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Best Place to Unleash the Hounds
Park City Foothills
Take just about any side street leading up to the hills, and where that street ends, you’ll almost always find a trail leading into the woods (though you may have to detour around a mansion or two). There’s a leash law, but most people let their pooches run free when on a dirt path. Once the snow melts, let your dog tire him or herself out by running up the Eagle Race Arena at Park City Mountain Resort, which is invigorating for you both. There’s also a fenced dog park located in Quinn’s Junction, on Highway 248 near the entrance to U.S. Route 40.
Best Resort to Spot Ski & Snowboard Stars
Park City Mountain Resort
PCMR sponsors some of the biggest names in pipe and park, such as Tom Wallisch, Tanner Hall, Alex Schlopy, Sage Kotsenburg, Aaron Biittner, Stevie Bell, Ashley Battersby and Scotty Arnold. Members of the team, called the Park City All Stars, can often be seen throwing airs off jumps or doing tricks in the 22-foot-high superpipe to keep their chops sharp. Meanwhile, the Park City Ski Team trains future World Cup racers on the Eagle Race Arena—their most notable alumnus is World Cup champion Ted Ligety.
1345 Lowell Ave., Park City, 435-649-8111, ParkCityMountain.com
With its close proximity to Salt Lake City, available night shredding and the fact that it hosts one of the best-kept terrain parks in Utah, it’s no surprise that boarders are stoked on Brighton. With four parks that include everything from boxes, rails, jump lines and grom features, Brighton tailors its parks for every type of shredder. When you’re done slashing up the mountain, go grab a cold beer and some pub grub at the world famous Molly Green’s. Locals agree: Brighton is schradical.
12601 E. Big Cottonwood Canyon, Salt Lake City, 800-532-4731, BrightonResort.com
Best Pitched Tents
Kirkham’s Springbar Canvas Tents
Tent design and fabric has come a long way since the fledgling days of mountaineering. But if a super-light, flimsy-fabric tent gets caught in a thunderous storm, it could be an uber-expensive tangle ready for the dump. Meet the Springbar Canvas Tent. Jack Kirkham invented it back in the ’60s, and its weather durability and ease of setup have made it a favorite of car campers and Boy Scouts in Utah and throughout the country. Slight changes in design have come and gone—there are currently 11 different models—but the Springbar is time (and weather) tested to endure.
3125 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-486-4161, Kirkhams.com
Best Mud Run
Yes, it is possible to stain your skin brown from copious amounts of mud, and yes, it is possible not to notice it stuck in a crevice for weeks to come. This scenario is inevitable if you participate in the Dirty Dash, an obstacle course in the mud with a sludgy slip & slide down a mountain. It’s for all of us who don’t want to grow up, who want to get dirty before we have to come clean, who really just want to play in the mud.
June and September 2012, Soldier Hollow, Midway, TheDirtyDash.com
Best Ski Product With Soul
Soul Poles have the steeze and the sustainability to live up to their name. These ski and trekking poles are made in Utah from sustainably harvested bamboo, with the overall goal of curbing the company’s carbon footprint. You know that global-warming thing everyone is talking about? Well, if there’s no snow, there’s no skiing, thinks Soul Poles. And on top of stewardship, the colorful aplomb of the design—by California-based visual artist R. Nelson Parrish—is enough to get folks asking questions at the lodge.
Second Tracks Sports
Sure, there are plenty of big, national gear shops in the Millcreek area, but how many of their employees can boast a librarian’s knowledge of gear going back years? A local consignment shop that specializes in ski equipment—with some dealings in bike, climbing and paddle-board gear—Second Tracks Sports’ staff can fill folks in on what will work best for their particular needs. And it’s at prices that ease the monetary burden, so people can spend more time on the slopes and less time working off debt.
2927 E. 3300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-466-9880, 2ndTracks.com
Best Reason to Stretch All Day
A local all-star yoga-instructor trio—Jennifer Ellen Mueller, Scott Moore and Matt Newman—decided it was time for a change in May 2011. That change was to be a yoga studio that offered classes that weren’t being offered elsewhere and to give familiar classes some new twists. On top of that, the three wanted a studio that incorporated a spa and a cafe—which was Salt Lake City’s first all-gluten-free eatery. Now with everything in place in Trolley Square, it’s total-body nirvana bliss that might keep you on or around your mat all day.
602 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City, 801-596-3325, PranaYogaSLC.com
Best Summertime Flea Market
Salty Streets Flea Market
Looking to help serve the downtown community as well as provide entertainment to the masses on a Sunday afternoon, Salty Streets founders Audrey Gallegos and Karamea Puriri put together a monthly flea market and concert to take over Kilby Court throughout the summer. The popularity inspired Kilby’s Lance Saunders to install a skateboard ramp for demos and participation. With summer quickly approaching, vendors and bands are already waiting to get in on the third year of events.
Kilby Court, 741 S. Kilby Court (330 West), Salt Lake City, SaltyStreets.blogspot.com
Best Green Thumb Match.com
Finding Mr. or Ms. Right out there in the wide world can be rough. Instead of going through the rigmarole of dating to get to know someone, some folks in this day and age think it’s easier to just read a profile on the Web. Same can be said for the ideal farming relationship. The matchmakers of the gardening world, Wasatch Community Gardens and Urban Village Cooperative, have a backyard-sharing program that can help bring Mr. Green Thumb and Ms. Weed Puller together. SharingBackyards.com’s interactive map and icons help people hook up to find a place to garden. It’s like a mix of Match.com and Cragslist.org, a person-to-person exchange.