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  1. #1
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    Visiting Utah, need intel

    Visiting Utah from NH This Sat 2/8/14 - Thurs 2/13/14 with my girl. We booked a place in SLC for no real reason.

    We are looking to ski and do tourist stuff while we are there. We will be leaving for Pheonix, AZ on Thurs for a wedding. We have a flight but could be convinced to drive if it is worthwhile to do.

    Just looking for intel and things to do, places to eat (breakfast or dinner), what is a must see, what is a must ski, etc.

    We are both outdoors people (ski, surf, snowmobile, mtb, etc)

    any suggestions? We're open to anything. Maybe we should stay somewhere else other than SLC?

    We haven't done much research we just booked a flight last minute since we are heading to AZ for a wedding later in the week. We've never been to Utah or AZ so we figured we would take the week to be a tourist.


    TIA

  2. #2
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    SLC is not especially touristy. Attractions are pretty limited (at least IMO) - you can go walk around the temple (to me, meh, to some people, amazing), see the natural history museum (dinosaurs!), etc but there's nothing much in terms of art galleries, theaters, amazing architecture, or amazing food. Squatters and Red Rock are decent brewpubs if you're a brewpub fella, but you're not going to be blown away.

    Skiing-wise, if you are good skiers (coming from NH, you probably are) you should hit Alta and Snowbird. Or go hit the backcountry but you'll want to find a local to show you around.

    Park City has a little bit of a nightlife/ski town vibe, but the skiing and snow are not as good if you're an expert. If you're a mediocre skier the scene advantage might make up for that.

    There is a ton of great nordic skiing if you like to dress like a dork and gasp for air while skiing in circles.

    You can certainly spend a week (or a lifetime) skiing in the Wasatch. I'm not sure I'd want to do tourist stuff for more than about 6 hours here, though.

    -Walt

  3. #3
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    Drive to Arizona. Stop in St George and rent a mtn bike.

  4. #4
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    I've contemplated bringing my own gear so I could do some backcountry skiing but given we have 3 flights, thats a lot of extra charges to bring gear.
    We were looking to most likely rent (cringe). The lady doesn't ski in the backcountry so I would have to hire a guide, or find a local, which may may tricky given I'll be there in a few days.

    We're not looking for art galleries or movie theaters. More so, natural attractions.
    If you were visiting New England: You have to climb Mt. washington, visit bar harbor in the spring/summer/fall, a dozen+ beautiful beaches to see, xc mtb at kingdom, downhill mtb at Highland, etc.

  5. #5
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    The avy conditions are getting to be heinous...go ski some powder in the resorts. In regards to renting skis, most shops now have plenty of fatties, which is good b/c it's going to be deep and heavy (20-30 inches coming to the cottonwoods). Then, after you've beaten yourselves silly in the snow, drive down towards St. George. Rent a bike (over the edge in hurricane is great) and go ride some trails. Next, finish your trip south, fly home and then start planning on how you're going to move to Utah.

  6. #6
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    If it were me I'd skip staying in SLC and use the extra time to ride the trails in Phoenix and explore there. There are so many different trails you can pick from in Phoenix, and Sedona isn't too far away if you want to road trip. South Mountain in Phoenix has some of my favorite trails and Sedona is definitely worth checking out. But then again I would rather be enjoying the sunshine than our grey skies.

  7. #7
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    Good info so far. Thanks guys.

    We are getting in late Saturday night so we probably won't have a rental first thing on Sunday morning.
    If it has snowed I will want to be up first thing to get some early tracks. Is it possible to get from SLC to any of the resorts by public transit or a shuttle early? Or should I really try to get a car right when we fly in?

  8. #8
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    UTA runs to Snowbird/Alta (as well as pretty much all the other resorts) from downtown!
    Utah Transit Authority ('Bird and Alta)
    Utah Transit Authority (others)

    I have never tried it, though, and there is only one bus up and one bus back on Sunday - so you will be committed to a full day, or a half day+boozing it up (yes, you can do this in UT). The portion (30 minutes or so) of the ride up Little Cottonwood will be *beautiful* so you can maybe count that as a scenic drive as well. Along the foothills and through the city will just be boring.

    -Walt

  9. #9
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    This time of year, if you're not big into skiing, head south. No touristy stuff here, unless your great great grandfather crossed the plains and you want to go through all of the history. By the way, if you're into geneology, the new downtown library is pretty amazing.

    Anyway, Moab, Arches, Zion's, Bryce and St. George would be my destinations if I were a tourist. Lots of good hikes (barring snow and cold) and bike rides down south. I would say ski a couple of days at Alta/Snowbird (although Brighton and Solitude are also great), then strap on some snowshoes and go hiking at some of the parks. Unless it DUMPS over the weekend, then just ski ski ski.

    Winter Outdoor Activities - Bryce Canyon National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the info guys.

    Looks like it has been and will be dumping until monday morning. I'll probably be skiing for the next four days.

    Anyone know a good place to rent sleds? We snowmobile too but the mountains are different where you guys are compared to us. I've always wanted to carve through the mountains ( low angle obviously, I imagine avy danger will be pretty high) I'll do some looking around but recommendations are normally better than blindly chosing.

    Thanks

  11. #11
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    Call Michael at Uinta Recreation. 1-801-623-0288. They are located at 1470 South Highway 40 in Heber.
    Their website is Uinta Recreation | Utah ATV Rentals | Park City Snowmobile Rentals | Utah RZR Rentals
    You can get their prices there.
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

  12. #12
    ahi
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    Let me reiterate what someone else said....avy danger is very, very high in the backcountry right now. There will be plenty of powder skiing in the resorts over the next few days...enjoy.

  13. #13
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    Followup.

    Great time! There was loads of snow. The storm had dumped about 46" by the 2nd day i was there ( it began 2 days before i flew in). Skied my brains out. Did a day at Brighton when the road to alta/snowbird was delayed for opening. Then skied snowbird and Alta the 2nd and 3rd day. My legs were done by the 2nd day.
    Skied a lot of awesome terrain that was closed for avy danger once they bombed it. Skied a lot of terrain (that was apparently open) that had crown lines, slab fractures, etc. Unnerving.
    Didn't get to ski a lot of awesome looking terrain that they hadn't opened yet.

    Rented some sleds from Uinta on our 4th day and had a blast. Unfortunately had to stay off the hills but had loads of fun in the fields. Certainly different conditions than we have here.
    SLC was ok. Some good restaurants. LOTS of homeless people. Not trying to shit on it, but seemed like any other city but with a lot nicer view. The mountains looked like they were fake most of the time with the sun shining on them.
    I won't be moving there but excited to return to enjoy some more some day!!

    Thanks guys!

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