Those that live or travel regularly to the mountains know that the core of mountain culture and life is the outdoors. The diverse landscape offers visitors the opportunity to indulge in a range of activities – from hiking the rugged terrain, rafting down gushing rivers that twist and turn through breath-taking canyons, to camping in the open wilderness under the star-studded night’s sky. All the time the scene is set with the dramatic beauty of towering mountain peaks, slumbering valleys and glistening, meandering lakes. Whether you’re seeking an adrenaline-fuelled adventure or searching for inner peace by connecting with the serenity of nature, you’ll find something you will enjoy doing in the mountains. Below is a list of a few activities you can experience:
Explore Geological History –
A mountain range is an exceptional place to explore the Earth’s rich geological history. Canyons carved from glaciers and ancient streams expose layers of rock formations, accumulated over millions or even billions of years and allude to a prehistoric time of extinct deserts and vanished seas. Exploring these independently or as part of a tour, you’ll likely find an array of fossils from bygone marine species to even the odd dinosaur, if you’re lucky. The Oquirrh and Wasatch mountain ranges encircling Salt Lake City are two examples where you can explore geological history. Here you’ll find well-known caves and canyons, such as the Timpanogos Cave National Park or Yellow Fork Canyon, and the incredible Bryce Canyon National Park with its famous ‘hoodoos’ or narrow spikes of rock that piece into the mountain air.
Experience Nature –
In addition to a rich and diverse landscape, mountains are packed with wondrous wildlife. High altitudes and remote wildernesses are in many cases a refuge for rare and diminishing animal species, not to mention unique, endemic plant life that have often disappeared from the lowlands due to human development. Bird watching is a popular pastime for nature enthusiasts exploring mountain ranges. As mountain lakes and streams tend to be an essential stopping off point for migrating birds seeking respite and food. They are also great places to sight raptors or birds of prey, many of which live and nest in and around the peaks and valleys. Apart from birds of prey, the mountain region is also a territory of obscure mammals, including deer, bear and mountain lions.
Indulge in adrenaline sports –
There are so many exciting, heart-pumping activities to experience in the mountain environment, including skiing, snowboarding and rafting. The challenging terrain – high peaks, plunging canyons and gushing rivers – means that an adrenaline junkie can really push themselves to the limits. If that is not your interest, mountains are also environments to enjoy gentle hikes and take in the glorious scenery. Try mountain cycling in the ranges surrounding Salt Lake City. Several bike trails, which range in difficulty, offer adventurers the chance to cruise along ridges, canyons, lakes and mountain peaks. Plus, if you opt for a long trail, you can spend a night in a lodge or even camp under the stars.
Find a festival –
Mountain ranges have always been a scene of human settlement, activity and culture. Perhaps because they offer people ample resources to survive on, while for some communities they are spiritual places. Many people believe that mountain peaks, which soar into the sky, connect to the celestial world. Among the most famous festivals is the Sundance festival, situated in Salt Lake Valley and surrounded by the Wasatch and Oquirrh mountain ranges. Sundance showcases the best independent films and takes place each year in January. While the surrounding mountain ranges offer visitors a change to explore the rich history of mining and development in the United States.
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