16 Mar Winter Adventures in Utah
Our second trip to Utah was a bit more tame and laid back than the first one. On our first visit earlier this winter, we went snowmobiling, dog sledding, tubing and skiing, so our second visit in February saw us participating in a few more mild adventures. This time around we had the chance to do some hiking, ride a coaster down the mountain, hop on a horse drawn carriage, take a gondola ride, and visit the museum at Olympic Park.
For most of the trip, we were dealing with some disappointing weather–we were filming the winter portion of a Utah focused Best Western video, and there was too much snow in the mountains which cancelled some activities, and not enough snow everywhere else to give us the winter feel we needed for the video. We were supposed to go bobsledding, ziplining and horseback riding, but due to a numerous amount of fails all around, weather and otherwise, we didn’t make it to any of the aforementioned.
As far as the activities we did get to participate in, the coaster was my favorite. We waited for two days for the mountain coaster at Park City Mountain to open, but due to the weather, our chances weren’t looking good. After a last minute call, 40 minutes prior to the coaster closing time, we found out that it did end up opening for a short time! We raced over to the mountain and got in line as quickly as possible. Neither of us were really sure what to expect as we jumped in our little cars.
After getting settled in my car, it started to roll along the tracks, and I watched the scenery pass by on a leisurely ride to the top of the mountain. At the top of the track, you are given the go ahead to press down on the handles for full speed ahead. The ride down was wild. We were whipped around corners and twisted and turned our way back to the starting point. I was shocked at how fast we went, and at times, it felt like the car was going to fly off the tracks! When it was all said and done, I was wishing I could line up again immediately for another ride.
That evening, we went on a horse drawn carriage ride at the Canyons Resort. Our tour was small, with only one other couple and the driver to join us, so it was a nice ride. The trails lead you back through the ski runs of the resort, and although you are at a resort, it does feel like you are getting out in nature a bit due to the beautiful scenery all around. Our guide was awesome–he was super informative and friendly and we all really enjoyed chatting with him throughout the half hour long ride, plus, the horses were beautiful!
Another activity that we had to attempt a couple of times was the hike to Ensign Peak. The peak is located right on the edge of Salt Lake City and offers a good view of the town. Our first hiking attempt was during a burst of snowfall, which left a huge cloud covering any semblance of a skyline. We stopped at the first lookout point and decided to call it a day. The next morning however, the skies were looking a bit more favorable, so we attempted again. Even though the views weren’t spectacular, they were still fairly good and it gave us just what we needed. I want to go back on a clear day and hike all the way to the top.
The gondola ride at Canyons Resort was supposed to be a part of the zipline tour, but due to an employee issue, our tour got cancelled. We never got a call about the cancellation though, so when we showed up, the employees felt bad and gave us free gondola tickets. The ride was pretty cool and it takes you all the way up to an entirely separate section of the mountain which was fun to see. I am continually amazed at the ski runs in the mountains–our tiny Minnesota hills can’t even compare. The gondola ride was fun to do, but honestly, I don’t really think it was worth the cost of the ticket. We were glad that our $18 tickets were comped due to the zipline mixup. It was a fun ride with beautiful scenery, but I feel like there are plenty of better views to find if you aren’t skiing at the resort.
This next adventure isn’t quite winter specific, but I couldn’t resist sharing about the fantastic RubySnap Cookies. I made a big deal about stopping there because I had read so much about it previously. Micah was making fun of me for being so obsessed with stopping for just a cookie, but, once we arrived and he got a huge free sample, he quickly fell in love, too. The flavors are inventive and melt in your mouth delicious–I couldn’t stop raving about how delicious each and every cookie was!
Another activity that we were supposed to do was bobsledding at Olympic Park, but due to filming restrictions, we weren’t able to add it to our list of adventures. We did however, get a glimpse of the museum. I loved walking around the museum and looking at the history of the games, information about winter in Utah and all the details of the Olympic Games when they were held in Utah. It was an enthralling exhibit and I hope next time we can participate in more activities that are offered, such as the adventure courses and bobsledding.
Even with the weather disappointments, we had a great time in Utah–I am finding that I really enjoy it there, even though it’s a place I had never thought much about prior to this winter!