Annika & Beth are so excited to show you the beautiful place where they met, fell in love and are getting married. The big event will be held at the world-famous Alta Ski Resort at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon, which is in itself a special place to explore. But Utah is full of amazing scenery, outdoor adventure, history and culture. So they asked me to put together a guide for fun, adventures to bookend your visit to Utah.
Things to Do Around the Resort
Just above Alta lies the Albion Basin with its network of alpine trails to challenge every level of hiker. Hidden Falls Trail is especially kid-friendly. But the most popular and (also family friendly, but longer) trail leads to ‘Cecret’ Lake (yes, it’s spelled correctly the miners who named it were largely illterate). At the resort below, Snowbird, you’ll find a ton of activities on the tram deck at the Snowbird Center, the Mountain Coaster, the Alpine Slide, a climbing wall and a ropes course. Ride the iconic Snowbird Tram to enjoy the breathtaking 80-mile vistas from the top of Snowbird’s 11,000-foot tram, and maybe a beverage at the Summit Lodge. Below the tram is a series of hiking and biking trails to explore the resort’s three main drainages—Peruvian Gulch, Gad Valley and Mineral Basin. While most folks ride or hike down the trails after riding up. I however reccomend taking the tough hike up to the tram via Peruvian Gulch and the Ridge Trail (maps available at Snowbird) and then you celebrate your climb from 8,000 to 11,000 feet with a beer at the lodge and ride the tram down FOR FREE! Lower down the Canyon and out of the “resort zone” there is some of the best hiking in Utah, including the take-your-pick White Pine or Red Pine Lake Trails, both are strenous but each comes with an alpine lake payoff. Gloria Falls, which is steep but doable for active kids (age 10 and up) can be accessed on the joint trail before it splits to either Red Pine or White Pine lake, check maps to acertain the turn off. It’s a little tricky.
Things to Eat (and drink) Around the Resort
At Alta, The Shallow Shaft, independently owned for 47 years, offers spectacular views and an adventurous menu featuring local ingredients and an award-winning wine list. Or get casual comfort food at the rustic Rustler Lodge. The sprawling Snowbird Resort offers a wide range of dining options, but the two finest dining experiences are the elegant Aerie, offering an eclectic menu ranging from local game to freshly flown-in sashimi, and The Summit on Hidden Peak—offering mountaintop outdoor dining. Meet the resort’s resident porcupine (seriously) and enjoy a decadent cut of dry-aged steak on the The Steak Pit’s patio. The restaurant-bar in Snowbird’s Cliff Lodge, SeventyOne, pays homage to the wild and woolly days of the resort’s beginnings in the early 1970s. It features a wide-ranging menu that includes small bites and full entrees enjoyed best on its large open patio.