The Living Room Hiking Trail offers a short, but challenging hike for beautiful views overlooking Salt Lake City. The trail is approximately 2.5 miles roundtrip. The elevation at the start of the trailhead is 5,000 feet with an elevation gain of 967 feet. Dogs are permitted on this trail.
How to get there
From Foothill Drive, turn right onto Wakara Way and then right on to Colorow Road. The trailhead is on the east side of the street. Parking is available on both sides of the street.
Trailhead coordinates: 40.759301, – 111.8211300
Living Room coordinates: 40.763196, – 111.811905
The start of the trail offers some shade, but most of the trail does not. Be prepared to bring a hat, protection from the sun and plenty of water. I also recommend using hiking poles, not only because it is easier on your joints when you are walking; but they can also be used as a splint or crutches in an emergency.
There are multiple hiking and biking trails that split off which can be confusing for some people who are looking for the Living Room Trail. When you see the pipeline marker 174, you are heading towards George’s Hollow be sure to continue east (towards the mountain). When you reach the wooden post (photo is taken facing west) you will see two paths. Take the path on the right and continue heading east.
The trail varies from dirt, gravel to rocky areas.
The Living Room is a great spot to relax, eat a snack and take in the view of the city.
At this point, most people make the return trip back. However, if you would like a longer adventure there are many other trails to explore.
You may want to consider beginning your hike an hour before sunset for a stunning view. Be sure to bring a headlamp or flashlight if you will be hiking down after sunset. You may want to hike the trail during different seasons for a great display of wildflowers or fall colors.
White Pine, Red Pine Lake and the Maybird Gulch Trail each start at the same trailhead. The Maybird Gulch Trail is the path that is least travelled, but offers solitude along with stunning scenery. No fees or permits are required. It is a watershed area and no dogs are permitted. The hike is best during the summer and fall, as snow will be in the higher elevation into mid-June.
The trail is a dirt path with rocks and has an elevation gain of approximately 2,000 ft. It is excellent hike for birding, photography, wildflowers, wildlife and to see fall colors. Aspen and evergreen trees offers some shade, but be sure to bring plenty of water and wear clothing that will offer protection from the sun. There are three small lakes, but no wading or swimming is permitted in the watershed lakes.
How to get there
Drive up Little Cottonwood Canyon for 5 ½ miles. The turnoff is on the south side of the road right after the “White Pine Slide Area” sign. There is a restroom at the beginning of the trailhead. A quaint footbridge gets you across the Little Cottonwood Creek. The trail gradually climbs to follow an old four wheel drive road, which is now closed to motorized vehicles. The old road is now a wide trail and after about a half-hour from Cottonwood Creek the trail splits and takes a sharp left to the White Pine drainage. Take the right trail west toward the Red Pine drainage, as the trail climbs a bit south before crossing the wood bridge over the stream.
The trail then gradually climbs as it traverses west and you enter the Lone Peak Wilderness area, offering some marvelous vistas of the Salt Lake valley to the west. The trail then steepens and finally reaches the Maybird Gulch turnoff to the right where the trail converges with the Red Pine stream, and you there’s a small bridge to the right which takes you to the Maybird Gulch trail. If you happen to miss the bridge and get to the mine tailings just above the junction, just head back a few minutes and you’ll find the bridge.
You will enjoy the solitude of the Maybird Gulch trail, it’s easy to follow as it winds its way to the west and south into the Maybird Gulch drainage. You will start to hear the birds and notice the abundance of wildflowers. When you get to the lakes, you will have stunning views of the Pfeifferhorn, which is the fifth highest peak in the Wasatch Range at 11,325 feet.
The Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail offers 27.7 miles of recreational fun for mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, wildlife viewing and cross-country skiing. The majority of the trail is gravel. There is a 3 mile section in Park City, and a half mile section in Wanship that is paved asphalt.
Over 100 years ago, the Echo-Park City Railway transported coal and silver ore. In 1989, the Union Pacific abandoned the railroad line. The railroad line was transformed into the first non-motorized rail trail in Utah. The Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail State Park was opened to the public in 1992.
The trail begins at an approximate elevation of 6,900 feet in Park City and gradually descends to 5,280 feet. If you are biking, be sure to bring an extra tube and a tire repair kit with you. Having a fully charged cell phone is not just for photos but also is important in case of emergencies. Be sure to use sunscreen and wear clothing to protect you from the sun, and bring plenty of water with you. There are several vault toilets along the trail.
Portions of the trail are adjacent to private property and you will encounter gates to open and shut to keep animals contained. Be sure to remain on the trail and be respectful of their property.
The landscape transitions from volcanic canyon to wetlands and farms. Some of the wildlife you may encounter includes, fox, bald eagles, moose, deer, rabbits, and beavers. You may want to bring binoculars with you.
Echo Reservoir has recreational boating and fishing and is the perfect place to rest for a picnic and swim before making your return trip back to Park City. If making the roundtrip loop is more than you would like to do, an alternative would be to have someone drop off the trail users and to meet them at Echo Reservoir. See the map for entry points to the trail for additional options.
The Jordan River Parkway is an urban park with a network of non-motorized trails that runs along the Jordan River. The Jordan River flows north from Utah Lake to the Great Salt Lake wetlands, through Utah, Salt Lake and Davis counties. The concept for the Jordan River Parkway was developed in the 1970’s to address flood-control, but also included opportunities for recreational use.
The mixed-use trail is used by bicyclists, runners, skaters and walkers. There is also a separate equestrian trail. Dogs are permitted on-leash. Picnic areas as well as playgrounds can be found at various points along the trail. With the beautiful backdrop, it is not unusual to come across artists sketching or painting the scenery. Whether you prefer early morning, day time, or evening use, it is a perfect way to relax in nature without leaving the city. There is no charge for day use or parking.
For some people, the Jordan River Parkway is a perfect place to relax and catch dinner. If you are fishing in the Jordan River, be sure to follow the general statewide regulations.
Hundreds of species of plants and animals can be found along the Jordan River Parkway’s ecosystem. It is the perfect place for birding. These are some of the birds that can be commonly found at the Jordan River Parkway. In addition, you may see a variety of reptiles, amphibians and mammals.
In November, 2017 a 120-foot arch bridge over rail yards was completed to enable existing trails to be connected, providing more than 100 miles of continuous off-street paved trail for bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts. It doesn’t matter at what point you enter the trail, or the path that you take, you are sure to find a fun time.
The Salt Lake area is a great place to live or visit if you enjoy access to a variety of urban activities, but it also offers easy access to some wonderful hikes, if you want to get away from the fast-paced city life, grab your hiking shoes from the closet and take a break to rejuvenate yourself and de-stress by getting out in nature as well as benefit from a bit of exercise. Even a 10-minute walk in some of the city parks can be helpful, but if you’re more ambitious and have more time, here are some of my favorite Millcreek area hikes
Grandeur Peak – This is a moderate hike – a 8,299 foot summit, that is dog friendly, and can take from about 3 to 4 hours. You can start from either the Church Fork trailhead in Millcreek Canyon, or take the more direct (steeper) route from the west. If you go up Millcreek Canyon, they charge a $3.00 fee when you leave the canyon, to help maintain the canyon’s facilities. The western route is great if you’re time is limited. You can take your dog with you, but they recently are asking for dogs to be leashed from the west. In Millcreek Canyon, dogs can be off leash on odd-numbered days and since you’re starting at a higher altitude, the hike is easier and not quite as steep. Grandeur is one of my favorites when I am looking for a quick getaway. https://utah.com/hiking/grandeur-peak
Mount Olympus – is an easily accessed dog-friendly trail from Wasatch Boulevard that offers some spectacular views of the Great Salt Lake and the Salt Lake area. This hike would be a step above the Grandeur hike, the summit is 9,030 feet, and although there’s a moderate trail for the first third of the way, the trail does get somewhat steeper after crossing the creek. When you reach the point where the trail goes through the forested area just above the switchbacks, you are on your way to the upper ridge. From the upper ridge, you follow the trail north to some rock scrambling along the trail to the peak. There are some sections that you may have to help your dog get up the rocks. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/utah/mount-olympus-trail
Pipeline Trail – if you’re looking for a relatively easy flat hike that is accessed in Millcreek Canyon. It is a popular hike for runners, bikers, and dog walkers and offers some nice views. Bikes are allowed on the trail every day but on the upper Millcreek trails they are only allowed on even-numbered days. Dogs can be off-leash on odd numbered days. The trail can be accessed from several trailheads – I usually start from just above and across from the Porter Fork trail. If you are ambitious enough to hike all the way (about 6 miles) to the western end there are some nice views of the Salt Lake valley. https://www.trailrunproject.com/trail/7002438/pipeline-trail-burch-hollow-millcreek-canyon.
Salt Lake Overlook Trail – Is about a 4½ mile out and back easy to moderate Millcreek Canyon trail that is shaded for most of the hike and is also a dog-friendly trail. You will begin the hike at the trailhead next to the Mill Creek Inn and you will be taking the Desolation Trail. There are some nice views when you get to the rock outcroppings at the end of the hike. You won’t see as many people on this trail as on the Pipeline Trail. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/utah/desolation-trail-to-salt-lake-overlook
Mount Aire – this moderate hike is a little over 3½ miles out and back from the Elbow Fork trailhead in Millcreek Canyon. However, in the winter, the road is closed at the Maple Grove picnic area and the hike would be about 7 miles out and back. From the peak at 8,621 feet, you can enjoy some great views of Millcreek Canyon, as well as Parleys Canyon and the Salt Lake Valley. This would also be a great snowshoe hike in the winter that is safe from avalanches.
Dog Lake & Desolation Lake – A 5 mile out and back trail to Dog Lake is accessed from the upper parking area at the end of the Millcreek Canyon road. Dogs are allowed on the trail on odd days and bikes are allowed on even days to Dog Lake, but if you go all the way to Lake Desolation, dogs are not allowed. The trail is heavily used in the summer months, but is really peaceful in the winter for cross country skiing. However, in the winter, it is much longer because the Mill Creek road is closed at Maple Grove. The lakes can also be accessed from about 9 miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon at the Mill D North Fork trail. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/utah/dog-lake-trail
Alexander Basin & Gobblers Knob – Gobblers Knob, at 10,246 feet, is the highest summit on the ridge dividing Big Cottonwood Canyon and Millcreek Canyon. It can be accessed from either canyon, but I usually go by way of the Alexander Basin trail, where the trailhead is about 8½ miles up Millcreek Canyon road. Again, the road is closed in the winter so it’s easiest accessed in the summer months. It is another moderate hike to Alexander Basis where there are some great wildflowers, and a resident moose that likes to hang around the area. If you like great views of the Wasatch Mountains, go up from the basin to Gobblers Knob and from there you can hike west along the ridge to Mt. Raymond. https://www.summitpost.org/gobblers-knob/152266