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Park City

5 Days   •   287 Miles

Wasatch Wellness

A Northern Utah wellness guide to reverse stress and boost physical and mental health.
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In recent years, travel trends have shifted from the need-a-vacation-from-my-vacation mindset to healthier, more lifestyle-focused trip itineraries.  "Wellness travel” is now the way to vacay.

On this Utah vacation (or staycation) focused along the cities and towns that reside alongside the Wasatch Mountains, you’ll experience more than just a temporary escape from daily stress. It’s designed for complete physical and mental healing. Enter ashrams as the top travel destination for years to come — or, the wild wonders of Northern Utah. 

This health and wellness-focused travel guide has all the elements: relaxation and rejuvenation, stimulating movement, and locally-sourced nourishment to recharge and revitalize mind, body and spirit.

Day 1

Salt Lake City

49 Miles

How many cities offer access to high-altitude wilderness hikes, canyon drives, wellness therapy and urban dining all in one day? Not very many. Salt Lake City’s close proximity to its Wasatch Mountain trails from downtown makes it a truly unique place to rejuvenate your body and mind. 

To get hydrated and adventure-ready, The Vitamin Bar and Restore in the Salt Lake area offer hour-long IV therapy treatments (vitamins, minerals and antioxidants). Olympus Health & Performance offers mobile services if you’d like them to come to your home or resort/hotel, and coronavirus antibody testing with results in 15 minutes.

When you're ready to explore, take a scenic drive through the twin canyons in the Wasatch Mountains of Salt Lake City. Big and Little Cottonwood Canyon are both 15 miles long and each is home to two ski resorts. You’ll want to head up Big Cottonwood first, maybe get out and stretch your legs at the Silver Lake boardwalk or overlook the Park City valley at the top of Guardman’s Pass. Then, head south to Little Cottonwood, where you’ll end up for an evening hike among the wildflowers at Albion Basin. Or, if you’re tackling the steep climb to Lake Blanche, do Little Cottonwood first. Either way, the beauty will not disappoint.

Wildflowers are abundant (late May-early August) on Albion Meadows Trail, an easy 3.6 mile round trip hike with spectacular mountain views. After a walk through the Indian paintbrush, sunflowers and lupine, (or the more challenging Lake Blanche hike), have a table reserved on the outdoor balcony of Porcupine Pub and Grille and take in the beautiful views of Salt Lake City as you dine.

Where to Stay: Salt Lake City

Day 2

Ogden Area

150 Miles

Ogden is one of Utah’s “hidden gems,” and this day will take you deeper into wild nature. But first, fuel up with the notoriously fabulous, freshly-made breakfast on Ogden’s charming Historic 25th Street at Bickering Sisters. And then, take a leisurely stroll along the Ogden River Parkway Trail. Or, if you’re more ambitious, head up Ogden Canyon for a bike ride on Pineview Loop Pathway or explore the emerald green waters of Causey Reservoir on kayak or paddleboard. Rentals are available at the mouth of the canyon at Level 9 Sports.

If you’re up for some time in the car, venture out to the Great Salt Lake waters at Antelope Island, or even the longer drive to see the shore’s earth art known as Spiral Jetty. This 1,500 foot earthwork sculpture made of black basalt rocks, winding counterclockwise from the shore of into the Great Salt Lake, is an experience well worth the 1.5 hour trek from Ogden. All the senses are awakened in this wondrous healing space: salted earth beneath your feet (be sure to wear waterproof shoes), reddish to cotton candy-pink waters, sounds of shorebirds and the ocean-like air.

In the evening, what could be more grounding than taking a glimpse into the universe? It’s a rare pleasure to see a night sky in its purity — North Fork Park is one of Utah’s internationally-certified dark sky parks. In just a few minutes drive from Ogden, you’ll be laying under a gateway into the galaxies.

Where to Stay: Ogden

Day 3

Park City

4 Miles

Take a day of restful ease with a mountain escape to Park City.

Begin your day at Fairweather Natural Foods with one of the most nourishing meals in Utah — locally-sourced, organic and house-made soups, salads, smoothies and fresh-squeezed juices. And don’t forget to grab a snack (or two) for your afternoon’s yoga adventures on the way out.

If yoga isn’t your thing, a meditation studio might be. Treat yourself to a peaceful day of mindful meditation or yoga in the mountains (or both) with Park City Yoga AdventuresBackcountry Yogis or Haum Meditation.

If you're looking for more adventure, try the alpine slides at Park City Mountain or scenic chairlift ride at Deer Valley. Both of the major ski resorts are packed with rejuvenating mountain adventures — hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding — and exquisite mountain dining cuisine.

Where to Stay: Park City

Day 4

Park City, Take-Two

50 Miles

No wellness journey is complete without the essential day spa visit, and Park City has some of the most innovative spa treatments in the state to reverse physical and emotional stress. Along with a deep head-to-toe massage, try something new like Foot Zoning or Cranial Sacral Therapy for detox and immune system boost. Some additional alternative treatments include an anxiety-reducing and pain-relieving CBD massage or Float Therapy, which allows magnesium to be absorbed into the skin to facilitate healing and is said to offer the feeling of four hours of sleep in one hour.

In the afternoon, venture a few minutes outside of Park City into the wild, open spaces of Heber Valley. In “Wild Heber,” you'll find Pine Creek Trail at Wasatch Mountain State Park — where bigtooth maple and quaking aspen are plentiful on the shady 2.6 round trip trail. And nearby Deer Creek Reservoir is a wonderful scenic spot for swimming, sunbathing, fishing, boating and hiking. Just minutes away the Provo River, the reservoir offers rare spots beaming with fireflies for a brief time during the summer.

In the evening, experience Park City off the slopes and trails with a stroll and dinner on Historic Main Street. Local dining options include almost every style of cuisine from classic steak houses and contemporary American to oyster/seafood, sushi, Mexican, Italian or Thai. If you’re staying in Heber, there are great Heber Eats as well.

Where to Stay: Park City or Heber Valley

Day 5

Provo/Sundance

34 Miles

If you have the time on your final day, hit the road for these hidden gems near to Park City.

In the town of Midway tucked between Park City and Heber Valley, explore the incredible Homestead Crater. The crater is a geothermal spring (90-96 degrees F) created over 10,000 years by melting snow from the Wasatch Mountains seeping deep inside the earth, depositing minerals that formed the beehive-shaped limestone dome it’s enclosed in. Here you can soak, snorkel, scuba dive or take a yoga paddle board yoga class. Reservations required.

And a further 30-40 minute drive through the charming town of Heber City and halfway down Provo Canyon is the revered Sundance Mountain Resort. The resort was famously founded by Robert Redford, who invited visitors to “come here and see what you feel.” His purchase of this beautiful land in Provo Canyon was intended as an “act of preservation,” a reverence you can feel when you spend time in this sacred spot. Overlooked by Mount Timpanogos, the second tallest peak in the Wasatch Mountains, it’s a spectacular vision to behold as you ride a ski lift to hike the Alpine Loop or just wander through the trees. 

There’s also much to see driving through Provo Canyon on the way to a farm-to-table supper, including the Provo River and Bridal Veil Falls. Utah Valley has some delightful dinner options led by local suppliers like Snuck Farms, including the rice-crusted local trout or Clifford Farms pork loin with pickled mustard seeds at Communal or Fire Shrimp and Honey Lavender Frybread at the southwestern Native American-style Black Sheep Cafe

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