Where are you going?
Or, let us surprise youSpin the Globe ®

Skiing and Snow Play in Salt Lake City

The Classic: Skiing
Skiing and Snow Play in Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City and its proximity to the Washach Mountains makes for incredible and refined winter adventures. No need to rough it here. There are plenty of ways to get out into the magic of the snow covered mountains without risking life and limb. In under an hour those looking to escape the sounds of the city can be in the serenity of the hills on skis, snowshoes or a host of other ways of getting around—or just by sitting still and soaking it all in.
By Cameron Martindell, AFAR Local Expert
Photo courtesy of Adam Barker/Visit Salt Lake
  • 1 / 10
    The Classic: Skiing
    The Classic: Skiing
    The world class skiing within striking distance of Salt Lake City usually sits pretty high up on the bucket list for most snow hounds. For the skiing pureist, there's Alta—snowboarders are not allowed at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon. Just over the ridge in Big Cottonwood Canyon boarders are welcome at Brighton—a small family-friendly but steep and fun area with some great backcountry access. With easy access from SLC via I-80 are the massive Park City Mountain Resort (which combined with Canyons) and Deer Valley Resort which hosted the freestyle mogul, aerial, and alpine slalom events in 2002.
    Photo courtesy of Adam Barker/Visit Salt Lake
  • 2 / 10
    The Thrill of the Hill - For All
    The Thrill of the Hill - For All
    Anybody can enjoy the snowy mountains just a stone's throw from Salt Lake City and harness the fun that is sliding down on the slippery slopes. Fist stop: Gorgoza Park in Park City where you can team up with friends to tube down the hill in a spinning fun heap—or hit it solo on a tube or the classic toboggan wooden sled.  For hills in the city itself when the snow is allowing swing by Lindsey Gardens and Sugar House Park where sled riders and tubers of all ages are welcome.
    Photo by Jim West/age fotostock
  • 3 / 10
    Hit the Ice
    Hit the Ice
    Ice skating tends to only appear in the mainstream when the winter olympics come around, but there are plenty of people who enjoy it between those periods and it's a great family activity—even when it's the first time for the whole gang. Salt Lake City had a few indoor rinks like the Acord Ice Center—the official training rink for the Utah Grizzlies. It features an Olympic-sized ice surface that is frequently open to the public for free skating. When temps are low enough, the recently renovated outdoor rink at the  Gallivan Center is open seven days a week during the winter and features rental and skate-sharpening facilities along with concession stands.
    Photo by Randy Faris/age fotostock
  • 4 / 10
    Rev it up on a Snowmobile
    Rev it up on a Snowmobile
    The need for speed is easily quenched while ripping over fresh powder at 100 mph through the trees and over the mountains on a snowmachine. Less than an hour's drive from SLC in the Heber Valley, Uinta Recreation provides half- and full-day rentals and leads expeditions through the local wilderness. Uinta can accommodate huge groups (up to 60 people) on one expedition of spectacular rides through the Uinta National Forest, Wasatch Mountains, and Strawberry Valley. Snowmobile Adventures at Thousand Peaks just east of Park City thrusts you into the center of Utah’s largest private ranch, a 60,000-acre playground among 11,000-foot peaks and some of the biggest snow accumuliation areas in the region.
    Photo courtesy of Thousand Peaks
  • 5 / 10
    Drop a line—through the ice
    Drop a line—through the ice
    Don your warmest clothes and get out on the frozen lakes of the hills with Strawberry Bay Lodge Ice Fishing Tours. Strawberry Bay does all the difficult work—like building fishing huts, drilling holes, and collecting bait—so you can focus on what’s important, which is settling into your own private hut for an early morning or full afternoon of dropping lures, telling tall tales, and enjoying the company of friends. Strawberry Bay can accommodate up to 20 people per expedition, which means you can bring all your friends. Once you land the big one, they can join you around the fire for a good old-fashioned fish fry.
    Photo by age fotostock
  • 6 / 10
    Skinny Ski Adventures: Cross-Country
    Skinny Ski Adventures: Cross-Country
    Cross-country skiing is at once physically demanding, emotionally enlivening, and spiritually invigorating, and is a fine way to explore the Salt Lake City snow country. Solitude Nordic Centre has more than 15 miles of well-manicured trails that spider through pristine wilderness, which means you’ll never feel crowded even in one of the region’s most popular ski areas. Alta Nordic Skiing is home to a fantastic 3.1-mile track near the Sunnyside Lift which is designed for both skate skiing and classic skiing, while adventurous types may wish to explore the rugged country at Mountain Dell via Parley’s Canyon, just east of Salt Lake City.
    Photo courtesy of Adam Barker/Visit Salt Lake
  • 7 / 10
    Walking on the Snow—Backcountry Snowshoeing
    Walking on the Snow—Backcountry Snowshoeing
    If you’re after an adventure that will test your physical resolve while sparing you plenty of time to soak in your surroundings and snap beautiful photos, snowshoeing in SLC is for you. Surrounded by seven canyons, you’re never far removed from an exciting backcountry experience; Red Butte, Emigration, Millcreek, Big Cottonwood, and other sections of the Wasatch mountain range feature well-maintained shoe trails with easily accessible trailheads, meaning your expedition is only as taxing as you wish to make it. Utah Mountain Adventures has tours for newbies and advanced snowshoers alike, and can even help you shoe your way to the pinnacle of your favorite Wasatch peak.
    Photo by Ryan Rombough/age fotostock
  • 8 / 10
    Mush, Mush, Mush!
    Mush, Mush, Mush!
    If you’ve always dreamed of leading a dogsledding expedition, hook up with Rocky Mountain Recreation for the chance to command a team of dogs through the beautifully rugged country of the Stillman Ranch. (Some of the dogs are veterans of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race that takes place each year in Alaska.) Pawsatch Snow Dogs has teams of Alaskan malamutes and Siberian huskies that love nothing more than spiriting families over snowy terrain. Since they do all the heavy work you can lean back and pretend you really are taking on the Arctic tundra.
    Photo by Carolyn McCarthy
  • 9 / 10
    Spectacular Sleigh and Dine Experiences
    Spectacular Sleigh and Dine Experiences
    Rocky Mountain Sleigh Company offers a unique sleigh and dine program that will elicit your fondest childhood memories of winter. The sleigh whisks you along the Weber River through beautiful woodlands and delivers you to a charming log cabin where a tremendous home-cooked meal awaits—after you’ve had a sip of hot cocoa by the fire, of course. The Viking Yurt at Park City Mountain Resort offers a thrilling sleigh experience that includes a ride through majestic pine forests to a pass at over 8,000 feet, along with night views of glimmering Park City. The adventure is capped with a Nordic-inspired six-course tasting menu hosted in the luxurious Viking yurt, one of the most amazing structures in the state.
    Photo courtesy of Mark Maziarz/The Viking Yurt
  • 10 / 10
    Let the Games Begin—Olympic Attractions
    Let the Games Begin—Olympic Attractions
    Salt Lake City is emmencly proud to have hosted the spectacular and successful 2002 Winter Olympic Games—and rightly so. Todya, the region still benefits from the facilities and attractions built to host the world’s top athletes. Utah Olympic Park allows visitors to bomb down a bobsled or skeleton track at 70 mph, or take to the air on one of the world’s wildest aerial jumps. There are also a couple of fantastic museums on-site for the less adventurous. Soldier Hollow hosted the Nordic skiing events and features miles of wonderful cross-country trails, as well as America’s longest tubing track. The Olympic Oval is home to the “Fastest Ice on Earth,” a rink where your new personal speed-skating best is all but assured.
    Photo courtesy of Utah Olympic Park