Salt Lake City: Surrounding Sights and Scenery
Take a tour of scenic Salt Lake City, and view some of Salt Lake's top destinations today.
By: Hannah Shipley
Bonneville Shoreline Trail
The Bonneville Shoreline Trail was formed in 1990 as an effort to preserve a popular mountain biking, jogging, and walking trail along a pathway between Emigration Canyon and Dry Canyon on the east side of Salt Lake City. Today it stretches for more than 100 miles with a possibility of doubling in length over the next few years. The trail creates a boundary between urban subdivisions and national forest wilderness, which allows those living in the city to have easy access to their natural surroundings.
Albion Basin, Little Cottonwood Canyon
Little Cottonwood Canyon is located in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest along the eastern side of the Salt Lake Valley, about 15 miles from Salt Lake City. The Albion Basin is known for being home to many rare plant species, and the Utah Native Plant Society offers wildflower walks through the basin on a regular basis.
Cecret Lake, Little Cottonwood Canyon
Cecret Lake is a small alpine lake in Albion Basin that's become a protected watershed for Salt Lake City. Each year, the water melts off from several hundred inches of snow that keeps the mountain tops white well into July. The Cecret Lake is surrounded by quartz monzonite and the Alta and Snowbird ski resorts.
Guardsman Pass, Big Cottonwood Canyon
Big Cottonwood Canyon is a 15-mile-long canyon that offers hiking, biking, rock-climbing, camping and fishing in the summer. In the winter, the canyon's two ski resorts, Brighton and Solitude, are extremely popular. Guardsman Pass is located at the top of the canyon, and in the winter it becomes a popular snowshoe hiking -destination for locals and visitors alike.
Antelope Island was discovered by John C. Fremont and Kit Carson in 1845, and was named after an antelope they shot in gratitude for its meat. The island, located within the Antelope Island State Park, is the largest in the Great Salt Lake and is home to all kinds of animals such as Pronghorn Antelope, Bighorn Sheep, American Bison, porcupine, badger, coyote, bobcat, and millions of waterfowl. You can also visit Fielding Garr Ranch, which is the oldest Anglo building in Utah still on its original foundation.
Constructed in 1970 by American sculptor Robert Smithson, this piece of art was constructed entirely of mud, salt crystals, basalt rocks, earth, and water. The 1,500-foot-long counterclockwise coil is located on the northeastern shore of the Great Salt Lake near Rozel Point, and is only visible when the level of the Great Salt Lake falls below an elevation of 4,197.8 feet.
Wasatch Mountains Hiking
The Wasatch Mountain Range stretches 160 miles from the Utah-Idaho border and is considered the western edge of the greater Rocky Mountains and the eastern edge of the Great Basin region. The mountains have become a popular hiking destination for locals to easily enjoy the beautiful canyons and valleys while still being in close proximity to a large urban area.
Snowbird Resort Horseback Riding
Snowbird Resort was named the number one ski resort in North America in 2008 by Outside Magazine. Snowbird offers a popular horseback tour that begins by riding Snowbird's Aerial Tram to Hidden Peak. Guests then ride down Mineral Basin's trails to the horses and trail guides, where they are then taken on a scenic tour that includes waterfalls, wildflowers and variations of wildlife.
Stonebridge Golf Course
Stonebridge Golf Course is located in West Valley City, only minutes from downtown Salt Lake. The course was designed in a links-style layout by U.S. Open champion and famous course designer Johnny Miller, and was named after the red rock bridges found around the course. Due to the location of the course -- in the heart of the Wasatch Valley -- the property is dotted with multiple lakes and creeks which make for a tricky -- yet skillfully -challenging -- game.
Alta Ski Resort
Located in the Wasatch Mountains, Alta Ski Resort opened in 1939, making it one of the oldest ski resorts in the country. Famous for its "powder" snow, Alta is a highly -desired spot for dedicated skiers who prefer the "no snowboarding" rule that only a handful of resorts in the country offer. Popular Snowbird Ski Resort is accessible from Mount Baldy at Alta Ski Resort.
Arches National Park
Located just outside of Moab, the Arches National Park is famous for preserving more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches, including the world-famous Delicate Arch. The park is located on an underground salt bed, which helped create the arches, balanced rocks, unique spirals and sandstone "fins." The park is also wildly -popular for its abundance of wildlife and plant species.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park encompasses 56-square-miles and is well known for being home to Bryce Canyon, which was created by erosion along the eastern side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. Bryce is made up of unique "hoodoos," which were formed by wind, water, and ice erosion of the river- and lake-bed sedimentary rocks. Sightseers typically take the scenic drive, which offers 13 viewpoints over the canyon. There are eight day- hiking trails and two overnight hiking trails -- perfect for rookie and experienced hikers alike.
Kennecott Copper Mine
Also known as Bingham Canyon Mine, the Kennecott Copper Mine is an open-pit mining area that extracts porphyry copper deposits and is the deepest open-pit mining location in the world. In operation since 1906, the mine was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966.
Mount Olympus and Ensign Peak
Ensign Peak was the first summit climbed after the Mormon pioneers arrived in 1847. For the Church of Latter-Day Saints, Ensign Peak is sacred ground. In 1996, the base of Ensign Peak was designated a city park, where a hiking trail can be accessed to enjoy the surrounding vistas and Mount Olympus, which is one of the most recognized and visible mountains in the area. From Ensign Peak you can even see northwest to Antelope Island.
Bonneville Salt Flats
The Bonneville Salt Flats are a salt pan leftover from the Pleistocene Lake Bonneville. The flats were named after U.S. Army officer Benjamin Bonneville, who explored the area in the 1830s. The flats have been home to many speed -record attempts since the early 1900s, and have also been used in major motion pictures such as Independence Day and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.
Snowbird Resort, Terrain Park
Snowbird Resort's Terrain Park is situated in the middle of the Mid-Gad lift exit on the Big Emma run. The terrain park is popular for snowboarders and skiers alike who want to test their skills and learn new ones, as there are different obstacles for all levels of experience.
Snowbird Resort Tram
Snowbird's Aerial tram, which opened in 1971, takes guests on a 10-minute trip up a 1.6 -mile cable, coming to a stop at the top of Hidden Peak -- 2,900 -vertical -feet later. From the outlook, you can see into the Sake Lake Valley and enjoy the incredible Rocky Mountain vistas.
Brighton Ski Resort
Open to visitors since 1936, the Brighton Ski Resort is one of the oldest skiing and snowboarding resorts in the country. Located at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon, the resort has been voted by locals as the best resort for child- and family- friendly terrain six years in a row.