The state of Utah is jam packed with things to do for those of us that are living a life of sobriety. From Salt Lake City to St. George this state has a wealth of national and state parks, BLM land, and other attractions.
To continue on our theme of sober summer fun we have put together a list of activities that will let you enjoy the summer months and live life to the fullest, all while checking off an epic bucket list.
When living a life of recovery many people struggle when trying to find activities they can enjoy without their vice. Often fun activities have a heavy relation to days of substance abuse, making it difficult to return to activities you previously enjoyed. The key to finding new activities you enjoy is simply to get out and try new things!
The following list should provide some inspiration and help you try something new.
National Park and Outdoor Attractions
As you drive south from Salt Lake City you will run into any number of world class national parks. Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, and Zion national park are all excellent options with an exceptional amount of sights and adventures waiting for you. While you almost certainly can’t go wrong with any activity in any of the parks there are a few can’t miss adventures that we would recommend.
1. Hike to Angels Landing in Zion National Park
Simply one of the most stunning hikes in the world, Angels Landing takes you to the top of the world for an exceptional view of the beautiful Zion National Park. This 5-mile adventure will take you about 5 hours and see you cover 1500 feet of elevation change. To cover this elevation you will be faced with switchbacks and narrow cliff-side trails where a chain handle is the only thing between you and the valley floor. This hike is not for the faint of heart but the combination of adrenaline, adventure, and sights make it a must see.
2. Hike to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park
Delicate Arch is a natural phenomenon that simply must be seen to be believed. The hike out is not a rigorous one, making this an adventure suited to the whole family. Once there you will be blown away by the gorgeous arch and all of the other red rock desert views.
3. Bike Along The Colorado River
Biking along the Colorado river is a short and peaceful way to take in the landscape around Moab and Arches national park. The colorado river rolls perpetually by on one side and the plethora of rental shops in Moab make it easy to get bikes for the whole family or just yourself.
4. Drive Scenic Highway 12
If casual sight seeing from your car is more appealing then a hot hike you simply have to experience Scenic Highway 12. This all-american highway stretches from Bryce Canyon to Escalante through red rock arches, over scenic overlooks, and through scrub brush landscapes that will both inspire and entertain.
5. Jeep Rock Crawling in Moab
When you want to get a little more adventurous in a vehicle you should rent a 4×4 Jeep and do some risky rock crawling on the tacky red rock. Navigating this off-road terrain is simultaneously fun and scary, ensuring that you experience adrenaline and go home with memories that will last a lifetime.
Adventures Closer to Home
Unfortunately we don’t always have the time to drive south and experience epic adventures in the beautiful desert. Luckily Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas are also packed with outdoor adventure and other attractions that cannot be missed.
1. Explore the Cottonwood Canyons
In addition to the trails in the foothills around Salt Lake City there are virtually endless opportunities for sober fun in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyon. Both of these canyons offer world class bouldering, climbing, hiking, and camping. If you are looking for something a little more approachable you can ride the alpine coaster at Snowbird or play a round of disc golf before getting food at Brighton Mountain Resort.
2. Spend time on the Lake
The greater Park City area is littered with reservoirs and mountain lakes that offer exceptional warm weather recreation. Bloods lake, for example, is located a short hike from the scenic Guardsmans Way between Brighton and Park City. This lake is located outside the Salt Lake watershed which means dogs and swimming are encouraged.
If larger lakes and boating is more your speed we would recommend spending your day on a beach or boat on the Jordanelle reservoir. This lake has space for wake boats, areas for stand up paddleboarding, and lovely sand beaches if you just want to soak up the sun. We challenge you to spend the day here and not come home with a smile on your face.
3. Learn About Natural History
Located right near the University of Utah the newly constructed Natural History Museum of Utah offers a laid back and inexpensive way to spend your afternoon. Once inside you will be greeted with dinosaur bones, information about the beautiful nature surrounding us, and constantly rotating guest exhibits.
4. Afternoon Outing at the Zoo
Right near the Natural History Museum of Utah is the Hogle Zoo. This zoo houses creatures from all over the world and can be experienced in one casual afternoon or evening. This zoo is great for an individual outing, plus it offers plenty of educational classes for students of all ages if you want to get family involved.
The Ultimate Utah Summer Sober Bucket List
While on your journey to recovery, finding ways to spend your time that will not lead you towards your triggers or even a relapse can be difficult. The only way to find what works for you is to try some new things and revisit some of your old activities when you feel comfortable. Whether something on this list strikes your fancy isn’t important, the key is to try new things and work on enjoying more of the beautiful summer months.