Mount Olympus Means Business

Salt Lake City has easy access to countless hikes that range from beginner to expert. And several weeks ago I finally reached the summit of a mountain I’ve talked about hiking for years -- Mount Olympus.

[caption id="attachment_3947" align="alignleft" width="246" caption="Mount Olympus is the rocky peak in the distance."][/caption]

Noted as one of the most iconic peaks in Utah, Mount Olympus starts in the suburbs of Sandy, Utah and steeply rises more than 4,200' in elevation to the summit (9026’).  I've always seen it as the mountain  that sets the tone of Utah. Utah is friendly, clean and nice. But its prominence subtly reminds everyone that despite how comfortable they may be, the Wasatch Front means business.

Hiking has always been one of my favorite activities, but that does not necessarily mean I’m good at it. In the past I’ve always picked hikes that were a good work-out, but not the kind that leave you utterly exhausted. Yet for some unknown reason to me, I’ve decided this is the summer of the Killer Hikes!  And Mount Olympus was just that. A Killer Hike that left me walking around like Frankenstein for days.

The trailhead is only about a 15-minute drive from downtown Salt Lake City, and starts above a well marked parking lot just east of Wasatch Boulevard and 5800 South. Trust me, use the parking lot. Because you will get a ticket if you park on the road… just like I did. Oops. This hike is best to start early in the morning because it’s strenuous enough that it takes most people about 6 hours to do. The majority of the hike consists of steep climbs, what feels like a million switchbacks, and a few little stream crossings that are great to cool down at. The upper most section of this trail is not for the timid or inexperienced, since you’ll literally be climbing loose rocks to the summit.

[caption id="attachment_3956" align="alignleft" width="245" caption="Me, completely exhausted at the summit, but rocking the coolest shirt ever."][/caption]

Despite its difficulty, this is an extremely popular hike.  The view of the Salt Lake Valley from the top is truly breath taking, so remember your camera. Be sure to pack a lunch to eat while you enjoy the sites. Because although it’s only about 3.5 miles to the top, you’ll gain a lot of elevation. And honestly (almost embarrassingly) it took me longer to climb down than up because of how steep the trail is.