salt lake city and environs, in pictures

In early June, I spent a week in Utah. The constant sunshine and dry heat were incredible, and were exactly what I could have hoped for after a soggy spring spent crawling through fir thickets. Salt Lake City itself was a tangle of suburbia, a land of wide highways and SUVs, a town with an unmatchable view. And there were plenty of Mormons, too. As converted Mormon Arthur ‘Killer’ Kane, New York Dolls bassist, states in his heartwrenching biopic, “I may be a dreamer…. but the dream has come true.”

And for that one week earlier this month, I felt exactly the same way.


Just look at that morning sunshine. THERE WERE NO BUGS! I can’t even begin to express my amazement at sleeping on bare ground, and waking up peacefully under the shade of a lodgepole pine without a single bug biting my neck. Sheer bliss.

We were in town for a wedding. If you are plan-ning on wed-ding and you live near SLC, check out Louland Falls. It’s secreted away in a canyon en route to Park City, and it’s absolutely gorgeous, as you can see in the following photo.

louland fallspyramid lakeuintasproud bro

We found this gleeful dude lording over downtown Salt Lake. He seemed to be rubbing it in our collective face that we, foolish hick folk from tiny town Maine, had dared imagine we could walk into the sushi restaurant in town and expect to be seated immediately.

He is raising his arms in mock-victory following our foolish hick town folk declaration that no thank you, we will not wait 1 hour for a life-changing dining experience, because goodness sheesh it’s after 8 pm already doncha know.

He clasps the hands of a forgettable somebody [not pictured] to signify the regrettable dive bar / sushi restaurant hybrid that we ended up eating at.

Ordering hot tea has never been so hard.

canyonriver restorationcanyonsnowbirdpipe bridgespuddy

Things to do while in Salt Lake City, Utah:

– Eat Owyhee’s Idaho Spuds and fry sauce (preferably not at the same time)
– Get outdoors, dummy
– Attempt five minutes on the trampolines at The wAIRhouse Trampoline Park before needing a break. Bonus points if you are over 12.
– Visit Temple Square – home to the recognizable Salt Lake LDS Temple, the Tabernacle, Assembly Hall, et al. – in the evening, and see if the guards lock you in at closing time. We narrowly escaped. Sample the water from their fountains if you feel like drinking the Kool-Aid. I narrowly escaped that too.
– Try to trick yourself into losing sight of the mountains while in town
– Schedule your bachelorette party for a Sunday night in Park City if you’d like to have the town pretty much to yourself
– Enjoy the dry heat that allows you to brush your hair without it turning into a white girl afro
– Observe the flock of well-dressed young Mormons at the SLC airport. Admire the dress/skirt-sweater combo favored by the females. Wonder why they’re all making calls on pay phones, and which time zones they must be calling to make midnight telephoning acceptable. Subsequently wonder if any other airports still have this many pay phones. Make a note to check when you reach your next destination.


Oh yeah, and remember to buy yourself a cowboy hat at C-A-L Ranch.


33 thoughts on “salt lake city and environs, in pictures

  1. Beautiful pics! looks like you had a nice little vacation. I know how you feel..I’m so jealous of anyone in a dry heat climate. Humidity and mosquitoes both suck.

    1. I’m starting to think mosquitoes are pansies compared to the trauma black flies inflict on me. They make me so sad and itchy some days:/

      And yeah! Mad jelly of dry heat!

  2. Next time, spend more time in Park City! It’s where I live. Looks like you found some of the lovely spots in SLC though. Bummer about the sushi. There’s fantastic sushi here.
    Salt Lake is topping out at 104 degrees later this week. I’m glad you got in before the heat wave. :)

    1. We actually spent quite a bit of our time in a cabin outside of Heber, so we got to enjoy Utah life the slow and relaxed way!

      And we were there in early June when the temps were topping out at 100! So wonderful:)

      Do you work at one of the resorts like just about everyone I met while was there?

      1. Heber is amazing- the views of Timp there are fabulous. We got married in October at Sundance Resort sort of tucked in those peaks.
        I don’t work at a resort! I know plenty of people who do, though. :) I hope you’ll return when the temps are normal!

  3. Lovely! I was born near where you were.
    I rarely visit but your pictures are making me feel like the less then charming family visit would be totally worth it.

    1. Ah! Family drama, it’s the same everywhere, isn’t it?

      SLC had quite a few aspects that made it seem a less than ideal place for me to live, but I had an absolute blast spending a week there, and I’m sure I could easily stay longer:)

  4. Babe babe BABE babe baBE BABE I AM GOING TO SLC ON SATURDAY! Admittedly only for two nights/one day, but still. YOU HAVE PERFECT TIMING I LOVE YOU.

    P.S. Are there any other places you’d recommend seeing/eating at? I just had a Cherry Mash here in its home state of Missouri, so I think I will need to track down an Idaho Spud. But wait… it’s not Idaho.

    1. It seemed like a lot of Idaho things were also very Utah. Mmmmmm, Cherry Mash sounds delicious. Was it?

      What can you do in two nights/one day? I bet you can do a LOT! We didn’t eat at too many memorable spots, but the sushi restaurant we had wanted to go to was Takashi. Let me know how your stay goes!

      1. Guess what I did? NOTHING. Ended up arriving Saturday night and leaving Sunday morning after a terrible/hilarious hotel breakfast. Though we did stop at a wonderful little coffee place that gave free biscotti with our iced coffees. Does that count? xo

  5. There’s such a thing as no bugs? That’s crazy. One of my labmates was doing field work in Clayton Lake this week, and he could not believe how bad the bugs were. He said they were the worst he has ever, ever seen. And you work in that, erry day. I’m glad you had a few bug-free days.

    WHOA on the BA cowboy hat shot. Sassy!.

    1. Sassy pants. Why didn’t your lab mate come hang out? I didn’t even know anyone was up there, that’s weird. And… Yeah. The black flies are Awful Awful.

      I was hella thankful to have a few bug-free days!

    1. Yes, there’s so much to see out there, it’s big country for sure. Endless recreation opps too. Head out if you ever get the chance!

  6. I have always wanted to visit Utah. mostly for Sundance Film Fest and to ski/snowboard, but i’d go really anytime, and i’d completely go to SLC too. Did you miss the Amish while you were carrying on with the Mormons? I bet they missed you. :)
    i kinda love all of those photos, particularly the smokehouse sign one. and you are like a supermodel in that last photo. I’m bookmarking this for a future journey.

    1. Yeah I missed the Amish pretty bad. Funny story, when I told a French Canadian colleague I was headed to the wedding of a Mormon, he said “oh, so she’ll ride in in a buggy?” No dude, that would be the Amish.

      Girl, I ain’t no supermodel. Although I briefly harbored a dream of getting onto ANTM a few years back. That hasn’t happened yet.

    1. Julene! Look at you, poppin out of the woodwork. Hi!

      SLC and especially the nearby mountains are wonderful – go if you get the chance!

  7. Hey, dude, is that your hat? Nice batch of photos…So, tell me, was that tree trunk petrified; or is it just an old knarly dead thing? What kind of tree ends up so knarly? And, what was that pipe thing you hikers are crossing the creek on?

    1. Yah that’s my hat! Eli convinced me to get it. The American flag bandanna I needed no convincing to get.

      That was just a neat dead tree that had lost its bark but had not yet begun to decay. Lots of droughty conditions out there means wood takes much longer to break down. Pretty neat.

      Not sure what was running through that pipe, but I do know that was an illegal crossing due to safety reasons. Shhhh!

  8. OH MY GOODNESS! Your country is so stunning! Have I told you before how glad I am I found someone who can show me the natural wonders rather than the commercial rubbish that we keep getting inundated with over here? (P.S. You’ve made my ‘where to next year’ question even harder to answer)

    1. No, your country is stunning!!

      The commercial rubbish side of Salt Lake was what made me know I couldn’t live there, but I suppose it’s about the same with any city. So nice to be able to remove yourself from that sphere and get out and enjoy the countryside:)

      Where to where to?!

  9. Ohh, these photos! I never even considered Salt Lake City as a place I want to go, but the lack of humidity and bugs plus how beautiful your photos are suddenly makes me curious. Also: sweet cowboy hat, suits you!

  10. As usual love the pictures…it looks like you had a wonderful time and got to do some *great* camping! I am envious! And no bugs? Are you kidding? Heaven for sure!

    I’m pretty sure the exact opposite of your camping spot in Utah must be Outer Banks of North Carolina. I spent a single night there in preparation for a week-long kayaking trip, and god…oh god the mosquitoes. The humidity. If that camp site wasn’t punishment for a former evil of mine, I’m fairly sure I’m karmically set for the rest of my life. @.@

    Anyway, welcome back!

  11. Emma, sweet cowboy hat!

    I cannot tell you how much this post made me want to jump in the car and hit the road. I love American summer road trips. And Utah is just gorgeous. Loved your pix.


  12. Beautiful write-up and photog as usual, Em. Every visit to your site is like a breath of fresh air. And believe me, coming from L.A. it is indeed a good thing.

    Dood. Picture #7 reminds me…have you heard of Uinta Brewing? They have tasty beer and tasty label design too…not sure if you like beer, but either way, you should check ’em out!

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