Best of Utah 2010: Active Life | Best of Utah | Salt Lake City

Best of Utah 2010: Active Life 

Pin It

Page 3 of 3

Best Wet & Wild Fun for Kids
Fairmont Aquatics Center

Rising from your typical indoor pool is a panoramic landscape of spilling buckets and spewing fountains. A small whirlpool is in the corner, and a waterslide towers above everything. The Fairmont leisure pool is open year-round and is the perfect place for younger kids to burn off pent-up winter energy. But it’s also a great option during the hot summer months when the sun is too daunting to brave an outdoor pool. 1044 E. Sugarmont Drive (2225 South), 801-486-5867,

Best Day at the (Not a) Pool
The Gateway Fountain

On hot summer days, people flock to the Gateway fountain with beach blankets, coolers, lawn chairs and every other apparatus usually reserved for the water park. Kids run in bathing suits, while parents sun themselves on the sidelines. Yet ... it’s a shopping mall. People don’t pack lunches for a day by the coin fountain in an indoor mall, so why The Gateway’s fountain? And how, in the name of all things holy, does the repeated Olympic theme music not drive all of them crazy? 6 N. Rio Grande St., Salt Lake City, 801-456-0000,

Best Historical Road Trip
U.S. Highway 89

Slicing through the heart of Utah, U.S. Highway 89 is one of the most scenic drives in the country. It starts in the north at Bear Lake, and heads south through the Wasatch Front. But the central and southern parts of the state are its real soul. From the pioneer homesteads that can be found in Sanpete County to the petroglyphs just a few minutes from the highway in Red Rock country, a road trip on U.S. 89 will give you the Utah history lesson you slept through in high school.

Best Afternoon Beer
The White Owl

Sure, there are a lot of places to enjoy a burger and a beer in the sun, but no place does it better than Logan’s The White Owl. During warmer days, they open the rooftop patio, which includes a grill where burgers are made to order. Even if you don’t eat, the sunshine and incredible view of Logan from three stories high are the perfect complement to one (or more) of the dozens of beers they have on tap. 36 W. Center St., Logan, 435-753-9165

Best Place to be Alone
Henry Mountains

Triangulated by Goblin Valley to the north, Capitol Reef National Park to the west and Lake Powell to the south, the five-peak Henry Mountains are seriously ignored by the masses and pristine. Home to one of the last remaining wild bison herds, the Henry Mountains were the last-mapped mountains in the lower 48 states. If it’s immaculate calm you seek, pitch your tent near one of many tree-filled springs in the foothills of these desert peaks. Utah State Roads 95 & 276, Garfield County, 435-896-1500

Best View of the Valley
Ensign Peak

While many peaks give mountaintop views of the Salt Lake Valley, Ensign Peak takes top honors because of its easy accessibility. With views as beautiful during the day as they are at night, Ensign Peak looks south at the Capitol and across the Salt Lake Valley. Just a 1/4-mile hike from the road, Ensign Peak pays back the effort a hiker puts into it tenfold. 147 Ensign Vista Drive, Salt Lake City, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, 801-236-3400
2. Sugar House Park
3. Mill Creek Canyon

Best Cheap Adventure
High Country Rafting

The white water is frigid, the rocks are sharp and the trees are pokey, but two hours tubing the Provo River will leave you wanting more. For the ridiculously low price of $10, High Country Rafting will provide you with a life jacket and super-strong tube to protect your bum and some cargo and give you a ride upstream in a bus with couches in the back. They’ll even look the other way if you disembark midway down the river to finish a six-pack—of root beer, of course. 3702 E. Provo Canyon Road, Provo, 801-224-2500,

Best Wildlife Spotting
Upper Red Pine Lake

Chances are, there’s no better spot in close proximity to Salt Lake City where you’ll have a better chance of seeing moose and mountain sheep. Just outside the boundaries of the Lone Peak Wilderness Area, this Little Cottonwood Canyon hike is marked by beautiful lakes and creeks. A popular camping spot for backpackers, Lower Red Pine Lake is a good place to set up camp before quiet meditation around isolated Upper Red Pine Lake, a glacial pit stop enjoyed by many in the animal kingdom. If there is any snow left in the Wasatch Range during late summer, chances are Upper Red Pine Lake has some. About 5 1/2 miles up Little Cottonwood Canyon, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, 801-236-3400

Best Deep Blue Fun
Neptune Divers

From beginner Open Water certification to more advanced classes like underwater digital photography, you can go where it seems humans don’t belong. The feeling of weightlessness is hard to describe—you’ll probably want to do underwater flips and upside-down dance moves, to the chagrin of your instructors. Classes are taught at Bonneville Seabase, a geothermically heated, salt water, high-altitude, man-made mini-ocean stocked with tropical fish. 2445 S. 900 East, Salt Lake City, 801-466-9630,

Best Mount Everest Training
Utah Mountain Adventures

Not satisfied with just hiking the many trails of the Wasatch? Hire a guide service. Utah Mountain Adventures has been guiding in the Wasatch Range for 13 years. UMA guides lead expeditions or private parties up classic routes like the north ridge of Pfeifferhorn—which helps in training for bigger mountains like Denali, Rainier or Everest. They’ll give you all the technical training you could ever want. 2070 E. 3900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-550-3986,

Best Public Golf Course

Bonneville is one of Utah’s golfing gems. It’s a course that fits the terrain, as opposed to relying on massive dirt relocation and man-made lakes. The deceptively narrow fairways bordered by thick scrub oak and the undulating greens make the course challenging, yet it’s the type of challenge beginners will embrace. Here, even the embarassment of a bad shot will pale against the striking views of the Salt Lake Valley. 954 Connor St., Salt Lake City, 801-583-9513
2. Mountain Dell
3. Old Mill

Best Winter Car Camping
Jordan Pines

Some winter days, you just have to get away from the city—to a white wonderland of snow and s’mores. Jordan Pines, off Cardiff Fork in Big Cottonwood Canyon, is the only car-camping option close to Salt Lake City. Depending on snow conditions, winter camping opens between November and January and closes March 31. Permits, for a donation of $1, can be reserved in advance through the Public Lands Information Center, which can answer every query about the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, but won’t teach you how to perfectly toast a marshmallow. Jordan Pines, Big Cottonwood Canyon, 801-466-6411

Best Pool for the Bone Weary
Holladay Lions Fitness & Recreation Center

Got a meniscus tear? An ACL injury? Arthritis? Clubfoot? Diabetic foot? Plantar fasciitis? Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction? Achilles tendonitis? Recovering from surgery? Recovering from last night’s pub crawl? It really doesn’t matter what ails you, because after a soak in this pool, you’ll be feeling better. For one thing, the water is a little warmer than most pools. You can enter the pool on gentle stairs rather than taking a polar-bear plunge. You’ll also find designated areas for lap swims, a lazy river for underwater walking, a bubble couch and water slide. 1661 E. Murray-Holladay Road (4800 South), Salt Lake City, 801-424-0621,

Best Place to Hone Your Art Edge
Kayo Gallery

In March 2010, Kayo Gallery became an L3C, or low-profit limited-liability company—a for-profit entity that encourages socially responsible activities. That Kayo is at the forefront of this newly established status is no surprise. Since its inception, the local art gallery has worked to promote innovative, cutting-edge work while building community through shows, fundraisers and parties that highlight art’s importance off the wall. Former co-owner Davina Pallone recently moved out of state, leaving partner Shilo Jackson at the helm. We have no doubt that the year ahead holds amazing things for the Salt Lake City institution that adapts so brilliantly to change. 177 E. Broadway, Salt Lake City, 801-532-0080,

Best Public Nudity
Diamond Fork Hot Springs

Before U.S. Highway 89 splits from Highway 6 in Spanish Fork Canyon, turn left for Diamond Fork. From there, take a modest hike to a collection of hot pots that are enjoyed by guests in various stages of undress. Frequented as much by BYU undergrads as by Salt Lake City naturists, each weekend the pools cook a uniquely Utahn cultural soup. The naked individuals usually announce their bare state to any newcomers in order to avoid surprising the bashful when a bare ass emerges from beneath the water for a fresh beer. Utah County sheriffs have been known to sneak a peek at the nudies—and write a few misdemeanor lewdness citations while they’re at it—but for the diehards, it’s still all nude, all the time. Three Forks Trailhead, Diamond Fork Canyon, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, 801-236-3400

Pin It

More by City Weekly Staff

  • City Guide 2024

    City Weekly's 19th annual celebration of all things SLC
    • May 17, 2024
  • MUSIC PICKS MAY 16 - 22

    Marcus King @ The Complex 5/17, IDLES @ The Union 5/17, Nate Lowpass @ Sky SLC 5/17, and more.
    • May 15, 2024

    Modern West Fine Art: Counterpoint, Sklar Brothers, An Evening with Ira Glass, and more.
    • May 15, 2024
  • More »

Latest in Best of Utah

  • BEST of UTAH 2023

    The BEST restaurants, bars, entertainment, nightlife, dishes, drinks, media, and politics in Utah.
    • Nov 17, 2023
  • BEST of UTAH 2022

    The BEST restaurants, bars, entertainment, nightlife, dishes, drinks, media, and politics in Utah.
    • Nov 21, 2022
  • Best of Utah 2021

    Spreading the Love
    • Nov 18, 2021
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • BEST of UTAH 2023

    The BEST restaurants, bars, entertainment, nightlife, dishes, drinks, media, and politics in Utah.
    • Nov 17, 2023

© 2024 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation