Under the watchful eye of the Wasatch Mountains lies a city positively bursting with pioneering spirit. 

With a big city vibe and a small-town feel, Salt Lake City has a lot to offer, from its rich religious history to its unique and bustling culture. Down to shatter expectations, this thriving US metropolis is undoubtedly a hidden gem of the west with its many natural attractions including the Bonneville Salt Flats and the Great Salt Lake. Explore this fascinating destination on your Salt Lake City tour with a guide who’s both ready to explain the city’s key role in the Mormon church, and to point you in the direction of some of its most beautiful hikes. Whether you’re visiting to enjoy the great outdoors, or you want to sink your teeth into its history, prepare for Salt Lake City to surprise you in the best way ever. 

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What to do in Salt Lake City 

Woman running over the Bonneville Salt Flats in Salt Lake City.

Marvel at the Bonneville Salt Flats

You’ll need to hire a car for this one but visiting the Bonneville Salt Flats is a bucket list item you definitely want to cross off. Offering a unique and rare landscape, this breathtaking geological landmark stretches 30,000 acres and is made up of hard, white salt crust that’s perfect for marveling at. But that’s not all. If your car is a 4-wheel drive, you can actually take it out onto the flats and satisfy your need for speed while feeling the adrenaline coursing through your veins and your hair whipping in the wind.  

The Capitol Building in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Visit the State Capitol Building

Learn all about the history of the State Capitol Building on a leader-led tour with your trip group, taking the time out to marvel at the various statues and monuments that litter the grounds, as well as the regal architecture of the building itself. Not only is the greenery surrounding the building manicured and beautiful, but the interior of this historic landmark is also worth a look thanks to its marble furnishings. Rising a whopping 300 feet in the air, this building is easy to spot and even easier to spend a couple of hours in. 

The summit at Ensign Peak in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Hike up Ensign Peak

Salt Lake City is comfortably nestled in a valley shadowed by the impressive Wasatch Mountains and while the city is quite flat, the Ensign Peak trail offers a picture-perfect view of the whole region. Located directly behind the State Capitol Building, this hike is both quick and easy to complete, giving you an uninterrupted view of the city below. Whether you’re there to snap an insta-worthy photo or just hang out with the stunning view for company, this spot is a must (especially at sunrise or sunset) if you want to take in Salt Lake City from a completely different vantage point.  

Temple Square at dusk in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Wander around Temple Square

You simply cannot travel to Salt Lake City and not visit Temple Square not just for the fact that you can’t possibly miss it (it spans 10 acres) but because of its role in the city’s religious history. Located in the downtown area, this impressive landmark stands out in the best way with a commanding structure, breathtaking architecture, and gorgeous surrounding gardens. But the temple isn’t just beautiful to look at. Acting as the headquarters for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a walk through this iconic spot will give you a greater understanding of Mormon history as well as facts on the religion itself. 

Three people floating in the Great Salt Lake in Salt Lake City.

Go out on the Great Salt Lake

Chances are you’ll be able to smell the Great Salt Lake before you see it thanks to the high concentration of salt in the water. Almost as salty as the Dead Sea in the Middle East, this lake is classified as a ‘dead lake’, with no water flowing in or out, leaving it stagnant. Don’t let that put you off though. Floating around in the Great Salt Lake is one of the best things to do in Salt Lake City. However, if that’s not for you, you can always try out paddleboarding and kayaking, or even book a dinner cruise for a front-row seat to the best sunset you’ve ever seen.  

Speed skaters in an ice rink.

Get your sport on at Olympic Park

If you’ve ever envisaged yourself listening to the ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ with a gold medal around your neck, then having a go at ski jumping or bobsledding at Utah Olympic Park might be the next best thing. Built for the 2002 Winter Olympics, Olympic Park offers a whole range of both Winter and Summer activities that’ll keep you having fun for hours regardless of your skill level. Whether you fancy flying through the sky on a zipline or jumping off a platform that’s 41 feet high, visiting this landmark is a must for adrenaline junkies and thrill-seekers. 

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Salt Lake City FAQs

Everyone traveling on an Intrepid trip must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of carriage. 

All travelers are required to produce: 

  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination
  • All children aged 5 to 17 years old must provide proof of vaccination (if eligible), proof of recovery or a negative COVID-19 test.
  • If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, you may apply for an exemption. Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. To apply, you must provide a medical certificate from a medical professional. 

In all cases, you must be fully inoculated. This means you must receive the full dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine and allow enough time for immunity to take effect. Each COVID-19 vaccine has different dosages and timeframes for inoculation, so please check the relevant medical advice associated with your vaccine.

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Salt Lake City is the capital city in the state of Utah and is also the most populated before other cities such as Provo and Ogden. 

Salt Lake City spans a total of 110 miwith roughly around 200,000 people calling the city their home. 

Salt Lake City is generally considered a very safe place to travel to with the crime risk being categorized as low, however you should always be aware of your surroundings when in a foreign city. This means sticking to well-populated and well-lit areas (if you're moving around at night) and be on guard if you find yourself in unfamiliar or uncomfortable settings. 

The easiest way to get around Salt Lake City is either by car or via public transport. Driving around Salt Lake City is relatively simple thanks to easy-to-navigate streets and lots of public parking in the city center. If you didn't travel to SLC by car (and you didn't want to rent one) then another option is to get around on the public bus or light rail services. You can also walk around SLC as the terrain is quite flat and the iconic landmarks are relatively close together. 

Salt Lake City has an arid, temperate climate with each season fairly normal in terms of what can be expected. Due to the arid nature of the climate, SLC rarely ever sees rain, making Utah the second driest state behind Nevada. Salt Lake City is known to be humid but the temperatures throughout the year are bearable with Summers not feeling too hot and Winters not feeling too cold. 

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While the humidity stops the temperatures in Winter from feeling too cold, they can still get down to a freezing level with snow forming both in the valley and surrounding mountain areas. This means SLC enjoys snow for most of the Winter season and very little rainfall. 

Read more about snow in Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is a popular spot among tourists looking to hit the slopes during the snow season, as well as for history buffs wanting to gain a deeper understanding of this city's pioneering past. SLC is steeped in religious history and features a thriving culture full of iconic landmarks that are just waiting to be explored. For these reasons, Salt Lake City is popular among travelers from various parts of Utah and other surrounding states with many coming to this destination for day trips and long weekends. Below is how far Salt Lake City is from its neighboring regions by car: 

  • To travel from the smaller town of Ogden to Salt Lake City would take you around 40 minutes as the journey is only 37 miles. 
  • The city of Provo is 47 miles from Salt Lake City so traveling to this bustling destination would only take 40 minutes. 
  • Salt Lake City is roughly 235 miles from Moab, making the journey by car just under 4 hours. 
  • If you're road-trippin' your way from Yellowstone National Park to Salt Lake City then you'll need a spare 4 and a half hours as you have to travel 357 miles. 

Read more about how far Salt Lake City is from its neighboring destinations

Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. Salt Lake City has many attractions and accommodation options that are wheelchair-friendly. The public transportation system can also cater to travelers with disabilities so moving around Salt Lake City is quick and easy. However, we’re always happy to talk to travelers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

Learn more about Accessible Travel with Intrepid

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