Five fun fall outdoor activities

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Provo is an excellent location for outdoor fun. Fall has the leaves changing colors, and the temperature is at a gradual decline — it’s no longer too hot for those outdoor mid-day activities.

Here are five fun activities to spend time with friends and get your heart pumping:

1. Mountain biking at Sundance

Mountain bikers enjoy riding down the slopes of Sundance. (Elliott Miller)
Mountain bikers enjoy riding down the slopes of Sundance. (Elliott Miller)

Aaron Tobler, a senior at BYU studying business management, enjoys the serenity of the trails at Sundance Resort. “It’s nice that Sundance is so close to Provo,” Tobler said. “My favorite time to go mountain biking there is during the fall because the leaves are changing and the trails are groomed and well kept.”

Sundance Resort is about a 15-mile drive up Provo Canyon. With more than 25 miles of trails and lift services, it is a popular location for summer and fall mountain biking. Options include bringing a personal bike or renting one from Sundance Mountain Outfitters at the resort.

2. Hiking to the Y

Located to the east of BYU’s campus is a large, hovering block “Y” over the city of Provo. It is visible from almost anywhere in town. Most students don’t graduate from BYU without making the popular hike somewhere along the way.

Ryan Daniels, a finance student at BYU, expressed his satisfaction with hiking up to the Y. “Not only is it a great form of exercise,” Daniels said, “but it also provides an opportunity to experience Provo at new heights.”

But some think there is a time and a place for this activity, and a high-pressure date situation is not the time nor place. Madeleine Hettinger, a public relations student at BYU, believes hiking the Y isn’t a great activity for good first impressions. “I would advise against hiking the Y on all first dates,” Hettinger said. “No girl wants to be huffing and puffing their way up that mountain while trying to impress a guy.”

3. Longboarding/rollerblading down Provo Canyon

The Provo River Parkway Trail runs for 14 miles, from Vivian Park in Provo Canyon all the way down to Utah Lake. Students around the Provo/Orem area often get a rush from riding down the canyon on longboards or rollerblades.

Michael Anderson, a senior at BYU, was initially skeptical of the activity. “I used to think longboarding was idiotic,” he said, “until I finally tried it with friends. I became hooked.”

When choosing activities with speed and acceleration, make sure to be safe and wear a helmet.

4. Floating down Provo River

Although leaves are changing and the temperature is cooling, there is still time to get a group together and float down the Provo River.  The river flows through Provo Canyon and is surrounded on all sides by wild mountain scenery that will excite nature lovers . With varying sections of calm and rapid river flow, the river provides both a thrilling adventure and a relaxing float.

High Country Adventure, located near Vivian Park in Provo Canyon, offers river tours or self-guided floats down the river through the end of September. It provides rentable equipment including tubes, rafts, kayaks and life jackets. It even organizes full moon tours for adrenaline junkies who desire to go rafting at night.

5. Jogging the Bonneville Shoreline Trail

For those who like to run or jog, trail running adds more challenge and difficulty to an average run. To enjoy a run with prettier scenery than an urban street or oval track, the Bonneville Shoreline Trail is located at the base of Y Mountain. It is accessible from the Y trailhead and stretches south, all the way to the mouth of Spanish Fork Canyon.

Fall is a time to soak in the last bit of sunny warmth before winter hits Provo. Take advantage of these fun activities before it is too late!

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