by the church followers led by Brigham Young who fled the east to escape persecution.  It is now home to the world headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints. 

The immigration of church members, mining booms, and construction of the first transcontinental railroad spurred Salt Lake City’s growth.  Now Salt Lake City has developed a strong outdoor recreation industry based around skiing, and it is known for hosting the 2002 Winter Olympics.

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Hikes in Little Cottonwood Canyon

Little Cottonwood Canyon

Little Cottonwood Canyon is located in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest approximately 15 miles east of Salt Lake City.  It was created by a glacier many years ago.  Its quartz and granite, mined by the Latter Day Saint pioneers, was used to construct the Salt Lake Temple. There are several excellent trails in Little Cottonwood Canyon, though my favorites are quite long.

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Lake Blanche near Salt Lake City

Hikes in Big Cottonwood Canyon

Big Cottonwood Canyon

Big Cottonwood Canyon is conveniently located just east of Salt Lake City along Big Cottonwood Canyon Scenic Byway, State Route 190, which also travels over Guardsman Pass to Park City.  The 15-mile long canyon provides access to many outdoor activities including hiking, biking, camping, and fishing in the summer and snowboarding and skiing in the winter at its two ski resorts, Brighton and Solitude.

During my three-week stay in Salt Lake City, I explored several trails in the area including Brighton Lakes, Desolation Lake, Twin Lakes and Lake Blanche.  What do all of these trails have in common?  At least one lake.  All of the trails were lovely, but if I had to pick one, it would be Lake Blanche.

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Hikes in American Fork Canyon

American Fork Canyon

The American Fork Canyon is part of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest and is located southeast of Salt Lake City off State Route 92, a popular scenic byway that attracts over 1 million visitors a year.  As a result, entry requires a $6 three-day pass, a $12 weekly pass, a $45 yearly pass, or a National Parks pass.

I spent three weeks in Salt Lake City, and of the five areas to hike within 60 miles east of the city, Emigration Canyon, Mill Creek Canyon, Big Cottonwood Canyon, Little Cottonwood Canyon, and American Fork Canyon, I favored the latter.  The hillsides dotted in aspen and lakes tucked beneath glacier carved peaks are simply spectacular.

The American Fork Canyon offers visitors several hiking options from easy to hard.  Some of my favorites include: Stewart Falls, Timpanogos Cave National Monument, Silver Glance Lake and Emerald Lake.

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red oak leaf

Hikes in Mill Creek Canyon

Mill Creek Canyon

Mill Creek Canyon, located just east of Salt Lake City in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, is an extremely popular hiking destination.  Not only is it popular for its proximity to the city, it is also attractive to dog owners as it is the only dog friendly canyon in the area.  Much of the Wasatch Mountains is restricted to dogs because over 60% of Salt Lake City’s drinking water comes from the watershed, and therefore must remain clean.

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Top Things to Do Near Monticello

Top Things to Do Near Monticello, Utah

Located just 40 miles from the entrance of the Canyonland’s Needles District, Monticello is a great base for hikers wishing to explore some iconic trails.  It also serves as a great base for historians and geologists, as the area is pepper with Indian ruins and unique rock formations.

Monticello was settled by members of the Church of Latter-day Saints in the 1890’s.  Monticello is the second most populous town with approximately 2,000 residents in San Juan County.  It grew between the 1940’s to 1960’s during the Uranium boom. Continue reading “Top Things to Do Near Monticello”