Written by Lauren Turville
Mini trips can ease stress and add vibrancy to your life. Here are four simple escapes close to the more populated areas of Utah.
See Bridal Veil Falls
Located about a couple miles up Provo Canyon, Bridal Veil Falls is a large, beautiful, cascading waterfall. To access these falls, there is a parking lot off the freeway on the west side of the road that you can park at in order to complete the small walk to get a good view of the falls. This easy trail is great for anyone of any age. At the end of the trail, a ways below the falls, is a koi fish pond with feeders where you can purchase fish food for 25 cents to feed the koi. For an extended, more difficult hike, there is a short, steep trail that leads to the base of the massive falls. If you are able, complete this part of the hike! It is so worth it!
Stargaze On Antelope Island
The Salt Lake Astronomical Society regularly hosts star parties on this island in the Great Salt Lake, which is accessible by car. If you’re a star junky, lug your telescope out here for a few hours to escape the light pollution and get lost in the galaxy. The State Park is located about 40 miles north of Salt Lake City.
Explore Homestead Crater
For an unexpected surprise, venture to Midway. Here lies a massive geothermal hot spring that is 90-96 degrees Fahrenheit year round. Hidden within a tall beehive-shaped limestone rock, this “crater” hosts scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming, or even a paddleboard yoga class. This is one of the only warm scuba diving destinations in the United States and only costs $16 for entry.
Visit Ogden Union Station
Hope on the Frontrunner and head up to Ogden’s historic train station, which has four museums and two galleries. It has the Browning Firearms Museum, the Utah State Railroad Museum and the Myra Powell Gallery, which features monthly photography exhibits.
• Go see an IMAX movie at the Clark Planetarium. We recommend “A Beautiful Planet.”
• Take a Harmons Cooking Class at Station Park in Farmington, at City Creek in Salt Lake City, or one of a few other locations. See www.harmonsgrocery.com/classes.
• Walk through the International Peace Gardens in Salt Lake City. In the garden are replicas of landmarks from 28 countries. Location: 1000 South 900 West.
• Visit Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City.
• Visit the Museum of Natural Curiosity in Lehi; it’s awesome for kids.
Have a Little More Time?
Here are some half-day adventures.
Fifth Water Hot Springs
The fifth water hot springs are a group of beautiful blue-green hot springs and waterfalls of varying temperatures. These springs are located up Diamond Fork Canyon, which splits off of Spanish Fork Canyon. To get to the springs, one must complete a 2.5-mile hike through beautiful forested regions. The hike is fairly flat, but occasionally becomes steep and slippery depending on the time of year. Once to the springs, test the temperature of each one, find the one that suits you best, and enjoy!
For a Utah man-made wonder go see the Spiral Jetty, located at the north end of the Great Salt Lake. Constructed in 1970, the Spiral Jetty is the main work of American sculptor Robert Smithson. The Jetty is 1500 feet long and you can walk the length of it out onto the water, if the water levels are low enough (it was covered for many years after its creation). Use waterdata.usgs.gov to make sure levels are below 4195 feet. Also, the last 15 miles before you get to the jetty is a gravel road, so a high clearance vehicle is recommended. Besides being able to see this work of art, one can enjoy a beautiful view of the Great Salt Lake, a major destination in itself! And don’t miss the Golden Spike National Historic Site on your way there; it’s on the same road.
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