Friday, September 24, 2021
Home Adventures Travel Getaway: Alta and Snowbird

Getaway: Alta and Snowbird

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Cecret Lake, photo by Kirk Marshall

Only 25 miles away, yet 20 degrees cooler, pack up the family and an outdoor attitude for a weekend escape.

When I say Alta you may think skiing. Rethink this mountain hamlet as a summer destination and revel in the amazing beauty that is the Wasatch without snow. Bird song and pika peeps, moose tracks and porcupine poop, fox holes and rattlesnake rhythms are what you find here by wandering one of the many hiking trails. Add the bonus of a profusion of wildflower blooms, alpine lakes and the long summer days with light from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., and you can spend the entire day outdoors. Rock climbing, mountain biking and fishing are also pursuits for the nature lover.

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Photo by Pippa Keene 

A rite of passage for any Alta visit, Cecret Lake is a must do hike. Just over a mile each way and gaining a modest 450 feet, if taken slowly this hike is for old and young alike. Sky and peaks reflected in the pristine blue water, possible snow bank scrambles, rocks for resting and fish to spot, Cecret Lake has a big payoff in a short distance.

Few things are as decadent as Sunday brunch and few brunches are as splendid as that at the Alta Lodge. Be sure to arrive with a huge appetite, perhaps one you have created by hiking Mt. Superior, and plan on a several hour session. Just try to sample all 40 buffet items. Live jazz music adds to the ambience and hopefully improves digestion.

While Alta is the quintessential quiet mountain town, two miles down the roadSnowbird offers more in the way of amenities. Free Saturday night concerts, Ariel Tram, Bungee Trampolines, Alpine Slide and a mechanical bull will entertain the entire family. Get your yodel on at Octoberfest, starting Aug. 16, and sample Bavarian food and of course beer. With fancy shops, restaurants, guided activities and a carnival atmosphere, Snowbird has plenty of amenities to amuse. If pampering is what you crave, the Cliff Spa can massage, glow, buff, shellac, peel, polish, wrap and hydrate.

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Photo courtesy of Snowbird

Lodging options include private homes, condos, chalets, log cabins, lodges and even a campground. Alta and Snowbird are great places for family reunions, weddings, parties or romantic weekends. Only 45 minutes from Salt Lake, the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon provides a breath of fresh air during our hottest summer months. Alta is not just for skiers!

One year ago today: Utahns mourn at a vigil for Breonna Taylor. Taylor was shot and killed by a police officer in March 2020, inspiring worldwide protests and calls for racial justice. ...

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Gayle Dowdle as Queen Elizabeth I of England ⁠

@dowdledesign is the queen of renaissance fairs and comic conventions. Dowdle began cosplaying six years ago and has been planning to recreate Queen Elizabeth I ever since. She spent as many as 700 hours constructing the ensemble. She entered her cosplay into the @fanxsaltlake 2019 cosplay contest, winning first prize. Since, she has continued to make upgrades to the royal cosplay she has created. “My dress will never be finished,” she says. 👑⁠

The wig is actually made of Dowdle’s own hair, which she cut off before beginning chemotherapy treatments last year. She says, “When I wear this wig, I don’t feel like Gayle with cancer, I just feel like Gayle again.” ⁠

See more portraits of Utah cosplayers at the link in our bio! ⁠

Photo by Adam Finkle⁠
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Missy Moody as Giselle from "Enchanted"⁠

@madamemoodycosplay has competed on the stage at comic conventions from Salt Lake City to New York in Giselle’s massive wedding gown from Disney’s "Enchanted." The self-taught seamstress has remade the dress five times over the course of four years, eventually wearing it to her very own nuptials. ⁠✨⁠

While Moody’s Giselle cosplay has been hailed as screen accurate, Moody advises, “Just have fun with cosplay. Don’t worry too much about accuracy. It’s OK to take some shortcuts.”⁠

See more portraits of Utah cosplayers at the link in our bio! ⁠

Photo by Adam Finkle⁠
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Ryan Bielik as Caleb Widogast from "Critical Role"⁠

“It was a demanding mistress,” @moody_kittens says of his Caleb cosplay, his take on a character from the Dungeons & Dragons live-streaming sensation turned multimedia empire "Critical Role." Bielik started cosplaying in 2013 and typically attends three conventions per year. After the pandemic, his Caleb cosplay represents a return to form: an obsessive attention to detail. Bielik plans to publicly debut his Caleb cosplay this year at @fanxsaltlake, where he will also enter the cosplay contest. 🪶

“I wanted something elegant to do—flashy, colorful. Something with a lot of grace in the costume,” says Bielik. ⁠

See more portraits of Utah cosplayers at the link in our bio! ⁠

Photo by Adam Finkle
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Kimber Gabryszak as Brienne of Tarth from "Game of Thrones"⁠

@kimber.and.connie.cosplay sets a high bar for herself. “I love to be as screen-accurate as possible,” she says. Gabryszak has always loved costuming, “I was cosplaying before I realized what cosplaying was.” But she did not attend her first comic convention until 2015. She says, “Brienne is the most ambitious character I have ever cosplayed.” Gabryszak had to learn leatherworking, for example, but by far the most difficult undertaking was constructing the chainmail. ⚔️ ⁠

"I like doing villains or people with a unique appearance who might not be as conventionally pretty,” she says. “Brienne is this tough, badass, giant, imposing woman.”⁠

See more portraits of Utah cosplayers at the link in our bio! ⁠

Photo by Adam Finkle
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IT'S GIVEAWAY TIME!⁠

We're teaming up with @gotbeautydotcom and @goodthingsutah to offer a $150 beauty package. Got Beauty is celebrating 30 years of business locally owned and operated by women. ❤️⁠

Here's how you can win: ⁠
✨ Like this post and tag three friends in the comments.⁠
✨ Follow @slmag, @gotbeautydotcom and @goodthingsutah.⁠
✨ Enter by 5 p.m. Friday for a chance to win!⁠
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Get ready to explore a city of secrets⚡👁️⁠

In a brand new issue of @slmag, we're uncovering the strange, obscure and unexplained stories and lore from Salt Lake City’s history, from a lost Mormon colony to a rampaging royal elephant to a sphinx with the face of Joseph Smith.⁠ Plus, we highlight outdoor gear trailblazers and continue our 2021 Travel Series in the Big Sky State.

Subscribers: look for this issue in your inbox soon. The magazine will be on newsstands Sept. 1! 📪⁠
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If you’re wondering if it’s worth the trip to a certified Dark Sky Park to view the Perseids, the short answer is “yes.” The long answer is “heck yes.” 🌠⁠

It's not too late to see the yearly Perseids meteor shower light up the night sky. Learn more at the link in our bio!⁠

Photo: Gates of Lodore in Dinosaur National Monument near Vernal; Credit: @miahwatt courtesy @visitutah
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Trade the snowy mountains for sandy peaks. 🏂⁠

At Idaho's Bruneau Dunes State Park, enormous dunes are the perfect playgrounds for dreamy sunsets, night sky views and a sandboarding adventure.⁠

Check out more of our favorite Idaho destinations at the link in our bio!
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Today is National Watermelon Day! 🍉🍉🍉⁠

Celebrate with easy-to-make watermelon granita, summer's coolest frozen dessert. The full recipe is at the link in our bio!⁠
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It's giveaway time!🐒🍻⁠

We're giving away two tickets to @hoglezoo's Zoo Brew. Visit the zoo's more than 800 animals while sipping a local beer at this 21+ event. ⁠
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Here's how you can win:⁠
🐘 Like this post and tag three of your favorite party animals in the comments.
🐘 Follow both @slmag and @hoglezoo.⁠
🐘 Enter by 9 a.m. Wednesday for a chance to win!⁠

(Tickets are valid for any 2021 Zoo Brew event.)⁠
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