Salt Lake County’s allure has only grown, and that’s in large part thanks to its abundant natural resources. Getting outside and adventuring is one of Utah residents’ favorite pastimes, and thankfully, there’s no shortage of places to explore.
Hikers are spoiled by Salt Lake County’s diversity of trails and parks to experience when warmer weather makes its appearance. Take a hike through some of the most beautiful outdoor escapes in the area.
Donut Falls Trail
This trail is just as yummy as it sounds. Donut Falls Trail takes hikers on a leisurely stroll over a creek and straight to a boulder field. Some visitors are happy to turn back after that point, content with the excellent views and relatively easy hike. However, the sprinkles on top of this hike come after you carefully scale the boulders and make it to the falls. The climb is certainly tricky, but it’s worth it to see the one-of-a-kind waterfall that has water flowing out of a donut-shaped hole. Take a dip in the small natural pool and explore the nearby cave. Be warned that some of the trail crosses through private land, so be sure to stay on the path.
Living Room Lookout Trail
This hike isn’t nearly as relaxing as your actual living room, but it’s a whole lot more exciting. The heavily-trafficked Living Room Lookout Trail is one of the most sought-after hikes in the foothills. The trail gets its name from the unique rock formations that resemble living room furniture. Once you stop to take a rest on a chair that looks suspiciously like a rock, continue on and make your way down the back side of the trail. Coyotes and cougars are known to roam this area so be on alert to avoid any encounters with the wildlife.
Bonneville Shoreline Trail
Bonneville Shoreline Trail is both a good time, a long time, and a hard time. The trail extends for nearly ten miles and much of it is uphill both ways. Hikers get to navigate the rocky trail alongside many mountain bike enthusiasts. The key selling point to this trail is the stunning view of Salt Lake City found at the top of this difficult climb. Bonneville Shoreline Trail can get exceptionally muddy when the spring precipitation hits, making it even more of a challenge to overcome the rocky terrain. Many folks love this uphill thrill so be prepared for crowds when you visit starting in April.
Twin Lakes Trail
You’ll be seeing double on the Twin Lakes Trail. The Twin Lakes Reservoir is intricately shaped with wider ends and a narrow middle, giving the illusion that it’s really two lakes. It’s only one, and getting to it requires a moderately challenging hike that starts either via the Brighton Loop or the Sol Bright Trail. You’ll gain elevation at a fast and furious pace once you hit the trail – 700 feet in one mile, to be exact. Peek between the pines to get a glimpse of the lake before the trail opens up to reveal its full glory. Circle the lake in a half-hour or so and then make your way back down.
Lakes Mary, Martha, and Catherine Trail
Take a trip to see your three favorite gals! The Lakes Mary, Martha, and Catherine Trail is an easy three-mile hike to reach three lakes. Lake Mary is the first to make an appearance just a mile from the trailhead. She’s technically a reservoir, but don’t tell her. Up next is little sister Lake Martha, the smallest of the three bodies of water. Last but not least, Lake Catherine appears after some modest elevation gain. She shares her space with a forest area. This trail is the best of both worlds in the spring because the weather is warmer, yet snow can still stick around on some of the mountain caps through June.
Ensign Peak Trail and Overlook
Ensign Peak Trail and Overlook is best described as short and steep. It’s just under a mile and the path leads you to an overlook that offers a gorgeous view of both the town below and the nearby mountain range. It’s a well-marked trail with the added trickiness of loose pebbles and a fairly arduous incline. Spikes are recommended since this hike can get especially muddy in the springtime. Ensign Peak Trail and Overlook isn’t shaded, so you might want to pick a spring day that isn’t quite so hot. This is a short hike that leads to an excellent place to watch the Utah sun rise or set.
Jordan River Trail: Midvale Section
The Midvale section of the Jordan River Trail hugs the water and gives a no-frills, all-fun hike. You get nearly three miles of nothing except flat and paved pathways, with the occasional bench to take a break. The trail’s main allure is the abundance of overgrown vegetation that creates a lush paradise of flora and fauna. In fact, the forestry is so dense here that you won’t really be able to get up close to the water, but you do get some lovely scenery while you take your stroll. The parking lot is located at the north end of the trail.