Like many Latter-day Saints, I have a so called "Utah Dream". Utah is a western state of the United States and is so deeply intertwined with the history of the LDS Church of which I am a member for almost 23 years now. Mormon pioneers arrived in Salt Lake Valley and began carving out an existence in 1847. In 1849, Brigham Young began sending settlers to establish cities in the Utah Valley.
My Utah Dream came into fulfillment in the new millennium! Last August 20 to September 12, 2000, I made my first trip to Utah. It was almost the end of Summer then and the beginning of Fall so the trip satisfied my need for adventure, culture, and history all in one vacation. But since Utah has four seasons - December - February (Winter), March - May (Spring), June - August (Summer)and September - November (Fall), I was pumped up to experience its Winter and Spring as well. I had a return trip to Utah last December 23-January 15, 2001 to experience Winter and then went back on April 2001 for Spring. As each season has a different forte for showing off the natural beauty of Utah, I had visited it over and over again since then(and even intended to lived there in 2002).
For LDS like me, there were many cultural attractions and historical sites available for touring and exploring in Utah that can be enjoyed year-round . My "must see" list includes a visit of course to several LDS temples (which deserves another blog entry), Temple Square, multiple pioneer parks and museums, located in Spanish Fork, Provo, Pleasant Grove, Springville, St. George and Alpine.
Salt Lake City Temple
Temple Square was ranked as the 16th most visited tourist attraction in the United States by Forbes Magazine.
But each season poses a unique reason for an ideal getaway that I was able to experience. Utah is indeed a home to breathtaking natural wonders and entertaining attractions - for all season! The variety is endless and changes with each season, bringing new elements to be enjoyed and explored.
One of the most popular reasons for visiting Utah comes each winter since Utah is home to the "greatest snow on earth" and thus, Utah is well known for its winter activities like skiing.
Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Provo are places known for ski resorts that are well liked among tourists for their convenience and proximity to a large city and international airport.
(Park City in Spring)
Spring is that time of the year to appreciate the natural beauty of Utah with its abundant mountains and trails, rivers, lakes, and campgrounds and hundreds of miles of trails since the earth is covered fully with lush green plants bearing beautiful flowers. Its the season of growth for the plants during when the plants and trees wake up from their long cold winter sleep and showing their joy with colors.
Utah has five national parks (Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion) and features seven national monuments, two national recreation areas, six national forests, and numerous state parks and monuments.
As there are ample places to camp in Utah like the Utah Lake State Park and other parks located in Provo and Springville, summer heat is no reason to have lazy days. Canyons offer ways to escape the heat in cooler temperatures and shady trails. You can choose one of several parks located a short drive up Provo Canyon - for a family picnic, or choose from over fifty trails of varying difficulty for some serious mountain biking, hiking, biking, or rollerblading.
Jacob Hamblin Home
Jacob Hamblin was a noted colonizer who helped forge treaties with local Native Americans. His home in Santa Clara, west of St. George, became headquarters for his work and his family's varied activities.
Brigham Young Home
Brigham Young led the LDS Church for three decades. During his annual visits to St. George, he made plans for the construction of the temple and tabernacle.In 1871 he purchased this home. Brigham Young spent the last winters of his life at this home.