The Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square was built between 1863 and 1875 and originally housed meetings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS church). It was also the location of the semi-annual LDS General Conference for 132 years, before the conference moved to a new center in 2000.
The Tabernacle’s unusual design is said to have come to Brigham Young while he was contemplating a hollowed-out eggshell. After the facility was completed it was considered an architectural wonder of its day, leading Frank Lloyd Wright to dub it “one of the architectural masterpieces of the country and perhaps the world.” Nearly 1.5 million feet of lumber was chopped in the nearby Wasatch Mountains to complete the project. The grand 11,623-pipe Tabernacle Organ, which pipes are made of hand-carved wooden staves, is one of the largest and sonorous organs in the world.
When Mormon pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, Brigham Young, the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), proclaimed “Here we will build a temple to our God.” The place where this pronouncement was made eventually became known as Temple Square, whose centerpiece is the Salt Lake Temple — the largest of 135+ Mormon temples.
Located in downtown Salt Lake City, Temple Square is the world headquarters of LDS Church, as well as Utah’s number one tourist attraction, drawing in 3-5 million visitors each year. Contained within the Square’s 35 acres are the Salt Lake Temple, the Salt Lake Tabernacle, the Salt Lake Assembly Hall, the Seagull Monument, two visitors' centers and the largest genealogy library of its kind in the world. It is also home to the renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra.
Free guided tours take in historic sites, interactive exhibits, art displays and films, parks.
Lake Powell is a reservoir located in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, lying on the border of Arizona and Utah. It is known for its wealth of sandy beaches, sparkling blue water, and red-rock landscapes. It is the second largest man-made reservoir in the United States, measuring 24,322,000 acre feet (30 km³).
Some of the lake's famous features include the Glen Canyon Dam (located in Arizona) and the Rainbow Bridge, one of the world longest natural bridges (located in Utah). If you are a recreation enthusiast, a trip to the lake is definitely worthwhile; Lake Powell is excellent for boating, water skiing, jet-skiing, kayaking, and fishing. In addition, there are prepared campsites at all of the lake's marinas, but you are free to camp wherever they like.
If you’re a daredevil, an adrenaline seeker, a photographer—or a bit crazy—then there’s a good chance you’re already familiar with the trail to Angel’s Landing. Along with the Narrows and the hike to Kolob Arch, Angel’s Landing is a backcountry pinnacle that offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience. That said, the trail to the top of Angel’s Landing is as controversial as it is beautiful, as the steep drop-offs and uneven footing create a hazardous trail that winds its way up to one of the best lookouts in the park. On the trail’s final half-mile, hikers must navigate a narrow ridge that has vertical drops of nearly 1,000 feet. Thankfully, there is a comprehensive system of anchors, chains, guardrails, and handholds that aid in climbing the ridge, but it’s imperative when hiking to watch your step and have solid footing at all times.
Bragging rights belong to Arches National Park, as it contains the densest concentration of natural stone arches in the world—2,000! But what you see today is dramatically different from what existed a million years ago. The massive rock formations that lure visitors to the national park were once buried underground, brought into plain sight by erosion.
Visitor centers are like one-stop shopping spots when it comes to learning about all the great things national parks have to offer. Employees and volunteers can recommend what’s best to do based on how much time you have to spend. While at the Arches Visitor Center, check the schedule for ranger-led programs during your stay.An assortment of activities ranging from short evening programs to guided walks and three-hour strenuous hikes are also offered in spring through fall.
It’s all about skiing at Alta Ski Resort. With 116-plus runs and 2,200 skiable acres (890 hectares), the variety of the terrain provides skiing for all levels. A quarter of the terrain is for beginners, 40 percent dedicated to intermediate skiers and 35 percent for the advanced set. Average yearly snowfall is 551 inches (1,400 cm). A rare skier only mountain, snowboarding is not allowed.
You can learn more than just ski skills at Alta. The resort offers a unique free program called Ski with a Ranger. On weekends and holidays skiers can learn about a variety of topics including the watershed, winter ecology and local mining history while traveling down a groomed run.
Located at the mouth of Emigration Canyon near Salt Lake City, the Hogle Zoo is one of Utah’s most popular attractions. Spread out over 42 acres (17 hectares), it is the state’s largest zoo and houses animals from a number of diverse ecosystems. Exhibits include: ‘Elephant Encounter,’ which features white rhinoceros and African elephants spread out over four exhibit areas; ‘Asian Highlands,’ a re-creation of a Himalayan village featuring Amur tigers, Amur leopards, Pallas' cats, Siberian lynx and snow leopards; and ‘Rocky Shores,’ an exhibit that hosts a variety of animals, including harbor seals, sea lions, polar bears, grizzly bears, river otters and bald eagles.
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