With mountains, lakes, canyons and forests right on their doorstep, it’s easy to see why Salt Lake residents love the great outdoors. Come in winter for skiing on Utah’s snowy peaks, or in summer for gentle hikes amid the colorful wildflowers. Culture Trip’s local insiders recommend their favorites.
The Lake Mary Trail is a favorite local hike. Taking the 2.5mi (4km) route from the Brighton Ski Resort car park yields views across brilliantly blue waters surrounded by those rugged peaks that are so evocative of the great American frontier. Come in the summertime for a carpet of colorful wildflowers. Alternatively, make an adventure of it by hiking it with snowshoes in the winter, but make sure you’re in decent shape. It’s a short trail, but a steep one. Recommended by local insider David Smurthwaite
A classic Salt Lake City hike, the Living Room Lookout Trail, aka the Living Room Hike, is a moderate, 2.5mi (4km) round trip that takes you to a popular viewpoint on the surrounding hillside. Once there, settle down on one of the lookout’s stone seats and admire the views across the city. Iit’s particularly popular in the late afternoon and evening for twilight vistas across the skyline. Dogs are allowed on a leash, but remember to bring enough water for you and your furry friend. There’s a lack of shade at the top of the hike, and while the trail is short, the climb can be tiring in summer. Recommended by local insider David Smurthwaite
The stunning surroundings of Big Cottonwood Canyon make this trail a pleasure to walk all year round. Expect an easy 3mi (4.8km) walk with a small elevation gain that’s perfect for families and those just starting their love affair with the great outdoors, though experienced hikers will fall in love with the scenery, too. A refreshing dip in the falls during the summer months is a must – bring a towel or relax and let the sun dry you off. Recommended by local insider David Smurthwaite
Taking in views across another of Brighton Ski Resort’s alluringly blue lakes, the Silver Lake circular walk is an easy stroll around the shore of one of Salt Lake’s top beauty spots. It’s mostly a boardwalk, with occasional use of a well-trodden dirt path. Keep this in mind for those times you’d prefer a gentle walk rather than a hard, sweaty hike, and keep an eye out for local birdlife – it’s popular with local wildlife watchers for good reason. Recommended by local insider Whitney Brown
Hike up to an elevation of around 10,000ft (3,048m) to Cecret Lake – a gorgeous alpine lake in the dramatic Wasatch National Forest. The trail is a fairly easy one, and with the carpet of colorful wildflowers that summer brings, you’ll find the journey just as pleasant as the destination. There’s camping at Albion Basin Campground just next to the trailhead, so take a tent if you feel like a night under the stars. Recommended by local insider Whitney Brown