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The best of all worlds

In fall and winter, Canadian travellers must decide whether to embrace cold or follow the sun. Fly into Salt Lake City or Vegas (in neighbouring Nevada) and you'll face no such dillemma; you could be tearing through Utah's deserts or zipping down ski slopes in a couple hours. It's like "choose your own adventure," minus the choosing.

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Get started in Kanab

Nowhere is Utah's beauty more apparent than in its national parks, known collectively as "The Mighty 5." The city of Kanab is the gateway to two of the most famous -- Bryce Canyon and Zion -- plus Arizona's Grand Canyon. Such is the draw, some visitors spend their entire vacation in Southern Utah. We wouldn't blame you if you did.

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Live on mountain time

With one Winter Olympics under its belt and a possible second bid in the works, Utah is synonymous with world-class skiing. And snowshoeing. And heli-boarding. The state has 14 resorts -- including Powder Mountain, the largest in the U.S. -- with dozens of sports on offer. But you could just do what we do: skip straight to apres-ski.

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Where the west was born

Monument Valley is home to some of America's most emblematic scenery. As the heart of the Navajo Nation, it's also home to some of its most resonant stories. Take a tour of the tribal park with a Native American guide; it's a chance to learn about the region's 50-million-year-old origins and the culture of those who live there today.

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Create your own moment

Capitol Reef is the least visited of Utah's national parks -- and that's a good thing. Your reward for taking the road less travelled: endless panoramas, coloured cliffs, trails that meander through slot canyons and the namesake rock formations that resemble the U.S. Capitol building. Call it Mother Nature's best-kept secret.

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