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If you have some extra time in the area, we recommend taking some day trips. Park City is a beautiful resort town that is just 30 minutes drive away from Salt Lake. It is home to the Sundance Film Festival, a celebrity favorite.The Town Lift is a skin run that drops directly into the heart of historic Main Street - with all of its high-end restaurants, bar and galleries-- so that you can leave the slopes and get right to an Apres Ski. Main Street is frequently blocked off for popular events such as Park Silly Sunday Market, but you can park at the Park City Mountain free parking lot and either walk or ride the free bus system to Old Town. You will pass High West Distillery, which is lauded for its whiskeys and its “ski in ski out” gastropub. Alpine Distillery is also a short walk away and has an high-class pie bar tucked away in their basement. Park city day trippers might also enjoy the kid-friendly Utah Olympic Park, which was built for the 2002 Winter Games. There is a small free museum and the chance to spot world class athletes practicing jumps and tricks by skiing into a swimming pool. There are also paid activities like ziplines, ropes courses, tubing and even bobsledding.

The program provides a ‘ski letter’ to residents providing significant discounts on local season passes and multi-resort passes, and many residents take advantage of this. We should note that even though there is a ton of skiing and riding to be done at Utah’s world-class resorts, Salt Lake City itself is in a valley and has relatively short and mild winters. Those of us moving from the midwest feel particularly grateful in April when instead of digging our cars out after another ‘last’ winter snow, we are able to luxuriate in a sunny 60 degree day, all the while knowing there’s a solid snowpack just a short drive away. One downside of the stark elevation difference is that air quality in the city can be low during the heart of winter (pollution gets trapped in the valley by the temperature difference). Last year, the second years used their resident retreat fund to rent a big house together in the fresh mountain air. They only got a little bit lost on their hike.

While we like to play in the snow, we also like to play in the melted snow. A number of residents are passionate about fishing, no matter what the season. In the summer, we recommend spending a day floating the Weber River with friends. Residents have also had a blast parasurfing the Deer Creek Reservoir and renting a boat or jet skis on the Jordanelle reservoir. For an amazing day paddleboarding, the Causey Reservoir is a 1 hour drive north and has stunning mountain views from a narrow canyon area with turquoise waters and multiple forks to paddle. There are multiple places for cliff jumping and rope swings, in addition to short hikes accessed from the water to overlook the reservoir. Silver Lake Flat Reservoir is an hour south of Salt Lake City is a high mountain reservoir that is a favorite of SUPs and kayaks. It is especially fun to make an entire weekend of the trip and camp in the primitive camp area 0.5 miles north of the reservoir. Dogs are allowed. There is also a gorgeous secluded lake just above this reservoir called Silver Glance where you can backpack and camp—giant cliffs on one side of the lake and panoramic views on the other side.

A soft benefit of this program is that residents do not have to take vacations in pre-assigned 1-2 week blocks. This is really conducive to taking shorter, restorative, trips to explore Utah, which is 75% public land, including five national parks (Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches, and Canyonlands).