We’ve been social distancing for going on two months, and it doesn’t appear we’re on the verge of returning to our regularly scheduled routines any time soon. Tired of sitting inside yet? I have some good news for you. It’s springtime, the weather is beautiful, and the outdoors aren’t closed. Here are six of our favorite spring hikes near Salt Lake City. They’re all low elevation enough you shouldn’t encounter more than a couple patches of stubborn snow, and they’re perfect for enjoying a bit of sunshine and some fresh air when we need it most. Just be sure adhere to good social distancing practices while enjoying the outdoors, especially at trailheads and parking areas where people congregate.
Click on the links provided for complete trailhead, parking and route information from alltrails.com.
The Living Room
Named for the array of couches and chairs fashioned from stone that are found along the trail, The Living Room is a popular hike in the foothills above Salt Lake City. The 2.8-mile loop trail features just over 1,000 feet of elevation gain, which are well-worth the effort once you take in the valley views. Getting to take a load off on some Flintstone-style furniture is the icing on the cake.
The hike to Ensign Peak is relatively easy, with around 400 feet of elevation gain on the roughly 1-mile out and back trail. From above the state capitol you’re rewarded with views of the entire valley, and if you time it right the sunset views over the Oquirrh Mountains and the Great Salt Lake are tough to top.
Bonneville Shoreline Trail
Roughly following the shoreline of the ancient Lake Bonneville, which existed in Utah some 14,000 years ago, the Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST) is accessible in some form or another along nearly the entire Wasatch Front. This makes it quick option for a little outdoor jaunt no matter where you are in the valley. The BST is quite popular in the foothills near the University of Utah, where numerous offshoots above and below the main trail make for loops of varying length and difficulty.
Summit Park Peak
Rising above the neighborhood at the top of Parley’s Summit on I-80, point 8,618—better known as Summit Park Peak—is accessed by a reasonably short but steep hike. Once on top, you’ll have 360-degree views of the Wasatch Mountains, the Great Salt Lake and Summit County. It’s a lot of bang for the buck. Remember to drive and park responsibly in the neighborhood where the trailhead is located.
Heading west on I-80, the scalloped outline of Mount Aire paints an impressive silhouette against the sky. The climb to the top of Mount Aire is steep, particularly along the long summit ridge. Views of the Twin Peaks as well as Parley’s, Lambs and Mill Creek Canyons give a sense of grandeur to the hike that belie how easily accessible it is.
The Pipeline Trail in Millcreek Canyon is a perfect spring playground with expansive views and blooming wildflowers. The out-and-back trail covers 13.3 miles and 2,500 vertical feet, meaning regardless of your ability or motivation you’ll find plenty to get your outdoor fix. Pipeline is a dog-friendly trail, too, so don’t be afraid to bring along your four-legged companion.