“All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost.” – J. R. R. Tolkien
This time of year is busy, so full of new opportunities that we forget to take time out for ourselves. A walk out in nature refreshes us in so many ways. Being outdoors increases levels of Vitamin D, helping us stay away from diabetes, heart disease and other health issues. It also improves long distance vision, lowering chances of nearsightedness. Those are just the physical benefits! Outside time has been thought to reduce ADHD, and decrease stress levels. It has been proven that not taking enough free time and being hurried contributes to anxiety and depression. Which means: It’s time to head out of the house!
“In every walk with nature, one receives more than he seeks.” –John Muir
It’s about the journey, not the destination, right? These hikes will not only help you feel better, they will get your adventure clock ticking. Whether long or short, easy or hard, don’t forget to take a water bottle! As the icon Bob Marley once said, “Though the roads been rocky, it still feels good to me.”
City Creek Canyon
Distance: 6 miles (there and back)
Time: 2.5 hours
Directions: Take B Street all the way up until it heads into the canyon via Bonneville Blvd, the trail is clearly marked from the road.
Located right behind the avenues in Salt Lake City, this trek has the option to take a paved trail, or a dirt one. You don’t even have to go the whole six miles; this path makes it easy to turn around anytime. This hike is great for bikes, strollers, and jogging. The paved trail is wide enough to hike side by side for a fun group activity. The drive up shows the hiker a great view of Salt Lake City from behind the Capital building.
Need something easier?
CITY CREEK PARK, located in downtown next to The LDS conference center, has a 2 mile stroll through beautiful ponds and trees, easy for the busy, young and old.
The Living Room
Distance: 2.4 miles (there and back)
Time: 1- 1.5 hours
Directions: Take 400 S. in Salt Lake City until it turns into Foothill Drive. Turn left onto Wakara Way, to the Red Butte Gardens Entrance. Turn left onto Colorow way before entering Red butte Gardens and the marked trailhead is on the left side of the street.
Called the Living Room for its huge sandstone rocks resembling furniture, this trail offers a breathtaking view of the valley, front row seats included. Located right next to the University of Utah, it’s a popular trail for students.
Not enough time?
LIBERTY PARK, located at 600 W 900 S in Salt Lake City, This park has a 1.5 mile paved jogging path around the perimeter of the park, great for kids, rollerblading and bicycles. Plus, there’s a duck pond, playgrounds and sports facilities, not to mention the Tracy Aviary on the premises!
The Alpine Sliding Rock
Distance: 2.5 miles (there and back)
Time: 1 hour
Directions: on I-15 take the Alpine/Highland exit and take Alpine Highway. Turn left onto Fort Canyon Road. Take the smaller road to the right and park. Go north on the trail! If you go east, you’ll find a hill popular for bicycle jumping!
This easy hike leads to a natural waterslide, great for those hot summer days when you need to cool down. An easy dose of fun for all ages!
Don’t want to get wet?
Check out a cave instead! The Timpanogos Cave Trail is about 2 miles as well, but on an easy paved road. It gets a little steep, but at the end is a guided tour of some amazing natural caves. A cave tour is $8 for adults, $4 for kids. If you are arriving from the north or south on Interstate 15, take the Alpine-Highland exit, then turn east on State Highway 92 and drive for about 10 miles.
Lake Blanche Trail
Distance: 6.64 miles (there and back)
Time: 4.5- 5 hours
Directions: This trail is located up Big Cottonwood Canyon on highway 190. At a point in the road there is a quick turn left, and right before is the Mill B South trail area. The trail starts on the east side of the parking lot, with a trailhead going up on the right, past the paved trail, marked with a wooden post.
There a quite a few great waterfalls and view of streams. I myself went on this trail, and be warned, it is a very steep one, (hence the hard difficulty) but with a gorgeous payoff of Sundial Peak, with hidden Lake Blanche’s shining waters underneath it. This long hike has tons of diverse nature, and great wildlife, deer and moose sightings!
Too hard on the knees?
Take the Mill B South Interpretive Trail! Instead of heading up the steep trail to the right, just continue forward on the paved trail. Not even a mile in length, this hike is good for all ages, and only takes about 30 to 45 minutes with the same gorgeous scenery as the Lake Blanche Trail.