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Woman mountain biking, Utah© Geir Olav LyngfjellWoman mountain biking, Utah
© Geir Olav Lyngfjell
Whether your idea of the perfect holiday involves schussing down Olympic-calibre slopes, spotting Hollywood celebrities or tracing your family tree, you'll find lots to amuse you in Utah.

Salt Lake City, at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains, makes a great base of operations. Start your explorations in Temple Square, where you'll find the massive granite Salt Lake Temple. The interior of this building is open only to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (popularly known as the Mormons), but you can see photos of the interior and learn more about the church at a nearby visitors' centre. Also on Temple Square is the Family History Library, one of the world's most comprehensive genealogical resources.

Elsewhere in Salt Lake City you can take in a pro basketball game, enjoy a symphony or ballet performance, or dine at one of 1400 restaurants. And within an hour's drive of the city are some of the best ski resorts in the West, where athletes tested their mettle during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. One of the most popular of these ski areas is Park City, where you can also see the latest indie movies every January during the Sundance Film Festival.

Hoodoos at Sunset Point, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah© alystaHoodoos at Sunset Point, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
© alysta
Utah has more national parks than any other state. Hikers come from around the globe to explore The Narrows, a slot canyon in Zion National Park, while the dramatic red stone spans in Arches National Park are popular with photographers. Near the state's southern border with Arizona, Lake Powell—the continent's second-largest reservoir—is a haven for houseboaters, water skiers and fishers. Fishing enthusiasts also rave about the trout fishing on the Provo River in central Utah. Whitewater rafters, meanwhile, head to the Cataract Canyon on the Colorado River for great rapids.

by Laura Byrne Paquet

Stock Photos from 123RF

Stock Photos from 123RF