Park City was founded as a mining town, filled with miners that purportedly drank, gambled, frequented brothels, and committed crimes. Park City Ghost Tours? guides delve into this illicit history during 70-minute walking tours. They investigate the sites most known for hauntings and chills while relaying the harrowing history of each. Tours begin nightly at 7 p.m., when the sun is thoroughly below the horizon and it gets harder to tell the difference between a zombie and a parking meter.
It can be tough to visit dinosaurs and outer space in the same day without a time machine and a rocket ship. But Visit Salt Lake's Connect Pass provides a loophole. It grants access to 13 Utah attractions, encouraging families to explore Salt Lake City and beyond. Those using the Connect Pass can see savings of up to 80% on combined admission costs.
At Clark Planetarium, for example, visitors go far beyond the Great Salt Lake and Earth itself, becoming dwarfed by the cosmos inside the Dome Theatre. The Leonardo Museum brings them back to civilization by merging science and creativity with exhibits such as Body Worlds: Animal Inside Out and a Pixel Playland where kids can manipulate electronic artwork.
Other venues emphasize the beauty and fun found in the natural landscapes of our home planet. Red Butte Garden's 100 acres of local flowers, plants, and trees includes scenic hiking trails, whereas the Utah Olympic Parks lets you choose one of three outdoor adventure courses. And, for those intrigued by animals, Utah's Hogle Zoo presents wildlife that ranges from big cats to sea lions who nuzzle their keepers, similar to the dinosaurs at The Museum of Ancient Life.
Cotopaxi is an outdoor gear and apparel company, but it's actually much more than that. The natural world is the company's lifeblood, and they show their appreciation by giving back to charities and humanitarian efforts whenever possible. In fact, every piece of Cotopaxi gear is tied to a humanitarian cause in one of the poorest regions of the world. Another way Cotopaxi gives back is a bit less conventional, but quite effective in its own way. It's called the Questival, and it's unlike any other event in the world.
The Cotopaxi Questival packs adventure, zaniness, and music into a 24-hour outdoor race event that benefits charity. Teams must choose from a list of quirky challenges that fall under categories such as hiking, service, camping, eating, and social media-ing; each successfully completed challenge wins cash for charity and humanitarian trips. A panel of judges that includes outdoor experts, environmental advocates, and business innovators is on hand to evaluate each team's performance and award them points based on their accomplishments. The fun doesn't stop when the race is over, though. The Questival culminates in a free concert for everyone, where winners can relax after a long day and recount stories of all the grizzly bears they beat at chess.
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.
Adventure Haus uncovers the excitement hidden in Utah's landscape year-round with wilderness excursions that make use of the land, water, and air. During the warmer months, guides take guests horseback riding around the verdant Wasatch Mountains, whitewater rafting down the foamy currents of the Weber River, or on a hot-air balloon flight to visit Utah's only cloud museum. When winter's wind puts a sting in the air, the activities shift to cover everything from a tranquil snowshoeing hike to a 60-second adrenaline-pumping bobsled ride down Salt Lake City's Olympic course, where an experienced driver accelerates passengers up to 80 miles per hour. In addition to leading outings, Adventure Haus also helps people set off on their own by renting out equipment ranging from mountain bikes and boats to skis and snowboards.
As if it were the turn of the 20th century, when short-line railroads chugged their way through rural America, the Heber Valley Railroad whisks passengers through scenic landscapes in vintage and restored coaches. The routes trace the original Denver & Rio Grande Western railroad, trundling across the floor of the eponymous valley. Their scenic tours unveil breathtaking views of Deer Creek Reservoir, Provo Canyon, and Provo River, crossing the same scenery that travelers would have spotted a century ago. With heated coaches in the winter, guests enjoy an old-timey experience without sacrificing modern comfort.