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Outdoor Adventures for Couples in SLC and Beyond

Whether you’re schussing down a ski slope or soaking in a hot spring, any outdoor adventure is more fun when you can share it with that special someone. In honor of “sweetheart season,” we’ve picked out a few of Utah’s greatest couple-friendly getaways. Find one that fits your schedule—from a stolen afternoon to a leisurely long weekend—and get ready to clear your calendar for some quality time with your best girl (or boy) by your side.

Outdoor Ice Skating: Glide and twirl, hand in hand

Time commitment: One hour to a whole day
Strenuousness: Medium
The thought of ice skating conjures up visions of frozen ponds and steaming mugs of hot chocolate—visions that fizzle at the sight of the fluorescent-lit drabness of many indoor ice rinks. Take advantage of one of Utah’s outdoor skating rinks for an inexpensive outdoor experience with a healthy dose of nostalgia. In downtown SLC, check out the ice rink at the Gallivan Center (200 South and State Street). In Park City, the Resort Center Ice Rink invites you to skate in the shadow of Tudor-styled buildings to the sound of gentle music. Both facilities offer skate rentals, and plenty of hot drinks to keep you and your sweetheart toasty warm. slcgov.com or resortcentericerink.com

Zion National Park: Hike along a snow-dusted trail

Time commitment: A weekend or more
Strenousness: Medium
istockphoto.com/dougberry You may have visited Zion National Park a dozen times or more…but until you’ve seen it in winter, you’re missing out on a huge share of its natural beauty. Well-maintained roads and trails provide year-round access to the park’s most spectacular vistas. Check with park management to see exactly which trails are accessible when you arrive, but rest assured that the most popular trails are nearly always open—and you’ll have them almost completely to yourself. Take advantage of the chance to enjoy some of Zion’s southern trails which are too sun-baked to enjoy in summer: the two-mile hike to the 645-foot red rock spire called the Watchman is just one example. With plenty of nearby lodging choices, you’re sure to find a boutique hotel or cozy B&B to suit your style and price range. (At the East Zion Riverside Lodge, you can even stay in original park cabins, relocated and spiffed up to welcome guests.) zionnational-park.com

Forest Service Yurts: Sleep sound (and warm) at trail’s end

Time Commitment: One night to an entire weekend
Strenuousness: Medium to high: most yurts are ski-in only
Slip away for a secluded overnight stay in one of Utah’s federally-owned yurts. Located along popular ski trails and in pristine recreational areas throughout the state, these small, snug buildings offer the back-to-nature feeling of a camping trip without the accompanying hassles. The Big Water yurt in Mill Creek Canyon, located 12 miles from Salt Lake City, provides a quiet getaway for only $50 a night. And the well-groomed, four-mile ski/snowshoe trail that leads to the yurt ensures you’ll build up a healthy appetite as you approach your destination. www.fs.fed.us

The Crater at Homestead Resort: Soak, snorkel or scuba your cares away

Time commitment: One afternoon to one weekend
Strenuousness: Varies by activity
Outdoor snorkeling? In Utah? In the winter? At The Crater, a 55-foot tall natural rock formation filled by a bubbling natural hot spring, you can suit up and go for a dive…or simply lounge on one of the soaking decks and enjoy the 95-degree mineral water. Feeling adventurous? Sign up for a scuba class and pick up some diving basics, or bring your own gear for a half-hour exploration of the Crater’s depths. After splishing and splashing to your heart’s content, stop in at Fanny’s Restaurant for dinner or a decadent Ten Dollar Banana Split (It’ll take the two of you to finish it!). homesteadresort.com/crater The Viking Yurt: Dine in style in the snow Time commitment: One full evening Strenuousness: None at all—unless you opt for the the add-on snowshoeing package For an unforgettable evening out, it doesn’t get better than this. A motor-drawn sleigh whisks you through the snow from The Canyons Resort to this remote yurt, where you’ll enjoy a five-course prix fixe meal, live piano music and the most spectacular setting in the West. Named one of the 100 Best Dining Experiences in the World by Conde Nast Traveler, dinner at the Viking Yurt is an evening you and that special someone will remember for the rest of your lives. (You might want to slip a diamond ring into your pocket before you board the sleigh—the Viking Yurt is also “One of the best places in America to propose,” according to the Today Show.) thevikingyurt.com

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About Author

Jenny Willden is the Managing Editor of Outdoor Sports Guide and a self-proclaimed gear and grammar nut. She's a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association and the Adventure Travel Trade Association. A lover of adventure and travel, she's happiest when riding horses or snowboarding in Utah’s mountains. Follow Jenny’s exploits on Twitter @jennywillden or Instagram @jlwillden.

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