Explore SLC

The City

Salt Lake City Panograph

Photo by Clint Gardner

Salt Lake is an excellent travel destination, with many indoor and outdoor activities available, and host of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. Our location features a unique combination of accessibility and state-of-the-art facilities to cater to diverse needs. The conference is minutes from downtown, and less than a half an hour to mountain resorts such as Park City. Salt Lake City boasts many historical and cultural assets, such as the Natural History Museum of Utah, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, historic Temple Square, nightlife and shopping. In this national destination, visitors can experience the Great Salt Lake, the Wasatch Mountains, the Utah Olympic Park, award-winning festivals, and many other activities unique to Utah and the West. Despite misconceptions of Utah as culturally conservative, Salt Lake is home to a diverse and accepting community, which includes one of the largest Gay Pride Festivals in the United States and is one of sixteen International Rescue Committee refugee and immigration relocation sites.

Accessible Salt Lake

Visit Utah has created a page devoted to information about accessible venues, opportunities, and events in Utah for persons with disabilities.

Getting Around Town

Moving about the city from Little America is fairly easy, as there is a public light rail (TRAX) station half a block away located at 450 S Main Street. From there, you can ride TRAX free of charge to most places downtown. If you are planning on traveling outside the free fare zone, you can also purchase a one way ticket for  $2.50, or a day pass for $6.50. Most stations do allow you the option to pay with a card, though it’s probably safer to bring cash as you never know when such services will be unavailable. Additional pricing and information for tickets can be found on the Utah Transit Authority website, and most options will also cover bus fares. Buses and trains operate throughout the week with services starting around 6 a.m. and ending around midnight, depending on the route. However, you should plan for limited service on Sundays.

Certain areas of Salt Lake City, such as Temple Square, are pedestrian friendly.  The streets’ grid layout makes it easy to navigate via south, north, east, and west. However, keep in mind that city blocks are longer here than most other places and distances can be deceiving.

The Great Salt Lake

By Sandra Salazar-Hernandez

So you are in Salt Lake City and you want to visit the Great Salt Lake?  Makes sense.  If you haven’t been to a dead sea, however, you might want to steel yourself for the experience.  While visually striking, the lake can be an overwhelming sensory–particularly olfactory–experience.  Oh, and did I mention the bugs and dead birds?

Sunset on the Great Salt Lake.

Photo by Sandra Salazar-Hernandz

The Great Salt Lake is only 18 minutes away from the Little America Hotel.  The best and easiest route to get and experience the lake is parking right outside of the gates of Saltair, a one-time resort and now music venue on the shores of the lake.   If you want to get the whole experience of lake stench, dead birds, scenery and a ¼ of a mile walk–park here. Keep in mind that the walk to the lake will include mud and dead bird’s corpses. Make sure to bring shoes or a pair of sturdy sandals. I made the mistake of bringing not so sturdy ones and had to walk barefoot on what felt like glass shards the whole way back to my car.

I’ve only visited the lake a handful of times and I prefer visiting when the weather is cooler, as it will be in November. I say this because there are not hundreds of mini-flies (no-see-ums) or as intense salty smell.  The views are still stunning, and the sunsets are spectacular.  In November, the sun will be setting around 5-6 pm.

The other route to this lake is taking the road to your left–straight to the Great Salt Lake Marina. If you follow that road you will arrive at the Marina where there is a dock, gift shop and the $3 fee to park there. There are rocks where you can sit and relax.

For more info on boating, camping, canoeing, art work and biking visit: http://www.visitthegreatsaltlake.com/Home_Page.html



  • Visit Salt Lake provides and interactive guide to the arts scene in Salt Lake City, including art galleries, festivals and events, museums, etc.
  • Salt Lake City is home to the Utah Symphony, Utah Opera Company, and Ballet West.
  • Salt Lake City Weekly provides a guide to music, arts, and culture events.
  • The Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, located 3 green line TRAX stops away from the conference hotel, “…has been an award-winning aesthetic force and community leader since it was established in 1931.”
  • Located on the University of Utah campus (take red line TRAX), The Utah Museum of Fine Arts “…is Utah’s primary cultural resource for global visual arts. It is unique in its dual role as a university and state art museum. It is Utah’s only visual arts institution that collects, exhibits, interprets, and preserves a comprehensive collection of over 5,000 years of art from around the world. “
  • The Guardian, has an off-beat guide to Salt Lake City’s arts and entertainment scene.


By Clint Johnson

Utah Jazz: While in town, sample the center of the Utah sports world by attending a Utah Jazz game.  The NCPTW conference coincides with the dawn of an exciting age of Jazz basketball ushered in by new Head Coach Quin Snyder and 19-year-old Australian sensation Dante Exum, who embarks on his rookie season.  The Jazz are young, fast, and athletic, which makes for a must-watch spectacle at Energy Solutions Arena, acknowledged as one of the best venues to watch basketball in the NBA with one of the most passionate and knowledgeable fan bases in the league.

Lower bowl tickets begin at $40.00 while upper bowl seats start at a mere $10.00, with discounted group rates and other special deals available.  For ticket information or to purchase, visit www.utahjazz.com or call 801-355-DUNK.  Energy Solutions Arena is located in downtown Salt Lake City (301 West South Temple) and is easily accessible from TRAX light rail.

Utah Grizzlies: Enjoy the fastest sport on ice in the city that hosted the wildly successful 2000 Winter Olympics.  The Utah Grizzlies, Salt Lake’s ECHL hockey team and community staple since 1995, look to pick up where they left off given last season’s record-tying fewest home losses.  With Igor Bobcov in goal the team looks to better its third best record in the Western Conference last season.

The Maverick Center, home of the Grizzlies, offers a host of fun options to enhance the game experience, from all-you-can-eat packages to pre-game tours.  Ticket prices start at $12 and a mere $35 can seat your rinkside.  For ticket information or to purchase, visit www.utahgrizzlies.com or call 801-988-8000.  The Maverick Center is located in West Valley City (3200 South Decker Lake Drive)  and is easily accessible via the green line on TRAX light rail.

Outdoor Activities

By Evan Peterson

“And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.”  —William Shakespeare


hiking in the wasatch

Photo by Westminster College

Bell Canyon Trail to the First Waterfall – Bell Canyon is a large, in-mountain canyon found on the northwest side of Lone Peak Mountain, near the southeast section of the Salt Lake Valley. The north face of the canyon is made up of very large and striking rock deposits. The trees, creek, and diverse character of the canyon trail itself allows for a temporary refuge from modern life, as well as an inundation of inspiration for any weary urban dweller. This easily accessible, fairly strenuous, four mile round trip hike is a wonderful window to wild Utah. See the link below for travel directions and plan for about 2.5-3 total hours of hike time. http://www.sltrib.com/csp/cms/sites/sltrib/Outdoors/hikes.csp?hike=473 Ensign Peak – Ensign Peak is a short, one mile round trip hike that can be found at the north end of the Salt Lake Valley in a community behind and above the grounds of the State Capital building. The trail reaches the top of a small mountain that overlooks the entire Salt Lake Valley to the south as well as the expanse of the Great Salt Lake to the west and northwest. According to utah.com, the peak holds historical significance due to the fact that the first team of LDS settlers, including the leader of the LDS church at that time climbed the peak to survey the valley for settlement upon their arrival. This hike is a wonderful opportunity to quickly see a vast, beautiful landscape, and to enjoy a taste of purple mountains majesty. Plan for about one total hour of hike time and see the link below for travel directions. http://www.utah.com/hike/ensign-peak-trail Frary Peak – Frary peak is the highest point on Antelope Island, a wildlife preserve that sits amidst the Great Salt Lake. It is a stunning and untraditional taste of Utah with beaches, grassy plains, buffalo herds, antelope, and other types of wildlife. According to stateparks.utah.gov, there is a fee of $10 for each vehicle that enters Antelope Island due to the fact that it is a state park. The hike to Frary Peak is seven miles round trip according to utah.com. One should plan on a seven hour total time investment for this hike as the entrance to the Park, located at 4528 W. 1700 S. Syracuse, UT 84075, is about a 45 minute drive from the central part of the Salt Lake Valley. See the link below for further directions. http://www.utah.com/hike/frary-peak-trail

Canyon Drives

Mill Creek Canyon – The mouth of this beautiful canyon is located only six miles from Westminster

A car driving on a canyon road in the rain.

Photo by Clint Gardner

College. According to outdoorsinutah.com, this canyon is maintained by the Forest Service and a toll of $2.25 is required to enter. There are many areas to stop and look around along the way. Some are free picnic sites that include fire rings, which provide a great way to spend an evening, just bring your own firewood. There is something about being around a fire in the secluded, beautiful mountains with friends that you can’t beat. The canyon can be accessed by taking E Millcreek Canyon Rd Salt Lake City, UT 84109 Big Cottonwood Canyon – This canyon runs between Mount Olympus and Twin Peaks Mountain, on the central east side of the Salt Lake Valley. According to geology.utah.gov, the first nine miles of the canyon are isolated and twisty, with steep mountain faces along each side due to an ancient relationship with stream erosion. Fascinating rock formations come close to the canyon road at times, and beautiful pine groves can be seen once the canyon opens up into its main chamber, which was cut by ancient glaciers. A nice destination is either of the canyon’s ski resorts named Brighton and Solitude, which can be found about 13 miles up the canyon. The canyon can be accessed by finding and following Big Cottonwood Canyon Rd, Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121.


Salt Lake City Weekly has a guide to all of Salt Lake City’s neighborhoods.

This guide highlights the distinctive hoods of Salt Lake City proper. Bear in mind that south of Salt Lake City are another 14 cities, one town and six townships that comprise the rest of Salt Lake County. The million-plus residents of the county and the more than 2.5 million who live along the Wasatch Front have their own reasons for visiting Salt Lake City, if only to take in a Jazz game downtown, see a world-class ballet, eat a tasty Crown Burger, or a visit the elephants at the zoo.


Downtown Attractions

  • Visit Salt Lake provides an excellent list of things to do in Salt Lake City, with a particular focus on downtown.
  • Did you bring the kids?  Check out Discover Gateway “offers 60,000 square feet of interactive, hands-on fun. Come explore our engaging workshops, programs, and exhibits that invite the whole family to create, learn, and play together!”
  • Next door to the Discover Gateway, you’ll also find the Clark Planetarium.
  • To continue your SLC science quest, visit The Leonardo, located at Library Square, right next to the SLCC Community Writing Center .  The Leonardo “seeks to reflect and respond to this new world by creating an innovative, dynamic space that builds fluency and knowledge, ignites the creative imagination of visitors of all ages, and inspires them to see and act in new and powerful ways.”
  • Most visitors to Salt Lake City are very curious about the City’s Mormon heritage. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint’s temple square is Utah’s most visited tourist attraction.
  • While you are at Temple Square, you can also visit Brigham Young’s Beehive House.   Young’s grave can be found 2 blocks east on First Avenue behind the appropriately named Brigham Apartments.
  • The Pioneer Memorial Museum “is noted as the world’s largest collection of artifacts on one particular subject [19th century Utah/Mormon pioneer migration], and features displays and collections of memorabilia from the time the earliest settlers entered the Valley of the Great Salt Lake until the joining of the railroads at a location known as Promontory Point, Utah, on May 10, 1869.”
  • Pioneers to Utah were not limited to LDS settlers, however.  Learn about Utah’s unique Hellenic connections at the Hellenic Cultural Museum.

Rose Park/Glendale/Poplar Grove (The West Side)

West Side Attractions

  • Red Iguana, a favorite Mexican restaurant of Salt Lakers, is located on North Temple, a convenient green line TRAX ride away from the conference hotel.  Bear in mind that the restaurant is very popular and there will be long wait times at peak hours.
  • Salt Lake City International Peace Gardens “…comprise 11 acres and are located in Jordan Park along the banks of the Jordan River at 9th West and 10th South in Salt Lake.  They symbolize the true spirit of democracy and world peace, brotherly love, history, literature and cultural heritage of many lands.”
  • Classic Cars International is a private classic car museum with a collection of over 200 cars from the 20th century.

 University/Liberty Park/Avenues (The East Side)

East Side Attractions

  • Bonneville Municipal Golf Course (http://www.slc-golf.com/bonneville.html) is an 18-hole golf course located about three miles northeast from Westminster College.
  • The Natural History Museum of Utah (http://nhmu.utah.edu) is open daily and includes exhibits that focus on Utah’s natural history.
  • Red Butte Garden at the University of Utah (http://www.redbuttegarden.org) has more than 100 acres, and includes display and natural gardens, walking paths, and natural areas with hiking trails. Red Butte Garden “is the largest botanical garden in the Intermountain West that tests, displays, and interprets regional horticulture” and has guided tours and various free events. The Garden opens at 9 a.m. and is open year-round.
  • The Bonneville Shoreline Trail (http://www.bonnevilleshorelinetrail.org) runs for more than 90 miles along the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains.
  • Hogle Zoo (http://www.hoglezoo.org) covers 42 acres and includes more than 800 animals, and recently opened the African Savanna exhibit, more than four acres that feature giraffes, zebras, nyalas, and ostriches “mixing and mingling on the grasslands, while African lions look on from Lions’ Hill.” The zoo opens at 9 a.m.
  • Located in Liberty Park, The Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Arts “…is the only museum in the country dedicated to displaying a state-owned collection of contemporary folk art. It features objects made by living Utah artists from the state’s American Indian, rural, occupational and ethnic communities offering a snapshot of Utah’s contemporary culture and heritage.”
  • The Price Family Holocaust Memorial “is designed to address one of the most painful chapters in mankind’s history:  the systematic attempt to eliminate the Jewish people between 1933-1945.  Two elements comprise this memorial: an exhibition gallery and a garden. The exhibition informs and teaches; the memorial inspires and provides space for contemplation.”  The memorial is located at the IJ & Jeanne Wagner Jewish Community Center next to the University of Utah. (From the conference hotel, take the TRAX red line and exit at the Medical Center station.)

Sugar House

By Michelle Szetella

Sugar House Monument

Photo by Clint Gardner

Sugar House, established in 1853, is one of Salt Lake City’s oldest neighborhoods and is home to Westminster College.  The neighborhood is named for a proposed sugar mill to be built on nearby Parley’s Creek, where early Utah settlers could take sugar beets for processing into granular sugar.  The mill was never built, but the name stuck. Joe Hill, a Swedish-born labor activist and member of the Industrial Works of the World, was convicted and executed at the nearby State Prison for his alleged part in the murder of a shopkeeper and his son. Hill’s trial, imprisonment, and execution attracted a great deal of media attention in 1914 and 1915 because it was seen as a political act by wealthy mine owners to silence a radical labor reformer in their midst.   The prison has since been torn down but the land was converted in part to Sugar House Park (information of which can be found below).  No monument exists for Hill–an indicator of the continuing controversy that he evokes.  The State Prison was located in the current Sugar House Park on 2100 East, at approximately 1500 East. After the removal of the prison in the early twentieth century, Sugar House became a retail hub for the south end of Salt Lake City.  During the same period, the areas surrounding the commercial zones, was transformed from farms to housing. More recently, with a mass redevelopment push by the Rural Redevelopment Agency, the neighborhood has transformed away from pure retail, to have a mix of dining establishments, bars, and other social venues for the burgeoning population who wanted more amenities within walking distance.

Sugar beet sculpture

Photo by Clint Gardner

Sugar House Attractions

  • Sugar House Park (http://www.sugarhousepark.org) comprises approximately 110 acres and contains various playing fields, children’s play areas, and a large pond. The park is bordered by 1300 East on the west, by 2100 South on the north, by 1700 East on the east, and by I-80 on the south. There are two entrances for vehicular traffic off of 2100 South, at 1400 East and 1500 East. The park is open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Wasatch Hollow Park (http://www.slcgov.com/cityparks/parks-wasatch-hollow-park) is the name for the depression through which  Emigration Creek runs, just west of 1700 East in Upper Sugar House.
  • Millcreek Canyon (http://www.slco.org/recreation/parks/millCreekCanyon/index.html) is the most heavily wooded of all canyons, and includes several biking and hiking trails.
Sugar House Momument

Photo by Westminster College

Park City

Park City is a mountain resort city located about 26 miles east the Salt Lake Valley. According to parkcity.org, the 2nd largest silver strike in US history occurred there in the late 1800’s, and now the city’s bowels are honeycombed with 1200 miles of mine shafts and tunnels. The city now serves as a tourism convergence point for three major ski resorts, and as a hometown for skiers, mountain enthusiasts, and people who want to live somewhere nice. In 2002 Park City hosted the Winter Olympics, and is now home to the Utah Olympic Park. The city is also a Utah culture hub. Historic Main Street is a charming and buzzing destination that has many unique shops, galleries and restaurants to visit and enjoy. It is a metropolitan outpost, and a hive of local culture. Historic Main Street can be found by searching for and finding Main St Park City, UT 84060. See the link below for a business directory of Historic Park City. http://www.historicparkcityutah.com/maps **Although highly unlikely that such a thing would take place while journeying to any of these destinations, here is a link that can inform you of the dangers of and ways to prevent altitude sickness. http://www.altitude.org/altitude_sickness.php

Additional Tourism Resources

2 thoughts on “Explore SLC

  1. Sandra Salazar-Hernandez’s post on the Salt Lake is very enjoyable and definitely the best thing I’ve ever read on a conference website.


  2. Pingback: Public Draft Program Preview | NCPTW 2015: Salt Lake City

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s