Places to Visit: Salt Lake City

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Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City, Utah is about a 5 hour drive from Sun Valley, Idaho.

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  • Salt Lake City is a five hour drive from Sun Valley or a short flight from the Hailey Regional Airport.
  • As the capital of Utah, Salt Lake City is the largest city in the state.
  • There is something for everyone in the Salt Lake area, to include many and varied attractions and fun recreational activities.


The city was founded by a group of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons, in 1847 and currently serves as the church's headquarters. Mormon influence is noticeable throughout the city. However, before the city was settled by white people, the area was inhabited by Ute, Shoshone, and Paiute tribes.

With a major international airport, it is easy to fly in and out of Salt Lake City. Salt Lake City provides all the excitement, and hustle and bustle of a metropolitan area, yet provides easy access to magnificent outdoor activities.


Salt Lake City is located in north central Utah along I-15 and I-80. It is part of the Wasatch Front, the name given to the string of cities and suburbs that forms a continuous urban area along the Wasatch Mountains from Ogden to Provo.


As the capital of Utah, Salt Lake City is the largest city in the state. If you are looking excitement, the city is easy to get around and there are a myriad of shops, restaurants, and cafes. And as you can expect, there are many choices for lodging.


There is something for everyone in the Salt Lake area. For the history buffs, there is a walking tour of the historic downtown area. For those wanting to relax or play outdoors, Little Cottonwood Canyon provides excellent rock climbing, while Park City yields unparalleled powder skiing.

Activities that you might enjoy in the Salt Lake City area include balloon flights, biking, boating, fishing, golfing, hiking, horseback riding, offroading/ATV, rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, whitewater rafting, and x-country skiing.


Below are a sample of the many and varied attractions that await you in Salt Lake City.

  • Foothill Cultural District
    With trails to hike, zoo animals to watch, trains to ride, dinosaur bones to dig, beds to sleep in, gardens to stroll, Olympic sports to remember, Buffalo Soldiers to visit, and fine art to enjoy, there's something for everyone. And it's all within two square miles in Salt Lake's foothills.
  • Utah Museum of Natural History
    The Utah Museum of Natural History is an older, small museum covering the geological and anthropological history of Utah with dinosaur skeletons, great mineral displays and dioramas of animals in natural settings.
  • Temple Square
    Temple Square is the most popular attraction in the state with several million annual visitors. It includes the magnificent Mormon Temple, the Mormon Tabernacle, Assembly Hall, and more.
  • Antique Classic Car Museum
    More than 200 antique and classic cars are packed into several showrooms here, and many are for sale. The collection is constantly changing.
  • Children’s Museum of Utah
    The Children's Museum of Utah has great hands-on exhibits for kids. They're great fun and educational. Kids can fly a jet; excavate the skeleton of a saber-toothed tiger, etc.
  • Clark Planetarium
    The Clark Planetarium presents daily star shows, 3-D music concerts, and 3-D IMAX movies. It has a space museum with lots of exhibits and a small gift shop.
  • Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum
    This small museum is run by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, a group founded in 1901 that works to preserve the history and artifacts of Utah's pioneer ancestors.
  • Gardiner Historic Village
    Gardner Village is a "restoration" of an old mill area from the 1800's. It consists of 22 specialty shops, banquet facility, bakery & day spa located in restored cabins, houses and buildings next to the Gardner Mill.
  • Oregon National Historic Trail
    Today, more than 2,000 miles of trail ruts and traces can still be seen in the vast undeveloped western lands - reminders of the sacrifices, struggles, and triumphs of early American travelers and settlers.
  • Salt Lake City Temple
    Experienced representatives will take you on a complimentary tour of Temple Square (available in 40 languages), including the Tabernacle, the Assembly Hall, two visitors' centers, and the beautiful flower gardens and statuary–or you may wander around on your own.

Getting Here
Although it is a five hour drive from Sun Valley to Salt Lake City, you can actually make the trip shorter by taking a flight from the regional airport in Hailey to the international airport in Salt Lake City. Either way, the trip is fun and exciting.