Beyond the 'Mighty 5': finding adventure in northern Utah

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Jacqui Agate

0. 5 ways to find adventure beyond the 'Mighty 5'

There's plenty more of northern Utah to discover. Here are five ways to explore this under-the-radar adventure playground.

1. Make a splash on Bear Lake

It's hard to spot where the lake ends and the blue sky begins at this watery state park, on the border with Idaho. The calm waters of Bear Lake lend themselves perfectly to kayaking, canoeing and stand-up paddle boarding.

You can hire all the gear you need from Epic Recreation – the outfitter has a base in Garden City, a town that edges that water.

2. Test your mettle on a ride around Park City

Some 450 miles of mountain bike trails lace the Park City area – and they're recognised as some of the best in the world. Courses range from flatter paths with smooth ground, to more rugged routes with challenging switchbacks and slopes. The single-track Flying Dog loop is particularly popular with intermediate bikers.

Rent a full-suspension mountain bike from White Pine Touring – they also run guided tours for both beginners and experienced riders.

3. Hike the Adams Canyon Trail

The showpiece at the end of this trail, overlooking Layton in Davis County, is worth the effort. Trudge through woodland, scramble over rocks and climb steep dirt tracks to reach thundering Adams Canyon Waterfall, rushing over sand-coloured stone.

The entire 'out-and-back' route is 3.5 miles long and rated medium to moderate. Especially if you're trekking in summer, bring plenty of water and don't skimp on the sunscreen.

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    4. Hold your nerve at Utah Olympic Park

    Utah hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics, and the Olympic Park remains a top attraction. If you've a head for heights, tackle one of the lofty rope courses, or brave the Drop Tower: a 65-foot platform, reached by zipline and exited only by walking straight off the edge.

    If you'd prefer to stay on the ground, fear not: the site is home to two museums, the Alf Engen Ski Museum and the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games Museum. Each house fascinating sporting displays related to the 2002 games and beyond.

    5. Join a 'star party' on Antelope Island State Park

    Antelope Island was designated a 'Dark Sky' park in 2017, and the regular star-gazing 'parties' here are the perfect way to explore the cosmos. Keep an eye on the state parks website, which shares details of star-spotting events.

    The annual 'Antelope by Moonlight Bike Ride' happens each summer and is another way to get to grips with the park after dark.

    Hayes & Jarvis (01293 762 456) offers a 9-night holiday to Utah from £1,579 per person (ring to book). For more information visit

    Top image: Utah, USA © Johnny Adolphson / Shutterstock. Images left-right (top-bottom): Heber Valley © Johnny Adolphson / Shutterstock; Lake reflection in Utah © Johnny Adolphson / Shutterstock; Antelope Island State Park © Zack Frank / Shutterstock; Bear Lake © Jacqui Agate; Cyclist in Park City © Jacqui Agate; Adams Canyon Trail © Jacqui Agate; Antelope Island State Park at night © Cory Woodruff / Shutterstock.

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