On a warm June day in 1983, I officially became a resident of Salt Lake City. Now I admittedly came kicking and screaming, but the doctor assured my parents that was a good thing for a newborn. Aside from a couple college semesters outside the state, I've lived in Salt Lake forever. I was born in the old Cottonwood Hospital in Murray, which I barely remember existing, then grew up in Holladay until after high school. Since then I have lived in a half dozen other parts of SLC. I love Salt Lake City. I'm proud of what we have here. We're so spoiled and have so many great things going for us here. But boy has our city changed. Especially in the last few years. As the secret gets out about what a great place Salt Lake City is to live, more and more people will continue to move here. Do you blame them? I don't. Not one bit.
Having lived here forever, I have a much different perspective than someone who just moved to Salt Lake City last year. Over the last few years, I've also been blessed with the ability to travel around the country quite a bit. Baltimore, Portland, Denver, San Fransisco, Houston, Florida, Dallas, Kansas City, San Diego, L.A, Atlanta, Nashville, Orlando, Washington DC, Lake Tahoe, Vegas, and more. I've seen quite a bit of our great country, so that has given me a perspective of what life is like in other major cities too. That perspective has made me acutely aware of something that so many long-time SLC residents have taken for granted…
Our mountains. The Wasatch Mountains are absolutely incredible, and they're so damn close! If you live in Sandy or Cottonwood Heights, just a 10 min drive from your house can get you up one of the Cottonwood Canyons and into a National Forest. Or if you live in other parts of the Salt Lake Valley, a short 30 min drive from pretty much anywhere will get you to the same place. That's incredible! Do you have any idea how lucky we are to have such majestic mountains just a few minute away!? Not only do the Wasatch Mountains provide some incredible scenery from anywhere in the valley, but they offer fun for the whole family, year round. Skiing, snowboarding, hiking, camping, mountain biking, fishing, snowshoeing, rock climbing, picnics, and drives to see the Autumn leaves. We have all of that right here, and we don't need to drive 1.5 to 2 hours to get there. (cough cough, Denver!)
But many of us as Salt Lake City residents have taken this natural beauty for granted. It seems like the longer you've lived here, the less often you take the time to go on a hike, or drive up to Snowbird on a summer day just to take it all in. It's too bad. As a Salt Lake City real estate agent who works with quite a few people moving to Salt Lake City, I get to hear all their reasons why they decided to move here. Guess what is almost always in the Top 3?… That's right. Our proximity to the mountains and the Greatest Snow on Earth (which really is! Just try the show in Tahoe, or God forbid the East Coast!). Remember, the vast majority of our country lives a LONG way from any mountains at all, if you can even call them mountains.
Salt Lake City, please stop taking our amazing mountains for granted. If you haven't been up in the mountains in a while, plan an afternoon to hike the Salt Lake City overlook hike in Millcreek Canyon. Or take the family night skiing at Brighton. Grab your crash pad, chalk and climbing shoes and go bouldering up Little Cottonwood Canyon. Take the dogs on a hike up Neffs Canyon in Olympus Cove, or Ferguson Canyon near the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon. Let your kids play in the shallow stream and waterfall at Hidden Falls in Big Cottonwood. Put on the snowshoes and trek up to Donut Falls this winter, go sledding or cross-country skiing at The Spruces. We have it all here in SLC, and aside from skiing and snowboarding at one of our world-renowned resorts, it's all free! Take advantage. Millions of other people would give their left leg to have this kind of access to the mountains. Stop taking it for granted.
If you're someone who finds yourself thinking “there's nothing to do here”… gently smack yourself in the face, and go do something in the mountains for once. We're spoiled. It's time we gain some perspective about how blessed we really are to live here, and then get off our butts and enjoy it.