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By Mary Emma Allen - American Roads Travel Magazine

Wasatch Range Credit Salt Lake CVB

A breathtaking sight lay below us as my husband and I stood on the hillside and gazed at Bear Lake, spread out like an aquamarine jewel across the Utah/Idaho border. His cousin, our guide, explained that her family often spent weekends at a camp on the lake shore, about three hours' drive from Salt Lake City.

The historic and picturesque aura of Bear Lake lures one here as it did the mountain men in those days when beaver trapping was in its heyday.

They spent much time in this region and some of their summer rendezvous, or fur trading events, took place here.

Traveling Today to Bear Lake

Two general routes from Salt Lake City to Bear Lake take the traveler through mountain country...via Ogden Canyon or Logan Canyon. It can be a leisurely one day drive; or you can plan to spend more time and stay over.

We started in early morning, winding over mountain roads and through scenic territory with golden aspen leaves in full fall color. After traversing the Wasatch Range east of Ogden, we traversed through ranching country near the Wyoming border. A herd of antelope caught our attention and provided enjoyable watching for a quarter of an hour.

We had lunch at a restaurant in Bear Lake. Then the trip from the lake over Logan Pass and its hairpin turns with awesome scenery was a great way to return to the Ogden/Salt Lake City area. Exploration of Cache Valley around Logan we left for another day, but enjoyed the sweeping views as we made our way out of the mountains through Sardine Canyon.

Discover Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City Credit Salt Lake CVB

Leave at least a day in your itinerary for discovering Salt Lake City itself. You actually need longer, but if time is limited, you may want to explore the buildings around Temple Square. Guided tours of the area will provide you with much information of historical interest about the Mormons who settled there. In 1847, they entered the state after an arduous trek west. Emigration Canyon, where they first spied the Salt Lake Valley, can be explored, too.

Hiking in Utah's mountain country Photo credit SaltLakeCVB

Hiking a Popular Activity

For hikers, there are many places to stretch your legs, from short afternoon hikes to longer backpacking trips. Since time was limited, we opted for the afternoon hike with a friend in the mountains east of Salt Lake City.

Even though we weren't far from the city, we enjoyed the sense of isolation and the extensive views.

Bingham Copper Mine

While you're in the area, make time to visit the Bingham or Kennecott Copper Mine, the largest open pin mine in the world. We spent a morning touring this site with a friend and were awed by the huge two-mile diameter hole in the earth. We watched trucks, minuscule in appearance so far below us, climbing like ants to the top.

From exhibits and a video at the information center, we learned more about this mining operation and history of Bingham Canyon.

Utah Lures Us Back

Our first week's exploration of Utah provided us with an opportunity to touch only the tip of what the state offers. This state, with history going back to the dinosaurs, has lured us back repeatedly to discover new sites and meet new friends.

(c)2000 Mary Emma Allen

Aspens quiver their message of gold
Cottonwoods silently wisp their fluff in cascades
Snows hum a quiet melody in rhythmic drifts
Or a polar staccato on cheeks and nose.
There is a quiet harmony here.
A rhythm of solace
In the pulse of the canyon winds
The hush of gurgling creeks
The sway of clouds moving high.
A symphony of silence,
Hangs in the air
The bars, staffs, and whole notes
For tranquil self-destruction.

(Carolyn Howard-Johnson is the author of "This is the Place" and "Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered" both valuable resources for learning more about Utah's culture and scenery. Both are available on Amazon.com.)

Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Author of the awards-winning novel This is the Place. Her new book, Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered, has already garnered the Red Sky Press Award.
It will be released in November.
For More information go to: www.TLT.com/authors/carolynhowardjohnson

(Mary Emma Allen travels extensively throughout the United States and writes about the country, people, and food. She writes for children and adults, fiction and non-fiction, teaches writing workshops, and gives talks and book signings. Her work also appears in anthologies such as God Allows U-Turns, American Moments, Let Us Not Forget, HeartWarmers of Spirit, and Finding the Joy in Alzheimer's. Visit her web site for more information about her books and writing: http://homepage.fcgnetworks.net/jetent/mea; e-mail: me.allen@juno.com)

Provided by American Roads Travel Magazine - Visit American Roads Travel Magazine website.

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