Free Places to Visit in Salt Lake City

family giving thumbs up


Be sure to visit these free places in Salt Lake City.  From movies, museums and tours there is always something to explore.

The Utah Film Center offers free film screenings to the community at several locations.  Some screenings may also include a post film discussion with the director, or other professionals to further the conversation on the topic of the film.  Locations of the free screenings within Salt Lake County include the City Library, Rose Wagner Performing Art Center and the Viridian Event Center.  Check the link for the schedule for upcoming films.



movie film


The Clark Planetarium  at the Gateway Mall has free interactive exhibits for children and adults to explore and learn about our planet and beyond.   It has an authentic moon rock sample on loan from NASA on display.  A popular exhibit provided guests allows them to select from among different planets to serve as their location while they acted in the role of a weather forecaster reading from a teleprompter the weather conditions.  New exhibits are regularly added.  Access to the exhibits is free.  There is a charge for tickets to see the Star shows and IMAX movies.


astronaut suit on display at Clark Planetarium


The International Peace Gardens exhibit is located in the Jordan Park at 1000 South 900 West in Salt Lake City. The diversity of twenty-six nations is represented through use of native plantings and garden architecture in allotted plots to represent their homeland and culture.  The garden was founded to increase understandings among nations.


Viet Nam garden at International Peace Gardens


Wheeler Historic Farm is located at 6351 South 900 East in Murray.  The 19th century farm has 75 acres with trails and wooded areas to explore.  It is open daily from dawn to dusk.  Thousands of agricultural artifacts from 1887 through 1940 are on display on the farm.  You can view and interact with a variety of farm animals, and enjoy a walk through the wooded areas.  Dogs on leashes are permitted.  There is a large playground, with a separate play area designed for toddlers.  Additional activities are available for a fee, such as milking a cow, or wagon rides.


cows in field at Wheeler Farm


Fort Douglas Military Museum is located at 32 Potter Street in Salt Lake City.  Open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 5 pm.  Check the website for upcoming special events.


Pioneer Memorial Museum is on 300 N Main Street in Salt Lake City.  It is across the street from the Utah State Capitol Building.  Artifacts including a 1902 fire engine, stagecoach, medical and dental tools, furniture, portraits and much more.


Utah State Capitol Tours – located at 350 N State Street in Salt Lake City, volunteers offer tours on the hour from 9 am to 4 pm.  Reservations are not required for groups with less than 10 people.  If you prefer, brochures can be picked up at the Visitors Center for a self-guided tour.




Utah State Capitol Building


See the world-famous Tabernacle at 50 W North Temple in Salt Lake City.  Open for free public tours at the North and South gates, tours last approximately 30 minutes.  The acoustics from the 11,623-pipe organ is amplified by the Tabernacle’s curved ceiling. Check the website for the Tabernacle Choir’s rehearsal schedule.


Tabernacle organ





Posted on November 19, 2019 at 10:19 pm
John Hamilton | Posted in Places to visit, Salt Lake City, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

The Great Salt Lake – Remnant of an Ancient Lake

Great Salt Lake


The Great Salt Lake continues to be a popular destination among tourists. The Great Salt Lake is what remains from the prehistoric freshwater lake, Lake Bonneville.  Between 10,000 to 30,000 years ago, Lake Bonneville covered 20,000 square miles of land in the area of what is known today as Utah, Nevada and Idaho.  The lake was left without an outlet due to the fall in the water table, and its size shrunk due to evaporation.  The Great Salt Lake is roughly 75 miles long and 35 miles wide.  The deepest part of the lake is less than 50 feet.  It is the largest inland lake west of the Mississippi.

The lake environment ranges from very salty (up to 28%) in the north arm, to the least salty (approximately 5%) at Farmington Bay, creating habitats to support a wide range of plants, animals and birds. With 10,000 miles of shorelines and 400,000 acres of wetlands it is a sanctuary for millions of birds each year for feeding, breeding and resting.

Antelope Island State Park

Antelope Island is 41 miles north of Salt Lake City, take exit 332 off of Interstate 15.  Drive west on Antelope Drive.  The island is accessible by automobile by driving on a 7.5 mile causeway. At 42 square miles, Antelope Island is the largest of ten islands located within the Great Salt Lake.  There is plenty to do while visiting including hiking, biking, horseback riding, camping, bird watching, touring the historic ranch house, swimming, and boating.  Leashed dogs are permitted only in specific areas.  Be respectful of the wildlife which freely roams on the island, including Bison, antelope, deer, elk and coyotes.  Be sure to give them plenty of space.  Bison are able to run up to 40 miles per hour.

Antelope Island State Park has been officially designated as an International Dark Sky Park which makes it a perfect place for stargazing.

Follow the Antelope Island Facebook page to stay up to date on special events, such as Antelope by moonlight (a non-competitive bike ride), spider fest, ghost tour and more.



The Great Salt Lake State Park at 13312 West 1075 South in Magna offers a marina and boat launching facilities for motorized and sail boats, year-round campground, and is great location for bird watching.  Be sure to watch for special events, such as the Full Moon Walks on Silver Sands Beach.  A park ranger will share stories about the lake while walking on the beach under the light of the full moon.

Directions:  It is approximately 30 miles from Salt Lake City.  Take exit 104 off of I-80 and turn left at Saltair.  Continue driving west, following the signs to the State Park.


Despite having suffered many setbacks over the years, Saltair has continued to rise up and adapt.  Since 2005, Saltair has been a music venue with a capacity of 4600, attracting popular musical acts from all over the world.  When Saltair was originally completed in 1893, it was one of the first amusement parks in America and was considered to be the Coney Island of the West.  Visitors also enjoyed swimming and dancing at the venue. Saltair was damaged by fire in 1925.  It was later rebuilt as the largest dance floor in the world, just as the Big Band era was spreading across the United States.  In 1931, another fire broke out causing sufficient damage to close down the dance floor.  A third fire started by arson during the 70’s completely destroyed the building.  In 1981, Saltair III was built approximately one mile west of the original site. Unfortunately, within months of completion, the resort was flooded due to the rising water level of the Great Salt Lake and remained flooded for several years. Currently, the water level has receded far away from Saltair.


Spiral Jetty


Spiral Jetty

The Spiral Jetty is an earthwork sculpture created by Robert Smithson in 1970. It is located on the northeastern shore of the Great Salt Lake.  Using mud, salt crystals and over six thousand tons of black basalt rocks, Smithson formed a counterclockwise coil that is 1,500 feet long and 15 feet wide.  Depending on the level of the lake, it may be fully or partially submerged under water, or as it is at the present time, due to drought, is fully exposed.  At certain times, the Great Salt Lake will have Pink Water due to the presence of microbes. Check this link for the directions. Be sure to have plenty of gas in your vehicle.  Bring plenty of water, and snacks to eat as there are no services available.

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge


The Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge  is approximately 62 miles north of Salt Lake City, at 2155 W. Forest Street in Brigham City. Take exit 363 on I-15, turn left and follow the signs. The Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge was created by Congress in 1928 to protect the marshes where the Bear River flows into the northeast arm of the Great Salt Lake.  It is the largest freshwater component of the Great Salt Lake ecosystem and serves as the feeding and breeding grounds of migratory waterfowl. With nearly 80,000 acres of marsh, open water, mudflats and uplands, the refuge provides suitable migratory habitat for over 200 bird species, and 67 species nesting there.

Be sure to stop by the James V. Hansen Wildlife Education Center for interactive exhibits, short films and half-mile walking trail.  There is a 12 mile auto route through the Refuge.  It is a one-way route on an unpaved road.  Once you begin the route, you will not be able to turn back or to exit before completing the tour.  Be aware during inclement weather that the road may be closed off. Be sure to bring your binoculars and camera.

Beware of biting gnats!  If you are visiting the Great Salt Lake during the spring, you may encounter biting gnats.  Although they are tiny, they can create a lot of discomfort.  Gnats are most active at dawn and at dusk.  They are attracted to perfumes and scented soaps/shampoo etc.  Avoid wearing scents while they are active.   It is recommended to wear a fine-mesh head net to avoid being bitten.

Keep up with news about the Great Salt Lake at the Friends of the Great Salt Lake


Additional Posts about Birds

Posted on October 30, 2019 at 8:16 pm
John Hamilton | Posted in Outdoor Living, Places to visit | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Eating Vegan in Salt Lake City – Where to Go

Eating Vegan in Salt Lake City – Where to Go


Finding a vegan restaurant in Salt Lake City is easy; the difficult part is deciding which one you will choose. Dining out as a vegan hasn’t always been so easy in the past. While traveling with my extended family to a reunion in Iowa, I was delighted to see a menu offering a “veggie burger”.  My delight quickly turned to disappointment when discovering that their veggie burger was just a beef patty with a single leaf of iceberg lettuce on top. It wasn’t unusual for a waitress to suggest the “Chef’s Salad” as a suitable meal, which included egg, ham, cheese, and topped with a creamy dressing. After requesting eliminating them, it left you with iceberg lettuce with a slice of tomato. Many people simply didn’t understand what vegans ate. Traveling for business or on vacation, meant packing your own food.

Times have certainly changed. Eating a vegan diet, whether it is for medical reasons, food allergies, environmental concerns, or compassion for animals, offers a wide variety of food to eat. Whether you reside in Salt Lake City, or are visiting for business or vacation, the first thing to do is pick up a free copy of the Utah Vegan Guide, which is updated annually by UARC. Typically these booklets can be found at local restaurants.

This year, the guide has expanded beyond Salt Lake City, covering restaurants from as far north as Logan to as far south as Kanab and St. George, and includes many cities in between. They list restaurants which are 100% vegan, as well as others who offer vegan options on their regular menus.



The following are just a few of my favorites in no particular order. To be fair, for those that are not mentioned below, there are still more vegan restaurants that I haven’t eaten at yet.


Seasons Plant Based Bistro located at 1370 S State Street in Salt Lake City. It offers French and Italian cuisine, with a selection of local and imported beer and wine. On our first visit, the waitress inquired about any food allergies, and pointed out appropriate options from their menu. During our second visit, a few months later, the same waitress not only recognized us, but remembered my wife’s mushroom allergy. The food and service is wonderful.


Vegan Bowl located at 8672 S Redwood Road in West Jordan. It offers vegan versions of all your Vietnamese favorites including, ramen stir-fry, egg rolls, banh mi, noodle salads, rice bowls, pho, flan, and drinks, including shakes. Service is very quick.


Lil’ Lotus located at 2223 South Highland Drive in Salt Lake City. It offers vegan breakfast burritos, Navajo tacos, mac n’ cheese, hot dogs, and sliders. The food is very flavorful.


The Pie Pizzeria has several locations including Salt Lake City, South Salt Lake, Midvale, South Jordan and Ogden. This traditional pizzeria often makes it on the Best Pizza lists. They offer Follow Your Heart vegan cheese and other vegan options on their regular menu, in addition to a different specialty pizza each month. Their menu also includes Gluten free options.


Monkey Wrench is located at 53 E Gallivan Avenue in Salt Lake City. This vegan ice cream shop makes their ice cream in small batches and offers 16 flavors. They serve it in a cup, a cone, with a brownie, or as sundae or a banana split. Take a pint home with you. They also sell coffee, hot chocolate and vegan pastries.


Boltcutter  is located at 57 Gallivan Avenue, Salt Lake City. They offer vegan versions of Mexican classics such as street tacos, burritos, and quesadillas, as well as craft libations. Be sure to try their Buffalo cauliflower and nachos.


Buds is located at 509 E 300 South in Salt Lake City. They offer vegan sub sandwiches and salads, including the Pesto, Buffalo, Cheese Steak, Barbacoa. They have a walk-up window to order and pick up your food.  There is no indoor seating, although there is an outdoor patio with picnic bench seating, when the weather is nice. They are great sandwiches to take on the go, and be sure to try their zucchini chocolate chip cookies.


Passion Flour is located at 165 E 900 South in Salt Lake City. They offer authentic French pastries, tartines, crepes, sandwiches and coffee. They also take orders for wedding and specialty cakes.


Big O Doughnuts  is located at 248 W 900 South in Salt Lake City. They offer vegan gourmet doughnuts with flavors such as spiced apple cider, blueberry lavender, orange cardamom, matcha, rosemary brown sugar, cookies and cream, pumpkin pie, churro and traditional favorites such as Boston cream filled, lemon curd as well as apple fritters. They open at 7 am on weekdays, and 9 am on the weekends. Be sure to go early as they often sell out before their 3 pm closing time.


Vertical Diner  is located at 234 W 900 South in Salt Lake City.  Breakfast is served when you want it.  Whether you like it sweet or savory, they have menu items that are sure to please.  They offer comfort food with a selection of burgers, sandwiches, and specialty plates.  They provide catering on-site in their Jade room for up to 40 people or off-site for up to 500.

If you have a personal favorite that I didn’t mention, be sure to share it with me in the comments section below.


Upcoming Vegan events:

Vegan Mac Down SLC  Be sure to get your tickets for the 3rd annual Mac Down on Saturday, October 19th at Impact Hub on 150 State Street, #1, in Salt Lake City.  Nine local cooks have prepared their best vegan mac n’ cheese recipes to compete for your vote.  Enjoy music, games, prize giveaways and local vendors.

A Very Vegan Thanksgiving  will be held on Saturday, November 9th at Wasatch Elementary, 30 “R” Street in Salt Lake City. This is an annual fundraiser for Ching Farm Rescue & Sanctuary. Proceeds from this event helps to purchase animal feed and hay for the winter months. Doors will open at 5 pm, dinner will be served at 6 pm.  Silent Auction items will be available to bid on until 7:45 pm.




Posted on October 14, 2019 at 10:21 pm
John Hamilton | Posted in Food, Places to visit, Salt Lake City | Tagged , , , ,

Fall Fun, Frights, and Treats

lit Halloween jack o'laterns on a dark street


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.


plate of Halloween decorated cookies


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.



Posted on September 24, 2019 at 10:40 pm
John Hamilton | Posted in Holidays, Places to visit | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Dinosaur Bones, Outlaws and Moonshine – Three Places to Visit Outside of Vernal, Utah



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.









Posted on September 4, 2019 at 4:18 pm
John Hamilton | Posted in Places to visit, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Off-Leash Dog Parks in Salt Lake County

Dog Days in the City


Dogs and their human companions have several options throughout Salt Lake County to enjoy off-leash dog parks for exercise and socializing. Whether living in the city or just visiting; dogs love having some space to run. A few of the parks offer designated areas for smaller dogs if desired.


Dog Days in the City

Dayland Dog Park


Dayland Dog Park is located at 13450 S 300 E in Draper. It offers a separate fenced in area for small dogs, as well as a fenced area for larger dogs. The park includes grass, gravel, sand, and water for dogs to wade in. There is shaded seating available.


Dog Days in the City

Herman Franks Dog Park


Herman Franks Dog Park is located at 1371 S 700 East in Salt Lake City. This park offers partial shade and seating along the perimeter of the fence. It is a single fenced area for dogs of all sizes. It offers an agility course and has a water fountain for dogs.


Dog Days in the City

Lions Park


Lions Park is located at 361 E Robert Avenue in South Salt Lake. This park has a single fenced in area for dogs of all sizes. It offers agility tunnels and a hoop to jump through, and plenty of space to run and fetch. It has shaded seating. There is an entrance at each end of the dog park, and has curbside parking.


Dog Days in the City

Memory Grove Freedom Trail


Memory Grove Freedom Trail is located at 375 N at 120 East in Salt Lake City. On street parking can be difficult to find at certain times, but is well worth the effort to seek out. The trail offers a partially shaded hike for dogs and their companions, and has shallow water for the dogs to wade in.


Dog Days in the City

Millrace Dog Park


Millrace Dog Park is located at 1200 W 5400 South in Taylorsville. This dog park is unique from the others, as it charges an annual fee for a permit tag. Every dog utilizing the park is required to have a permit tag. Find out more about the tag fees and the hours of operation at Millrace Dog ParkThe dog park has a single fenced area for dogs of all sizes. It offers agility tunnels, has a water fountain for dogs, and has shaded seating.


Dog Days in the City

Tanner Park


Tanner Park is located at 2760 Heritage Way in East Millcreek. Signs are posted designating the leashed and unleashed areas of the trail. The gravel trail is approximately one mile. The trail is lined with trees which offer partial shade. It has two areas where dogs can wade in the water.


Dog Days in the City

West Jordan Dog Park


West Jordan Dog Park is located at 5982 W New Bingham Hwy in West Jordan. This park is located next to the West Jordan Animal Shelter. The 4.5 acres park is separated into three separate areas. A grassy section is reserved for small and/or passive dogs, and the other two sections are for larger and more active dogs. Larger, active dogs have a choice of grass or gravel fenced-in areas. All three sections offer partially shaded benches.


Dog Days in the City


The annual Dog Day at Liberty Pool will take place on Saturday, September 7th from 9 am to 4:30 pm at 900 South 650 East. Four separate swim times are scheduled. This event helps to support the Salt Lake County Animal Services education fund.  Price is $10 per dog.  Find additional information at Dog Day.


Special Treats


Dog Days in the City


Looking for a cool treat when the temperature is soaring?  You may want to check out the “ice cream” for dogs at Healthy Pets. It is like more like a Popsicle than ice cream. Our dog, Roxie, enjoyed the Roast Beef flavored treat.


Dog Days in the City


Ma and Paws Bakery for Dogs also has an excellent selection of treats for special occasions.  This peanut butter based “cake” with yogurt topping was a big hit.


Additional Posts about Pets:

Planning for your pets during evacuations





Posted on August 15, 2019 at 12:27 am
John Hamilton | Posted in Pets, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , ,

Pathway to the Pfeifferhorn

Pathway to the Peifferhorn


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.


Pathway to the Peifferhorn


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.


Pathway to the Peifferhorn

Left: small bridge to Maybird Gulch. Right: Red Pine Lake


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.


Pathway to the Peifferhorn


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.


Pathway to the Peifferhorn

View of Red Pine Lake & Upper Red Pine Lake from upper saddle


Pathway to the Peifferhorn

Left: Before the rocky ridge leading to the base of the Pfeifferhorn


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:

The Maybird Gulch Trail – A Trail Less Travelled

Ogden’s Waterfall Canyon Trail

Moonshine Arch – Hidden in Plain Sight

Cascade Springs – Accessible Nature Walk

Take a Seat on the Living Room Hiking Trail



Posted on August 6, 2019 at 9:58 pm
John Hamilton | Posted in Outdoor Living, Places to visit, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

Hike and Soak at the Diamond Fork (Fifth Water) Hot Springs Trail

Hike and Soak at the Diamond Head (Fifth Water) Hot Springs Trail

Fifth Water Hot Springs


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.


Hike and Soak at the Diamond Head (Fifth Water) Hot Springs Trail


When you reach the bridge, you are approximately half way to the hot springs.


Hike and Soak at the Diamond Head (Fifth Water) Hot Springs Trail


As you get closer to the hot springs you will begin to smell sulfur.  The main pools are below the first waterfall.


Hike and Soak at the Diamond Head (Fifth Water) Hot Springs Trail


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.


Hike and Soak at the Diamond Head (Fifth Water) Hot Springs Trail


Hike and Soak at the Diamond Head (Fifth Water) Hot Springs Trail


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: 

Take a Seat on the Living Room Hiking Trail

Ogden’s Waterfall Canyon Trail

Moonshine Arch – Hidden in Plain Sight

Fall Foliage Makes the Wind Cave Trail a Colorful Hike






Posted on July 14, 2019 at 9:45 pm
John Hamilton | Posted in Outdoor Living, Places to visit | Tagged , , , , , , ,

4th of July Celebrations in Salt Lake County

4th of July Celebrations in Salt Lake County


The 4th of July is coming up soon and there are lots of fun options in Salt Lake County for celebrating the holiday throughout the entire day.


MagnaMagna Cooper Park located at 8950 West 2600 South. Activities include a flag ceremony, breakfast, a 5K Fun Run/Walk, a parade, and music.  The fireworks display will begin at 10:00 pm.  Click on the link for the full schedule of activities.


4th of July Celebrations in Salt Lake County


Murray  – Murray Fun Days is held at the Murray Park on 296 E Murray Park Avenue.  Begin your day with breakfast in the park, watching a parade, a 5K race, a chalk art contest, a magician, a puppet show, children’s games, musicians, and much more.  Beginning at 10 pm, watch the fireworks display in the park.  (No personal fireworks permitted).  Click on the link for the full schedule of activities.


4th of July Celebrations in Salt Lake County


Salt Lake BeesThe Smith’s Ballpark at 77 West 1300 South in Salt Lake City.  Cheer on the Salt Lake Bees as they take on the El Paso Chihuahuas.  A fireworks display will follow the baseball game.


4th of July Celebrations in Salt Lake County


Sandy10000 Centennial Parkway.  Activities include a flag raising ceremony, a 5K race, spikeball competition, K9 demos, inflatables, crafts, games, food trucks, music and much more.  The fireworks display begins at 10 pm.  No personal fireworks or sparklers are permitted.  This is a pet-free festival; however, service animals are welcome.  Click on the link for the full schedule of activities.


4th of July Celebrations in Salt Lake County


South Salt Lake Fitts Park located at 3050 South 500 East.  Activities include a pancake breakfast, a 5K race, run or walk, a flag ceremony, a parade, live music, games and food.  Click on the link for the full schedule of activities.


4th of July Celebrations in Salt Lake County


This is the Place Heritage Park  – located at 2601 Sunnyside Ave in Salt Lake City. The Sons of the American Revolution will begin the day with a flag ceremony.  In addition to the regularly scheduled activities at the park, guests will enjoy the candy cannon, the ringing of the anvil and other special activities planned for the 4th of July.


4th of July Celebrations in Salt Lake County


West JordanVeterans Memorial Park at 1985 West 7800 South.  A full day of events is scheduled, including a parade, a carnival, a rodeo, music, and ending with a fireworks display.  Personal fireworks are not permitted in city parks.


Whether you celebrate the 4th of July privately, or at a community event, please be careful with fireworks.


Fireworks Restrictions Map


Fireworks Laws in Salt Lake County 


Fireworks can be frightening to pets.  Keep your pets safe, by leaving them inside at home.  Be sure to have current contact information on microchip, in the event they do get loose and run away.



Posted on June 23, 2019 at 5:56 pm
John Hamilton | Posted in Holidays, Salt Lake City | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ogden’s Waterfall Canyon Trail

Ogden’s Waterfall Canyon Trail


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.


Ogden’s Waterfall Canyon Trail


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.


Ogden’s Waterfall Canyon Trail


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.


Ogden’s Waterfall Canyon 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.


Ogden’s Waterfall Canyon Trail


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:

Fall Foliage Makes the Wind Cave Trail a Colorful Hike

Cascade Springs – Accessible Nature Walk

Take a Seat on the Living Room Hiking Trail

The Maybird Gulch Trail – A Trail Less Travelled

Posted on June 19, 2019 at 10:30 pm
John Hamilton | Posted in Outdoor Living, Places to visit | Tagged , ,