We all want to plan that multi-day outdoor excursion into the heart of the Uinta Mountains, drop caches for canyoneering in the desert, or prep for that excursion to desert sands in western Utah. Then again, some of us are terrible planners. Fortunately for those lucky souls, the wedge between the Wasatch Mountains and the Great Salt Lake is peppered with adventures all its own. There are a lot of hiking and biking destinations within Salt Lake City, and while Big Cottonwood and Little Cottonwood canyons are known for their outdoor opportunities, sometimes you just want something close to home, a place to go where all you need is a pair of boots or a mountain bike and a couple hours to kill.
We got you covered. Drop into the Bonneville Shoreline Trail early on a workday morning or hit the trail to an overlook of this fair city with a couple of lawn chairs heaved over your shoulder, a couple of brews on ice, a friend, and furry companion leading the way up the trail before dark to catch the sunset over the Great Salt Lake.
On Foot and Paw
Sunset from Living Room. Photo by Outdoor Project Contributor John Badila.
- Living Room Hike: Chairs included! One of the best overlooks near Salt Lake City.
- Mount Olympus: A *slightly* more aggressive hike that ascends over 4,000 feet.
- Heughes Canyon: Less crowded than nearby Mount Olympus.
- Tanner Dog Park: Over 13 miles of canine-friendly trails and watering holes.
- International Peace Gardens: West of downtown, come here to hit the Jordan River Park Trail or enjoy the artwork from around the world.
- Parley’s Nature Reserve: Great for pups and runs in a large preserve that follows the length of Parleys Creek.
View of the upper reaches of the City Creek Canyon. Photo by Outdoor Project Contributor Kyle Jenkins.
- Around the Valley: A 50-mile loop that circles Salt Lake.
- City Creek Canyon: Downtown, dog-friendly, paved trails with short and long route options.
- Corner Canyon Trail System: A network with diverse terrain and trails to choose from, including access to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail
- Mueller Park Trail to Big Rock: Easy ride north of Salt Lake City.
- Bonneville Shoreline Trail: Hilltop Road to Terrace Hill: An easy, family-friendly trail open nearly year-round.
- Bonneville Shoreline Trail, Bobsled: Similar to other portions of the Bonneville Trail, with a notable exception—cars, abandoned or wrecked years ago, which now serve as jumps.
- I Street Jumps: A terrain park that caters to the advanced rider.
- Mill Creek Pipeline Trail via Rattlesnake Gulch: A city favorite just west of downtown.
- Little Cottonwood Trail: Short ride at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon.