Notes on Salt Lake City’s Climate and Recreation

Utah is well-known for having “now you see it, now you don’t” weather conditions in Spring. In late March, you can expect all the possibilities (snow, wind, rain, sun) in Salt Lake City but probably none of it will last very long. Average temperatures this time of year are highs in the mid-50s°F range and lows in the mid-30s°F range; the Weather Underground is a good source for up-to-date forecasts.

To be prepared, pack lots of layers (especially for those of us who have experienced many a frigid conference all while indoors!) with one waterproof or water resistant layer. If you have signed up for the tour to Park City, this is especially important as it is colder than Salt Lake.

The first thing you might notice on arriving here is that the air is very dry; make sure to pack chapstick and lotion for your trip! Don’t forget to add in a water bottle; Salt Lake City sits at an altitude of 4300 feet and drinking lots of water is an excellent way to combat altitude sickness as well as dry air. Consult this guide to help you prevent and treat altitude sickness.

Utah has had an excellent snow season and ski conditions are the best they’ve been in years. With 7 resorts within easy driving/riding distance from Salt Lake, why not get out into the mountains? No ski gear, you say? No problem! Boots, poles, and skis are all easily rented at the resorts.

For the deepest and steepest skiing in the continental US, head to either Big or Little Cottonwood Canyon. In Big Cottonwood Canyon you’ll find Brighton and Solitude Ski Resorts which are easier going in terms of culture and terrain. Solitude also offers a Nordic Center for cross-country skiing. In Little Cottonwood Canyon you’ll find Snowbird and Alta, both with steeper terrain and slightly higher altitudes.

If you’re interested in combining a bit of culture and an excellent ski experience, consider a trip up to Park City Mountain Resort or Deer Valley. Both have excellent terrain for all abilities and their proximity to the quaint mountain town of Park City make them especially appealing to visitors.

If you’re a snowboarder, please keep in mind that both Alta and Deer Valley are for skiers only.

Hiking and snowshoeing are also a fantastic way to experience the Wasatch Mountains. Rent some gear at the local REI and be mindful that avalanche conditions do exist — consult the Utah Avalanche Center before heading off on an adventure.