The Best Day Trips From Salt Lake City

Hot Air Balloon Festival in Park City, Utah
Hot Air Balloon Festival in Park City, Utah | © William MacDonald / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Stephanie Andrews
14 July 2020

Although Salt Lake City is loaded with international dining options, trendy coffee houses and friendly locals, you may also be looking to get outside the city to see more of what spectacular Utah has to offer. Read ahead for some local tips to make day-tripping outside Salt Lake City a memorable experience.

Bonneville Salt Flats

Natural Feature
Map View
© Daniel Norris / Unsplash
Imagine a remote stretch of alabaster land as far as the eye can see and you have the Bonneville Salt Flats, one of the most unique landscapes in the world. This 30,000-acre (12,140-hectare) desert may look more like a massive frozen pond, but these flats are made entirely of salt. The salt flats are also a renowned hub for international car racing, with events happening all year long. From sub-zero winter temperatures to summer scorchers over 100F (38C), make sure to prepare accordingly for the weather. Recommended by local insider David Smurthwaite

Powder Mountain

Natural Feature
Map View

One of Salt Lake’s lesser-known ski resorts, Powder Mountain, is a picturesque year-round retreat. This local secret boasts world-class skiing (but without the crowds) with 154 trails, two terrain parks and nine lifts. If skiing isn’t your thing, you can also enjoy a day of mountain biking, hiking and trail running. After a day spent on the slopes, refuel with some appetizing tacos and beer; or New York-style pizza and a pint. Recommended by local insider David Smurthwaite

Park City Olympic Park

Park, Sports Center
Map View
Skeleton riders at the World Cup event at the Olympic Park in Park City Utah.
© robertsitalia / Alamy Stock Photo

If you’re looking to escape Salt Lake Valley without traveling too far, there are few places as picturesque as Park City. Just 28 miles from Salt Lake City, Park City Olympic Park is a must for athletes and sports enthusiasts. Get your adrenaline pumping with bobsledding, ziplining or extreme tubing. Park City Olympic Park offers fun for all ages. While you’re here, take a guided tour of the park, where you can learn about its impressive and long-standing Olympic history. Recommended by local insider David Smurthwaite

Park City Hot Air Ballooning

Sports Center
Map View

Experience the best views of Utah’s pristine landscape from aboard a hot air balloon. Float up 1,000 feet (305m) while taking in the luscious mountains and rugged terrain. Whether its snow-covered mountains in the winter, an autumnal burst of color in the fall or blue skies and clear views in the summertime, a hot air balloon ride will give you unparalleled views of Park City (and beyond). If you’re enjoying a romantic getaway, request a two-person ride with a champagne toast for the ultimate swoon-worthy experience. Recommended by local insider David Smurthwaite

Timpanogos Cave National Monument

Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark
Map View
Timpanogos Cave In Provo, Utah In United States On September 17, 2006.
© Mike FANOUS / Contributor
Wander the colorful caverns of Timpanogos Cave, Utah’s natural treasure. Located in American Fork Canyon, Timpanogos Cave National Monument is an incredible underground world full of stalagmites and stalactites. Visitors can only enter with a guided tour, which are offered from mid-May until mid-October. In order to reach the cave you must hike up a steep 1.5-mile (2.4-km) paved trail, so be prepared for an educational experience that’s also mixed with a little exercise. Recommended by local insider David Smurthwaite
These recommendations were updated on July 14, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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