Thursday, January 10, 2019

7 Inexpensive Family Winter Adventures in Utah

Utah County is a well-known family destination in winter mainly because of its breathtaking sites – perfect for making memorable family moments. Take advantage of these 7 inexpensive family winter adventures while you are in Utah.

1. Bryce Canyon National Park

You will never understand the fun in snowshoeing until you are part of it. One trip to the Bryce Canyon National Park and you will wish you had visited earlier.

Once you get the snowshoes on your feet, you are ready to explore the terrains, views, and peaks of the giant and unwieldy canyons. Afraid of heights? Don’t worry, their experienced guides will take you through the canyons.

Once in the canyon, you will get to wander around the shadows of the hoodoos and other iconic Utah rock formations. Don’t bother carrying any flashlights – they are not allowed.

The 1.2 mile guided hikes are totally free (including the snowshoes and poles!) and usually begin before dusk. You are, therefore, able to enjoy as you watch all the colors change in the canyon. I don’t think there’s anything more breath-taking than the majestic-ness of it all.

2. Homestead Crater

Take a break from the Geography and Nat-Geo sessions and experience it firsthand at the Homestead Crater. Well, the name itself sounds mystical enough to suspend any beliefs – why not give it a try?

A walk through its cavern, heading deeper towards the crater makes you feel as if you are tunneling through the center of the Earth!

The journey itself is not just one winding path. Along the way, you will come across some breathtaking sightings that will leave you grateful for your visit.

There’s a deep geothermal pool in a 55 ft. tall beehive-ish rock with a little hole at the top that allows for sunshine penetration and lets the mystic steam out. Its mineral water is 90–96 degrees, crystal clear and super-deep making it one of the best places you can visit for year-round diving in the US.

Did you know that Homestead Crater is actually the only warm water scuba spot in the continental United States? Yeah, it is definitely one of the coolest places you can visit.

If you are not joining the rest in exploring the depths of the earth, you can stay near the surface with a snorkel – and get to enjoy the view as the sun rays that pour through the rock opening hits the mineral water creating a sapphire blue effect.

3. Provo Canyon

If you are looking for an ice climbing adventure, Provo Canyon located south of Salt Lake City should be the perfect place. It is covered with ice on both sides and is in close proximity to a variety of different routes making it easy to approach.

They also have several tour guides and clinics operating throughout the season (which generally runs from December to February), who are of great assistance, especially to beginners.

You will get to climb the Stairway to Heaven - which is the tallest climb in the area with heights of up to 800ft. There are also other approachable heights including the Miller’s Thriller, Picture Window, and Bridal Veil Falls.

Utah Mountain Adventures will ensure that you had an eventful time during your climb. They not only help you with the cost of all equipment needed for the climb but has also put together a list of rental shops in the area.

They have also put together some short notes that might come into handy in your tour, especially if you are a newbie.

4. Burbot Bash in Flaming Gorge

Should be the perfect event in a winter visit in Utah, particularly for those who enjoy fishing.
Burbot fish have often been confused with the Ling Cod, which despite the similar appearance, are just a close relative.

At Flaming Gorge, they hold the Burbot Bash every winter. The interesting part is that you can win various prizes through participation, regardless of your age.

Even if you don’t emerge a winner, you will at least head back home with some fresh fish – something that is not very easy to come across.

5. Park City Powder Cats

Cat-skiing is usually fairly inexpensive, convenient and quite fancy for a family winter adventure in Utah. The Park City Powder Cats prowl 40, 000 acres of terrain – probably bigger than any park you have seen before!

The terrain is covered in fancy, heated, 10-seat snowcats in which you can thaw out and enjoy a snack in-between the runs. You will get to enjoy the epic tree runs through the aspens and the steep lines of unbroken powder. Surely, that is something you shouldn’t miss on a winter trip to Utah.

6. Skyline Drive in Sanpete County, Utah

How would you feel about skiing or snowboarding uphill while attached to a nature-powered kite? Skyline Drive stands at a 10,000 elevation making it one of the most popular places for snow-kiting in the state.

The high elevation and abundant snowfall, combined with the endless miles of ridgelines, wind lips, cornices, and windy weather makes it the only region where you can cover 100 miles on a ski or snowboard, without having to burn up a gas tank in order to do it.

7. Scofield/Skyline Drive Snowmobile Complex in the Manti-La Sal Mountains

Located in Central Utah, there are over 120 miles of groomed trails for cruising and access to plenty of snowdrifts with open meadows for thrashing.

Feel the exhilarating fun while clinging to the handlebars of the gas-powered cruising machine and get to enjoy nature at a whole new level.

You can choose to cruise down the groomed tracks between the trees or tear through the fresh Utah powder in a wide open bowl. It is absolutely up to you to pick the one you feel will make your family moments the most memorable.