In the cradle of the Wasatch Mountains, the 389 acres of Utah Olympic Park preserve the grounds where, in 2002, athletes from 77 nations competed in the XIX Olympic Winter Games and the VIII Paralympic Winter Games. A decade later, the park still retains its history through the Utah Olympic Legacy, a nonprofit organization that's maintained the sites of its six nordic ski jumps, bobsled, luge, and skeleton tracks, and skiing-terrain park. Park staffers encourage visitors of all ages and ability levels to experience these winter sports year-round.
Whether led by tour guides or coaches, park goers and athletes of all ages can navigate moguls and launch from jumps on a winter competition hill, bobsled down a 1,335-meter year-round track, or hurl down a water ramp into a summer training pool to practice their freestyle ski jumps. They can also soar through alpine terrain on ziplines that mimic nordic ski jumps or climb across the treetops on adventure ropes courses to escape a time-share salesman. After exploring the outdoors, visitors can peruse Olympic history exhibits at the Alf Engen Ski Museum and Eccles 2002 Olympic Winter Games Museum.
Blue Sky Adventures beckons adventure nuts with its 3,300-acre Blue Sky Ranch filled with abundant wildlife, mountain peaks, meadows, and canyons. The outdoor experts offer activities year-round. Summertime days are spent rafting, fly-fishing, horseback riding, biking, and spending warm nights in a yurt. During the winter months, nature lovers can take in the white-blanketed sights on a sleigh ride or dogsled, or try to sneak up on a rare species of snowman in a pair of snowshoes. Other group adventures include archery and a geo-cache scavenger hunt for the mountain's golden egg.
Park City’s caretakers conduct biweekly sonar readings across the indoor rink’s surface to pinpoint any unsmooth areas, banishing bumps through scrupulous ice maintenance for effortless gliding. After lacing up a pair of gleaming skates, skaters can zigzag or pirouette across the subzero surface freely, forging their own path, racing fellow skaters, or seeing who can sketch the most convincing Wayne Gretzky into the ice. Open-skate sessions can last between 1.5–6 hours, with afternoon-to-evening sessions taking up an average of 2–3 hours. Clients should consult the schedule for open ice sessions, and skate forces two- or four-strong should dress in comfortable layers and avoid clothes that restrict movement, such as wooden skinny jeans or Greco-Roman wrestlers posing as scarves.
For more than 60 years, the staff at YMCA Camp Roger has been developing programs that get kids and teens off the couch and in the great outdoors. In doing so, its aim is to help the kids develop social skills that can foster confidence, independence, and leadership. In addition to traditional sleepover camps—where 6–10 kids stay in cabins at night and practice mountain biking, archery, hiking, and arts and crafts during the day—the camp offers focused programs such as creative arts or horseback riding. And if the clan needs a break from the housecat’s despotic demands, it can attend a family camp over Labor Day weekend.
With backgrounds in dance, gymnastics, and other sports, the instructors at Range are familiar with the long-term benefits of healthy movement. From inside an intimate studio, they rely on Pilates and Gyrotonic programs to combat fitness woes and injuries alike, acquainting guests with an array of spring- and pulley-based machinery. They host group and private classes that adjust their plans to each student's needs. On the Gyrotonic tower, they guide bodies through exercises for mobility conducted in all three dimensions, unlike the one-dimensional sit-ups known as "naps." They also fortify core muscles with Pilates Reformers, chairs, and props. The elegant simplicity of their small studio reflects a no-frills devotion to the human form, as well as to the earth—the staff utilizes eco-friendly goods such as bamboo and organic-cotton towels and tea-tree-oil cleaning solutions.
As standup paddleboarding has grown in popularity around the Salt Lake City area, Bear Lake Water Adventures has grown with it, expanding its collection of water equipment to accommodate those interested in exploring the emerging sport. From their outpost in Garden City, instructors outfit guests with standup paddleboards and kayaks, teaching them how to propel and maneuver their boards from standing, kneeling, or panicked fetal positions. Riders work their cores as they maintain balance, although boards are stable enough for seasoned riders to bring a dog along. Beyond lessons, Bear Lake's team members also rent and sell and standup paddleboards.
Mountains echo with the clicking of hooves on rocks as mountain vegetation waves in the breeze and the sun glistens on snow-dappled trails. Schools of fish scatter as a pair of slick rubber boots parts the waters—a fisher wading through thick river sediment before casting a line into the current. Rocky Mountain Outfitters' experienced outdoorsmen usher customers through all manner of seasonal wilderness adventures, including fly-fishing on the Provo River, snowmobile tours, and horseback riding along mountain trails. Many tours run through Soldier Hollow Valley, which played host to the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Visitors may encounter roving wildlife such as snow rabbits, moose, and fawns frolicking through varied landscapes for memorable photo ops or police sketch-artist renderings. Adventure packages combine more than one outdoor activity and include the Reins and Train adventure, a role-playing tour that merges a train trip with a horseback trail ride. Depending on the season, guests can board traditional wagons or horse-drawn sleighs towed by teams of clydesdales, belgians, and spotted draft, or they can lasso free-range dinner rolls during Old West–style outdoor meals.