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Red Butte Gardens Loop: A trail and patient friend

Thursday January 16, 2014
A favorite photo spot covered in snow.

I've written briefly about this hike in my post, Five great early winter hikes in Salt Lake City, but I didn't discuss it in depth. I didn't share how this simple, beautiful, trail has helped me feel and process my emotions. It's odd to think of a trail as a friend, but I do. I've grown a lot since moving to Salt Lake, and that can be both difficult and exhilarating. When I need to share, I head to this trail. I've cried tears of joy on its hills overlooking the Salt Lake skyline. I've also sobbed in pain. Ya, I'm THAT hiker.

Here are the dry details on the hike:

Red Butte Gardens Loop

THIS is the trail I've spent the most time on over the last few months than all others in a year. I love this trail, and probably shouldn't even tell you about it. It's actually not much a secret. The trailhead is located near the entrance to the Red Butte concert venue on the U of U campus. From a dirt parking area, it follows a road for about .25 of a mile then winds uphill behind Red Butte Gardens in a loop. A fork off to the left of this trail is another route to the Living Room. This path is perfect for trail running or, once again, sunset and night hikes. I've hiked this trail at midnight. It's my go-to for a quick nature escape.

Trailhead: From Foothill Dr. turn onto Wakara Way, left on Chipeta Way, right onto Stover Street, which will turn into Red Butte Canyon Road. Park in the gravel lot in front of a gate.

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My first photo spot, a stream crossing.