Salt Lake City Quickie: The Living Room
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 offers 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 Living Room
- Access to City: 10 minutes
- Length of time: 45 mins- 2hrs
- Favorite local spot for a recovery meal: Hub and Spoke or Beer Bar
After a day of working in the city I'm usually teetering right on that cusp of either falling onto my couch with Netflix for the evening, or getting out and doing something moderately active (like going to the climbing gym or going for a quick ride/run). The Living Room hike is PERFECT for getting a little sweaty without committing to a huge night. That being said, the hike maintains a nice pitch, totally doubling as a "leg day".
The trailhead begins just south of the Natural History Museum, and begins shaded under a grove of trees. Don't be fooled by the shade--- the majority of the trail is exposed. Within a few minutes, the trail opens to a dirt road traversing the base of the foothills. Veer slightly left, and continue on the trail. As the trail enters the canyon drainage, you'll begin to climb more steeply. Want a real thigh burner? You can borrow my pack, fully loaded with Huck ;-) After about 20 minutes of climbing up the canyon, the trail opens up to BEAUTIFUL views of the city and Mount Olympus. The trail becomes rocky as it leads to the final destination.
Once you get to The Living Room, plant yourself in one of the many "couches", "lounges", or "chairs" made of stacked rocks. You might see a date up there enjoying a bottle of wine for sunset--- and you'll DEFINITELY see some college freshmen hiking one of the classic hikes outside of the city. If you are looking for solitude, continue east, and scramble up the peak just behind. Another more adventurous option is to hike/scramble up the west ridge leading to the Living Room.
Sure, the Living Room gets a decent amount of traffic--- but for good reason. The sunset views of the Great Salt Lake and the city are stunning, and it's a great hike just minutes from the heart of downtown.
If you hiked early to avoid the heat, stop by Hub and Spoke Diner for their breakfast sandwich (sweet potato waffle, fried chicken, and egg) or any of their amazing skillets. After sunset, head down 2nd south for either a slice of NY style pizza at Este, or fries (order a large, trust me), brats, and beer at Beer Bar.
- Location: Just above the Natural History Muesem
- Distance/ elevation: 2.3 miles RT; 991 feet
- Additional info: Dog friendly! Lots of sun exposure