Best Of Utah 2014: Outdoors & Recreation | Best of Utah | Salt Lake City

Best Of Utah 2014: Outdoors & Recreation 

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Western Rivers Flyfisher

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Best Fly-Fishing Guides
Western Rivers Flyfisher
Want to find those secret fishing holes on the Provo River? How about a couple of nights on the Green River, reeling in trout and drinking a local beer called Cutthroat long after the crowds go home? If this is your kind of thing, then a guided trip with Western Rivers Flyfisher is the ticket to fly-fishing bliss. Western’s two-day trips on the Green include food, tent and camp setup—pretty much everything but the catching-fish part. More modest full-day excursions on the Provo and Weber rivers are also available, and Western’s shop is worth checking out as well, even if you don’t fish. WRF carries Patagonia clothing and outerwear, plus all manner of fishing gear that can reduce the most spoiled angler to a drooling state.
1071 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-521-6424, WesternRiversFlyFishing.com
2. Park City Trout Tales
3. Colby Crossland

Best Snowshoeing With Wild Critters
Swaner Preserve & EcoCenter

The Swaner Preserve & EcoCenter offers nature lovers 1,200 acres of mostly flat lands that are ideal for snowshoeing. It’s also an ideal spot to enjoy the mountain air of Summit County alongside some of Utah’s wild critters. The center is home to moose, coyotes and foxes, and during wintertime, the preserve hosts moonlight snowshoeing treks where you can take a snowy step on the wild side and look for owls and other nocturnal creatures. Afterward, stop by the center to warm up and take in educational talks on Utah’s wilderness and the furry and feathered friends that call it home.
1258 Center Drive, Park City, 435-649-1767, SwanerEcoCenter.org

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Best Ski/Snowboard Instructors
Brighton
There is nothing highbrow about Brighton: You come here to ski and snowboard, period. Keeping it simple is why Brighton is beloved by many locals. And while Brighton’s lodging options might not rate five stars for glitz and glamour, its ski instructors get full marks. The resort’s 170 instructors receive in-house training, attend regular clinics and are encouraged to earn national certifications. This attention to detail has churned out generations of great skiers and snowboarders who bring their own children back to Brighton to learn to ski—often with the same instructors who were teaching when they were kids. “We just want people to have as much fun as we’re having,” says Kathy Miner, Brighton’s program director.
8302 S. Brighton Loop Road, Brighton, 801-532-4731, BrightonResort.com
2. Snowbird
3. Deer Valley

Best Trains & Planes
UTA Airport Trax Line

There are a few steps that you must take on the road to true independence and adulthood. First: renting a truck or hiring movers instead of bribing friends with pizza and beer to move your heavy shit into that new apartment. Second: finding your own way to and from the airport. But thanks to the new Trax line to the airport, being an adult doesn’t have to mean forking over cash for a taxi or long-term parking. Just $2.50 and 20 minutes takes you from downtown to Terminal 1 at the Salt Lake International Airport. We’ll be the first to admit that we’ve had beef with UTA in the past, but this Trax line goes a long way toward healing the breach.
RideUTA.com

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SLC Crossfit

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Best Fitness Classes
SLC Crossfit
People don’t just want to be in shape anymore; they want to be ripped, toned and healthy, like a young Jack LaLanne. The people at SLC Crossfit are all over this. With two 10,000-square-foot locations, easy-to-jump-into one-hour classes and even a kid zone for your Crossfit baby, SLC Crossfit offers fitness freaks the best opportunity to get their pump strong. Rowing, running, gymnastics, rope climbing, Olympic lifting, yoga—it’s all there for the taking, you pathetic, puny excuse for a human!
619 S. 600 West, Salt Lake City, 801-597-8503; 3955 Wasatch Blvd., Salt Lake city, 801-251-0714, SLCCrossfit.com
2. Fitness on 7th
3. 9th & 9th Pilates

Best Running Like the Wind
Vigor Big Cottonwood Canyon Half Marathon

For both amateur and seasoned runners, the sport eventually becomes less about the freedom and invincibility that you felt as a kid running around the school field and more about the euphoria of beating personal records and increasing your lactate threshold. Vigor Utah’s races are serious, but they take place in the Salt Lake Valley’s beautiful wilderness areas, so they’re absent of the stress of a traditional city race—no jostling for starting position or dodging manholes. The Big Cottonwood Half Marathon (or 10K or 5K), in particular, is a reinvigorating run—an entirely downhill course that takes runners through the early-morning stillness and beauty of Big Cottonwood Canyon, past giant rocks and running water. You’ll probably set a personal record, but more importantly, the race will help you reconnect with why you started running in the first place.
May 10, 2014, 801-556-1547, VigorUtah.com

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Best Bowling
Bonwood Bowl
A classic bowling alley has a certain soul. It’s more than the feel of a ball or the taste of a corn dog washed down by a cold brew, or even the visceral joy of a thunderous strike. Bonwood knocks down all of the aforementioned pins and then some. The 42 lanes and classy Trophy Room Lounge make it a laid-back place for groups just stopping by to pick up a few frames, plus it’s a bustling gathering spot for league play and special events. Bonwood also offers adaptive bowling for folks with intellectual disabilities and hosts events like Bowl for the Cure to raise funds for breast-cancer research. The vintage alley honors the tradition of a bowling alley as the social hub of a community.
2500 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-487-7522, BonwoodBowl.com
2.Ritz Classic Lanes
3.Jupiter Bowl

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Best Hiking
Millcreek Canyon
Hiking, mountain-biking, road-biking, dogs, kids, barbecues, birthday parties, running … it all happens in Millcreek Canyon, a veritable temple dedicated to the enrichment of everyday Wasatch Front living. Getting off the pavement, though, is why multitudes of locals congregate there. If you’re not in the mood to huff and puff to the top of a mountain, the pipeline trail cuts parallel to the canyon road and remains mostly level for miles. Ready for a sweaty trek? Millcreek is home to 11 trailheads, including wild paths that lead to the tops of Grandeur Peak, Church Fork Peak, Thayne Peak and Mount Aire. Hikers are always welcome, though canines are supposed to be leashed on even-numbered days, when mountain-bikers are also allowed. Millcreek does cost—a $3 fee for worship that most, from the barbecue enthusiast to the ultra runner, would agree is well worth it.
3800 E. Millcreek Canyon Road (3800 South), Salt Lake City, 801-466-6411
2. Big Cottonwood Canyon
3. Little Cottonwood Canyon

Best Down-South Derby
Happy Valley Derby Darlins

Launched in 2011 by a small group of Utah County skaters, the Happy Valley Derby Darlins organization blossomed over time into a four-team league with more than 50 players and legions of fans hungry for the hard-hitting sport. And in December 2013, the Darlins became a full member of the international Women’s Flat-Track Roller Derby Association, so 2014 will see them taking on some of the best teams in the region.
HappyValleyDerbyDarlins.com

Best Adult Recreational Club
Beehive Sport & Social Club

Beehive Sport & Social Club is the only organization in Salt Lake City that regularly brings together the exceptional combination of beer, balls and shenanigans. With more than 2,000 members, David Marquardt has grown this club around the simple idea that all work and no play makes for no friends—which is why Beehive offers its patrons more than enough excuses to get off the couch and do something, with year-round leagues for dodgeball, volleyball, kickball, flag football, cornhole and skee ball. BeehiveSports.com

Best 25-Year Harvest
Wasatch Community Gardens

Gardens have had a resurgence recently, and whether that’s caused by fear of economic collapse and big agriculture or by the fad of all-natural lifestyles, Wasatch Community Gardens has been ahead of the game since 1989. And living in a campus dorm or a downtown condo doesn’t make it impossible to have a bit of earth to call your own. Thanks to Wasatch Community Gardens, all you need is a few hours a week for soil-prep, weeding and watering your portion of one of the organization’s 12 community gardens. At the end of the summer, you’ll have delicious, organic produce that you watched grow from seed to salad. And Wasatch hosts workshops and classes year-round, helping green thumbs flourish and grow no matter the season.
824 S. 400 West, Suite 127, Salt Lake City, 801-359-2658, WasatchGardens.org

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Best Skating
Classic Fun Center
Fellas, remember back in the day when the roller rink DJ would slow it down with a sexy track like LSG’s “My Body” and you’d hastily finish your last Sour Punch Straw to awkwardly skate backwards wit yo gurl? Well, playa, you can relive those precious rollerskatin’ moments six days a week at Classic Fun Center. This family-friendly fun zone does skating proper, with two wood-floor ovals, a fully stocked snack bar and the best roller-rink DJs holdin’ down the jams. Thursday’s $1 skate night is more than appealing, and you can connect with your fellow skating sisters and brethren after 10 p.m. on Saturdays for the adult-only Flashback Night.
Multiple locations, ClassicFunCenter.com
2. Hollywood Connection
3. Liberty Park
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