Salt Lake City, Utah: Mormons near Mountains

GUEST ARTICLE: The first thing that hit me once I landed in Salt Lake City (SLC), well just after the stinging cold weather, are the stunning snow covered mountains of the Wasatch Range. The mountains and the snow are what attracts most visitors to this part of the planet.

Salt Lake City is located in the north-east corner of the Salt Lake Valley surrounded by the Great Salt Lake to the north-west and the steep Wasatch and Oquirrh mountain ranges on the eastern and western borders, respectively.

Its encircling mountains contain many narrow glacially and volcanically carved canyons. Among them, City Creek, Emigration, Millcreek, and Parley’s border Salt Lake City proper.

Skiing, Snow-boarding and rock climbing are only a couple of the adventure sports this place offers, and the people who were sharing the hostel with me, were all but interested in doing nothing other than spending their days going up and then down the soft snow.

Unlike other ski towns Salt Lake City seemed to have a very and welcoming nature, no matter whether you are a high roller or a backpacker who loves the snow.

Another thing that is big in Salt Lake and that everyone jokingly warns you about, once they learn you are visiting, are religion and the Mormon way of life.

Fresh Snow on the mountains viewed from Salt Lake City
Fresh Snow on the mountains viewed from Salt Lake City. Credit: jotor


I found the place very welcoming no matter what your beliefs are. Contrary to the warnings I was able to find drinks and alcohol in all restaurants and their were many a place to choose from if you wanted to spend the evening having a couple of Guinness and playing some pool.

There are a couple of places you must visit, first comes temple square. This beautiful site, comprises of the Salt Lake Temple, tabernacle and visitor centre.

I put aside a couple of hours to explore the area, a guided tour is available as well and I recommend to take it, the volunteers explain and help you understand many aspects which are hidden from the casual visitor.

If visiting the temple also pay a visit to the Family History Library. This library is the largest genealogical library in the world and you can retrace your family history with the help of the volunteers who speak amongst them more than 30 languages!

Utah is also home to 5 national parks, most well known are Zion and Bryce Canyon. Zion is a geological masterpiece and Bryce Canyon, as it’s name suggests, is a Canyoner’s dream come true. I wish I was able to spend more time over there, exploring the trees and native fauna, the different animals and spend a couple of nights under the glittering sky.

jefferson guest house salt lake city utahJefferson Guesthouse, Salt Lake City, Utah

About 40 minutes drive is a small place called Park City. Once a sleepy town this place has been transformed to an artist retreat which attracts many wealthy Americans keen to spend to decorate their sprawling ski mansions.

The locals are more than happy to accept the people in open arms, and are very proud on how much park city has changed over the course of the last couple of years.

When I asked about how do I get to the snow were very helpful to point out the free ski buses, when they come, where they go and of course where I can find the best snow today!

One thing the states offers Australian visitors is cheap clothes, and salt lake did not disappoint. If you are heading here be sure to give the local Tanger outlet a visit. The place was huge and everything was heavily discounted!

Back to Salt Lake City, there are some nice local pubs, but Port-o-Call was my favourite. Very busy on a Friday night, with quite a line when I got there.

After waiting outside in the cold I was happy to see how lively the place was inside, and it continued going till the late hours of the night. The only drawback being the membership fee. A legal requirement for all pub customer to be a member, and at $20 it wasn’t cheap.

And for food, you can’t get any better than Spencer’s steak house. Spencer’s menu had a large selection to suit every budget, the service was great with staff very knowledgeable and the wine menu was one of the best I have seen with even some Australian representatives available.

Leaving Salt Lake City, the view again once the plane took off was amazing, with the evening sun slowly disappearing beyond the mountain range.

Mordac (Preventer of information services) This travel diary has been written by an anonymous writer who has chosen to write under the alias of Mordac (Preventer of information services).

Mordac is one of the minor characters in the Dilbert TV series and comic strip.

If you’ve travelled somewhere off the beaten track, can write well and have good quality photos I encourage you to contact me and I’ll consider publishing your travel diary here including generous attribution and links back to your website as thanks for your contribution


7 comments on “Salt Lake City, Utah: Mormons near Mountains

  1. Anonymous on said:

    Salt Lake is definitely a beautiful place. I guess I take it for granted sometimes because I only live 40 minutes South, in Provo. I’ve been all over SLC but I’ve never stopped at the Family History Library. I’ll be sure to do that thanks!

  2. I’d love to visit salt lake city — it’s definitely one on my next to visit list. Reading your post made me feel that culture and atmosphere I wouldn’t have discovered from reading the usual travel book. Thanks.

  3. I will visit Salt Lake City this year, so I am currently looking for every information I can get. I am especially looking forwards to visiting the national parks as I love being in nature (canoying). I have visited 16 national parks all over Europe, so now it’s time to explore North America, I guess.
    I enjoyed the reading and just want to say thank you.

    Best regards from Germany,
    Simon

  4. lance on said:

    I live only hours from Salt Lake and still love visiting there, they no doubtedly have great skiing all winter long, and I mean LONG winters there. Park City is worth the trip just for the great shopping deals, me and the girls will head there for a weekend just to shop. I also love temple square it is beautiful, I hope you got to see it in the evening with all the Christmas lights up…. now that is a sight to see! I hope you’ve made it to more places in the Western US, there are so many beautiful sights here……..maybe next you should see the Grand Canyon that is worth the long trip!!!

  5. men on said:

    I’ve moved to Salt Lake 4 years ago. First I didn’t like it here, I want to go somewhere else. But after a year we were ok, and we like it here a lot.

  6. MMA in Utah on said:

    I’ve lived in SLC for 15+ years and I love it. Everyone first notices the Mormon culture and the wide variety of kick butt outdoor locations for sports, camping, photography, etc. However, one thing that many don’t know is that Utah has an amazing history of martial arts and some superb training facilities.

    Martial art legend Ed Parker (trained Elvis in marital arts, assisted Bruce Lee in become big in the US) – set up his first school here in Utah, where Kenpo remains strong.

    Remember the movie 300? The actors trained down at local Gym Jones to get ripped.

    Famous Mixed Martial Art fighter Jeremy Horn set up shop here in SLC too.

  7. Bountiful Utah on said:

    I have lived all my life in Utah and it is truly a beautiful place. Even if you aren’t Mormon, it is an exceptional place to raise a family or just live for anyone who loves the outdoors. My neighborhood in Bountiful is nestled in the mountains and it’s a picturesque sight every morning :)

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