Looking southwest from Little Black Mountain 

From the vantage of the second-story window of the Utah Office of Tourism's home in Council Hall, a segment of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST) is visible. City Creek Canyon, anyway, which offers multiple points of access to the trail, is but a hop, a skip and a jump away.

For those of us not helping set the Thanksgiving Day table or preoccupied by the football match (Go State!), the Utah outdoors beckon, in all its varied glory.

Things to Do in Utah on the Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend 

BST is a system of hiking and biking trails along the Wasatch Front that hopes to someday continuously span the 280 miles from Idaho to Nephi. Over 100 miles are currently designated as Bonneville Shoreline, and the network of trails that connect to BST feels infinitely bigger.

As we enter into winter, day-long hikes and overnighters turn in to romps through blankets of snow or moonlight sojourns.

Not long ago the view from Little Black Mountain was of the last of the autumn colors, and there was a creeping chill at 8,000 feet.

From the trailhead in the upper Avenues, Little Black Mountain is a brisk climb from the rolling foothills along a stretch of BST to the steep scree and alpine where eventually a 270 degree panorama of the valley reveals the geological makeup of the Wasatch Front's canyons, dramatically queued from City Creek to Little Cottonwood and beyond. Is that American Fork Canyon visible past the Point of the Mountain?

This breathtaking view was under three hours from home, right there in the backyard of our thriving capital city. Statewide, Utahns enjoy the same juxtaposition of iconic adventure and landscapes. It's no wonder on the business side Utah had the first outdoor industry economic cluster which evolved into a first-of-its-kind Outdoor Recreation Office in the Governor's Office of Economic Development.

In many ways, our outdoor experiences define us.

Watch the weather in the coming days. If you haven't tuned up the ski or snowboard for the slopes, consider a "backyard" hike with the family or one of myriad nontraditional ways to spend your Thanksgiving holiday and ensuing weekend.

It is part of the Life Elevated® lifestyle that we make time for the adventures and natural places that inspire and motivate us. We are pleased to invite travelers to Utah to participate in the natural and cultural events around the state. We are equally pleased to be able to host them.

It may be America's day of thanks (and Puerto Rico's), but Happy Thanksgiving, planet Earth.

Looking northwest from Little Black Mountain