April 17, 2019

Salt Lake's best hikes with a View

Nothing gets much better than hiking in Utah thanks to easy access to the mountains and the variety of hiking options. You can find trails that are as close as 15 minutes away from downtown Salt Lake City. The beautiful Wasatch Front lines the valley with numerous options of hikes for all different difficulty levels of hikers. The best part of these hikes is that they will give you some of the most beautiful views of the city that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. With over hundreds of different trails so close, it can be hard to choose what is the best option for you, so the seven slopes team is here to help you find the best hike with a city view for you.

Bonneville Shoreline Trail

15-20 minutes / 0.5 miles

The Bonneville Shoreline Trail is a huge trail that lines the Wasatch mountains. It actually runs all the way from Idaho to Provo but for today's purposes will just be focusing on the Salt Lake City Portion. The best part of the Bonneville Shoreline is that there is an infinite number of options for all different levels of hikers. The Salt Lake Portion starts near the north side of the Greater Avenues and ends at Parleys canyon. Most of the trails start on the main path of the shoreline and then offshoots will lead to various destinations. One of my favorite sunset “hikes” (its really just a short walk) is just off of New Bonneville Road. Once you reach the end of the road there will be two gates leading to two different starting paths. Go through the gate on the left and follow the path. Once you reach a fork in the path take a left and walk out to the edge of the path. It's not hard to see that you will have quite the view. Personally, I like to take up a little picnic and some friends. This is the best way wind down after a long day and is only about a 15-20 minute walking.

I always recommend people to check out AllTrails to help them navigate the shoreline because there are so many options and Alltrails makes easy to choose the best options.

Z Trail Connector

1-4 miles / 977ft incline

If you are looking for something that is a little longer but the difficulty level is moderate my next recommendation is always the Z trail. This trail is also apart of the Bonneville Shoreline but it is on the portion that runs from Parley's Canyon to Draper. I like this trail because you get a little bit more of a workout and you can choose how long you want to go but also you get an awesome view for the majority of the hike. To get to the Z trail you are going to drive to the end of the Thousand Oaks Drive. You will come to a circle where you can park and towards the south of the circle, you will see a small set of wooden stairs. The trail starts at these stairs and you are going to be walking up a pretty aggressive incline for about 15 minutes. Right, when you're about to get pretty tired you will turn a corner and find the prettiest view of the city. The rest of the trail will be flat and you will have a view of the valley the entire time. I generally will take my dogs here and we will go for anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half. This trail is great if you want more of a challenge than the previous hikes but still want a view that is easier to reach. This trail also makes for a great winter hike!

Mount Van Cott Loop

2.8 miles / 1,364 ft incline

There is only one thing that beats sunsets over the Salt Lake Valley, it's sunflower fields AND sunsets over the valley. Mount Van Cott Loop is still considered a moderate hike but the incline is much more aggressive than Z Trail Connector. The best place to park is the upper part of the Jewish Community center parking lot. From here you will several trials leading up the mountain. I suggest downloading the trail map off AllTrails and having it on your phone because with all the trail option it can be hard to navigate which is correct. Because the incline is so steep this hike takes about 40-45 minutes to reach the peak but it is 100% worth it. Just when you are starting to get weary of hiking you will run into the most beautiful patch of sunflowers before reaching the top of the peak. I like to hang out at the top as the sun sets and enjoy the view. Make sure to give yourself 20-30 minutes to hike down if you don't want to hike in the dark and bring a headlamp just in case.

After a sunset hike, my favorite thing to do is grab a late night snack with friends. Luckily this hike is only about 10 mintues from downtown where you can find so great options.

The Living Room

2.2 miles / 976 ft incline

The Living Room is a classic hike that is well known among the University of Utah students as one of the best views of SLC that is close to campus. Parking and the beginning of the hike is near the Utah Natural History Museum. If you look up "living room hike" on google maps it will direct you to the exact location. This hike is a nice workout but shouldn't take over an hour and a half round trip. It is best to go early in the morning or at night especially, in the summer because the trail is exposed to the sun. The best part of this hike is once you reach the top of the trail is there are "rock couches." The story goes that years ago students arranged the rocks so that you can comfortably sit in them. Just warning this hike is fairly trekked out it is probably better to pick on of the above hikes for a quieter trail.

As you can see Utah and the Salt Lake has some great hikes with amazing views. These are only 4 of hundreds of other hikes throughout the valley exist. There are so many other hiking options from waterfalls to some of Utah highest peaks that offer the variety diffculty levels.

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Seven Slopes

Seven Slopes in a local's guide to what to do in Salt Lake City and the Wasatch Mountains.  The articles on this site were written by students from the University of Utah as part of a digital marketing curriculum.
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