If you are looking for fun, frights or treats this fall, there are plenty of options in and around Salt Lake to choose from.
Trick or Treat Street will be held indoors (no worries about inclement weather) at the Utah Olympic Oval at 5662 Cougar Lane in Kearns on October 18th from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Local vendors, sport clubs and community groups will be offering treats as you walk around the Olympic Oval. Free Admission for children. Adult admission is $5 or a donation of three non-perishable canned food items. Check the link for additional fun events, such as the Halloween Ice Show and Haunted Houses Curling Tournament held at the same location on different dates.
Garden After Dark – Trouble in Oz at Red Butte Garden, 300 Wakara Way in Salt Lake City on October 17th, 18th, 19th, 24th, 25th, and 26th from 6:00 pm to 8:15 pm. Tickets go on sale beginning October 1st. Beware of the giant plant pests the Wicked Witch has unleashed as you follow the yellow brick road to conquer Oz. Celebration includes games, activities and entertainment.
Haunted Hollow is at the Galena Hills Park at 12500 S 550 West in Draper on October 21st from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Dress in costume to this free community event and enjoy carnival games, candy, prizes, a pumpkin patch and live entertainment. Appropriate for all ages.
Monster Block Party is held at the Gallivan Center at 239 South Main Street in Salt Lake City, on October 26th from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. This FREE Halloween festival includes trick-or-treating booths, a costume contest (with divisions for children, teens, and adults), arts and crafts projects, dance performances and live music.
Witchstock Festival combines Ogden’s favorite Halloween events in one festival on October 26th from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm on the Historic 25th street. The festival kicks off with the Witches’ Tea Party. This is a ticketed event, which is the annual fundraiser for the Junior League of Ogden. The costumed tea party includes a witches’ fashion show and a costume contest while enjoying tea, light hors d’oeuvres, live entertainment and dessert. The rest of the festival is free and open to the public, including the Zombie Crawl, beginning at 6:00 pm and the Monster Bash Dance Party at 8:00 pm.
Halloween Town will be held in Nolen Park at 7862 Tinamous Road in Eagle Mountain on October 26th from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. This FREE event includes trick-or-treating, a balloon artist, a car show, and even a dog costume contest. The senior booth will be handing out pumpkins (while supplies last). Food trucks will be available for optional food purchases.
Halloween Hoot at Tracy Aviary, 589 E 1300 South in Salt Lake City on October 26th, 27th, and the 31st from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. This event is included with your paid admission, but children, age 12 and under, who are dressed in costume can get in free. Enjoy special activities and crafts while spending time with the birds at the aviary.
Dinosaur National Monument, the Outlaw Country scenic drive, and the Moonshine Arch are three places to try to visit just outside of Vernal, Utah. The Dinosaur National Monument is a national park located on the border of Utah and Colorado and covers 210,000 acres. The Quarry Visitor Center is located in Jensen, which is southeast of Vernal, Utah. Shuttle buses will take visitors to the Quarry Exhibit Hall where you will see a wall of nearly 1,500 dinosaur bones. A few of the 149 million year old fossils are identified permitting you to touch them, while others can be viewed from several feet away. The National Park offers scenic drives, and walking trails. If you are traveling with pets, be sure to be familiar where pets are permitted. Pets at Dinosaur National Monument
Outlaw Country scenic drive is an approximately 85 miles loop that travels through some of the most picturesque parts of the country. Be sure to have a full tank of gas and carry plenty of water. You will be traveling through Crouse Canyon, Brown’s Park, Jarvie Historic Ranch, and Jessie Ewing Canyon. Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch and other noted outlaws were known to stay in this remote area. The Jarvie Ranch has been historically reconstructed. Crouse Canyon with its red-rock walls is a beautiful drive, but you will need a high clearance vehicle to get by sections of deep ruts in the road. Driving Directions for Outlaw Country
Just eight miles outside of Vernal, and a short distance from the road is an opportunity for a short hike to an incredible natural sandstone arch that is 85 feet long and stands 40 feet above ground. The hike to Moonshine Arch is approximately 1 mile, with an elevation gain of 290 feet. Read my previous post on Moonshine Arch for directions and additional information.
The pathway to the Pfeifferhorn Peak is a popular 10.6 mile out and back trail with an elevation gain of 3,792 feet. It is also known as the “Little Matterhorn”. Although it has locally been known as the Pfeifferhorn after the death of Charles Pfeiffer in 1939, the name was officially changed in 2013 in recognition of the former President of the Wasatch Mountain Club. The summit at 11,362 feet is the fifth highest peak in the Wasatch Range, offering beautiful views. The trail is in a protected watershed, so dogs and swimming are prohibited.
Due to the elevation gain and scrambling over rocks, it is recommended for intermediate and advanced hikers. It is advised that you check the weather report before hiking, to avoid dangerous conditions such as avalanche or thunderstorms, depending on the season.
Driving Directions: From Salt Lake City, take I-15 to Exit 295. Turn east on 9000 South, driving 7.2 miles to Little Cottonwood Canyon. When you reach Wasatch Blvd, turn right and continue up Little Cottonwood Canyon for 5.2 miles where you will find the White Pine & Red Pine Trailhead parking lot on the right side of the road.
Trail: After parking at the trailhead, head south and cross a wooden footbridge over Little Cottonwood Creek. Follow the main trail which curves to the west, and at the split of the White Pine trail and the Red Pine trail you will cross over a second footbridge heading west. The trail heads northwest and then west to the Red Pine drainage. The trail curves to the south, and gradually works its way toward Red Pine Creek. You will come to an old mine on the left and a short ways farther you will see the trail split with the trail heading west going over another small bridge that will take you to Maybird Gulch and eventually to a small lake at the foot of the Pfeifferhorn. But follow the main route straight heading south that will take you to Red Pine Lake.
When you reach the Red Pine Lake head east toward White Baldy and the two Upper Red Pine Lakes. At the upper lakes go south along the ridge to the saddle between White Baldy and the Pfeifferhorn. There are great views from the saddle toward Box Elder Peak and to Mt. Timpanogas. Head west along the saddle toward the rocky ridge that leads you to the base of the Pfeifferhorn. Use care on this ridge as there is a bit of exposure The scamper up to the peak is about 500 feet and is a bit steep but not technical. When you get to the top, take a break, have a snack, and enjoy the views of Lone Peak, Chipman Peak, Hogum Fork, and Maybird Gulch, along with the spectacular sights of Utah Lake and Mt. Timpanogas. Use care when going down to retrace the route you took going up – if you go too far to the west you will be in danger of increased exposure.
Be sure to always be prepared, no matter what season. A storm can come up quickly and at that altitude, lightening can be a real danger, as well as the cold, even in the summer. Dress in layers, bring plenty of water, and protection from the sun.
Other interesting hikes:
Enjoy a scenic hike on the Diamond Fork Hot Springs Trail, and take a leisurely soak in the hot springs before heading back. It is a 4.5 miles in and out trail with a gradual elevation gain of approximately 700 feet. The trail is mostly shaded and runs alongside the water. Listening to the sounds of the running water and the birds singing makes it a very pleasant walk.
When you reach the bridge, you are approximately half way to the hot springs.
As you get closer to the hot springs you will begin to smell sulfur. The main pools are below the first waterfall.
A second waterfall is located just a short way above the first one. There are two soaking pools along the stream between the first and second waterfall.
Dogs are permitted on the trail, but must be kept on a leash. Dogs are not permitted in the hot springs. There are no fees to park or to use the hot springs.
Be aware that rattle snakes as well as non-poisonous western hognose snakes aka “blow snake” may be found on or near the trail or by the hot springs. It is best to ignore them and they will ignore you.
It is important to not leave food or garbage on the trail, because it will attract rodents, which then attracts the snakes. Please be sure to carry out everything you bring in.
Another option for picnicking would be to stop at the Red Ledges Picnic Area (approximately 3 miles south of the 3 Forks Trailhead parking lot). It offers picnic tables, grills and restrooms. There are also red rock formations and an arch created by wind and water to explore.
Click for information about campgrounds.
Directions: It is approximately a one hour drive south of Salt Lake City. Take the Spanish Fork Exit 257 off of I-15, and head east on Hwy 6 for 11 miles. Turn left for the Diamond Fork Campground. Continue driving for 9.9 miles to the parking lot for the 3 Forks Trailhead. The trail starts at the gate near the restrooms.
Additional hikes you may enjoy:
The Waterfall Canyon Trail is a wonderful escape from the city without ever leaving it. The trail offers great views overlooking the city of Ogden and ends at the base of a spectacular 200 foot waterfall. It is a 2.4 mile out and back hike, with an elevation gain of 1,105 feet. It is a moderate hike.
The trail passes through a gate for TR Guest Ranch, named in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt who is known as the “conservationist president and used his authority to protect wildlife and public lands. Although the TR Guest Ranch is private property, it is open to the public to access the trails. Please be respectful and remain on the designated trails, and keep them free from litter. Dogs on leashes are permitted. There are no fees to access the trails, but donations are greatly appreciated.
The first part of the Waterfall Canyon trail follows the Bonneville Shoreline and is a smooth, easy hike, but is without shade from the sun. The trail intersects with several other hiking and biking trails. Remain on the main trail, which follows the stream. As you cross over the first of two small wooden bridges, the trail includes rocky, uneven terrain and depending on the season, may require crossing a little water on the trail.
Cool water will likely spray you as you make your way towards the waterfall. There is space to sit to take a break and enjoy the scenery before turning back.
Be sure to wear sturdy hiking shoes and I recommend trekking poles or a walking stick to assist while climbing over large rocks. Be sure to bring plenty of water, a hat and sunglasses. Restrooms are available at the trailhead near the entrance of the parking lot.
Directions: The Waterfall Canyon Trail is approximately 35 miles from Salt Lake City. Take I-15 Northbound to US-89 N following signs to Ogden. Take Harrison Blvd and turn right on 30th street. Take a left onto Tyler Avenue and a right on 29th Street, the parking lot and trailhead are to the right.
Other interesting hikes:
The poppies are blooming in Mantua and Alpine. The ideal time to see poppies in Utah is during late May or early June. Due to the cooler than normal temperatures in May, the poppies are still in full bloom this year.
Mantua is approximately 62 miles north of Salt Lake City. The poppy field is easily accessible by car. You will be able to see the poppies from your vehicle, but is only a very short walk (no hiking) from parking area to the poppies.
How to get there: from Salt Lake City, drive north on I-15 and take the 362 exit for Brigham City. On highway 89, you will take the Mantua exit. You will see signs for the Box Elder Campground. You will begin to see an abundance of poppies along the side of the road, and you may believe that you have reached the poppy field. However, the field is just a little bit further, and is much larger. Continue to drive until to reach the first stop sign – then take a left. Proceed until you see a fork in the road. Turn right at the fork and drive until you see the poppies.
Alpine is located approximately 32 miles south of Salt Lake City. The poppy trail is located inside Lambert Park. Lambert Park is a 255 acre park, with trails for hiking, mountain biking, and for horses. There are some designated camping areas.
How to get there: From Salt Lake City, drive south on I-15 to exit 284 to Alpine/Highland. Drive east (towards the mountains) for five miles. Turn left at the stoplight in Highland which is Main Street (you will see a Chevron gas station at the northeast corner of the intersection). Drive north for 2 miles into Alpine past the 4-way stop at 200 North to 300 North. Turn right and go a few blocks to Alpine Blvd. Go left and you will shortly see the LDS church at 1125 N Alpine Blvd. If you are planning to mountain bike or hike the trails, you can park your vehicle on the road near the church but not in the church parking lot. Maps for the trails are below.
An alternative option if you prefer to shorten the hike is to drive closer to the poppy field, by continuing on Alpine Blvd. north of the church until Grove Drive. Turn right and follow Grove Dr to Box Elder Dr. Turn right and Box Elder Drive connects with Box Elder Circle. Turn right again and park where the pavement ends and turns into a gravel road. You can park before the warning sign which states “motorized vehicles not allowed.” Follow the gravel road about one block and the small trail to the Poppies goes left and is approximately 300 feet to the Poppies.
Although the poppies are dominant at this time, look for a variety of other flowers in the field. You will also find the remains of the summer home of George Cannon Lambert.
It is the season for fresh produce at your local farmers markets, some are already open and others are scheduled to be opened soon. It is a great way to support your local businesses.
Be sure to bring your reusable bags for your purchases.
Most merchants will accept debit and credit cards, but it is helpful to bring cash for those who don’t. Many of the markets will also accept Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) as well as Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) so be sure to ask if applicable.
Markets Currently Open:
Liberty Park Farmers Market – on 700 East 1300 South in Salt Lake City (North of the Duck Pond) on Fridays from 4 pm to dusk through October 4th.
Daybreak Farmers Market – on SoDa Row, 11274 Kestrel Rise Road in South Jordan, on Saturdays from 10 am to 1 pm through September 28th.
Downtown Farmers Market – Liberty Park at 350 West 300 South in Salt Lake City on Saturdays beginning on June 8th through October 19th from 8 am to 2 pm. They also offer a free bike valet, and an enclosed off-leash dog area.
Park Silly Sunday Market – on Historic Main Street in Park City on Sundays from 10 am to 5 pm, June through September. (No market on August 4th, 11th, or 18th) Although this market is not in Salt Lake County, it is well worth the drive to Park City for their open-air market and street festival with lots of food, arts, and live music
9th West Farmers Market (The People’s Market) – near The International Peace Gardens at Jordan Park at 1000 South 900 West in Salt Lake City on Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm through October.
Wheeler Farm Sunday Market – 6351 South 900 East in Murray on Sundays from 9 am to 2 pm through October 27th. On the last Sunday of each month, they also feature young vendors at the Children’s Market.
Sugar House Farmers Market – at the Fairmont Park on 1040 East Sugarmont Drive in Salt Lake City on Wednesdays from 5 pm to 8 pm through October.
Markets Starting Soon:
Murray City Park Farmers Market – at 200 East 5200 South in Murray from 9 am to 2 pm from July 26th through October 26th. Will be open on Fridays and Saturdays
Market at Gardner Village – at 1100 West 7800 South in West Jordan from 9 am to 2 pm on Saturdays beginning July 13th through October 26th.
Murray City Park Farmers Market – at 200 East 5200 South in Murray from 9 am to 2 pm from July 26th through October 26th. Will be open on Fridays and Saturdays
South Jordan Farmers Market – at the Jordan Towne Center, 1600 West Towne Center Drive (10600 South) in South Jordan on Saturdays from 8 am to 2 pm beginning on August 3rd through October 19th.
Tuesday Harvest Market – at Pioneer Park, 300 South 300 West in Salt Lake City from 4 pm to 8 pm beginning on August 6th through September 24th.
Sugar House Farmers Market – at the Fairmont Park, 1040 East Sugarmont Drive in Salt Lake City on Wednesdays from 5 pm to 8 pm starting in July through September.
University of Utah Farmers Market – Tanner Plaza at 201 South 1460 East in Salt Lake City on Thursdays from 10 am to 2 pm beginning August 22nd through October 3rd.
It would be easy to miss Moonshine Arch as you are leaving Vernal on Highway 191. Less than a mile north of the entrance to the Steinaker State Park, you will find an unmarked dirt road to the left. Take a left on this road and travel for approximately a half of a mile to turn on a wide dirt road. (Links to maps are included below). The arch rises 40 feet above the ground, and is 85 feet long, but is hidden from view by the surrounding landscape until you are in front of it. It is worth your time to search for it. The arch is accessible by jeep, ATV or by an easy hike.
If you don’t have a high clearance vehicle, it is recommended that you park in the area outside of the green gate. The majority of the trail is sand, and slick rock. The arch is approximately one mile from the green gate.
It is a pleasant walk with a variety of plants and flowers along the trail, and with great views. When you reach the arch, you will find caverns which would be a great place to enjoy a picnic in the shade. Dogs are permitted, but be careful in hot weather to ensure the sand and slick rock is not too hot for their paws.
I would recommend hiking during the early morning or early evening to avoid the hot sun during the day. Be sure to wear a hat, and to bring plenty of water.
There are no fees to access. You can find directions for the trail at these sites.
Other interesting hikes:
Nine Mile Canyon has been called the world’s longest art gallery. The canyon is actually 46 miles long and is home to the greatest concentration of petroglyph and pictographs in the United States. A petroglyph is an image carved into stone, while a pictograph is a painting using natural pigments on stone. You may have seen many of these images in National Geographic magazines. There are over a thousand catalogued sites of Freemont and Ute rock art. Some panels of rock art can be viewed from just a few feet from the road.
This is a very scenic drive on a paved road. There are no fees. There are many dips in the road to permit running water to pass over; it is advisable to avoid on rainy days due to being unable to pass if roads are flooded. There are no services for 75 miles; plan on having a full tank of gas, plenty of water and snacks to eat.
A great place to begin your trip is by visiting the Utah State University Eastern Prehistoric Museum for more information about the history of the people and how they lived.
This Nine Mile Canyon brochure includes a map for a self guided tour.
There are pavilion covered picnic tables and toilets at both the Daddy Canyon Complex and the Cottonwood Glen Picnic Area. There is no water for washing or drinking.
The mile markers cited on the tour brochure can be a little off, but there are small signs to help you identify the sites.
Approximately half way through the Canyon you will pass the ghost town of Harper. It was once a stagecoach stop along the route between Price and the Uintah Basin.
The public lands in Nine Mile Canyon are closed to camping. The Nine Mile Ranch Bunk and Breakfast operates a private campground that is open year round.
Driving Directions: Approximately 125 miles from Salt Lake City, take I-15 to the Manti/Price exit 258. Travel on US Highway 6 to Price exit 240. Continue through Price for 7.5 miles into Wellington.
South Salt Lake City is celebrating its second annual Mural Fest on Saturday, May 11th. Ten new street murals will be painted at locations between Main Street to West Temple and from 2100 South to 2500 South. A self-guided tour of the murals would be easy to do by walking or biking to each site. Here is a list of locations where the new murals will be painted. Watch the murals in progress as the artists begin painting their murals two weeks prior to the event.
Murals bring color and character to urban environments. They can brighten up drab concrete buildings and create a sense of community. Businesses can benefit from the increased foot traffic as people venture into the neighborhoods to see the artwork.
The Mural Fest is being held between 5 pm to 10 pm. The event is suitable for people of all ages, and no tickets are required. Passport maps can be downloaded or picked up at the venue. Although self-guided tours of the murals can be done at any time, the Mural Fest provides the opportunity to meet the artists in person at each location and to speak with them about their murals. The artists will sign passports as you visit each location. Completed passports can be returned for a free give-away.
After completing the tour, enjoy live music, food trucks and activities for the kids at the Commonwealth Room on 195 West 2100 South.