2016 NAALJ Annual Conference


Ideas for fun while visiting Salt Lake City.  For details, check out these sites:

The Great Salt Lake

As the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi River and the largest salt water lake in the western hemisphere, the Great Salt Lake is perhaps the best known geologic feature in the area. The city even takes its name from the lake - originally it was Great Salt Lake City, but the "Great" was dropped from the name in 1868. The lake has a rich history, interesting features, plays an important role in the ecosystem and provides abundant recreational opportunities.

Rocks on Antelope IslandThe Great Salt Lake is the remnant of Lake Bonneville, an enormous prehistoric lake that covered a large portion of western Utah. If you look around the Salt Lake Valley, you can see remnants of the shoreline of Lake Bonneville as terraces on the mountainsides. You can even hike or bike along that ancient shoreline if you follow the Bonneville Shoreline trail. The lake was well known to Native Americans, but was first seen by Europeans Jim Bridger and Etienne Provost in 1824. After the area was settled in 1847, some settlers (and later others) claimed to see what has become known as the North Shore Monster - the Great Salt Lake's version of the Loch Ness Monster.

Cycling in Salt Lake

One of the most happening cycling scenes in the nation is right here in the Beehive State's capital, Salt Lake. From skinny tires to fat, from townies to fixies, Salt Lake offers an incredible array of biking options.

When the famed "Greatest Snow On Earth" starts to melt from the Wasatch, small and not-so-small two-wheeled armies start invading the trails, streets, paths and hills in and around Salt Lake. Here, in no particular order or hierarchy, is a breakdown of the more noticeable and mainstream cycling options for the hard-core to the casual commuter.

Mountain BikingMountain Biking

The mountains of Northern Utah offer not only epic skiing and snowboarding, but they're home to incredible mountain biking as well. Sure, Moab and Park City get most of the mountain biking accolades, but in the foothills and mountains that surround Salt Lake lay a patchwork of trails tailored to the fat tire enthusiast, with near-immediate access. There are trails for the novice mountain biker and trails for the gear-riddled downhiller, often with access from the same trailhead. Check out the trails listed inHiking & Biking.

Perhaps one of Utah's most ridden mountain bike trails is the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. As the name implies, much of the trail is on or near the shoreline bench of the ancient glacial Lake Bonneville, traversing above the valley populace and offering stunning panoramic views. Though it actually spans the entirety of the Wasatch Front, the most popular section of the Shoreline Trail tends to be from City Creek to Emigration Canyon. Along the trail are a number of spurs, many of which feature incredibly fast and fun descents, some with features for those with serious travel in their shocks. These multiple spurs and trailheads also allow for varying lengths of rides.

Another one of Salt Lake's more popular mountain bike rides is the Wasatch Crest Trail, basically traversing the ridge that separates Salt Lake from Park City, and running from Big Cottonwood Canyon to Mill Creek Canyon. The actual trail begins near Guardsman Pass, so many opt for a shuttle from Salt Lake; heartier souls make the climb. This trail, without a doubt, offers some incredible views in all directions.

Road CyclingRoad Cycling

For those whose only exposure to road cycling is from watching the Tour de France each July, it often surprises them to find so many professional cyclists are either from Utah or have strong ties to it (David Zabriskie, Marty Jemison, Levi Leipheimer, Jeff Louder and Burke Swindlehurst, to name a few). There's actually a very simple explanation for that: Utah's roads and mountains are ideal proving grounds for the pro peloton. If you're not quite Tour-worthy and not really interested in racing, know there's a long list of roads or paths ideally suited to you, too.

Gentle, cruising cycling paths include the Jordan River Parkway and the Great Salt Lake Legacy Parkway. For good, intermediate-level climbing, Emigration Canyon tends to be popular choice for a number of reasons: good pavement, fairly wide shoulders, great accessibility and, for the most part, courteous and aware drivers. If you want to test your cycling mettle, there's always Little and Big Cottonwood canyons as well as Millcreek, each of which offers serious challenge as well as very rewarding and speedy descents. Connecting all of these is a very good network of roads and paths, so getting around from anywhere in the valley is relatively simple.

Biking in Salt LakeUrban Cycling

Say you're in town visiting and simply want to pedal around and check things out. Believe it or not, the topography and streets of Salt Lake seem almost designed for bikes. In fact, exploring and experiencing all that downtown Salt Lake has to offer may best be accomplished on two wheels. First, the city itself is relatively flat, allowing for non-geared bikes to roam freely. Second, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker is a staunch supporter of cycling and, more importantly, safe cycling. City streets are wide, many of which feature bike lanes. On popular avenues with limited space, the city has implemented "shared lanes," designated by 4-foot wide green stripes, whereby bicycles can utilize the entire lane just as vehicles do until the street widens again and a bike path begins.

And Salt Lake is one of many cities to adopt a Bike Share program, where members (1-day to annual memberships available) can check out a bike from any number of Bike Share stations and ride it around town, returning the bike to any other station. Again, it's a great way to see and experience the downtown core of the city.

Whether you fall into the casual category and simply want to explore Salt Lake City on a cruiser bike, or you want rip a gnarly downhill, a number of Salt Lake bike shops can get you set up. Shops that offer excellent inventory and stellar customer service include Contender Bicycles in the 9th and 9th neighborhood and Millcreek Bicycles in the Olympus Cove area.

So whether you throw your leg over an old townie or a bike worth more than many cars, strap on shin guards and a full-face mask to ride your 10" travel downhill bike or just want to take a spin with your kids, Salt Lake offers the ideal ride for you. There's a lot to see and do in and around Salt Lake, and much of it is best experienced perched atop a bike. Enjoy!

Utah Olympic Park

During the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, Utah Olympic Park hosted bobsled, skeleton, luge, and Nordic ski jumping events. Home to six Nordic Ski Jumps, 1,335-meter sliding track with five start areas, freestyle aerials winter training and competition hill, and newly renovated Big Air pool, the Utah Olympic Park serves as a training center for Olympic and development level athletes and is a popular destination for visitors. 

The Park features the Joe Quinney Winter Sports Center, which houses both the Alf Engen Ski Museum and George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles 2002 Olympic Winter Games Museum. Parking and admission to the museums and venue is free.

Summer and winter, the signature Comet Bobsled ride is the Olympic Park’s defining activity. With a seasoned bobsled pilot, experience the official 2002 Olympic Sliding Track including speeds over 60 mph and notable g-forces. We challenge you to count all the curves as you take this amazing ride. The summer bobsled is a built on wheels and runs on the concrete track. In the winter, the modified bobsled slides seamlessly down the ice resulting in an unmatched ride. 

Adventure activities operate all summer long including two ziplines, featuring the Extreme Zip (one of the steepest ziplines in the world), the uniquely designed Alpine Slide, three adventure ropes courses and a special challenge called the Drop Tower. There are also nature trails throughout the venue, so feel free to wander and explore.

Activities at the Park


What To Do 

City Creek Center 

Salt Lake City's premier shopping and dining destination was recently awarded “Best Retail Development in the Americas.” This unique shopping environment features a fully-retractable glass roof, hourly fountain shows, waterfalls, and a sparkling creek that runs through the entire project. The mall is located 2 blocks directly north of Hotel Monaco.  




Family History

Family History Library. It's bold that we claim to be the Genealogy Capitol of the World, but we have the facilities to back it up. The Family History Library is the largest library of its kind in the world with access to over 2.4 million rolls of microfilmed genealogical records. That means when you plan a research trip to Salt Lake there's more than likely going to be something for you to find.  

FamilySearch Center. If you're new to Family History, we have the perfect place to start. Salt Lake is home to the FamilySearch Center — friendly (and free) staff can help you get started on over 100 individual computer stations with access to family history resources.   

Beehive House 

A National Historic Landmark, and a monument to courageous people who conquered the desert. Built in 1854, this served as the official residence of Brigham Young when he was President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Governor of the Utah Territory. Free tours daily. 

Historic Temple Square 

The centerpiece of this beautifully landscaped 10-acre plot in the heart of downtown is the 6-spired Salt Lake Temple. Also on the Square is the domed Tabernacle, home of the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir; the Assembly Hall where free concerts are given most weekends; 2 visitor centers; 2 one-hour films: Legacy and The Testaments of One Fold and One Shepherd. Free tours are given daily in 30 languages, and start every few minutes at the flagpole.

Hogle Zoo

Located at the mouth of Emigration Canyon in Salt Lake City’s eastern foothills, Hogle Zoo is one of the top visited attractions in the state. See animals such as lions and giraffes in the expansive African Savanna or polar bear, sea lions, and grizzly bears at Rocky Shores – plus so much more! Many of our animals are endangered or threatened. All are examples of the beauty & diversity of the natural world. Open daily.


Where to Eat 

All of these restaurants are within an easy walking distance from Hotel Monaco: 

Alamexo offers authentic and contemporary Mexican cuisine in a historic downtown Salt Lake City building. We combine a sleek interior with a spirited atmosphere to cater to any event from large groups to intimate dinners. Our goal is to provide top shelf tequila selections with warm hospitality and authentic Mexican cuisine. We also offer a fast and friendly lunch service to suit anyone from the business professional to the casual diner. We are open seven days a week so come try a taste of Mexico in Salt Lake City. Address: 268 South State. 

Copper Onion. Voted "Best New Restaurant 2010" by Salt Lake City Weekly readers, The Copper Onion serves regional American fare in the heart of downtown. We offer a casual atmosphere, affordable prices, and a seasonal, locally-sourced menu. Pasta and bread made in-house daily. Outdoor and private dining available. Reservations recommended. Address: 111 East 300 South. 

Cucina Toscana has been Salt Lake’s favorite Italian restaurant for more than 15 years, known for our impeccable service and our homemade pastas. Our authentic Northern Italian menu includes pastas, decadent sauces, and a wide selection of entrees that are paired perfectly with wines from the region. Address: 282 South 300 West. 

Finca is a Spanish tapas restaurant featuring local and sustainable ingredients, craft cocktails, and a large hand-selected wine list including many wines from small estate, sustainable Spanish vineyards. Named "Best New Restaurant" in SLC by City Weekly, Finca has also won numerous awards and reviews for its food, wine and beverage programs. Located in downtown SLC in a lush, custom-designed space, Finca is open Mon-Sun for lunch, dinner, cocktails and weekend brunch. Address: 327 West 200 South. 

Market Street. Rated the best fresh seafood between Seattle and Boston. Enjoy our famous clam chowder, Angus Beef steaks, and a wide variety of non-seafood selections. Menus feature the freshest, highest quality ingredients available. Zagat rated Best Breakfast, Best Seafood, Most Popular, Best Desserts. Extensive wine list. Address: 48 West Market Street. 

New Yorker. SLC’s premier dining establishment. Modern American cuisine featured in refined dishes and approachable comfort food. From classic to innovative, contemporary seafood to Angus Beef steaks. Rated Best Chef. Private dining rooms. Located in the heart of downtown. Address: 60 West Market Street. 

Local Watering Holes


Getting Around

Salt Lake City was designed by practically-minded pioneers along an east/west, north/south grid pattern, so finding addresses is easy. For example, the Hotel Monaco is 15 East 200 South, which means that it is located 2 blocks south of Temple Square, and slightly east of Main Street. Just remember that the Wasatch Mountains are on the east side of the city, and you’ll never get lost. You’ll also notice that State Street is considerably wider than most city streets. That’s because it was designed to be wide enough for a pioneer to turn a full wagon and team of horses around mid-block. Now, of course, drivers are grateful for the extra driving lanes. 

Salt Lake is blessed to have a state-of-the-art light rail system with 3 lines that run from the airport, all the way to the University of Utah on the east bench and down to the south end of the valley. Trains run about every 15 minutes, and are free within the immediate downtown. Here’s a map for the free fare zone: https://www.rideuta.com/Fares-And-Passes/Free-Fare-Zone. 

From the airport, catch a Green line train from Terminal One, and get off at the City Center station (100 South Main Street). The ride should take you about 20 minutes. The Hotel Monaco will be one block south of the station. The trip will cost about $2.50.

 Salt Lake also has a bike share program. You can hop on a Green Bike at any of their stations, and then just drop it off when you are done. A 24 hour pass is only $7 and stations are located throughout the City. Here’s a map: https://greenbikeslc.org/station-map.

Utah Area Attractions 

Although you’ll need to rent a car to get around, these sites are world-class and well worth the effort. 

Park City

In 2008, Park City was named by Forbes Traveler Magazine among one of the 20 “prettiest towns” in the United States. Famous for its ski resorts and the Sundance Film Festival (the country’s largest independent film festival), Park City offers visitors breathtaking mountain vistas, hiking trails, fine dining, shopping and more. Park City is about 45 minutes from downtown Salt Lake.   


Moab and Arches National Park 

Located about 3½ hours southeast of Salt Lake is Arches National Park. The park has over 2,000 natural stone arches, in addition to hundreds of soaring pinnacles, massive fins and giant balanced rocks. This red rock wonderland will amaze you with its formations, refresh you with its trails, and inspire you with its sunsets. The park is great for backpacking, mountain biking, camping and driving tours. Make sure to bring plenty of water with you.  

Zion National Park 

Located in southwestern Utah (about 4 hours from Salt Lake), Zion National Park encompasses some of the most scenic canyon country in the United States. Carved by water and time, Zion National Park is a canyon that invites you to participate in the very forces that created it. In the warm climate of southwestern Utah, step into the Virgin River and see the colorful strata that mark the ages rising for thousands of feet up to a narrow strip of sky, then hike to seemingly impossible places and heights.

Zion National Park’s canyons and mesas boast an especially exquisite beauty, even in a state known for dramatic landscapes. Breathtaking Zion Canyon is the centerpiece of this 147,000-acre parkland that protects a spectacular landscape of high plateaus, sheer canyons, and monolithic cliffs.

Opportunities to see and explore Zion National Park abound for people of all ages and abilities, from the scenic byways that slice through the park to the trails that wind through the backcountry. Wildlife watchers can stop at numerous lookouts and search the sky for Zion’s more than 200 bird species, while hikers can strap on their boots and venture out on trails ranging from easy interpretive nature walks to lengthy, challenging hikes through narrow slot canyons. Hiking in Zion National Park is major reason why many people visit.

Rock climbers know Zion National Park for its immense rock walls of red and white Navajo sandstone that rise more than 2,000 feet into the sky. If you look closely, you might even spot some climbers carefully making their way upward, mere specs on a vertical landscape. You may be curious but think such a rock climbing and bouldering experience is out of your reach. Not necessarily – several local guiding outfits offer beginner classes and guided climbs in areas near Zion National Park.

Bryce Canyon 

Bryce Canyon National Park, a sprawling reserve in southern Utah, is known for its crimson-colored hoodoos, or spire-shaped rock formations. The park’s main road leads past the expansive Bryce Amphitheater, a hoodoo-filled depression lying below the Rim Trail hiking path. It has overlooks at Sunrise Point, Sunset Point, Inspiration Point and Bryce Point. Prime viewing times are around sunup and sundown. 

powered by MemberClicks