When you're talking about the Great Outdoors in and around Salt Lake City, “great” is the keyword. With the Wasatch Mountains immediately to the city's east, the Oquirrh Range to the west, the incredible Great Basin all around it, and the Great Salt Lake a short drive away, this city enjoys some of the richest and most diverse natural surroundings of any major city in the United States. Because of the variety of terrain, and the long list of activities this landscape allows, getting outside is easy in any season – in fact, you don't even have to leave the city to enjoy some of the area's finer outdoor attractions.
Those with little time or means to leave the city can experience nature right in the heart of town. Temple Square, the city's most famous attraction of all, features two open city blocks of green space. In the summer, its gardens are covered in hundreds of thousands of flowers; in the winter, the snowy space twinkles with millions of Christmas lights. Just south of downtown are the city's largest park, Liberty Park, and the Tracy Aviary – two equally accessible outdoor escapes.
If you wish to stay in town, but want to be more active or get a better view, consider heading to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, an incredible and extensive network of paths perfect for hiking, trail running, and even mountain biking. Those wishing to do the same type of activities, but higher in the mountains should check out Snowbird and Alta, whose high Wasatch slopes provide amazing terrain for summer exploration – and, of course, world-famous skiing.
When it's all said and done, head to the Fifth Water Hot Springs for a muscle-soothing soak.