Six Pack of Summer Activities

By Après Adam Aug 21, 2018
Summer is coming to an end. Shorter days and snow are on the way. Time to make the most of what's left of summer. Then celebrate with a drink, of course.
Six Pack of Summer Activities

In the midst of one of the hottest Utah summers on record, it’s easy to daydream of cold winter days spent in the mountains. It's always around the time of summer when my mind begins to drift and I start making plans for ski season. My advice to surviving the dog days? Go all in, and make the most of summer while it’s still here. As I’ve gotten older I have slowly begun to understand the importance of living in the moment with each passing season. Sure powder days are just around the corner, but so are the ten-below mornings, frozen door handles and that damn ice on the inside of your windshield.

My favorite thing to do in winter? Ski, then après-ski.

My favorite thing to do in summer? Biking, hiking, climbing, paddleboarding, swimming in alpine lakes, floating a river, cliff jumping, sailing, camping, disc golf, listening to live music, patio dining, picnics, farmer’s markets, zip lines, sunsets, wildflowers, hammocks, boating, wakesurfing, and puppies... then après.

With time running short this summer, it’s important to maximize your evenings and weekends. Inspired by Lexi's Last Call: 6 Things to do in Utah Before Summer Winds Down, I brewed up my own Six Pack of Summer Activities specifically designed to help you enjoy every ounce summer. Some of my suggestions include some action-packed days, but don't worry, each day ends with a relaxing après session at one of my favorite après-ski spots in Utah.

My Six Pack of Summer Activities

Mountain Biking and Live Music at Deer Valley Resort

While I love Deer Valley’s groomers and untouched powder days in the winter, I somehow find myself spending way more time at the resort in the summer. Between some of the best lift-served biking in the state, summer concerts, and countless other activities, I seem to find an excuse to spend a couple days a week hanging around “DV.”

If you want to really do it right, check out Labor Day weekend when you can ride mountain bikes all day, then cool off after biking at nearby Deer Valley Grocery Café with lunch and a rented paddleboard from Park City SUP, located steps away at the Deer Valley Pond. Grab a bottle of wine, your DV Grocery Café picnic basket, and take in a Jason Mraz concert at Snow Park Amphitheater.

Après: Top it all off with a funicular ride to the J&G Grill and enjoy cocktails next to an outdoor fire pit.

Float the Weber Before Enjoying Live Music at Snowbasin Resort

One of my favorite ways to beat the heat is to grab a tube and float a river. The Provo River is the go-to river float, but I like to make a day of it on the Weber River between Henefer and Morgan. The Weber is the perfect mix of casual floating with the occasional whitewater thrill. Stop at your local WalMart or Smiths, grab a tube, some beer, and a life jacket and hit the Weber. Put in near the town of Henefer and float your way to take-out at the Taggart exit. After your float, change into some dry clothes (they from upon board shorts and bro tanks) and enjoy some delicious comfort food lunch at Taggart’s Grill.
Après: After lunch, hop in the car and make the 24 mile drive to Snowbasin Resort. The ski resort has been hosting a series of Sunday concerts as part of the Blues, Brews & BBQ Concert Series. The Sunday of Labor Day weekend looks to be one hell of a good time with Leftover Salmon and Amy Helm.

Hiking and Live Music at Alta Ski Area

The resort of Alta is located at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon at 8,560 feet above sea level. This is my favorite place to cool off in the midst of a summer heat wave. New this summer is lift-accessed hiking on weekends and holidays. Adults and children can ride the Sunnyside Lift for $10 and $5 respectively. From the top of Sunnyside, there are some great hiking trails to Cecret Lake, Catherine’s Pass and even Devil’s Castle. Summer operations wrap up on Labor Day, so get up there soon.
Après: The Alta's Albion Grill hosts one hell of a party from 3-6pm on Saturdays and holidays. Escape the valley heat while enjoying live music, food, and drinks on the deck.

Hiking and Cliff Jumping in the Uintas

Much like Deer Valley, I also find myself spending considerably more time in the Uinta Mountains in the summer months. The Uintas are a great place to escape civilization for a day or a weekend. A fun drive down Mirror Lake Highway quickly transports you deep into a world of rugged peaks and alpine lakes.

A perfect day trip would include a drive to the Crystal Lake Trailhead. A short one-mile hike brings you to Wall Lake. From here you could set up a hammock or wet a line in a beautiful alpine lake. If you’re feeling adventurous, there are some small cliffs on the western edge of the lake.

After a quick cool down, hop back on the trail and continue on towards Notch Mountain. Hike to the Notch and back, or bring your backpacking gear and find a secluded place to make camp for the night.

Après: After your hike to The Notch, why not pull off Mirror Lake Highway and grab a celebratory drink at The Notch Pub in Samak, Utah. Take in some live music, enjoy a drink on the patio, and order a delicious burger made from local grass-fed beef.

Hiking and Disc Golf in Big Cottonwood Canyon

Big Cottonwood Canyon is another great spot to play in the mountains. Accessible from either from SLC via Highway 190 (BCC) or from Park City via Highway 225 (Guardsman Pass), Brighton and Solitude have a wide array of fun summer activities.

Brighton has some of my favorite hikes in the Wasatch. The Brighton Lakes Loop is a classic hike that starts at the base of Brighton and makes its way up through a series of alpine lakes. Suitable for advanced hikers looking to make a day of it, or for families who may decide to turn around at Lake Mary or Twin Lakes. Brighton also has a new 9-hole disc golf course that is free to the public.

Solitude Mountain Resort in the summer is home to some great lift-served mountain biking, but most known for their stunning 18-hole disc golf course. Starting at 9,000 feet above sea level, near the top of the Sunrise Chair, this course is as challenging as it is gorgeous. The course is free for those willing to hike to the first hole with their own discs, but Solitude offers reasonably priced rentals and chairlift rides on weekends for everyone else.

Après: Start training for apres-ski season by grabbing some apres drinks at either village. Milly Chalet and Brighton Store are classic Brighton apres-ski spots that are open in the summer. Solitude offers food and drink at Stone Haus, Honeycomb Grill, or my personal favorite, Thirsty Squirrel. Silver Fork Lodge is another apres spot a few miles down the Big Cottonwood Canyon.

Zip Lines, Fly Fishing and Après At Sundance Mountain Resort

Sundance Resort is a one-of-a-kind experience in the winter and the summer. Just a short drive up Provo Canyon, this ski resort, and village is one of the most convenient escapes from city and suburban life. While the mountain offers some great summer hiking trails and lift-served biking, my favorite Sundance summer activity is zip-lining under the shadow of Mount Timpanogos. There’s no better way to escape the heat than to fly down 2100 vertical feet at 65 mph via a series of cables.

Heights, speed and adrenaline not your thing? How about a day of fly fishing on the Provo River? Sundance offers guided fly fishing trips along with fly casting and fly tying lessons.
Après: No trip to Sundance would be complete without a stop at theSundance Owl Bar and Sundance Foundry Grill. Order a cocktail and calm those nerves after a ZipTour or started spinning some fish stories after your day on the Provo River.

This Six Pack of Summer could have easily been a 12-pack, or an even a whole case, but with only a few weeks before Labor Day, it’s time to get serious about checking off some summer bucket list activities. Each day is shorter than the last, and before you know it, the leaves and seasons will be changing. Let's hope your remaining untapped activities survive the cold Utah winter.