Salt Lake City, Utah’s capital, is a navigable city surrounded broad desert valleys and snow-capped mountains. Within driving distance of five national parks, the small city is a wonderful hub from which to explore the region’s abundant natural beauty. To the west, Great Salt Lake glitters spectacularly in every season. Intrepid travelers can venture out to one of the lake’s ten islands to hike trails among deer, bison, and bighorn sheep. Antelope Island, the largest, is full of wildlife grazing on its prairie grasses and climbing its mountainous center. Less than an hour’s travel from the city reaches the Wasatch Mountains where visitors can enjoy excellent hiking and skiing. Canyon breezes cool the air in summer and the temperature is just a bit warmer in winter than those at other popular ski destinations. With plenty to see, you’ll want to spend the night. Check out our list of unique rentals around Salt Lake City to experience Utah’s diverse topography up close.