(image credit: flickr)
There’s something about this time of year – we start feeling a bit cheated, everyone’s doing, like… fun stuff! We deserve more! While the weather is still pleasant here in Utah – and this means we have not yet turned into the life-sucking dustbowl of death that is summer – you still have a shot. How to take advantage of this opportunity when you’re (likely) broke and short on planning time? Pleasingly, there’s a big fat bunch of options for a short road trip along the Wasatch Front. If you’re looking for something a little quirky, maybe off the beaten path, you’re in the right place, honey.
Utah Eccentric: 5 Quirky Roadtrips
Antelope Island is the largest in the little chain dotting the Great Salt Lake. Step foot onto the island and you’re sent back to frontier life with roaming buffalo, wagon rides, clouds of hummingbirds, and primitive camping. Floating in the pungent, briny brew of the Great Salt Lake is best from there–just be sure to get all those brine shrimp washed off in the campground showers.
(Photo Credit: EnjoyUtah.org)
Beaver Creek is mostly entertaining for what it isn’t–a nudist colony. A group of Samak mischief-makers put up the sign years back to trick the unsuspecting into thinking they’re going to see some naked bits racing alongside the road up the Mirror Lake Highway past Kamas. After laughing at your overly hopeful friends, stop by the Samak Smoke House for some incredible smoked trout and salmon and camp in one of the well-kept and surprisingly un-crowded campgrounds.
Lark, Utah used to be a bustling lead and copper mining town. After a tragic explosion in the lead mine in 1950, five miners were lost and their spirits were reported wandering helplessly by the mine’s entrance. Lark started fading and was eventually shut down by the Kennecott Copper Mine’s executives in the early 1970s. About 4 miles west of Herriman in the Oquirrh Mountains, it’s a fascinating and creepy destination. But I’d be out of there by nightfall…
Millard County is a bonanza for even the newbie rockhound, thousands of trilobites to ferret out and marvel at the Awesome of your very own fossil collection. Then grab a beer in Delta and start the endless argument over the authenticity of the Antelope Springs Footprint: a fossil found by William Meister in the ’60s that looks like the imprint of a shoe. Gasp! Aliens? King Arthur? Who knows? Easy camping and inexpensive hotels for overnighters.
Having worked a summer at Bear Lake 60 miles north of Logan, I am adamant that the Bear Lake Monster exists. He’s described as half carp/half eel in appearance, and I swear I heard his roar echo over the waters at least twice that summer. While you’re searching for the elusive serpent, be sure to stop by Raspberry Days and grab a gigantic raspberry shake from the Hometown Drive-in in Garden City. There’s campsites on the beach and inexpensive rentals all around the lake and in nearby Logan Canyon.
Find more fascinating and entertaining Utah adventures at EnjoyUtah.org.