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Life in the Wasatch?
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By Chris Mak
Feb 10, 2013

Hi All,

Slightly off topic, but I am looking at moving to SLC for work and would love to hear about the area. It seems that clearly there is stellar climbing and skiing close by, but curious about some other outdoor sports. Any cross country skiing closer to the city than the resorts? White water kayaking options within a short drive? Any thoughts much appreciated!


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By Ranchhand
From Bend, OR
Feb 10, 2013

good stuff, great climbing near the city, granite, limestone, quartzite. Its not a bad place to live if you like climbing, its a great hub.....desert, tetons, city of rocks, maple canyon, st george, zion, red rocks, etc all within an easy drive


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By Ryan202
From West Jordan, UT
Feb 10, 2013

Any mountain activity. Lots of mountain biking, road biking. At Point of the Mountain there is a flight park for paragliding; it's a fantastic way to spend an evening after work in the summer and watch. Fishing on the Provo River is a popular thing. You can kayak/boat/swim in Utah lake, Great Salt Lake (smells), Jordanelle Reservoir on the Park City side, and other reservoirs. There's public hunting (if you hunt). Technically I'm not sure about the x-country skiing close to the city, but I don't think there is outside of the resorts. There is Soldier Hollow on the Park City side which has a big area for x-country skiing. Utah has a yurt system which would be fun.


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By Pete Spri
Feb 10, 2013

Worst air quality in the US. Not joking.

Lots of rock nearby.


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By EricSchmidt
Feb 10, 2013

Spri wrote:
Worst air quality in the US. Not joking. Lots of rock nearby.


A little misleading.... Its the worst a quality for 2 or 3 weeks of the year generally.


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By scott cooney
From La Casa Taco
Feb 10, 2013
11th hour of the Sundial

there are some smaller WW rivers like the Weber or Ogden, not that big but fun none the less. not sure about immediately around SLC for WW but Ogdens less than an hour from the city and both rivers have play parks on them. you can also go north for rivers like the snake for fairly reasonable drives as far as western water chasing goes.


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By Timmy Fearn
Feb 10, 2013
Heading out of the pod at the beginning of the second pitch. <br /> <br />Photo Courtesy of Whitney Cammack

Chris,
there is some whitewater kayaking around. Check out the American Whitewater database for Utah. The Weber isn't too far from SLC. There are a few fun stretches and it is fairly popular. Also popular with tubers. Depends on what you mean by a short drive. www.americanwhitewater.org/content/River/state-summary/state>>>

There is cross country skiing up Mill Creek Canyon. For well groomed fun skate skiing I think it's better to get some elevation. Mountain Dell is about 15 minutes up out of the city on the I-80. Park City has a huge amount of winter groomed trails for classic and skate skiing, the majority of which are free and is 30 minutes to an hour of a drive depending on where you live in SLC and where your going in PC. That will also get you out of the inversion (poor air quality) during the winter months. As far as right in town it's hit and miss as far as if the snow sticks as to whether or not you can ski on a golf course.


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By mmcfarland
From Millcreek ,Ut
Feb 10, 2013

Not that misleading, the air can be consistently lousy most of the winter depending on weather patterns. Recreation is great though. As mentioned its a central location for recreational travel/pursuits in the west. X-country skiing is good , but generally not much closer than the resorts (30+ minutes). I moved here for a year, 14yrs ago. Lots of good things balanced with the bad air, and a few unique cultural differences ( not really even an issue).


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By Andrew Gram
Administrator
From Salt Lake City, UT
Feb 10, 2013
Andrew Gram

Keep in mind just how close the ski resorts are to the city too - 20-30 minutes depending on which part of the city you are in. The backcountry skiing in the Wasatch is about as good as it gets, and some of the trailheads are just a few minutes out of town.

Kayaking as a day trip is doable but a bummer here compared to just about anywhere in Colorado, but SLC is a great location for access to the long desert river trips like Cataract, Westwater, Lodore, Deso, etc. The Payettes are reasonable for a long weekend trip to do hard classic 1 day whitewater.

The mountain biking is awesome here, as is the fly fishing. There really aren't too many non-ocean oriented sports that aren't well represented.

The inversions are the worst thing about living here, and this winter has been terrible so far. It has me seriously thinking about selling the house I just bought and moving up to Summit Park to get away from it.


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By John M Ross
From Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Feb 10, 2013

everything is within a half hour of down town!


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By Trever W.
Feb 10, 2013
Near Mt. Challenger, Picket range.

Chris,

The folks on here nailed it. The access to outdoor pursuits is hands down the best that I have ever experienced. Sure, the nightlife and bar scene isn't as wild as you might find in a more progressive city but you get used to it and find what there is pretty quick. Like folks said, and I don't think you should overlook this one, the air quality during the winter is downright despicable. The city sits in a valley that cooks up a mean inversion that is made worse by the fact that there are major industrial polluters located around the city. There are a lot more industrial cities out there but the combination of pollutants and temperature inversion is the key. I love SLC and get sad to think about leaving it, but when I do, it will be because of the air quality. I could not, in good conscience, raise a family in SLC valley.

If you are looking for a place to get outside and are maybe thinking about living a bit higher in the valley, I really don't think you would be disappointed. Hope this helps.

tw


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By MJMobes
From The land of steady habits
Feb 10, 2013
modern man

lets compare it to where you are from which is .....


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By Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
Feb 10, 2013
Me scaring years off my mom's life

Southern Utah has the highest concentration of quality slot canyons in the country (world?) Canyoneering gets looked down on by some climbers but I think it's a worthy pursuit in its own right. PM me know if you come out here and we'll get you down some slots!


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By bsmoot
Feb 10, 2013
Me in the 70's

As was mentioned, Kayaking in northern Utah is not as good as Colorado, but one hour away, you have 2-4 class low volume white water on the Provo and Ogden rivers. If your balsy, you can catch Big and Little Cottonwood creeks at Spring runnof. These creeks are 20 minutes from the Salt Lake Valley.

In two to three hours you have the Price river to the South and to the North, the classic Black canyon of the Bear River, and the big water of the Murtaugh section of the Snake river.

Check out River Runners' Guide to Utah by Gary Nichols


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By BruceH
From Salt Lake City,UT
Feb 10, 2013
New Religion

Good x-country skiing info. can be found here: www.utahnordic.com/skiing

(After I took up climbing, my shoulders issued an ultimatum: winter gym bouldering sessions or skate skiing. Fortunately, backcountry skiing is still permissible.)


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By tim f
From Albuquerque, NM
Feb 10, 2013
Me and the boys

A weekend paddling Cottonwood Creek and bouldering at Joe's Valley is hard to beat - each on its own is worth the drive from SLC. If you watch the floes closely and can take off with short notice, paddling can be had from late spring to surprisingly late in the summer. There are other fun creeks in the area that, when they flow, are also worthy adventures. Not much needs to be said about the bouldering in and around Joe's valley.


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By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From Bend, OR
Feb 10, 2013
Racked and loaded... name that splitter behind me? Hint, its on Supercrack Buttress

Padding near SLC? All depends on where you are coming from. If you are coming from California, Oregon, or Washington you will be really disappointed and probably give up the sport (or spend you time driving to California!). The rivers of the inter-mountain west pale in comparison to those of the far west - Western Idaho and the classic desert canyons excluded.


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By Eric Bonin
Feb 10, 2013
my dog

Air Quality is the worst in the nation. & in Jan. there were 22 days or red air quality. Other than then its a city surrounded by the mountains. you got the perks of being in a city and the mountains within 30 minutes to go play in. And everything else is a weekend trip away. Know that it is a city.


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By Chris Mak
Feb 11, 2013

Hi All,

Thanks for the huge turnout of information, getting psyched on SLC! I am coming from northern New England, so more or less I'm expecting all things outdoors to be better westerly than here. I have only been to the city in the summer and got to experience the excellent and close mtn biking. Winter sport-wise I am used to heading out the back door to xc ski, but I am sure having to drive a bit for it will be made up for by copious powder on the downhill/bc days.

I don't paddle hard whitewater, get on class 4 at the most, (and again am used to things in the northeast) great to know there are some options out there.

Also good to know about the winter air quality, will have to weigh that in the equation. Nice that you can escape it in the mountains though.

Again thanks for all the help and information!


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By ddriver
From SLC
Feb 11, 2013

Winter air quality is an on-and-off issue and a bit of a bummer to be sure. When inversions set in you do have blue-bird days in the mountains, so relief is close at hand. Some choose to live above the inversion in Park City, Summit Park, upper Emigration, etc. where you can commute to town, so that would be an option you might be interested in if you can swing it. Some of those folks can ski out the door as well. Downside to those locations is a bit further drive to the cottonwood cragging.

You may decide to give up xc in favor of bc skiing, though Millcreek is a nearby option for those enthralled by classic or skate skiing and others have mentioned further away options. Its not so much that xc isn't available, but that bc is just so much better.

Not mentioned is that GSL holds excellent sailing opportunities, and does not smell once one leaves the shoreline.


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By Tyler King
From Salt Lake, UT
Feb 11, 2013
Touch Up

Trever W. wrote:
I could not, in good conscience, raise a family in SLC valley.


BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. So many unethical, unloving, irresponsible parents here in SLC. Shame on us!


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By Eric Bonin
Feb 11, 2013
my dog

Chris,
I came to SLC from VT. I have described SLC like VT on steroids. You'll like it


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By Pete Spri
Feb 11, 2013

Tyler King wrote:
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. So many unethical, unloving, irresponsible parents here in SLC. Shame on us!


You do realize that in context he had just talked for about 3 sentences about why the air quality is bad, right? I moved from SLC when I had a daughter because the rate for asthma in children in SLC valley is about 15%. That is downright ridiculous. Think about it.


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By zoso
Feb 11, 2013
avatar

Thinking iz hard.


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By Chris Mak
Feb 11, 2013

Guys, thank you again for all the input, it is a huge help!

Another thought - how is the area for dogs? Saw some folks biking with their pups in the foothills, other spots to have them off leash (not at the crags and not up LCC of course :)).


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By RockyMtnTed
Feb 11, 2013

Well dogs are not allowed in Big Cottonwood and Little cottonwood so not great for dogs... You can take them up mill creek(mtn biking and hiking but no climbing and limited skiing). Or the park city area. But strictly no dogs in Big and Little which is where most of the close climbing and skiing is.... So I would say it is one of the worst "outdoor cities" to live with dogs, you have some options though.


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