After flying into Salt Lake City, rent a car and take at least half a day to pick up provisions and road snacks, and explore downtown. To get the most out of this trip, you’ll need camping supplies and a decent amount of food and water as you’ll be heading into remote terrain. Don’t worry, if camping isn’t in the cards there are plenty of comfortable accommodations on this trip. Salt Lake City is the easiest place to pick up the most variety of food and gear before hitting the road.
To get outfitted with camping and outdoor supplies, head to Recreation Outlet
just south of downtown. For a quick lunch and top quality camping food and snacks (this is still a vacation) Caputo’s
is a must-visit. This local favorite Italian deli and market is the perfect spot to stock up for fine dining alfresco. For more everyday items (it doesn’t hurt to bring a few large jugs of water) there are grocery stores a few blocks away in downtown or Trolley Square.
Once you’re geared up, it’s time to hit the road. It’s about a three-hour drive to the San Rafael Swell. Break up the drive with a stop in historic Helper
(about two hours from Salt Lake City), a mining town with preserved buildings from its storied past. The San Rafael Swell is a 75-by-40-mile dome of rock that’s been shaped into a winding maze of valleys, canyons, buttes, and mesas by some 60 million years of flash flooding. The best way to appreciate the scale of this incredible place is the via the Wedge Overlook Trail
by hiking or mountain bike. You’ll enjoy a complete view of the 14-mile-long, sandstone-carved Little Grand Canyon.
For campers, Buckhorn Draw Road
(about a 45-minute drive from the trail) is one of the most beautiful places to sleep outdoors. Set in the middle of the canyon walls and visible from the Wedge Overlook, the stars at their brightest and most brilliant here. For those who prefer a roof over their heads (and running water), the family-owned Castle Valley Outdoors
offers guided hunting and fly fishing trips with rustic lodge-style accommodations. Or you can rent a room or the entire house at The Nielsen House
. Both options are about an hour away from the Wedge Overlook Trail.