Salt Lake City Mountains
Salt Lake City is an outdoor adventurer’s dream. Bordered by the Great Salt Lake and the snow-capped Wasatch Range, there are plenty of mountains to explore in and near Salt Lake City. In addition, the county itself is also home to the Oquirrh (pronounced “oaker”) range, where you can also find the Rio Tinto Kennecott Copper Mine. Those flying in can enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the open pit mine from the flight.
From mountain biking trails to state-of-the-art ski resorts, the mountains in Salt Lake City are waiting for you year-round.
Ways to Explore
Whether you’re planning a long trek or looking for a place to take in the sights, Salt Lake City is an ideal basecamp with plenty of access points to our breathtaking mountains.
City Creek Canyon
Looking to stay within city limits, but still need a bit of fresh air? City Creek Canyon is just a short walk from downtown Salt Lake City. The canyon features a moderate 6.5-mile hike with bubbling creeks, breathtaking views, and the occasional wildlife sighting. Cyclists have their own designated track, making this hike a safe one for all.
Also minutes from downtown, Emigration Canyon is one of the most popular access points in the area. Less car traffic and lower speed limits make the canyon a hotspot for road biking and mountain biking in Salt Lake City. Emigration Canyon is a gradual 8-mile,1000-foot climb to the top of Little Mountain. Once at the top, you’ll have great views of Salt Lake Valley to the west and of Little Dell Reservoir to the east.
Just a few miles south, you will find Parley’s Canyon. The canyon provides the route of Interstate 80 up the western slope of the Wasatch Mountains, making the journey a scenic drive. The mountain pass at the top of the canyon is known as Parley’s Summit and at 7,120 feet, it is the highest point on I-80 in Utah.
Millcreek Canyon is Salt Lake City’s most well-trafficked urban canyon. While entrance requires a small fee, the canyon offers access to some of the region’s best trails and birdwatching opportunities you won’t get anywhere else. Runners looking for a challenge can take on Grandeur Peak—a 3,000-foot elevation run. In the summer, visitors like to picnic in the area or host family BBQs. This is when its trails are most active among hikers and mountain bikers. In the winter, visitors can enjoy the area’s snow on cross-country skis, snowshoes, and of course, sleds.
Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons
For some of the best skiing in the area, the Cottonwood Canyons are the place to be. Big Cottonwood Canyon is home to Brighton and Solitude ski resorts, while Little Cottonwood Canyon is home to Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort and Alta Ski Area. These Salt Lake City mountain resorts offer endless outdoor fun for all visitors. Not to mention, your journey offers a scenic drive everyone can enjoy.
No matter the season, the mountains in Salt Lake City offer plenty to do for visitors looking for relaxation, adventure, fresh air, and an escape from their routine.