Four locally loved hikes

View from the top of Ensign Peak. In 1847, Brigham Young and other LDS church leaders climbed this hill and gave it this name. Photos by Alex Farrell

View from the top of Ensign Peak. In 1847, Brigham Young and other LDS church leaders climbed this hill and gave it this name. Photos by Alex Farrell

Living in Salt Lake offers unparalleled outdoor activities. Hiking for the novice to the experienced is right at your doorstep.

Hiking is not only a great workout, it offers fantastic views and scenery.

Jason Blauch, the outdoor hiking coordinator at Westminster, loves “the diversity of the landscape and the terrain.” He also said Utah is unique because “there are all types of deserts, peaks and rivers.”

Within 30 minutes, you can find popular hikes with varying levels of difficulty, from the Avenues to Little Cottonwood Canyon.  Depending on the time you have, there is a hike for everyone.

Here’s four hikes to check out:

 

Mt. Olympus

Mt. Olympus has been an extremely popular hike for many years because of its quick and easy access. The elevation gain is over 4,000 feet. It is about six miles and you need to count on a full day.

There are incredible views of the city and the Great Salt Lake. You will also enjoy a year-round stream.

 

Lake Blanche  

Another great option, if you have the better part of the day, is Lake Blanche. You start your hike from Brighton Ski Resort parking lot. The hike is about six miles and offers unbelievable scenery and frequent glimpses of wildlife.

Time this hike properly, and the wildflowers are incredible.

Turner Jensen at the top of Ensign Peak.

Turner Jensen at the top of Ensign Peak.

Ensign Peak 

Ensign Peak is located behind the Salt Lake Capitol Building. This is an enjoyable hike for most anyone. It offers great views of downtown Salt Lake as well as the entire valley. 

Make the most at of this hike by going at sunset. It is approximately one mile and takes about 60 minutes.

Red Pine

Travel to the south-east corner of Salt Lake City and head up Little Cottonwood Canyon to enjoy a hike on the Red Pine trail. There will be signs identifying the trailhead about five to six miles up the canyon.

This hike is about seven miles and takes around five hours. It provides great scenery: two lakes, rushing creeks and fabulous flowers and ferns. Also, this trail is great for people who love to snowshoe.

Jason Blauch offers advice for hikers to “get an early start and, if hiking late, be prepared to come down in the dark, so have a headlamp and know where you are going.”

He said a misconception is that “you need big heavy hiking boots, but that actually comfortable running shoes will work just fine.”

Most importantly, he mentions to bring food, water, and a jacket, and to be aware of where you are going.

All of these hikes, plus many more, are easily found on the Internet or through many guide books.

Always check for exact trailhead location and any updates that might be available for your particular hike before heading out.

Students and other members of the Westminster community can share their hiking adventures with us by hashtagging #wcforummedia with their photos on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.


Happy trails!