Like most people of Pacific Island descent, there is nothing that exasperates, infuriates and enrages me more than Winter. To be more specific, snow and cold weather. I’ve spent the best part of my life in Utah where we enjoy three seasons and tolerate the fourth. I’ve tried, I really have but even after all these years, there is something about Winter that makes me ill-tempered. I mean lets face it, I’m better equipped for the beach.
But I did the Utah thing (after much begging and prodding from my wife), by throwing some skis on my feet and learning how to shred the mountain. I’ve had more than my fair share of tubing and sledding in some of the most pristine and stunning mountains in the world right here in my own backyard. I can’t say that every trip up the mountains have been useless because I have truly had fun…as long as I’m wearing thermal underwear and ten layers of clothes, two parkas and three ski caps.
Yet despite my loathing for the cold Winter months, I’ve found there are a few activities and events that are an absolute must, whether you’re visiting Utah or you’ve been a lifelong resident but haven’t had the time or desire to get out and have some fun.
Here are 5 things to do during a Utah Winter:
1. Ski/snowboard – My kids love the slopes and that slogan we have on our license plates holds more truth than our friends in Colorado want to believe. We really do have “The Greatest Snow on Earth.” Visitors come from around the world to frolick and play in our mountains where the powder is second to none. Resorts from Powder Mountain up north near Ogden to Snowbird, Solitude, Brighton and Park City above the Salt Lake Valley, to Brian Head above Cedar City, a little more than an hours drive north from St. George. If you’re not much of a downhill skier, try one of a number of crosscountry trails.
2. Snowmobile – There are dozens of great trails throughout Utah to enjoy a motorized sled. A brief overview of how the machine is handled at a local rental shop and a map and you’re on course to enjoy the beautiful backcountry seldom seen from the highway. There are a dozen or so rental outfits up and down the Wasatch front and guided tours are also available for the less adventureous.
3. Snowshoe – If you are an avid outdoorsman and love to hike, don’t let a little bit of snow stop you from getting your workout on in a canyon near you. Grab some snowshoes, plan your route and make sure someone knows where you’re going before you head into the mountains. This is a great way to fit in a cardio workout while enjoying the natural scenery and fresh air.
4. Park City – Situated high above the capitol city, the quaint skiing village and mining town of Park City is a dream getaway from the hustle and bustle of downtown Salt Lake City. If you love shopping, there are outlet stores at Kimball Junction but if you’re looking for something unique with an artisans touch, Main Street will have what you’re looking for. In January, it is also host to the largest and most popular independent film festival in the Western United States. The Sundance Film Festival has turned Park City into a playground for the rich and famous.
5. Salt Lake City – Whether you’re looking for a game, a comedy lounge, great international cuisine or just enjoying the sights and sounds of what was once a haven for Latter-Day Saint pioneers who settled the valley over a century ago, this burgeoning crossroads to the West has something you’re going to love. Take a tour of Temple Square, have a bite to eat on Market Street or catch a NBA basketball game at the Energy Solutions Arena. This town grows on you.