Special Interest Tours
Utah offers a wide range of topography and scenery to satisfy cyclists of all styles. Moab has been heralded for years as a mecca for mountain bikers, but fat-tire lovers pedal all corners and all elevations of the state; bike shops in St. George, Salt Lake City, and Ogden can also help you find an itinerary. Excellent multiday (and multisport) tours crisscross the desert including the incomparable White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park. Hard-core road cyclists, including pros in training, challenge themselves by climbing the grueling canyons to the east of Salt Lake City. But there are plenty of roads for the less gonzo rider to explore, and biking is an excellent way for a family to bond while getting some exercise.
Most airlines accommodate bikes as luggage for an extra fee, provided they're dismantled and boxed.
Bicycle Adventures. Several multiday tours in southern Utah including an epic seven-day road ride from St. George to Lake Powell. 800/443–6060; www.bicycleadventures.com. From $1,995.
Escape Adventures. More than 20 itineraries for road cyclists and mountain bikers alike range from three to seven days. Beginners can enjoy road rides of less than 30 miles per day, single-track daredevils can conquer slick rock trails, and independent travelers will love the "do it yourself" itineraries. 800/596–2953; www.escapeadventures.com. From $100 per day.
Western Spirit. This outfitter offers a half-dozen fully supported itineraries (such as Bryce to Zion National Parks) that range from family-oriented to expert-only, and from four to seven days. The common denominator is challenging wilderness conditions that are best undertaken with an expert guide unless you're a seasoned, experienced back-road or off-road biker. 800/845–2453; www.westernspirit.com. From around $250 per day.
Rim Tours. Half-, full- or multiday tours in southern Utah include Moab, Gooseberry Mesa, and the White Rim Trail. 435/259–5223; 800/626–7335; www.rimtours.com. From $95 per person for a half-day tour.
Close to Salt Lake City, the Provo and Logan rivers are world-class trout-fishing rivers that attract anglers from around the globe. In some parts of the Provo, it is said that there are upward of 7,500 trout per square mile.
Four Seasons Fly Fishers. These knowledgeable anglers will lead you to trout-filled streams, and set up tents and hot meals for you on multiday trips. 435/657–2010; 800/498–5440; www.utahflyfish.com. From $500 per day.
From a dozen public courses in the Salt Lake Valley, to world-class courses in Park City to the sunny southern Utah courses set against red-rock backdrops, Utah offers a proliferation of golf courses. You will find variety in terrain, scenery, and level of difficulty.
You can still throw on some jeans and boots and head out on a multiday horseback trek. Several Utah operators will match you with your steed, give you as much or as little instruction as you need, and get you out on the trail. Excursions range from day trips to weeklong adventures.
For an instant respite from summer heat that ranges from toasty to torrid, book a one-to-five-day river-rafting adventure. Itineraries exist for families with adventurers as young as three years old and range from leisurely multiday floats to days that culminate in unforgettable rapids. Utah’s river guides have been at it for decades, and will gladly share river-bottom views of red rock cliffs, petroglyphs, and wildlife. The Utah tourism website (www.utah.com/raft) is a useful resource.
If ever an outdoor activity was synonymous with Utah tourism, skiing is it. The bulk of the state's resorts, known for the fluffy powder that falls on average 400 to 600 inches or more a year, are within a one-hour drive from the Salt Lake City Airport. Ski the same runs that Olympians traversed in 2002: the downhill and slaloms were held at Snowbasin near Ogden, while aerials, slalom, and snowboarding took place at Park City or Deer Valley. Finally, challenge yourself on the same Nordic competition trails at Heber Valley’s Soldier Hollow Olympic venue. Every ski resort and many private travel agents can assist you with your ski planning. Ski Utah is the state's official and very useful website for ski information; it should be your starting point for any ski activity in the state.
SkiUtah. Whether you have 2 days or 10, Ski Utah can help you make the most of your time on the snow. The Interconnect Tour gives advanced to expert skiers the chance to ski backcountry terrain in and around as many as six resorts in one day. 800/754–8824; www.skiutah.com. From $325 for Interconnect tour.