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Utah's capital is home to over a million people. Although this city bordering the Great Basin and Rocky Mountains may be famous as the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, less than half of Salt Lake City residents are Mormons and the city has become quite diverse. Temple Square, however, remains the most visited landmark in both the city and the state.
Salt Lake City is also close to some of Utah's best skiing, scenery, and white water rapids. Summers may be dry and winters may be snowy, but rented RV excursions are popular in Utah at all times of the year. Big Cottonwood Canyon is a popular winter snowboarding and summer climbing spot east of the city in the Wasatch Mountains. Park City, southeast of Salt Lake City, may be Utah's premier skiing destination, but visitors can also race down the slopes of the Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort. The 10 islands in Great Salt Lake, the world's second saltiest, greet millions of migrating birds annually.
Many Salt Lake City attractions are related to Mormonism, from the church's world headquarters in Temple Square to the 21,000 seat LDS Conference Center. Paintings of Brigham Young and other Mormon pioneers are displayed on the Utah State Capitol Building. The Brigham Young Monument and Meridian Marker is the beginning point of the city's street grid system, and Young's former Beehive House is named after the beehive which stands on top of its roof.
However, visitors of all beliefs are welcome at the Assembly Hall's complimentary weekend concerts. Stained glass windows adorn this Gothic-style structure in Temple Square's southwest corner. Utah pioneer life is faithfully recreated at the This is the Place State Park living historic village and 100-year-old Wheeler Historic Farm.
There are over 30 different water slides to cool off at Raging Waters, as well as a gigantic wave pool and water rollercoaster. Gateway to the Stars and Attack of the Space Pirates are just a couple of the exciting spectacles shown in both 2D and 3D on the Clark Planetarium's high technology screens. Utah's Hogle Zoo, first established in 1931, now contains more than 1,000 exotic animals such as snow leopards and white rhinoceros.
The Tracy Aviary is the oldest collection of its kind in the United States, with over 130 bird species and a series of relaxing ponds. The aviary is just one among many reasons to visit Liberty Park, which also contains the Chase Home Museum of Folk Art, an amusement park, a pond for boating, and a garden for children.
Visitors can hike directly to the Jordan River Parkway Trail from the Pony Express RV Resort, conveniently located north of Salt Lake City and its airport. The Park City ski resort is under an hour's drive away.
Grassy and shady sites are both easily available at Mountain Shadows RV Park, situated south of Salt Lake City in the peaceful community of Draper. A fitness centre, grocery shopping, and restaurants are all within walking distance.
The family-owned CampVIP park has been in business since 1974, and no reservations are required to obtain one of the park's 400 monthly RV sites. The park is directly across the Jordan River from Constitution Park.
Salt Lake City's wide and straight streets are easy to navigate thanks to the city's famous grid system. The recently completed Legacy Parkway has reduced the major rush hour traffic jams on Interstate 15 north in Davis County. Interstate 80 is the city's other major freeway. The rest of Utah is also fairly easy to drive in, but motorists should still take extra precautions in snowy conditions and on isolated desert roads. The legal alcohol limit for drivers is 80 mg/dL.