The Salt Lake Scene

Ensign Peak: The Mormon Wimbledon

In July of 1847, the Mormon Pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley after an arduous 1300 mile trek. Upon arrival, their leader, Brigham Young, looked over the expansive valley below and boldly pronounced "This is the place." Two days later, he and a group of other leaders hiked up to a prominent point on the north side of the valley to see the view of the valley. When Brigham Young arrived to the spot known as Ensign Peak, he paused, looked down at his feet and said, " . . . and this is the place we shall play TENNIS!" At least, I think that's how the story goes.


For a heavenly match of tennis and a beautiful view of the city, travel to a lesser-known corner of Salt Lake City. Find state street and go north up Capitol Hill atop which you'll find the newly renovated capitol building. Follow the road around to your right that curves past the capitol building and continue north up the road. This is East Capitol Boulevard. Eventually, you'll be met by a ritzy gated community. Follow the road left (Ensign Vista Dr.) and after a block you'll, arrive at Ensign Peak park.

Across the street to the north, you'll see the Ensign Peak monument. It's worth the 10-minute hike to the monument to see the amazing view of not only the city, but also the expansive desert to the west, including the Great Salt Lake and Antelope Island. Then, head over to the park and find the two, well-maintained tennis courts situated in the center of the park. Plan on being distracted as you play because one side faces a fantastic view of Ensign Peak, and the other gives you the most spectacular view of Salt Lake City and the Wasatch Mountains. If you play tennis half as well as I do, you won't mind chasing the dozen or so balls you've hit over the fence as it will allow you more opportunities to focus on this amazing view.