Located in the heart of the Wild West, Utah is a great jumping off point to see some of the best sights in the country. If road tripping is your preferred method of travel, there’s a lifetime worth of places to visit just in the states that surround us.
Lava Hot Springs, Idaho
Located in the Pocatello area, Lava Hot Springs is just a couple of hours away from Salt Lake City. This resort town is built around natural hot springs that can be enjoyed in their natural form, in man made pools, and even at a water park. Lava Hot Springs is just off the freeway too, which makes it a great stopping point if you’re on your way to Jackson Hole or Yellowstone.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
As the gateway to the Rocky Mountain’s Grand Tetons, Jackson Hole is a great place to get out and have fun year-round. The resorts located here provide skiing and snowboarding in the winter, and hiking, river rafting, and other outdoor activities in the summer. World-class lodging and restaurants round out the trip in one of the most dramatically beautiful cities in the country. The low-lying valley is surrounded by majestic mountains, and can be reached by car in about 4.5 hours from SLC.
Grand Junction, Colorado
Colorado has a lot to offer for road trippers, from several national parks to the wide array of big city experiences in Denver. Grand Junction offers the best of both worlds, and is only 4.5 hours from SLC. Grand Junction is surrounded on all sides by Mother Nature’s best work, including the Western Slopes, Book Cliffs, Colorado National Monument, and the Grand Mesa. The city of Grand Junction itself is a hub for artistic activity, with a large selection of galleries mixed in with the other shops and boutiques in town. The Colorado river flows right through town as it makes its way to Utah.
Taos, New Mexico
There are very few towns that could give Park City a run for the money in terms of recreation and high-class relaxation, but Taos is one of them. A truly unique town, Taos hosts world-class skiing, and has been the place artists of all kinds have called home for a couple of centuries. The mix of Native American and Hispanic culture influence the city and it’s traditions to provide a truly unforgettable experience. It’s a longer drive at 10 hours from SLC, but well worth the trip.
Just 8.5 hours south of SLC is the red rock hideaway of Sedona, AZ. When you think of Arizona, you probably think of 120 degree summers and unbroken expanses of desert, but Sedona is a refreshing exception to this rule. The artsy village is nestled among the canyons and the Mesas, and features cool nights and mild days year round. You can have a great time in town with a neverending stream of things to do, or venture out into the surrounding recreational areas to enjoy the beauty of Arizona.
Everyone in this area of the country is familiar with the many types of fun to be had in Las Vegas, but there’s a lot more to Nevada than Sin City. Elko, NV is just 3 hours from SLC, and a straight shot west on I-80. Elko is nestled in the Ruby Mountains, which provide fun hiking and recreation. The area has access to ghost towns from the Gold Rush, museums, and of course, casinos where you can try your luck. There’s plenty to keep you busy until you’re ready to head home.