SALT LAKE CITY — The valley has seen dozens of smoggy days so far this season, and it can sometimes feel like there's no escape. Beating the inversion doesn't mean leaving the state, though; there are plenty of day trips you can take if you just have to get away.
Go to Park City
Sundance may be over, but Park City still has plenty to offer. From winter fly fishing to gallery strolls, the city's elevation means activities will be unhindered by the smog.
The Park City Visitors Bureau has a guide to activities in the city for everyone from singles to families.
"You can experience a whole range of winter activities from winter fly-fishing trips, hot-air ballooning to snowmobiling to sleigh rides, and snow tubing," according to the bureau, or you can keep warm indoors and visit the museums and galleries along Historic Main Street.
Go for a hike
Salt Lake City sits at about 4,200 feet above sea level. If you want to escape the inversion, start climbing.
Backcountry Utah offers trail guides and safety information for Utah hikes. Regardless of where you are, there is likely a hike nearby that can get you above the inversion. Winter hikes include:
- Big Springs Trail, South Fork, Provo Canyon
- Battle Creek Falls: the trailhead is at Kiwanis Park in Pleasant Grove
- Red Butte Skyline Trail near the University of Utah
- Mineral Fork Trail, Salt Lake City
Summit Post has information on where to find these and other trails and what to expect on the climb.
Do you have a free day? Head to St. George. The mild winter climate of Southern Utah means while those along the Wasatch Front are dealing with freezing temperatures and smoggy air, people in St. George are able to enjoy the outdoors without their snow shoes.
Utah.com has a list of the top 10 things to do in St. George:
- National Parks
- State Parks
- Dinosaur Walkway
- Spa resorts
- Pine Valley Mountains
- Historic sites
Go to a ski resort
Utah is home to 14 ski and snow resorts, with 11 located within an hour of Salt Lake City. The Utah Office of Tourism has a list of the resorts and their unique features.
Not a fan of skiing or snowboarding? Chances are, you can still find something to enjoy at the resorts. Sleigh Rides, hot-air ballooning, snowshoe tours, dog sledding and zip-lining are all offered at different resorts — check out each resort's home page, listed at the above link, to find age-appropriate activities regardless of where your interests lie.