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.
Each year, more than 3,500 people descend on Soldier Hollow in Midway to celebrate the arts and cultures of various Native American nations. For three days, crafters sell handmade jewelry, paintings, and museum-worthy pottery. Fry bread, roast mutton, and Navajo tacos abound, fueling shoppers as they browse or cartwheel over to watch dancers and drummers face off against each other in colorful, handcrafted regalia. The dancers don flowing garb for grass dances that recall prairie grass rustling in the breeze, while jingle dresses inlaid with hundreds of tiny tin cones reverberate in time with fleet footwork.
The regal equines of KB Horses trot through a multitude of hoof-powered adventures, from scenic sleigh and wagon rides to thrilling horseback rides. Eight to 10 guests grip mugs of hot cocoa to warm fingertips and keep malicious snowmen at bay as they board a festive sleigh and careen through the snow-covered Heber Valley at Red Ledges. As winter’s chill gives way to the crisp air of spring, furry-footed clydesdales haul guests through the valley’s blooming meadows on rustic wagon rides. Solo riders saddle up for 30-minute horseback rides that meander through hundreds of acres of peaceful wilderness. Trail guides assist adventurers as they plot out custom expeditions that wander through windswept meadows, dash through the tall grasses of Strawberry Reservoir, or chase down outlaws with unregistered Mustangs.
• For $75, you get an individual summer pass for bowling and laser tag (a $280 value based on an average 2 visits per week; value could potentially be higher for customers taking full advantage of this Groupon). • For $299, you get a family summer pass for bowling and laser tag for up to six family members (a $1,680 value based on an average 2 visits per week). Additional family members can be added for $40 per person.
Seven Peaks' multiple locales thrill guests with attractions ranging from water slides to go-karts and bowling. At Seven Peaks Waterpark Provo, the aquatically inclined can cascade down water slides, seesaw around the mammoth half-pipe tube ride, or ride the crests of the 400,000-gallon wave pool. Guests can scan the attractions at Seven Peaks Waterpark Salt Lake City, such as unique water slides and the Amazon River, then plummet off the Cliffhanger, a curvy slide that ends with a sudden 5-foot drop into a pool. The Lehi and Orem locations house an assortment of waterless excursions, including mini golf, go-karts, batting cages, and laser tag.
The Utah Pass of All Passes lets guests use the Fun Centers? bowling lanes to show off elite bowling skills developed from years of rolling watermelons into doghouses. Pass holders also receive perks such as access to skating at Peaks Ice Arena, admission to events at Rocky Mountain Raceways, and admission to baseball and soccer games.
A waterfall cascades over a towering cliff. A few acres away, hundreds of thousands of tulips sway in the desert breeze where hay and barley once grew. Originally a dairy farm, the 55-acre Thanksgiving Point has bloomed into a museum complex and attraction with one-of-a-kind experiences, shopping, dining, and seasonal festivals. In Thanksgiving Point Gardens, trees and shrubs form divisions between 15 themed gardens modeled after a country estate, 13 acres of turf grass, and a 4,000-seat amphitheater beside a manmade waterfall—all of which flourish under the hands of 26 gardeners. Gardeners feed their plots using an intricate water-reclamation system, which harvests millions of gallons of runoff water and lizards' tears annually to transform the desert landscape into an assembly of global ecosystems.
The outdoor park is also home to Farm Country, a working farm where goats, pigs, and draft horses mingle with peacocks and wildlife photographers disguised as ostriches. Visitors delve into farm culture as they pet and feed the animals, ride ponies, and look in on the process of bottling milk. The Museum of Ancient Life explores life long before agriculture, exhibiting 60 complete dinosaur skeletons to a soundtrack of gurgling steams, insect chirps, and one jazz saxophonist. The museum also contains more than 50 interactive exhibits, including a simulated fossil dig.