Spend 36 hours in SLC's Mountains as a Family

Spend 36 hours in SLC's Mountains as a Family

Adventure Mom

By Adventure Mom \ June 27 2019

You have a total of 36 hours to spend in Salt Lake City mountains, so what are you going to do?! 36 hours isn’t a lot of time for a mountain adventure-loving family, but it is enough time to have a fantastic adventure. Here are a few things you can do with 36 hours in SLC when you like a little bit of adventure with the kiddos!


Hike the Wasatch National Forest

If you love the mountains, Wasatch National Forest is super close to Salt Lake City and offers HUNDREDS of hikes. Here are links to stories about our favorite trails:


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Getting out doors to get grounded.

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Enjoy Resort Activities

When you don’t have a lot of time for mountain adventures, but still want to be close to nature, book a stay in the mountains and enjoy the activities there. 

  • Solitude Mountain Resort: During the summer months, you can take scenic chair lift rides, go hiking, biking, enjoy a game of disc golf, or visit culinary events. Stay at one of the many options that Solitude offers for lodging. Free yoga every Saturday and free concerts every Sunday in the Village. 

  • Brighton: There's no lack of scenic trails at Brighton. Visit lakes Catherine, Mary and Martha or take a simple stroll around Silver Lake with the family. Brighton serves food too, so grab a bite before heading back down the canyon. 

  • Alta Ski Area: There's no secret that the locals love to hike at Alta in the summer to enjoy the wildflowers and cool air. Park at Wildcat and take a $5/person shuttle up the Summer Road for easier access. Want a mountain retreat? Book a night at Alta Lodge or The Snowpine Lodge

  • Snowbird: the mecca for summer adventures. Purchase an activities pass for all day adventure and access to the ropes course, mountain coaster, climbing wall, alpine slide, Tram, Peruvian Chairlift and more. 


Take a Scenic Drive

Sometimes, the best adventures are just getting in your car with an old school map and just driving. In fact, it's even more of an adventure if you get a little “lost.” This is especially fun with kids. Try it during the evening or early morning.

Here are a few drives to get lost on:

  • Big Cottonwood Canyon - Head all the way to the top of Guardsman Pass. Here you'll find beautiful views down BCC and into Park City. Take a quick hike to Bloods Lake - very family friendly. 

  • Little Cottonwood Canyon - Park at the Wildcat base area of Alta Ski Area and opt for a quick hike around. Watch for moose and be careful where you step -- please don't damage the wildflowers! 

  • Mirror Lake Highway - Head east from Kamas through the national forest. It takes about an hour and a half each way. The temperatures are usually 10 - 20 degrees cooler than the valley and will often be below freezing at night, even in the summer months. So bring a jacket. You'll also want to stop at the Mirror Lake Diner for a farm fresh meal.

  • Ogden Canyon - SR - 39 will take you to Pineview Reservoir. A great place for water-skiing, fishing, and paddle boarding. 

  • Provo Canyon - Make a stop at Sundance Mountain Resort. Grab a picnic lunch from The Deli, stretch your legs and jump back in the car to find the perfect picnic spot. 


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Take a hike, you won’t regret the view. #mirrorlake

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Camp in Big or Little Cottonwood Canyon

Both the Spruces Campground (Big Cottonwood) and Tanner's Flat and Albion Basin (Little Cottonwood) are excellent family camp spots. Book your sites early and bring the s'mores. There are endless activities surrounding these campsites and they provide a break from the valley heat. For help on sleeping comfortably outside with little ones, visit Brooke's story about, well, just that! 



Are you an adventurous family? What kind of adventures do you like to embark on? Share your experiences in the comments below!

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