Recently I was in Salt Lake City Utah and had the opportunity to hike into the foothills right outside of downtown. This hike allowed me the opportunity to partake in three different hikes in one. Because we were staying in the heart of downtown the first part of the hike was an urban hike. The second part of the hike was a hike through the neighborhood. Finally, I made it to the park and then into the foothills which was the main reason for the hike because of the beautiful views.
Urban hike or urban plight? Hiking through downtown Salt Lake City was less than impressive. It was sad to see a city that hosted the 2002 Olympics deteriorate so much. Main Street has closed businesses, homeless people and their belongings, pot smokers and just overall filth. At least 90% of the businesses on Main Street are closed and 50% of all businesses on the surrounding streets are closed. I asked an Uber driver if this deplorable situation is all due to COVID and he said yes, however it looked like these businesses have been closed longer than a year. The main thing I took away from this part of the hike is that it would not be safe to hike alone at night.
The neighborhood hike was diverse as well. On the edge of downtown, the neighborhood has modest homes and apartments. The closer to the park that I got the yards were more established and the streets were narrower. The narrow streets and small driveways are probably the reason for the limited parking available for park users. This parking issue was identified in a Yelp review I read about the park. After climbing through the foothills to another neighborhood the homes were more spread out and exclusive. Then beyond those homes the apartments and small homes associated with the University of Utah were prevalent. The neighborhood also had flat terrain and hilly terrain. I utilized some downhill hiking tips I read in a blog a couple weeks ago.
The park and foothill portion of the hike was nice. The park had lush grass and trees as well as a nice stream running through it. The foothill trails were steep and challenging some paved and some dirt. There were also some memorials along the trail from the Vietnam War and World War I, which added even more diversity to the hike. The views from the top of the foothill trail were wonderful; I could see all of the snow covered mountains surrounding the city along with a view of the Capital.
The people that I encountered on this hike were as diverse as the hike. There were tourists, students, families and homeless people in the urban area. The park had people with their dogs, people running, hiking and biking, there was a woman meditating and even an artist setting up. People in the foothills were there for the challenge of the hike and the beautiful views at the top of the hike there were people laying in the grass soaking up the sun.
If you get the opportunity to hike in Salt Lake City there are many areas to check out. Memory Grove Park and the Bonneville trail were the two areas I hiked. I would suggest a different area if you can drive to it. If you hike through downtown, be very careful and hike with a friend.