Visit Big Cottonwood Canyon For Some Outdoors Fun
Big Cottonwood Canyon is in the heart of Utah, just 12 miles southeast from Salt Lake City. It is also home to two fantastic ski resorts: Brighton and Solitude. But Big Cottonwood Canyon isn’t just a ski resort. No matter what outdoor activities interest you, you won’t be disappointed with a visit to this beautiful area. In fact, when you visit you’ll find so much to do that you’ll wonder how you’re going to fit it all in. You can enjoy hiking and picnics in the summer, take part in the famous Big Cottonwood Canyon marathon in the fall, and of course, winter is just perfect for hitting the ski slopes. Sound interesting? Then read on for some detailed information about all the fantastic activities the Canyon has to offer:
Starting With Skiing
There are two equally well equipped and popular ski resorts in the Big Cottonwood Canyon area: Brighton and Solitude. The Brighton ski resort was the very first ski resorts to open in Utah, and one of the very first to open across the whole of the United States, making it a resort of historical importance, as well as a great place to ski. Solitude meanwhile is a family-oriented ski resort, offering more beginner and intermediary runs than any other resort in the area. If you’re planning your first ski vacation then the Big Cottonwood canyon area is the perfect place to start. You’ll find slopes perfect for skiers of varying abilities at both resorts, excellent ski schools, and a warm and friendly welcome from the locals. You’ll also find well equipped ski hire shops, meaning there’s no need to spend money on expensive equipment for your first visit, especially if you’re not sure that you’ll enjoy skiing or want to do it again. Even if you choose to buy and travel with your own ski clothing, according to Iglu Ski, skis, snowboards and boots are best left hired in resort. That way you can always change the equipment if it doesn’t suit you. If you need an occasional break from skiing (it can be hard on your muscles the first time you try it) then Big Cottonwood canyon is also a popular destination for snowshoe hiking, a perfect activity if you still want to be active and get out in the snow, but need a break from the ski slopes.
If you love outdoor pursuits no matter what the time of year, then you’ll be pleased to know that during the spring and summer months Big Cottonwood Canyon is a popular rock climbing destination too. Just 4.25 miles from the mouth of the canyon you’ll find the S-Curve Area, which offers a variety of grades of climbing routes, most of which are bolted for your convenience. Because so many of the climbing routes in this area offer impressive overhangs, you’ll enjoy the exhilarating feeling of clinging to the rock face with gravity working against you, no matter what your climbing ability level.
Hit the Hiking Trails
Another fun activity to enjoy if you’re visiting Big Cottonwood Canyon outside of the snowy months is working the many hiking trails throughout the canyon. If you’re looking for a stunning hiking trail why not hike to Albion Basin (which is just a short 2.5 mile hike from Brighton). Here you’ll find some of the most beautiful wild flowers in the state: it is an area famed for this beauty, and the perfect place to stop and enjoy a relaxing picnic. The canyon is also home to many mountain lakes, and these are all perfect hiking destinations too. The views make the strenuous hike to some of the more difficult-to-reach mountains seem well worth it once you arrive.
Put On Your Running Shoes
Finally, if running is your thing, then you shouldn’t miss the Big Cottonwood Canyon marathon and half marathon, an event that is held every September (The race will be held on September 13 in 2014). This famously fast marathon will see you running down the canyon whilst enjoying some of the most scenic views of any other marathon in the country. A must-do event for any committed runner, and a great reason to enjoy a fall vacation in the spectacularly beautiful Big Cottonwood Canyon too.