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Samantha Sorensen, Staff Writer • February 26, 2024

Winter activities near you

With the winter months upon us, you may be feeling a bit stuck in the house, and hopeful for the approaching summer weather. However, in Utah, deemed the state with the “Greatest Snow On Earth”, you don’t have to feel this way. Here are some examples of top recommended winter activities near the Salt Lake City area.

 

Ice Castles

In Midway Utah, just past Park City, you can experience beautiful ice sculptures, caverns and archways, as well as crawl through tunnels and slide down slides; all made entirely of around 25 million pounds of ice.

Photo Credit: https://www.upr.org/utah-news/2022-10-19/midway-ice-castles-set-to-reopen-for-its-12th-season

This park began as a small backyard tradition for Utah father Brent Christensen, who would build small scale ice caves for his daughter. These caves became popular throughout his neighborhood, and he decided to turn it into something bigger.

You can visit the Ice Castles Monday-Saturday, while ticket prices vary by age and date. Monday-Thursday, online tickets cost $19 for those 12 and up, and $12 for children aged 4-11. On Fridays and Saturdays, tickets will cost $25 for ages 12 and up, and $17 for children. However, these prices will vary if you purchase tickets on-site rather than online.

 

Homestead Crater

Homestead Crater, also located in Midway Utah, is a large limestone crater, masking a beautiful

Photo Credit: https://paulagaston.com/hot-spring-homestead-crater-utah/

geothermal spring underneath. This spring stays at a constant 90-96 degree temperature, making it a perfect getaway for the colder weather that is brought with the winter months. It also has health benefits due to the mineral content of the water, such as improved circulation due to the calcium and sodium bicarbonate found in the spring.

The warm water can also relax tense muscles. However, there are a couple different things you can do besides swim and soak. Yoga lessons are offered, as well as a scuba diving course that people can take in order to get their scuba diving certifications. Even though there is no living creatures in this spring, there is still much to see, and scuba diving is very popular.

 

Skiing and snowboarding 

In Utah, Skiing and Snowboarding is a fairly popular activity. You’ll notice that typically every resident has gone at least once or twice if it’s not one of their winter hobbies. It’s easily accessible for almost every area, as there are 4 major ski resorts that stretch across Cottonwood Canyon.

In Little Cottonwood Canyon, there are two ski resorts, Alta and Snowbird. Alta is a family-owned resort, that only allows and offers skiing. Although you can’t snowboard, you can participate in many different day activities and tours, such as “Birding on Skis” where you bird watch while on the slopes, or “Trees and Skis”, a tour that offers a learning experience of Utah’s native tree species. Snowbird, however, offers both snowboarding and skiing, but it is more known for its lodging and dining experience. This resort offers massages and manicures at their spa, as well as a wide variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner foods.

Photo Credit: https://www.visitsaltlake.com/things-to-do/skiing-snowboarding/

There are also two ski resorts in Big Cottonwood Canyon, Brighton and Solitude. Brighton is a snowboard and ski resort that usually attracts younger, passionate snowboarders, due to its relaxing nature. They typically receive about 500 inches of snowfall, creating the perfect environment for skiers and snowboarders alike. Solitude, just 30 minutes from downtown Salt Lake, is an excellent option for those who are just starting out on the slopes. They offer luxurious lodging, that is truly beautiful during the snowy months, as well as in-depth lessons for any beginners concerned about their skill level.

Having difficulty deciding which one of these resorts is for you and your family? No worries, there is a pass that offers access to all four of them; the “Salt Lake Ski Super Pass.” This pass includes discounts to rentals needed at the resorts, as well as public transportation fees, as long as the Ski Bus or Trax light rail is in service for the day. This pass will cost you about $151 per day, while saving you nearly $410 on cumulative ski tickets.

 

Sources:

https://www.visitutah.com/plan-your-trip/Plan-Your-Ski-Trip/Winter-Activities

https://www.visitutah.com/things-to-do/ice-castles

https://www.visitsaltlake.com/blog/stories/post/ski-the-greatest-snow-on-earth/#:~:text=You’ll%20find%20the%20Greatest,resorts%20close%20to%20the%20city.

https://www.alta.com/

https://www.snowbird.com/

https://www.solitudemountain.com/plan-your-trip/lodging

https://brightonresort.com/

https://www.visitsaltlake.com/things-to-do/skiing-snowboarding/super-pass/

THE UTAH CRATER AT HOMESTEAD FARM- A NATURAL WONDER FOR THE BEST VACATION DESTINATION

Utah

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