Unforgettable Day Trips Just a Stone's Throw from Park City, Utah

Hello!  I'm Derrik Carlson, the team leader at Derrik & Co. We're not just about selling real estate in the Heber Valley and Park City area; we're about sharing the beauty and adventure that surrounds us.  Today, I'm excited to share some of Park City, Utah's top day trip destinations.

Whether you are looking for outdoor excitement, serene nature experiences, or engaging cultural attractions, this guide will take you through the best spots for a memorable day out, all within reach from Park City.  Join me as we explore what makes each destination unique and how you can make the most of your visit.  From the hidden gems of Midway, Utah, to the thrilling slopes of Sundance and the breathtaking beauty of Guardsman Pass, we've got a day packed with adventure waiting for you.

Plus, we'll touch on the captivating experiences at High West Distillery and the scenic wonders along Mirror Lake Highway, not forgetting the family-friendly fun at Hogle Zoo, the historic charm of This Is The Place Heritage Park, the diverse attractions at Thanksgiving Point, the natural allure of Antelope Island, and the exhilarating rides at Lagoon Amusement Park.  Ready for an adventure?  Plan your visit to one of these great locations today!

At Derrik & Co., we believe in the beauty and adventure that our area has to offer.  Whether you're looking for a quick getaway or a full day of exploration, there's something for everyone near Park City, Utah.  Visit our website for more tips on local attractions and real estate in the Heber Valley and Park City area.  Let's make your next adventure unforgettable!

The Best Trips Within an Hour of Park City, Utah

Looking for a quick getaway?  Park City, Utah, is surrounded by a treasure trove of destinations that offer an escape into nature, history, and adventure within an hour's drive.  Here are some great spots to consider for your next day trip:

Midway, Utah

Things to do in Midway, UtahMidway, Utah, is a hidden gem filled with exciting activities for outdoor adventurers and those seeking a peaceful retreat.  Among its many attractions, The Homestead Crater stands out, offering visitors a chance to swim, snorkel, or dive in a geothermal spring within a natural limestone dome.  For those who appreciate history and scenic views, Memorial Hill provides a tribute to veterans and panoramic views of the Heber Valley.

Nature enthusiasts will love Wasatch Mountain State Park's hiking, mountain biking, pump track, and camping opportunities.  In addition, Solider Hollow caters to winter sports lovers with its cross-country skiing tracks and biathlon facilities.  At the same time, Huber Grove is perfect for a serene walk among historic apple orchards.

Midway transforms into a winter wonderland during the colder months, featuring the enchanting Ice Castles and the Midway Ice Arena, where families and friends can enjoy ice skating and hockey.  Moreover, the area is known for its excellent golf courses, world-class fly fishing, and boating at Deer Creek Reservoir.  It is a year-round destination for those seeking fun and relaxation.  Whether you want to explore the great outdoors or unwind in a beautiful setting, Midway offers many activities catering to all interests.

Sundance, Utah

Things to do in Sundance UtahSundance, Utah, nestled in the majestic mountains, offers a variety of activities that make it an irresistible destination for visitors year-round.  In the winter, skiing takes center stage, with pristine slopes catering to beginners and experienced skiers looking for their next adrenaline rush.  When the snow melts, the adventure continues with Sundance's thrilling zip lines, providing an aerial view of the breathtaking landscape you won't find anywhere else.

Nature's beauty is on full display at Stewart Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, two of the area's most stunning waterfalls.  These natural wonders offer picturesque hikes suitable for all ages, allowing everyone to immerse themselves in the tranquil sounds of cascading water.  Not far from these falls, Cascade Springs presents a series of interconnected pools and waterfalls fed by artesian springs, creating a serene oasis perfect for a leisurely afternoon.

Rafting and tubing the Provo River delivers an exhilarating experience for those seeking adventure on the water.  The river's varying currents cater to both families looking for a gentle ride and thrill-seekers desiring more challenging rapids.  From the snowy peaks to the flowing rivers, Sundance, Utah, is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers, promising unforgettable experiences every season.

Guardsman Pass

Guardsman Pass - Things to do around Park CityGuardsman Pass is a scenic mountain pass that offers breathtaking views and a tranquil escape into nature, nestled near Empire Pass, between Park City, Brighton, and Midway in Utah.  This hidden gem is accessible via a winding road that takes visitors through some of the most stunning landscapes in the Wasatch Mountains.  Known for its spectacular display of wildflowers in the summer and vibrant autumn colors, Guardsman Pass provides a picturesque backdrop for outdoor activities and relaxation.

Guardsman Pass is a haven for hikers, mountain bikers, and nature photographers during the warmer months.  Numerous trails of varying difficulty levels branch off from the pass, inviting adventurers to explore the area's natural beauty.  Hiking or biking these trails offers a chance to immerse oneself in the serene mountain environment, with opportunities to spot wildlife and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and valleys.

Photography enthusiasts will find the Guardsman Pass especially appealing.  The area's wildflowers, aspen groves, and alpine vistas create postcard-perfect scenes.  The pass's elevation grants sweeping views of the Park City area and beyond, making it a prime spot for capturing the beauty of Utah's landscape.

In the autumn, the pass becomes a popular destination for those seeking to experience the fall foliage.  The aspen trees transform into a vibrant display of yellows, oranges, and reds, creating a stunning contrast against the evergreens and rugged mountain backdrop.  This seasonal spectacle draws visitors from near and far, eager to witness the natural beauty of the changing seasons.

Winter transforms Guardsman Pass into a snowy wonderland, accessible only by snowmobiles, skis, or snowshoes.  The snow-covered landscape offers a peaceful retreat for winter sports enthusiasts looking to explore the backcountry.  The pass's elevation and location make it a fantastic area for backcountry skiing and snowshoeing, offering solitude and untouched snow for those seeking adventure away from the crowded ski resorts.

Guardsman Pass is more than just a route through the mountains; it's a destination that captures the essence of Utah's natural beauty.  Whether you're a hiker, biker, photographer, or looking to enjoy scenic views, Guardsman Pass provides a memorable experience highlighting the Wasatch Mountains' serene and majestic side.  Its accessibility from Park City and the surrounding areas makes it an ideal spot for a day trip or a peaceful mountain getaway.

High West Distillery

Highwest Distillary - Things to Do Around Park CityThe High West Distillery Tour is a unique and engaging experience for whiskey lovers and curious visitors.  Nestled in the scenic outskirts of Park City, Utah, it offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of craft distilling, set against the backdrop of the breathtaking Wasatch Mountains.

As you embark on the High West Distillery Tour, you'll be greeted by knowledgeable guides passionate about whiskey and its production.  They'll lead you through the distillery's key areas, including the mashing, fermentation, and distillation spaces, where the magic of turning grains into spirits happens.  The highlight for many is the barrel aging room, where you can see and smell the aging whiskey and gain insight into how the wood barrels influence the final product's flavor, color, and aroma.

One of the most captivating aspects of the tour is the storytelling.  Guides share the history of High West, Utah's distilling laws, and the art and science behind crafting their award-winning spirits.  You'll learn about the distillery's commitment to local ingredients and its innovative approach to blending traditional techniques with modern flavors.

The tour concludes with a tasting session, where adults can sample a selection of High West's finest whiskeys.  From the smooth and approachable American Prairie Bourbon to the complex and smoky Campfire blend, each taste tells a story of the landscape and heritage of the American West.

Beyond the whiskey, the High West Distillery offers a warm and inviting atmosphere, with rustic decor that pays homage to the region's pioneering spirit.  Visitors are encouraged to linger, enjoying the beautiful surroundings and perhaps dining at the distillery's restaurant, which features dishes that complement the spirits perfectly.

Whether you're a seasoned whiskey enthusiast or new to the world of spirits, the High West Distillery Tour provides an unforgettable journey through the craft of distilling, set in one of the most beautiful locations in the country.  It's not just a tour; it's an experience that celebrates the legacy of the American West and the innovative spirit of High West Distillery.

Mirror Lake Highway

Mirror Lake HighwayThe Mirror Lake Highway, winding its way through the Uinta Mountains in Utah, offers an array of natural wonders and outdoor activities that make it a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers.  This scenic route, famed for its breathtaking views, is the gateway to the region's most cherished spots, including the enchanting Fairy Forest, serene Ruth Lake, majestic Provo River Falls, and the picturesque Mirror Lake.

Starting your journey along this highway introduces you to the Fairy Forest.  In this whimsical area, visitors, especially children, are encouraged to create and leave behind fairy houses made from natural materials, fostering a sense of magic and connection to nature.  Further along, Ruth Lake offers a tranquil setting for fishing, picnicking, and hiking, with easy trails perfect for families looking to immerse themselves in the tranquility of the great outdoors.

The Provo River Falls is another highlight along the Mirror Lake Highway, where cascading waters create a stunning visual and auditory experience.  The falls are easily accessible, making it a popular spot for photography, relaxation, and simply enjoying the soothing sounds of nature.

Mirror Lake is the crown jewel of the highway, with its crystal-clear reflections of the surrounding mountains.  It's a haven for fishing, canoeing, and kayaking, while the surrounding trails invite hikers and bikers to explore the lush landscapes and diverse wildlife of the Uinta Mountains.

No trip along the Mirror Lake Highway would be complete without a stop at Hi-Mountain Drug in Kamas.  Here, visitors can indulge in an excellent burger and a strawberry shake, a perfect way to refuel and reminisce about the day's adventures.  This local favorite offers a taste of small-town charm and hospitality, making it the ideal pit stop before or after exploring the highway's natural attractions.

The Mirror Lake Highway is more than just a road; it's a journey through some of Utah's most stunning scenery and an invitation to explore, relax, and connect with nature in many ways.  Whether hiking to secluded lakes, biking through verdant forests, or enjoying a good meal with a view, this route promises unforgettable experiences for all who travel it.

Hogle Zoo

Hogle Zoo - Near Park City, UtahHogle Zoo, located at the mouth of Emigration Canyon just outside Salt Lake City, Utah, is a vibrant and engaging family-friendly destination that provides visitors with a unique opportunity to connect with wildlife around the globe.  Spanning over 42 acres, the zoo is home to hundreds of animals representing diverse ecosystems, making it an educational and entertaining experience for guests of all ages.

Upon entering Hogle Zoo, visitors are greeted by an array of exhibits designed to mimic the natural habitats of its inhabitants.  One of the highlights is the African Savanna, where you can observe elephants, giraffes, and lions roaming in spaces that closely resemble their wild environments.  This exhibit allows for an up-close look at some of the planet's most majestic creatures, offering insights into their behaviors and lifestyles.

For those interested in the colder corners of the world, the Rocky Shores exhibit showcases polar bears, sea lions, and seals in a setting that includes a state-of-the-art underwater viewing area.  This immersive experience lets you watch these marine animals glide through the water, providing a glimpse into their aquatic world.

The zoo also places a strong emphasis on conservation and education.  Through interactive exhibits, educational programs, and conservation initiatives, Hogle Zoo inspires visitors to participate actively in wildlife preservation.  The zoo's commitment to conservation is evident in its efforts to protect endangered species and its participation in global conservation projects.

Families visiting Hogle Zoo will appreciate the variety of activities tailored to younger guests, including the carousel and train ride, which offer fun ways to explore the zoo.  The Lighthouse Point Splash Zone is a summer favorite, allowing kids to cool off while parents relax in the shaded seating areas.

After a day of animal adventures, guests can enjoy a meal at one of the zoo's cafes or pick up a souvenir from the gift shop to remember their visit.  Hogle Zoo is not just a place to see animals but a venue for experiencing the wonders of the natural world, learning about conservation, and making lasting memories with family and friends.

Whether you're a local or a visitor to Utah, Hogle Zoo offers a remarkable journey through the animal kingdom, filled with discovery, education, and fun.

This Is The Place Heritage Park

This is the Place Heritage ParkThis Is The Place Heritage Park, located at the foothills of the Wasatch Mountain Range in Salt Lake City, Utah, stands as a living tribute to the early settlers of the Utah Valley and offers a unique blend of history, culture, and entertainment.  Spanning over 450 acres, this historical park offers visitors an immersive experience of 19th-century pioneer life, making it an educational and enjoyable outing for people of all ages.

As you step into This Is The Place Heritage Park, you're transported back in time to the days of the early settlers.  The park features over 50 historic buildings, including homes, shops, and schools, each carefully restored or recreated to reflect the period.  Actors in period costumes roam the village, performing daily tasks as they would have in the 1800s, offering insights into the lives of the pioneers through demonstrations and storytelling.

One of the park's highlights is the Monument, which commemorates Brigham Young's famous declaration, "This is the right place," marking the end of the Mormon pioneers' migration.  The monument symbolizes their journey and determination, reminding them of Utah's history.

This Is The Place Heritage Park is a treasure trove of family activities and learning opportunities.  Children can participate in hands-on experiences like panning for gold, riding ponies, and making crafts, offering a fun way to learn about history.  The park also hosts various seasonal events, including pioneer-themed celebrations, Native American festivals, and living history demonstrations, enriching the visitor experience with cultural insights and entertainment.

Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the park's scenic beauty and breathtaking views of Salt Lake Valley and the surrounding mountains.  Hiking trails and picnic areas provide a peaceful escape into nature, allowing visitors to enjoy the great outdoors while soaking in the historical ambiance.

In addition to its historical and recreational offerings, This Is The Place Heritage Park is an important educational resource.  The park's Native American Village highlights the cultures of the region's indigenous tribes, offering a respectful and informative look at their traditions and contributions to Utah's history.

This Is The Place Heritage Park is more than just a historical site; it's a vibrant community space where history comes alive, cultures are celebrated, and families enjoy a day filled with learning and fun.  Whether exploring the pioneer village, participating in interactive activities, or simply enjoying the area's natural beauty, This Is The Place Heritage Park offers a memorable experience connecting the past with the present.

Thanksgiving Point

Thanksgiving Point - Things to do Around Park CityThanksgiving Point, located in Lehi, Utah, is an expansive nonprofit farm, garden, and museum complex that offers a rich tapestry of educational and recreational activities, making it an ideal destination for visitors of all ages.  Spanning over 300 acres, this dynamic venue is dedicated to providing immersive experiences that foster learning, discovery, and enjoyment through its beautifully curated gardens, fascinating museums, and engaging programs.

One of the cornerstone attractions at Thanksgiving Point is the Ashton Gardens, which features 55 acres of stunning themed gardens.  Visitors can wander through the largest man-made waterfall in the Western Hemisphere, explore a fragrant rose garden, and marvel at the variety of plant species around the globe.  The gardens provide a peaceful retreat where guests can connect with nature and experience the changing seasons in a picturesque setting.

For those interested in the prehistoric world, the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point is one of the world's largest dinosaur museums.  Its vast collection of dinosaur skeletons, interactive exhibits, and educational displays offers a fascinating journey back in time.  The museum's engaging approach to paleontology makes it a thrilling adventure for dinosaur enthusiasts and a valuable educational experience for children.

Thanksgiving Point also boasts the Museum of Natural Curiosity, a hands-on museum that encourages visitors to explore science, art, and culture through more than 400 interactive experiences.  Designed to ignite curiosity and creativity, the museum offers something for everyone, from a kid's city where children can role-play in a miniature community to a high ropes course for the more adventurous.

Additionally, the Farm Country gives guests a glimpse into farm life, with opportunities to interact with live animals, learn about agriculture, and understand the importance of farming in our daily lives.  This interactive farm experience is educational and fun, perfect for families looking to connect with rural heritage.

Thanksgiving Point is not just a place to visit but a community hub that hosts various events throughout the year, including the Tulip Festival in the spring, which transforms the gardens into a vibrant canvas of colors.  With its wide array of attractions and activities, Thanksgiving Point provides a place of exploration and discovery, where learning is intertwined with fun, making every visit memorable.  Whether you're seeking a tranquil stroll through exquisite gardens, an educational journey through time, or hands-on fun, Thanksgiving Point in Utah is a destination that truly has something for everyone.

Antelope Island

Antelope Island - Things to do around Park City, UtahAntelope Island, the largest of the Great Salt Lake's islands, offers an unforgettable escape into the wild beauty of Utah's natural landscape.  Accessible via a causeway from the mainland, this state park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, wildlife watchers, and anyone looking to experience the serene majesty of the Great Salt Lake and its surroundings.

The island's diverse ecosystem is home to various wildlife, including its namesake pronghorn antelope, bison, mule deer, and many bird species, making it a prime location for wildlife photography and birdwatching.  The free-roaming bison herd, reintroduced to the island in the late 19th century, is one of the most striking sights, offering visitors a glimpse into the American West's wild past.

Hiking and mountain biking trails crisscross the island, leading adventurers through scenic landscapes of grasslands, wetlands, and rocky shores.  Trails range from easy, family-friendly walks to more challenging hikes, such as the climb to Frary Peak, the island's highest point.  From its summit, hikers are rewarded with panoramic views of the Great Salt Lake, the surrounding mountains, and the vast, open skies.

The Great Salt Lake is a marvel, with its famously salty waters allowing swimmers to float effortlessly.  Antelope Island's beaches provide a unique swimming experience and opportunities for kayaking and sailing in the lake's salty waters.  The historic Fielding Garr Ranch on the island offers a peek into 19th-century ranch life, adding a cultural and historical dimension to visits.

Photographers and nature lovers are particularly drawn to Antelope Island for its stunning landscapes and spectacular sunsets.  The island's position in the Great Salt Lake creates dramatic light and reflections, especially during the golden hours of dawn and dusk, making it a favorite subject for landscape photography.

Visiting Antelope Island is an opportunity to explore Utah's natural beauty and step back from the hustle and bustle of daily life.  The island's tranquility, rich biodiversity, and recreational opportunities make it a must-visit destination for anyone seeking adventure, relaxation, and connection with nature.  Whether you're hiking its trails, observing its wildlife, or simply soaking in the views, Antelope Island promises an experience that is both rejuvenating and inspiring.

Lagoon Amusement Park

Lagoon Amusement Park - Things to do with Derrik Carlson and FamilyLagoon Amusement Park, located in Farmington, Utah, is a thrilling destination that promises fun and excitement for visitors of all ages.  As the largest amusement park in the Mountain West, Lagoon has been delighting guests with its wide array of rides, attractions, and entertainment since its establishment in 1886.  With over 50 rides, ranging from heart-pounding roller coasters to gentle attractions for the youngest visitors, Lagoon offers something to satisfy every thrill seeker and family looking for a fun day.

One of the park's highlights is its collection of roller coasters.  The Cannibal, which boasts one of the world's steepest drops, is a must-ride for adrenaline junkies.  Meanwhile, the classic wooden roller coaster, Roller Coaster, also known as the "White Roller Coaster," offers a nostalgic ride with plenty of thrills.  For those seeking a more family-friendly adventure, the BomBora and the Spider provide excitement without the extreme intensity of the larger coasters.

Beyond the rides, Lagoon also features Lagoon A Beach, a water park with slides, a lazy river, and a wave pool.  This water park offers a refreshing escape on hot summer days.  It is an excellent spot for families to relax and play together, with attractions suitable for all ages.

For guests interested in a slower pace, Pioneer Village within the park offers a step back with its collection of historic buildings and artifacts from Utah's early settlers.  This area provides a fascinating glimpse into the state's history and culture, making it a perfect educational complement to the day's excitement.

Lagoon also excels in entertainment, with live shows ranging from music performances to magic shows, ensuring there's always something new to see and experience.  The park's beautifully landscaped gardens and picnic areas allow guests to relax and recharge between rides.

Seasonal events, like Frightmares in October, add another layer of excitement to the park, transforming it with haunted houses, spooky decorations, and themed entertainment that offers a unique blend of thrills and chills for the Halloween season.

Visiting Lagoon Amusement Park is more than just a day out; it's an opportunity to create lasting memories with family and friends.  With its diverse mix of rides, attractions, and entertainment, Lagoon remains a beloved destination for locals and visitors looking to experience the joy and excitement of an amusement park set against the stunning backdrop of the Utah landscape.

Ready for an adventure?  Plan your visit to one of these great locations today!

At Derrik & Co., we believe in the beauty and adventure that our area has to offer.  Whether you're looking for a quick getaway or a full day of exploration, there's something for everyone near Park City, Utah.  Visit our website for more tips on local attractions and real estate in the Heber Valley and Park City area.

Posted by Derrik Carlson on
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