Salt Lake City is the capital and largest city in the state of Utah. As a major metropolitan area, there are many great things for couples to do here. First, consider a trip to their excellent Farmer's Market at Pioneer Point. The market is open 8 am – 2 pm Saturdays from June to October. There are a lot of local vendors selling all kinds of great supplies you can take with you on your trip to Grand Teton. They also have live music which makes this a great blend of shopping and entertainment to start off your trip.
If you want to do some more traditional shopping, try City Creek Center. This upscale shopping mall has a lot of great stores and the central courtyard has a musically choreographed series of fountains that can be entertaining to watch. If all the shopping makes you hungry there are also a number of excellent restaurants within the complex that can satisfy just about any taste or budget.
For live entertainment check out the Gallivan Center in the downtown area. This is an open-air venue that hosts all kinds of events throughout the year. During the winter it's turned into an outdoor skating rink. During the rest of the year, live music, community concerts, food truck nights, wine tasting events, and more are held here. Check it out if you are in the area, chances are there will be something going on.
Since this trip is largely about outdoor adventure then try booking a trip to Antelope Island. Antelope Island is the largest island in the Great Salt Lake and is home to the Antelope Island State Park. Once on the Island, you can tour it by bike. The major attraction here is the wildlife, and there is a lot of it. There are populations of Bison, Antelope, and Mule Deer as well as a broad range of waterfowl and other birds. Visiting the island also allows you to see (and cross) the Great Salt Lake, which is the saltiest body of water in the United States.
The Salt Lake City KOA provides a quality and convenient place to stay near downtown Salt Lake City. It is located off of I-15 on the northwest side of town. It is only about an 11-minute drive from this park to downtown hotspots like the Gallivan Center.
There are several routes you can take from Salt Lake City to get to Grand Teton National Park. The route recommended here is not the shortest, but it is one of the most beautiful. Take I-15 north out of Salt Lake City to Brigham City. There you'll exit to RT-91 and transfer to RT-89. Stay on RT-89 all the way to just past Hoback, WY. There you'll transfer to RT-191 which will quickly take you into Jackson, WY and beyond into the park.
The Jardine Juniper Trail is an 11.5-mile round trip out and back mountain bike trail with an elevation change of about 1850 feet. At the end of the trail is Utah's oldest tree, the Jardine Juniper which is estimated to be about 3200 years old.
The trail is an intermediate single track hillclimb which is considered to be one of Utah's best trails of that type. That's a bold statement considering how many great mountain biking sites there are in the state. On the trip back to the tree site you will pass through all sorts of environments including lush forest, open meadows, beautiful valleys and overlooks with majestic views of the surrounding areas of Utah.
The trail is located off the Logan Canyon Scenic Byway listed below. Along the highway, there are several campgrounds available where you can setup a base camp for your ride.
The Logan Canyon Scenic Byway is Route 89 running between Logan and Garden City, UT. The road through this region follows the Logan River through the Logan Canyon. Here you'll find lush forests, panoramic views, vast meadows, and stunning mountain rock formations. Each season brings a new experience. During the spring and southern months, the areas surrounding the road will explode with wildflowers and lush green foliage. During the fall, that foliage turns into a stunning fall display of color. In the winter, snow blankets the area, creating a stunning winter wonderland.
The road takes about an hour to drive but there are nature centers, hiking trails, caves and other things to do and explore along the road. There are several campgrounds along the route which make it convenient to take your time and explore the region.
Bear Lake in Utah is known as “The Caribbean of the Rockies”. This may sound like an odd title until you see the amazing turquoise blue color of the water here. Standing on the shores looking out at the water it is easy to see the comparison with the beautiful waters of the Caribbean. The blue hue of the water is caused by a high mineral content which is brought into the lake from the surrounding rivers cascading down from the mountains. The high mineral content not only makes the water appear blue, but it also creates a unique environment for the critters living here. There are several species of fish here that live nowhere else in the world.
Garden City is the main town here and from there you can get access to the long list of activities in the area. You can hang out at the beach, enjoy watersports, go fishing, hit the golf course, go hiking, caving or head out on the ORV trails running throughout the area.
The Bear Lake / Marina Side KOA Holiday provides an awesome place to stay the night. It's located on the water and close to town. They have excellent amenities, and plenty of ways to stay including primitive campsites, RV sites, and cabins.
Grand Teton National Park is one of the crown jewels of the national park system, located just south of Yellowstone National Park in western Wyoming. While Yellowstone's famous thermal features attract more visitors, Grand Teton has superior natural beauty and is the nicer park for activities that allow you to escape the crowds and become one with nature.
Outdoor activities in a grand natural environment are the big thing here. Hiking, backcountry hiking, cycling, horseback riding, mountaineering, and paddling are all great activities to engage in. One of the most serene activities is to canoe Jackson Lake on a warm, sunny summer morning. Silently gliding across the glass-smooth crystal clear lake waters with the phenomenal mountain backdrop is amazing. A classic mountain road trip moment.
There are three concessionaires that offer horseback riding trips into the park. They are Headwaters Lodge at Flagg Ranch, Grand Teton Lodge Company, and Triangle X Ranch. Most rides are guided group rides of a half-hour or more. Horseback riding experience is generally not necessary, but appropriate clothing and adherence to a number of other rules is. Make sure you check the requirements before booking your trip.
Another great activity is a rafting trip down the Snake River. These trips cover a 10 mile stretch of the river and can include a stop for lunch or dinner. During the trip, your boat guide will give information about the local area and wildlife.
After a long day in the wilderness, you'll probably want to head into Jackson. This is an upscale small town on the south end of the park. The central square with its elkhorn arches gives the town a welcoming western feel. A spa session at Amangani is a great way to work out the relax after a long day in the park. You can follow that up with a meal at any one of the amazing restaurants in town.
There are several campgrounds that support primitive and RV camping within the park. Due to the park's popularity, it is recommended that you make reservations for camping in advance, particularly during the peak summer months.