In the fall of 1998, I landed in Salt Lake City. My initial excitement about seeing all the lights from the plane was quickly replaced by a deep disappointment when I stepped onto a mostly deserted Main Street.
There were no centuries-old buildings or cathedrals to visit. The one and only attraction was the LDS Temple and the gardens surrounding it. There were two big malls, but shopping was not exactly my thing. I soon discovered Green Street on Friday nights and Port O’Call on Saturday nights, but what else besides clubbing was there to do? How was a girl going to have fun on her day off?
Liberty Park and Sugar House Park were definitely worth strolling through, but was there something more unique to this place?
That’s when I discovered Millcreek Canyon and Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons, and I fell in love with hiking. I soon realized, however, that camping was not my cup of tea. Stray cows in the desert, raccoons stealing my food, and a general abundance of dangerous wildlife were not a plus in my book. I am more of a hotel type of girl.
It took meeting a born-and-raised Utahn to entice me to venture out of Salt Lake and experience the beauty of Moab, Zion, and Escalante.
At first, I was weirded out. I had never seen anything like this. Where I come from, the outdoors are green, and the mountains are filled with thick forests. These weird red rock creations were just places I saw in old John Wayne movies. I now had the opportunity to experience the ‘Wild West’ and enjoy ‘ungirly’ activities such as river rafting and rock climbing.
Salt Lake City and Ogden have changed drastically over the past two decades. We have many upscale bars and restaurants, and finding a craft cocktail is not a problem anymore. We have multiple high-rise hotels and apartment buildings are sprouting up everywhere. The urban population has increased exponentially, but nature stayed just as beautiful and inviting as it was 25 years ago.
We invite you to have fun in nature and visit some small towns and out-of-the-way places you don’t usually think about, or may not even know about.