Winter Outdoor Recreation in Salt Lake City

  • Skiing and Snowboarding
  • Backcountry Skiing and Split-boarding
  • Snowshoeing
  • Ice Climbing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Sledding and Snow Tubing
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Ice Skating
  • Winter Hiking

Salt Lake City is known for world class skiing and epic mountain adventures. It’s no secret that this is one of the best cities in the United States for winter outdoor recreation. With champagne powder coating the mountains and a ridiculous amount of snow, this is a snow-globe paradise for winter lovers. Enjoy some of the best winter outdoor activities around Salt Lake City and enjoy the beauty of the Wasatch and Uinta mountains during Utah’s most popular season.

Skiing and Snowboarding

Salt Lake City is known for its famous skiing and snowboarding resorts, with more than a dozen resorts within an hour’s drive of the city. Some of the most popular resorts for skiing and snowboarding in the area are Brighton and Solitude in Big Cottonwood Canyon and Alta and Snowbird in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Other nearby resorts to check out are Deer Valley, Park City, Canyons and Powder Mountain. Check out the Wasatch Ski Resort Culture Guide to figure out what resort is best for you and learn about the rare occasion of skiing during an Alta Country Club Day when the snow just won’t stop dumping in Utah. Skiers and snowboarders can enjoy more than 500 inches of snowfall each year, which provides excellent conditions for skiing and snowboarding. The resorts offer a variety of slopes for all skill levels, from beginners to advanced, with many challenging terrain parks, tree skiing, open bowls and extreme chutes for experienced riders.

If you are wondering what to do after the slopes, there are many places near the ski resorts to après ski. Some popular bars and restaurants near Salt Lake City are located around Big Cottonwood Canyon and Little Cottonwood Canyon. These are some of the top places to eat after a day of skiing in the Wasatch and the best place to apres ski in Salt Lake City is, The Hog Wallow Pub.

Backcountry Skiing and Split-boarding

Another great way to enjoy winter in Salt Lake City, Utah is by backcountry skiing or split-boarding in the Wasatch mountains. Whether you are a beginner or interested in more advanced ski touring (such as skiing Mt. Superior’s south face), there are many different options. From low angle backcountry skiing to boot packing with your snowboard up Mt. Baldy, you can always find some untouched Utah powder.

If you are a beginner make sure to check out How to do a Kickturn While Backcountry Skiing and Four Simple Ski Tours in Little Cottonwood Canyon to get you started. Make sure to check the Utah Avalanche Center for safety conditions, backcountry ski with a buddy and bring your beacon, shovel and probe. If you need to invest in backcountry ski or snowboard gear, read about How to Buy Your First Backcountry Ski Setup for the Wasatch.


Snowshoeing near Salt Lake City offers a fun and low-impact way to explore the beautiful winter landscapes of the nearby mountains. With a variety of trails available in Big Cottonwood Canyon and Little Cottonwood Canyon, Salt Lake City is a premier destination for snowshoeing enthusiasts. Millcreek Canyon is the most popular canyon near Salt Lake City for snowshoeing and if you are a winter hiker, Millcreek Canyon snowshoeing cannot be missed. Snowshoeing is a fun and family-friendly activity that offers a unique way to experience the winter wonderland of the Wasatch Mountains. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a novice, snowshoeing near Salt Lake City is an excellent way to enjoy the area’s snowy wilderness and a cheaper option than hitting up one of Utah’s many world class ski resorts. Check out some of the best snowshoeing trails in Salt Lake City and find which trail is the best fit for you.

Ice Climbing

Ice climbing in Salt Lake City offers a thrilling and challenging winter activity for adventurers. With numerous ice formations available in the nearby canyons, especially Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon, Salt Lake City is a premier destination for ice climbing enthusiasts. The steep and icy terrain of these formations requires technical skills and specialized equipment, such as crampons and ice axes, making it an exciting and demanding sport. Guided tours and lessons are available for beginners, with experienced guides who provide safe and comprehensive training. Ice climbing in Salt Lake City provides an opportunity to explore the stunning winter landscapes of the Wasatch Mountains while experiencing a unique and adrenaline-inducing activity. Whether you’re a seasoned climber or a novice, Salt Lake City is an ideal location for ice climbing adventures. The world famous Ouray Ice Park in Colorado is also a great escape for a long weekend!


Another fun winter outdoor recreation activity in Utah is snowmobiling near Salt Lake City. With a variety of trails available, including the popular Alpine Loop and Daniel’s Summit, Salt Lake City is a premier destination for snowmobiling enthusiasts. Snowmobiling offers opportunities to view wildlife, snow-capped peaks, blow off some steam or go backcountry skiing or snowboarding in untouched champagne powder. Snowmobiling in Salt Lake City is an excellent way to explore the area’s snowy wilderness and untouched nature. Remember to check the Utah Avalanche Center to make sure you are making the right decision in avalanche terrain and follow avalanche safety protocols.

Sledding and Snow Tubing

Sledding and snow tubing are another way to enjoy winter outdoor recreation in Salt Lake City, especially if you have kids! There are several snow tubing hills located within a short drive from downtown Salt Lake City, including Soldier Hollow and the best snow tubing in Utah, Gorgoza Park. These hills offer a variety of tubing lanes, including some with built-in jumps and banked turns, providing an exciting and thrilling experience. If you have little kids who want to enjoy the Utah snow on a mellow sledding hill, head to the snow sledding hill at Sugarhouse Park or Popperton Park for a family-friendly sledding experience. Sledding in Salt Lake City is a very popular activity in the valley when a lot of snow accumulates. Most of the time the mountains get all the snow, but when it sticks in the city, the sledding slopes are the place to be!

Cross Country Skiing

Cross Country skiing near Salt Lake City is another winter activity that is popular during the snowy months. Some of the most popular nordic skiing centers in Utah are the Solitude Nordic Center, Millcreek Nordic Area and Soldier Hollow Nordic Center nearby Salt Lake City. There are options for free cross country skiing on different packed snow trails as well as trails at different nordic centers that charge a small fee. Whether you want to go skate skiing around Alta in Little Cottonwood Canyon or take a slow nordic skiing adventure amongst the trees in Millcreek Canyon, the trails are endless.

Ice Skating

Ice skating in Salt Lake City is a popular winter activity enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. The city has several ice rinks, including the outdoor rinks at the nearby ski resorts and the Gallivan Center in downtown Salt Lake City. Rentals and lessons are available for all skill levels, making it an accessible activity for everyone and the Gallivan Center is the go-to spot for ice skating in the city. The rinks are typically open from November through February, depending on weather conditions, providing ample opportunities for local families to enjoy ice skating in Salt Lake City.

Winter Hiking

Winter hiking in the beautiful canyons is another great way to enjoy winter outdoor recreation in Salt Lake City. From a quick walk on a groomed trail in Millcreek Canyon to a winter hike with your dog in Ferguson Canyon, there are many winter hiking options in the Salt Lake valley. If you are looking for some pals to go on a winter hike with, check out Women’s Winter Outdoor Groups in the Wasatch or a variety of different Utah outdoor recreation facebook groups. Some trails may be covered in the snow and better for backcountry access or snowshoeing, but other trails in lower elevations may be snow-free most of the year. Check weather conditions, trail conditions and make sure to rbing plenty of layers before you head out for a winter hike.

Now get outside, enjoy some turns and get after the winter outdoor recreation in Salt Lake City!