Destination Information - Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Nestled below the Wasatch mountain range, on the western branch of the Rocky Mountains, Salt Lake City rises out of a flat, 1,200m- (4,000ft-) high basin, its bright lights twinkling against the dark forested slopes. It is Utah's largest city and one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the United States of America.
The past 30 years have seen much renovation and investment in the downtown area, and Salt Lake City embraced the millennium with a new light-rail service that harks back to the electric trolley cars that once brought people into the city centre (they were phased out in 1941). A downtown revitalization programme began in 2004, and plans are progressing to develop open-air retail and high-density community living for up to 9,000 residents.
Salt Lake City has good museums and cultural attractions, but outdoor recreation is perhaps a greater draw for visitors and natives alike. The city's namesake, the Great Salt Lake, lies just to the west. Seven canyons snake up into the mountains from the city's edges and many state and national parks, rivers, forests and recreation areas are within an easy day's drive.
The dry, sunny climate (never too extreme) of hot summers and snowy winters is conducive to a variety of sports, including hiking, mountaineering, rafting, fishing, skiing and snowboarding.
Salt Lake City is the gateway to a number of top-quality ski resorts in the nearby mountains. This brought the city international recognition as host of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.