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Logistical advice for Salt Lake City/Park City vacation

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Miami Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
190 posts
34 reviews
Logistical advice for Salt Lake City/Park City vacation

We will be spending a week in Salt Lake City and Park City in August and had a few questions which I hope you can help us with.

1. We have an option to fly into Las Vegas and out of Salt Lake City. Is this a scenic drive and would since this is just an option, should we even consider it? If we do, we might spend a day in Las Vegas but as to the drive would it be worth the time and are there suggestions for stops along the way.

2. What are the possibilities of seeing any last remnants of snow. Last year we went to Crater Lake National Park and were amazed that there were still many patches of snow right along the road in the park. Just wondering if there would be any chance, and if so where might that be.

3. Lastly, we enjoy the outdoors but is 7 days in August too much time to spend in the Salt Lake City/Park CIty area. Which gets back to the first question of maybe spending a day in Las Vegas and a day driving to SLC.

Thanks again for any suggestions and advice.

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah
Level Contributor
14,723 posts
128 reviews
1. Re: Logistical advice for Salt Lake City/Park City vacation

Well, the straight forward drive between the two cities is about a 7 hr drive up I-15. No, it is not especially scenic. So there would be no reason to do that especially if you are paying drop off fees for the car rental (which can double the cost).

Is there a reason you've chosen 7 days for the SLC / Park City area? Did you have lodging that you are using?, always wanted to see it?

I don't think 7 days is too much for both cities. There are certainly in August plenty of hikes you can take in the near vicinity. You might find a rodeo, explore the main street, olympic park, check out the crater at the Homestead in Heber and go diviing, go golfing at any of some great public courses. Spend a day in the downtown SLC, see the Great Salt Lake, drive to Mirror lake in the Uintas, bike the rail trail, shop the Silly sunday market, just relax and enjoy the mountain town. I wouldn't expect snow except possibly in some high mountain nooks and crannies.

However. If instead you want to explore some of Southern Utah's national and state parks, then a week will not be enough. And even then a round trip from either city would work just fine.

Park City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah, Winter Sports
Level Contributor
12,964 posts
270 reviews
2. Re: Logistical advice for Salt Lake City/Park City vacation

Good advice so far. As noted, the I-15 drive is nice but not notable. And it would be unusual for you to NOT have drop fee on the rental car. However, if you do want to consider it I would add a night at Bryce Canyon National Park on the way. It's just an hour off I-15 and a place that's easily absorbed in a one-night stay, especially with sunrise at the canyon. From there you can take US89 up to the Salt Lake area or, better yet, drive scenic SR12 through Escalante and Capitol Reef to join back up with US 89. That's an easy and scenic day drive back up to SLC.

Only snow you'll see will be on mountaintops in the high Uintahs. Park City has a lot to offer in the summer, especially cooler temps than SLC, free music in parks almost every night, hiking and biking, Utah Olympic Park, etc.

Have fun.

Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
3 posts
13 reviews
3. Re: Logistical advice for Salt Lake City/Park City vacation

I hate to resurrect an old post, but since your trip is not for a couple of months I thought I'd offer my thoughts as well.

As mentioned, the drive between Vegas and SLC is not particularly great. The Virgin River Gorge is beautiful, as is the red rock in St. George, and Zion (Kolob Canyon) area is just a few minutes off I-15, but much of the drive is unremarkable (at least it is to those of us from around here -- someone from Florida certainly might find it interesting, particular the small number of trees along the highway between here and there!).

SLC and Park City are a great place to spend a week, and there are some great suggestions above. I'd certainly make sure you get time in the mountains. If you like to hike, there are more trails than you can count and something for every ability level. You'll find the air cool in the mornings and evenings in the mountains, and the area is spectacular.

If you want to see snow, you can certainly find some, although this year with our low snow pack it will be a challenge in August. You should be able to find snow on the back side of Mt. Timpanogos, but that may be a bit much of a hike depending on how conditioned you are for it. There may be some snow in the Uintas that would be less of a trek to reach by foot, although this year might be tough given low snow levels and above average temps already this year.

Anyway, time in Park City, a picnic in Millcreek Canyon, a hike and dinner in Big or Little Cottonwood Canyons, seeing the downtown sights (Temple Square is a beautiful place and worth a visit), etc. would make for a great vacation.

If you like biking, hiking, etc., I'd be happy to recommend trails. If you like golf, shopping, dining, etc., SLC is growing up and has some decent places.

Hope you have a nice trip.

Miami Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
190 posts
34 reviews
4. Re: Logistical advice for Salt Lake City/Park City vacation

Thanks for your suggestions and advice

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah
Level Contributor
2,315 posts
28 reviews
5. Re: Logistical advice for Salt Lake City/Park City vacation

1. If you've never been to Vegas and like a spectacle, it might be worth the 6-hour drive afterwards. Of course you must decide if it would be worth spending the extra money too. If you've already experienced Vegas, I would say it's not worth the bother... I actually think some of the drive is interesting, especially after living on the East Coast for a decade. Going through the Mojave Desert and then the canyon between Mesquite and St. George is fascinating, but there aren't a lot of places to stop and explore. From St. George to SLC is about 4 hours and you could stop at either Snow Canyon, Kolob Canyon of Zion National Park or Cedar Breaks. After that, you will gradually see rolling hills turn into small mountains that turn into 11,000 foot peaks about 90 minutes away from Salt Lake.

2. There might be snow, but it will be up high and in small patches in shaded areas. This year did not have a heavy snowpack and the temps are rising, so August may be pushing it. The high Uintas might be a good bet. Or there is usually remnants of a glacier at the cirque of Mt. Timpanogus. Which, if you are up for a fantastic full-day hike, this is one of the best in Utah. Depending on the time of year, the wildflowers are amazing and there is a herd of mountain goats you may encounter in addition to the spectacular views.

3. Salt Lake and Park City could definitely keep you busy for week, especially considering you like the outdoors. You won't run out of hiking, biking, or climbing routes in a week or even a month for that matter. There are also rivers to fly fish, stand up paddle boarding, zip lines, alpine slides, tandem hang gliding, sail boat rides on the Great Salt Lake, Antelope Island and the herds of bison, and hot air balloon rides, in addition to the spas, museums, and city stuff.

Between the two places, there is a lot of music. From Red Butte Gardens, to Deer Valley, to Usana, there are several concerts during that month from Bruno Mars to Brad Paisley to Dave Mathews. Salt Lake also has the $5 Twilight Concert Series every Thursday night. http://twilightconcertseries.com/schedule/

There are farmers markets, Silly Sunday in Park City, the new Granary Row in Salt Lake, etc.

Here are a couple of links to event calendars that you could thumb through to get some ideas of what to do. You can narrow them to the week you will be here.




Let us know if there are any more specifics you would like to know... Restaurants and bars, good hikes for your ambition level, things to do in the cities, etc.

6. Re: Logistical advice for Salt Lake City/Park City vacation

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