Salt Lake City Quickie: Salt Lake City Overlook
Urban Dictionary defines a "quickie" as a great way to spice things up and revive some spontaneity and excitement that may be lacking in a mundane life (edited). Very few of us have the luxury of being full time adventurers- we have families, jobs, and staggering to-do lists. The quickie category describes adventures that you can squeeze in before or after work, but still offer a lot of bang for your buck. I highlight adventures that have relatively fast city access, offer worthwhile views, and also recommend my favorite local spot for a recovery-meal.
Salt Lake City Overlook Trail
- Access to City: 15-20 minutes
- Length of time: 1 hour to trail run, or 2 hours to hike
- Favorite local spot for a recovery meal: Roots Cafe or Kobe
Whenever I have friends visiting Salt Lake City looking to get up in the mountains for a short hike, I recommend the Desolation trail to the SLC overlook in Millcreek Canyon (especially for sunset). The foothill trails above Salt Lake City get a lot of exposure in the summer (and feel, well, foothill-y), and the Cottonwood Canyons are a little bit more of a drive, but Millcreek canyon is JUST RIGHT.
Beginning at the Desolation trailhead, you quickly get swallowed up by trees, and forget how close the city really is. Each time the trail forks, stay right. About .5 miles into the hike, the trail climbs, and opens up to stunning mountain views. You'll weave in and out of groves of trees while you climb the mountain. When you get to the top, you can plop dow and have a picnic (Huck and I usually stretch our legs and play cars). Its fun to scramble on the rocky ridge, just west of the traditional view point. As mentioned, I totally recommend this hike for sunset (bring a headlamp). You'll see the sun dipping behind the Ochre mountains as the city comes alive with lights.
The trail has a steady and moderate pitch, and always gets me sweating when I'm carrying Huck on my back. I love that I get some decent exercise and can still go run errands afterwards without looking like I got completely WORKED.
If you are heading down the canyon and it's still early, stop by Roots cafe for brunch. They serve (my favorite) breakfast until 3PM. After watching sunset from the summit, I love to get the ramen at Kobe (tucked away in a strip mall at the base of the canyon).
- Location: Millcreek canyon, beginning from the Desolation trailhead, just east of Millcreek Inn
- Distance/ elevation: 4.4 miles RT; 1409 feet
- Additional info: Dog friendly, $3 fee upon exit of the canyon.