When people think of Salt Lake City, they envision soaring mountains, deep powder, great restaurants, and even Mormons. But few people know about the city's own sampling of incredible indoor, sports-related activities. Given that Salt Lake is absolutely packed with outdoors enthusiasts, and that it was the host of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, this city is brimming with unique and exhiliarting activities you can enjoy during any season. Rain or shine, you can stay stimulated and occupied at these excellent and special facilities.
You, too, can try speed skating — Photo courtesy of Allen McGregor
Ice Skating - even Speed Skating! - at the Utah Olympic Oval
The Utah Olympic Oval stands about 20 minutes southwest of downtown Salt Lake City. A major venue during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, this facility offers world-class samplings of ice-related sports. Though you may prefer to keep it comfortable and stick to “regular” ice skating, you also might consider testing your skills with something more adventurous. Here you can rent a pair of speed skates and impress yourself with your own natural talents.
Don't fear the Flowrider — Photo courtesy of Skistar Trysil
“Surfing” and “Skydiving” at the Salomon Center
Surfing and skydiving are sports traditionally reserved for adrenaline junkies and sunny days. However, it doesn't have to be this way. Ogden's Salomon Center, roughly 40 minutes north of Salt Lake City, offers indoor versions of both of these sports - making them much less extreme and weather-dependent. If you're interested in checking out these activities, be sure to make reservations well in advance. Don't let the drive deter you - this is one of the most unique recreational offerings along the Wasatch Front.
Skydiving is much less extreme when you're only a few feet off the ground — Photo courtesy of Loren Javier
Indoor Rock Climbing and Yoga
The Front Climbing Club sits just five minutes west of downtown Salt Lake City. Primarily a bouldering gym, this indoor climbing club allows you to experience the sport without the hassle of a harness, rope, belay partner, or even belay skills. All you need is shoes and a chalk bag - and if you have neither, you can rent them for a nominal fee.
Feel like getting more for your day pass money? Continue your workout with a session in the weight and cardio rooms. Or check out The Front's yoga schedule, and join one of Salt Lake City's favorite yoga classes after your climbing session - at no extra charge. If you prefer to just attend yoga, you can purchase a yoga-only day pass at a reduced rate.
Those farther south in the valley would enjoy a similar trip to Rockreation, located in the center of the Salt Lake Valley, or to Momentum Climbing, a roped climbing and bouldering gym (also offering yoga).