Page 4 of 11VOTE FUN
Your Ultimate Summer To-Do List.
By Mikey Saltas
Utah summers are much like comets: We diligently wait for them for ages only to have them pass by in the blink of an eye without fully appreciating their beauty and radiance. Take advantage of these short-lived months—utilize trails and hikes otherwise covered in snow for much of the year, explore Utah's hidden treasures, escape the dry heat and get soaked—all without breaking the bank. This summer bucket list will serve as your guide to getting the most out of your summer. But act fast—it'll be Labor Day before you know it and the flash that is summer will be gone without so much as a warning.
The 'Living Room' Hike
A classic Salt Lake City hike complete with stones arranged to form chairs to relax and take in the surrounding scenery. Bring enough water for you and your companions as there's a 1,000-foot gain in elevation in just over a mile from the starting point. Rush hour on the trailhead is right before dusk in order to catch a glimpse of the setting sun over the valley, so plan accordingly.
Start: From Foothill Drive, turn east onto Wakara Way, right onto Colorow Road. 383 S. Colorow Road
Distance: 2.5 miles
Dogs: on leash
Level of Difficulty: moderate
Morris Meadows Trailhead
One of the trailheads of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail—a series of trails along the Wasatch Mountains resulting from the recession of Lake Bonneville—Morris Meadows Trailhead offers a spectacular view of the city with just a moderate incline. Short, sweet and unbeknown to most, Morris Meadows is ideal for those looking for a quiet hike with room to roam for their furry companions.
Start: North on I Street until it becomes Northhills Drive
Distance 1.5 miles
Level of Difficulty: easy
Donut Falls Hiking Trail
Vastly popular during summer, fall and even the winter for snowshoe enthusiasts, Donut Falls unquestionably lives up to the hype as one of the area's premiere spectacles. Unfortunately, no, there's not a Banbury Cross donut stand at the end of the trail, although that's the only accessory that could make this hike more splendid. Rather, a stream cascading into a "donut hole" will astonish trekkers of all ages.
Start: Drive approximately 9 miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon to the signed Mill D Trailhead
Distance: 3.5 miles
Level of Difficulty: easy
Dust off your camera: Bell Canyon is brimming with photogenic waterfalls and gorgeous reservoirs. This hike can be as easy or strenuous as you desire—the first reservoir is a half-mile above the trailhead and many about-face at this point. Two miles ahead (totaling about five miles) is the first and most impressive waterfall. After that, only experienced hikers should undertake the considerably more strenuous terrain to reach the upper reservoir—a trek totaling around 9.5 miles.
Start: 10245 S. Wasatch Blvd. (clearly signed)
Distance: 1-9.5 miles
Level of Difficulty: easy-hard
Red Butte Garden
Explore the mystical fields of blooming bulbs that is Red Butte Garden. Operated by the University of Utah, the gardens house 450,000 plants that bloom at differing points of the seasons, resulting in a new experience in every nature walk. With themed gardens and great views of the valley, Red Butte is the perfect—and most breathtaking—place to decompress, enjoy a picnic or just take in the different sights and aromas. They also offer free Wi-Fi that allows people a serene environment to study or work.
Price: $12 for non-members
Location: 300 S. Wakara Way, Salt Lake City
Utah's Hogle Zoo
Whether you're 8 years old or 80, the diverse wildlife of Utah's Hogle Zoo will leave a lasting impression for years to come. The zoo houses 800 different animals found in all parts of the world ranging from imposing mammals, an aquatic section and other animals that come in all shapes and sizes. Exhibits currently include the African Savanna (African lion, giraffe, zebra), the Great Apes (orangutan, gorilla) and the Rocky Shores (bald eagle, grizzly and polar bears, various fish), among others. The wildlife truly needs to be seen in person, and Hogle Zoo offers that right in our own backyard.
Location: 2600 E. Sunnyside Ave., Salt Lake City
Tracy Aviary shelters hundreds of birds from all corners of the globe. Did you know that of all bird species, 12 percent are considered endangered or threatened to become endangered, due to habitat loss, predation and illegal capture? Tracy Aviary offers refuge to these birds and contributions to the aviary help in conservation efforts across the world. The star of the show is the endangered Andean condor named Andy—a massive bird that has resided in Salt Lake City for nearly 60 years. Come for the birds, leave with new insight and memories to last a lifetime.
Location: 589 E. 1300 South, Salt Lake City
Antelope Island State Park
There's no shortage of activities at Antelope Island State Park. You can hike, mountain bike or horseback ride one of the numerous trails to vantage points overlooking the vast Great Salt Lake, or spend the night under the stars at one of the campsites. The 28,000-acre state park is also a great place to explore and observe wildlife as it is home to antelope, deer, bobcats, bighorn sheep and imposing herds of American bison.
Price: $10 per vehicle
Location: 4528 W. 1700 South, Syracuse
Fun in the Sun (for cheap)
Shoot the Tube
The "Tube" is an aqueduct that drains Parley's Creek, and runs directly under I-215. The fun arises in damming the entrance of the aqueduct using old signs or tarps, wait for the water to build up on a tube or other floatation device, then remove the dam and race down the tunnel on a wave of water into a natural pool waiting on the other side of the Interstate. An attraction mostly known to native Salt Lakers, shooting the tube is almost like a rite of passage, coming out of the bottom as a full-fledged Salt Lake City "local."
Location: access through Parley's Creek bike trail at the end of Wasatch Boulevard.
Downtown Farmers Market
The Downtown Farmers Market has gained popularity since its humble beginnings in the early '90s. The market features local goods, as farmers from across Utah and bordering states (produce must be grown within 250 miles of Salt Lake City) converge on Pioneer Park to sell fresh fruit, vegetables and more every Saturday over the summer and fall months. Also included are various food trucks from across the valley, baked goods and arts and crafts vendors.
Location: Pioneer Park, 300 S. 300 West, Salt Lake City
Opened in 1882, Liberty Park is the oldest public park in Salt Lake City and perhaps the most vibrant. As an escape from the city—in the city—people can be seen running, biking, rollerblading or basking in the sun. Other amenities include a basketball court, public pool, playground for the children, bocce ball pits and terraces for picnics. Spend a morning enjoying all Liberty Park has to offer—and if the thought of being active terrifies you, the Park Cafe's glorious bacon and eggs is right across the street.
Location: 600 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City
Gilgal Sculpture Garden
Unknown to most, Gilgal Sculpture Garden is a small, quirky space that boasts 12 stone sculptures and more than 70 stones engraved with scriptures, quotes and poems. The visionary behind the garden is the late Thomas Child, an LDS bishop renowned for his advanced masonry techniques. The sculpture of the sphinx with the face of Mormon founder Joseph Smith has been nothing short of an urban myth in these parts, but can indeed be found in the collection. The garden had fallen victim to vandalism until the Friends of Gilgal Garden (FOGG) gained public and state support of former mayor Rocky Anderson and renovated and reopened the garden in 2000. If nothing else, Gilgal provides visitors a step back into Utah history, and is as abstract as it is mysterious.
Location: 749 S. 500 East, Salt Lake City
Beware the Splash Zone
Lagoon A Beach
Lagoon amusement park has tons of rides for everyone, from kids to hardcore thrill seekers (i.e., Cannibal, Wicked, Skycoaster). When riding the coasters gets too much in the summer heat, make your way to the park's Lagoon A Beach, which boasts a six-acre space filled with all sorts of water slides, tubes and pools. Slides can reach nearly seven stories and range from straight drops to twisting and turning tubes—although those wishing to kick back and relax are able to rent tubes and drift on the lazy river.
Price: $54 single day pass
Location: 375 N. Lagoon Drive, Farmington
Seven Peaks Waterpark
Zipping and zooming on twisting and turning water slides is endless fun, and Seven Peaks Waterpark has it all. Conveniently located just minutes from downtown Salt Lake City (and another park in Provo), Seven Peaks has 13 water slides of all levels on the thrill spectrum as well as five pools. It also has a tidal wave pool—every few minutes, the waves increase in size, propelling swimmers around until the waves subside. Get a group together and soak in the summer sun at this classic Utah oasis.
Price: $25 day pass
Location: 1200 W. 1700 South, Salt Lake City
Driving on I-15 near Draper, everyone's eyes are drawn to the high-rising and colorful slides of Cowabunga Bay. They're adorned with wacky structures, such as a giant dancing cow, sandcastles and even a retro Volkswagen bug. The main attraction is the slide called the Mondo—1,000 feet of tubing that maneuvers in utter darkness. Park-goers are also granted free parking, tubing and life jackets. Cowabunga Bay is fun for all ages and also has a safe toddler zone for those just getting their feet wet.
Price: $20 day pass
Location: 12047 S. State, Draper
"Slide the City"
Remember the 10-foot backyard Slip'N Slides of your youth? Now imagine a 1,000-foot slide running across North Temple in downtown Salt Lake City with hundreds of fellow thrill seekers. Pay for a wristband, grab a tube and race down the track that seems to never end. "Slide the City" tours the entire country with its giant contraption and is hugely popular among city dwellers looking forward to a day of zipping through the streets. Also enjoy live music, food, drinks and water.
Price: $35 pre-order, $45 day-of
When: Saturday, June 18
Location: North Temple and Main, Salt Lake City