There are so many fantastic weekend trips in the Salt Lake area. I’ve picked out a few that are 2 hours away or less, so you’ll have no problem working one of these fun adventures into your schedule.
It’s not an exaggeration to call Bear Lake a recreation playground, but it’s more than that, too, with its famed turquoise water and stunning views. There are plenty of activities to do at Bear Lake, whether you want to be in the water or out of it. Here are some options:
Take a Boat Out on the Lake: Bring your own boat or jet ski or rent one from Bear Lake Fun.
Drink a Shake: Bear Lake’s signature dessert is its raspberry shake (made with local raspberries and ice cream. You can get them anywhere that sells food at Bear Lake.
Go to Minnetonka Cave: If it’s a rainy day or you need something different to do, this nine-room cave has rock formations you can see during a half-mile guided tour.
Attend Raspberry Days: Raspberry Days takes place during the first weekend in August in Garden City, and it includes a craft fair, parade, rodeo, pancake breakfast, fun run, dance, and fireworks on the beach—don’t miss the small-town fun!
See a Show at Pickleville Playhouse: Watch a hilarious play from Pickleville Playhouse for a date night or relaxing family outing after a day on the lake. Banditos Western Grill is a good stop for food.
Enjoy Horseback Riding: Beaver Creek Lodge offers rides from one to three hours or longer day trips—there’s nothing like seeing beautiful Bear Lake from atop a horse!
Try a Hike: One of the most popular Bear Lake activities is hiking, so try the Limber Pine Loop for a relaxing hike. The nine-mile Sink Hollow Trail is perfect for more ambitious hikers—you’ll even get a to see a small lake during your trek.
Bike Around the Lake: Rent a mountain bike from Bear Lake KOA and ride around the lake (it’s 50 miles all the way around).
Utah’s beautiful Heber Valley is a seriously underrated getaway spot, and Homestead Crater Resort is right in the thick of it all. It’s also the home to one of Utah’s best-kept secrets.
Simon Schneitter emigrated to Utah from Switzerland and started a farm. While working the farm, he discovered a large, 55-foot limestone rock that has hollowed out and filled with warm, natural mineral water. It’s the only warm scuba destination in the continental United States. The Schneitters opened Homestead Resort so that others could experience the crater, too.
Try scuba diving (you can take lessons!), paddle board yoga classes, or a leisurely swim in the crater (they’re all fun).
This small mountain resort town lies by the magnificent Ogden River, snuggled in between Snowbasin, Wolf Mountain, and Pineview Resort. There’s year-round recreation here, including skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking, hiking, and more—for people of all experience levels.
The nineteenth-century buildings, constructed by pioneer settlers, are filled with mountain charm. Here are some ideas for enjoying Eden:
Ski! Powder Mountain Ski Resort is over 8,000 acres, making it the biggest ski resort in the U.S. It also has 26 miles of mountain biking trails you can use during the summer.
Wolf Creek Utah Ski Resort is the perfect option for kids to learn to ski or snowboard because it has a large beginner slope.
Buy Local: Simply Eden is a charming shop with high-quality handmade products made from organic goat milk, including soaps, lotions, face creams, and more.
Eat at the Old Town General Store: Carlos and Harley’s rustic cantina is inside the old general store in town. They have some seriously delicious margaritas you can drink while enjoying the antique details of this awesome building.
Relax at the Spa: Mountain Spa in the Old Town Eden Building offers you massages, facials, mediation, and yoga retreats if you need to relax after skiing or hiking. Pick up a delicious vegan lunch or espresso at the café afterwards.
If you live in Salt Lake, you know all about Wendover and may think of it as nothing more than a place to go gambling. But Wendover is truly a unique place with many other interesting things to do, too.
Take in a Show: Peppermill Concert Hall hosts some big-name entertainment, so why not plan your trip to Wendover around names like Daughtry, Josh Turner, Styx, and the Little River Band?
Play a Game of Golf: West Wendover City operates an 18-hole public golf course called Toana Vista.
Enjoy Some Recreation: West Wendover also has a fantastic town recreation program that includes an equestrian park, an outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, and a gym and weight room.
Take in Some History: The historic Wendover Airfield has some incredible history. Twice-daily tours are offered to see the hangar with the Enola Gay and Box Car bombers were housed, the bomb sight storage vault, and the bomb-loading points. The free museum is open daily.
Get Outside: Wendover is surrounded by scenic spots like the Silver Lake Mountains, the Bonneville Salt Flats, Blue Lake, Pilot Peak, and the Goshute Range (view funnel hawks and other migratory birds here in the fall). All of these are well worth the time it takes to scope them out!
Ride ATVs: The Knolls area (38 miles east of Wendover) is a popular spot for ATV riding. Intermountain Guide Service in Wendover also has ATV rides that are closer to town.
Explore a Cave: Danger and Juke Box Caves are located near Wendover and give you a glimpse into the earliest days of Utah’s inhabitants.
Honeyville is a quaint little town in eastern Box Elder County, and it’s best known for the lovely Crystal Hot Springs. It’s one of only two places in the entire world with a hot springs and a cold springs less than 50 feet away from each other, so you can enjoy them together in whatever combination you want. The springs has a large main soaking pool, two smaller pools, and a water slide. It also has an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
You can camp at the campground with a tent, camper, or trailer.
Feel like heading south? Just under the 2-hour criteria, the town of Manti is a charming old town with a lot of gorgeous scenery and fun things to do outside nearby.
Try ALL the Outdoor Activities: Palisade State Park is just a few miles south of Manti. This state park has an 18-hole golf course, swimming lake, and many hiking and biking trails. You can also camp here with a tent, RV, or trailer.
Climb in Maple Canyon: The canyon has 40 cliffs between 30 and 300 feet. There are also many bolted climbing routes for experienced rock climbers.
See the Majestic Skyline Drive: Skyline Drive is a 97-mile dirt road nestled in the mountains. The higher you go, the more beautiful the scenery gets (the road is between 9,000 to 11,000 feet in elevation). It’s a fairly easy trip up Manti Canyon if the weather is good.
After a hard day of play, stop in at Dirk’s Farmhouse Restaurant for prime rib and potato salad or swing by Millers Drive Thru and Bakery for a truly excellent hamburger and apple fritter.