Few cities boast hiking and biking trails minutes — yes, minutes! — from downtown restaurants, arts, culture and breweries. But Salt Lake City does.

Picture this: You’re overlooking the entire Salt Lake Valley from the foothills. It’s late morning. The sunshine kisses your cheeks and fresh air fills your soul. By lunchtime, you cool off with a cold one in a downtown brewery

Have only a half-day or evening to hit the trails? Easy. Our metropolis capitalizes on its proximity to outdoor recreation. That, combined with a nearby microbrewery scene, means no waiting in traffic and no need to dress up. Here, hat hair and dusty sneaks are encouraged. 

Use these 6 tips to optimize Salt Lake’s trailhead-to-brew-pub experience with ease:

3-Day Salt Lake Brewery Pass

1. Buy a Salt Lake City Brewery Pass

First things first: Plan your post-hike or bike reward at a downtown brewery. Better yet, get an instant $5 credit (sent to your phone) for food, beers or merch from each of the 15 brewers. 

Salt Lake brewers are proud of their craft… and their craft beer. Sours, pale ales, lagers, blonds, and ambers showcase sassy names that play off Utah’s unique clash of culture and outdoor action: Polygamy Porter, Full Suspension Pale Ale, Happy Valley Hefeweizen, Cottonwood Cider, Deseret IPA and Cutthroat Pale Ale to name a few.

Try a favorite blend or sip something new. The Salt Lake City Brewery Pass pleases locals and visitors with discounts to fan-favorite pubs for 1 day, 3 days or 90 days. 

Riding GreenBikes in Salt Lake

2. BYOB(ike), Rent from a Local Bike Shop or Try a GREENBike

Next, gear up. If hiking, put on those trail shoes and go. If biking, let’s get you a bike rental.

If you want to stick to sidewalks and streets, try Salt Lake’s bike-sharing program for locals and visitors: GREENbike. This bike-share system offers a network of many bike stations throughout the downtown area. For a small fee, you can take ANY bike, from ANY station, as many times as you like. A 24-hour access pass or a 4-day pass allows GREENbike riders to take as many 30-minute trips as they want over the course of the purchased time period. 

Rent an e-bike by the hour or for the day from Salt Lake eBikes. Great for all ages and abilities, electric bikes are as safe as traditional bikes and allow riders to go further and faster. 
Salt Lake has wonderful bike lanes and paths. The shop also rents helmets, safety vests and bike locks.

Hit up a local bike shop to take your pick of mountain bike or road bike rentals. Trek Bicycle Salt Lake City Downtown gets high marks for its knowledgeable and passionate staff. Wasatch Touring touts a long history (since 1972!) as Salt Lake's original outdoor gear shop. Canyon Sports turns its popular downtown ski rental shop into a bike rental hub in the summer.

Memory Grove

3. Walk, Road Bike or E-Bike City Creek Canyon and Memory Grove

Talk about easy access. Memory Grove Park sits less than a mile from Temple Square, a downtown landmark easy to spot from your hotel. The peaceful park hosts walkers, joggers, photographers and picnickers, alongside a meditation chapel, war memorials and the Memorial House. It connects to Memory Grove Trail, which meanders past the Utah State Capitol and along the rushing City Creek. The well-maintained dirt trail is a gentle hike for all ages and off-leash dogs. 

The roadway section provides access to all bikes — e-bikers, GREENbikes, road bikes and mountain bikes — and connects to a paved section of City Creek Canyon trail, rated moderate only for a slight elevation gain. A dirt trail section sends mountain bikers and hikers further up City Creek Canyon and to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.  


Bonneville Shoreline Trail

4. Hike, Trail Run or Mountain Bike Bonneville Shoreline Trail

The Bonneville Shoreline Trail—or BST, as the locals call it—meanders along the foothills adjacent to downtown. In addition to being one of the best mountain bike trails near Salt Lake, the trail system offers prime viewing of wildlife, native flowers, and the vast Salt Lake Valley. 

Here’s a fun fact: The BST is currently over 100 miles long, with plans to build it over 280 miles. It’s named after the Ice Age-era Lake Bonneville that filled the Salt Lake Valley before its shores dried up, leaving its present-day remnant: The Great Salt Lake.

Join hikers, mountain bikers, off-leash dogs and trail runners. Outdoorsy Salt Lakers fill the trail, starting at varying trailheads and parking lots. Find one-mile jaunts or many-mile journeys. Longer Bonneville Shoreline Trail routes lead bikers and hikers to the University of Utah campus, Red Butte Garden, Natural History Museum, Hogle Zoo, This is the Place Heritage Park and Emigration Canyon. 


Ensign Peak Over Salt Lake Valley

4. Hike or Mountain Bike Ensign Peak

Take in more views from the Ensign Peak overlook. This trail is another great option if you have an hour or two. The hike itself is a 1-mile, out-and-back trail up a steep service road from the trailhead, but it can be connected from Memory Grove (adding another 1.4 miles) if you want to avoid the car altogether. Mountain bikers choose between a couple of options if connecting to or from Bonneville Shoreline Trail.  


Save with a 3-Day Salt Lake Brewery Pass

6. Celebrate Your Sweat Session at a Local Brewhouse

And for the finale….an ice-cold local craft beer. 

Not only are breweries busy epicenters of beer-making, but they’re also community hubs for conversation and connection. Salt Lake City breweries are filled with hikers, bikers, remote workers, lunch-goers, business meetups, food truck loyalists and cornhole aficionados.

There’s no better way to understand our city tapestry — and find other outdoorsy, craft-loving people like yourself — than to visit one of Salt Lake’s best breweries and distilleries.

Friendly editor’s note:

It may go without saying, but we love our visitors to get back to their hotels safe and happy. Salt Lake City temperatures climb past 90 in July and August. Whatever mode of adventure you choose in our foothills, (1) plan out your route ahead of time and (2) pack plenty of water and sun protection.