Utah is a unique balance of modern sophistication and rustic wonder. Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Provo cluster beneath the alpine peaks of the Wasatch Range. Paved upcountry roads give easy access to ski resorts at Alta, Brighton, Snowbird, Park City, Park West, Nordic Valley, Powder Mountain, Solitude, Deer Valley, Snow Basin, Beaver Mountain, and Sundance. In spring, summer, and fall, those same city-to-mountain roads lead to lodges, hiking trails, wildflower fields, lakes, and trout streams.
High country routes--such as the forested Alpine Loop near Provo and Guardsman Pass above the historic silver-mining town of Park City--afford an autumn bonus of glowing aspen foliage. In summer an old steam train rambles between Heber and Provo Canyon, while horseback trails climb above Deer Creek Reservoir to the shadow of Mount Timpanogos' glaciers and caves. Further east, in Ute Indian country, Dinosaur National Monument visitors watch dinosaur bones being exposed in ancient cliffbeds.
In the red-rock cliff country far to the south, St. George, Cedar City, and Moab are gateway towns for the nation's largest grouping of national parks and national monuments. Visitors should seek out Zion's famed Great White Throne, the contrasting, needle-sharp pink pinnacles of Bryce Canyon, or the rimrock Canyonlands Park overlooks. Thrill seekers can run whitewater canyon rapids, leaving quieter types to enjoy Cedar City's annual Shakespearean Festival, nearby golf courses, fishing on quiet Navajo Lake, or the waterskiing and houseboating on spectacular Lake Powell.
In Salt Lake City, after a stroll through Temple Square and a visit to Brigham Young's historic home, attend a weekly Mormon Tabernacle Choir concert or daily organ recital. Also visit the State Capitol, with its commanding valley view, and the Hansen Planetarium, with its museum and library. Then drive to Great Salt Lake, an inland sea more saline than the ocean. Finally, venture west and test your own car at Bonneville Salt Flats.