Many people travel far just to experience each of the four seasons and the slow, magical transitions between them. Yet those who grew up in places like Utah can sometimes take seasonal fascination for granted. For some of them, the change from cold to hot weather (and back again) only means frequent calls for essential home maintenance and air conditioning services in Salt Lake City. Still, every now and then, you’ll find it refreshing to take a break from city living and responsibilities, hit the outdoors, and check out these standout activities for each season.
Hiking in spring
Locals in Utah will probably tell you that any time can be a good time to go out for a hike. But for many, spring offers the first chance to scratch the outdoor itch after the cold months and maybe catch a glimpse of rare desert blooms while you’re at it. This is the perfect season for those who don’t have great tolerance to extremes of temperature.
If you like to take on a bit of extra challenge, the freshly melted snow tends to leave a lot of great rock climbing opportunities in its wake. Many trails also tend to be less busy, since the highest foot traffic comes about in the summer. Just remember to check the local conditions, as higher elevations may still be closed off due to snow.
As anyone who’s lived in California or Florida can tell you, the traditional way to beat the summer heat is by going out to spend all day on the water. Experienced paddlers may prefer to seek out their water adventures in the spring as the melting snow makes it Utah’s high water season; however, most people would better enjoy the moderate and calm water routes during summer. Lower waters also make it safer to access some rivers, providing you with a greater variety of scenery, as well as the chance to observe local wildlife along the way.
Camping in autumn
Sure, you can camp outdoors practically anywhere in Utah for most of the year and have a wonderful experience. But in autumn, conditions align to offer campers longer nights, moderate temperatures, and an excellent opportunity for stargazing. The state boasts 14 amazing certified ‘dark sky’ parks (with more to come). With minimal light pollution, these locations make it easy for you to maximize your camping experience. Take the chance to view the Milky Way and observe constellations in the same way our ancestors did it before the Industrial Revolution and the advent of electricity.
Despite its year-round outdoor attractions, for most visitors and locals alike, winter remains the best season to go on an adventure in Utah. Regular activities such as walking, hiking, and fishing are elevated into unique seasonal forms like snowshoeing, ice climbing, and ice fishing. Tourists flock to snow-laden slopes across the state to experience the best skiing and snowboarding sites in the entire country. There isn’t a single go-to outdoor activity for the winter here; the season simply brings out the best in every option, so you can pick one or several and never fear that you’re missing out.
Living in Utah combines the magic of the seasons with a vast and varied outdoor landscape. Even if you don’t find much time to take a break and go out, a single day (or night) spent on these activities will reconnect you to nature and restore some much-needed vitality.