The state of Utah in the west of the United States got its name from the Ute Indian language, meaning "people of the mountains". Utah is one of the most religiously homogeneous states with around 58 percent of its inhabitants belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also known as the Mormon Church. It also has a large number of northern and central European immigrants.
Utah's geological diversity ranges from snow-capped mountains to well-watered valleys to stony deserts and open plains.
Park City, in Utah's north, is one of two major resort towns in the state. The other is Moab. The decline of the area's mining industry was followed by a population drop, but rebounded in the 1980s and '90s with tourism greatly expanding.
Park City and Deer Valley resorts were major locations for skiing and snowboarding events at the 2002 Winter Olympics. Park City Mountain Resort covers 1350 hectares of varied ski and snowboard terrain. It is home of the United States ski team and training centre for the Australian freestyle ski team.
Ranked amongst the top 10 mountain resorts in North America and with its accessibility from Salt Lake, the area attracts many visitors for summer and winter activities. During summer, many people visit Park City to escape high temperatures it's usually 6°C cooler up there. More often than not, there are more visitors than locals.
The steepest zipline in the world is a fabulous way of getting a real adrenalin rush and could be the closest you will ever come to feeling the experience Olympians feel all the time. It's 91.5m long and flies along at almost 100km/h, with an average grade of 34 percent.
If you've ever wanted to have a go at the hair-raising luge, this is where you can learn. Or you can skate, slide or ride your way around Olympic Park to get a bit of a feel of what it's like to be a champion. Snow mobiles beyond the snow fields will take you anywhere and everywhere. They can travel at up to 150km/h, so be ready for the ride of your life.
Utah Outventures, in partnership with Rocky Mountain Outfitters, will take you to the tops of breathtaking mountains and through thousands of hectares of deep powder meadows. It's all national park, and if you're not travelling too fast, you will see some of the most beautiful winter scenery in the world. The Wasatch Range stretches 260km from the Utah-Idaho border and is the western edge of the greater Rocky Mountains.
Weather permitting, balloon flights are possibly the best way to enjoy this special place. They make the most of the day's first couple of hours after sunrise, and as is the norm with ballooning, everyone enjoys helping with the inflation process and preparing for the flight.
Park City, a 40-minute drive from Salt Lake City, the capital of Utah.
Rocky Mountain Outfitters' two-hour snowmobile tours cost around $170 plus petrol. Additional passengers cost around $40 each. Snowmobile suits and boots, complimentary shuttle from Park City and Heber Valley are included. They operate when the snow falls in December until the thaw begins in autumn.
Air New Zealand has flights to Los Angeles.
- Sydney $2163
- Melbourne $2249
- Brisbane $2267
- Perth $2446
Connections to Salt Lake City are available.
Prices correct at November 6, 2008.
For further information
Rocky Mountain Outfitters
PO Box 344
United States of America
Ph: +1 435 654 1655
Air New Zealand
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