Although the great outdoors may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Salt Lake City, Utah’s capital boasts plenty of ways to boost your heart rate and enjoy nature. Below are Salt Lake City’s top things to do outdoors.
Located southwest of the city proper, the Bingham Canyon Mine (also known as the Kennecott Canyon Mine) provides a fantastic first-hand look at the city’s rich history. Since its founding in 1903, this mine has yielded more than 16 million tons of copper, not to mention a sizable number of pure gold bars. Come to see these precious metals extracted from the Earth’s surface before your very eyes.
Long before Salt Lake City came to be, the entire valley was under water. The Bonneville Shoreline Trail traces what was once the coast of this massive inland sea, stretching 100 miles over rambling terrain and offering beautiful views of the city. There are a number of trailheads that connect to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, allowing you to hop on and off at your leisure.
Just southeast of downtown Salt Lake City, the 80-acre Liberty Acre Park provides ample space to stretch your legs and enjoy some fresh air. In addition to its paved jogging paths, playgrounds and ponds, the park also encompasses the Tracy Aviary, home to more than 130 different species of birds.
Occupying the largest island in the Great Salt Lake, this state park offers fantastic views of Salt Lake City’s namesake, not to mention plenty of opportunities to commune with nature. Home to many species of birds, not to mention elk and bison, Antelope Island’s 28,000 acres are a wildlife-lover’s paradise.
In March 1846, around 500 Mormon wagons set out across the Iowa prairie, heading west. The path they followed now comprises the 1,300-mile Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail, which terminates in Salt Lake City, where the pioneers laid down routes. Part of the U.S. National Park system, the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail and Utah’s This Is The Place Heritage Park offer a fascinating glimpse into the state’s Mormon heritage.
It’s no wonder why this relaxation hotspot is one of the most popular outdoor attractions in all of Utah. These natural thermal waters are the perfect cure for tired muscles, while the nearby multi-tiered waterfall is a treat for the eyes. The pools are open all year round and can be reached by an easy 2.5-mile hiking trail (though heavy snowfall in the winter can make the trek more challenging).
Part of Solitude Mountain Resort, the Solitude Nordic Center features more than 12 miles of beautifully groomed cross-country ski and snowshoe trails just outside Salt Lake City proper. In addition to providing equipment rentals, Solitude also offers Nordic snow sports lessons and workshops.
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