Salt Lake City is one of the most naturally gorgeous cities in the US. Surrounded by dramatic mountain ranges and cavernous canyons, it’s the perfect destination for anyone with an outdoorsy side. With 10,000 foot peaks within 20 minutes of the city and protected nature reserves within 300 yards of the Capitol building, Salt Lake City is the ultimate hiking destination.

Where to begin? Strap on your hiking boots and hit these inspiring trails—and you can start hiking straight from downtown!

1.) Ensign Peak Trail

Lee Prince / Shutterstock

Lee Prince / Shutterstock

Roughly one mile north of Utah’s Capitol building, you can follow the Ensign Peak Trail. The one-mile round trip hike can take about an hour, making for a nice hike for beginners or for those who are short on time.

The trail leads to Ensign Peak, a small but prominent mountain peak at the north end of the Salt Lake Valley. It’s also got some historical value, as Brigham Young and seven other pioneer leaders scaled the mountain on their second day in the Salt Lake Valley. Cool!

Suitable for all ages and skill levels, the Ensign Peak Trail features great views of both Great Salt Lake City and the Salt Lake Valley. Try to go around sunset, when all of Salt Lake glows under the orange and pink sun.

2.) The Living Room Trail

"Wild Flower Hunt 2015" by tdlucas5000 is licensed under CC 2.0.

Wild Flower Hunt 2015” by tdlucas5000 is licensed under CC 2.0.

Also located near Salt Lake City, the 2.7 mile long Living Room Trail is one of the city’s most unique hikes. At around the 1.3-mile marker, you can kick your feet up on rocks that look like benches and coffee tables, hence the trail’s name. This is Salt Lake City’s living room—literally! Also, keep an eye out for the wildflowers that line the trail. You could have a bouquet for your own living room by the time you’re finished!

A round trip hike on the Living Room Trail can take about two hours, and the trail is only open from March until mid-November. Because of its high elevation, this trail can be a tad challenging, despite its short length, so make sure you’re well rested and bring plenty of water!

3.) City Creek Canyon / Shutterstock / Shutterstock

If you’re bringing the whole family, City Creek Canyon might be the trail for you. Suitable for all skill levels, the trail’s directly accessible from downtown—so it’s super convenient for those of you with little ones in tow. Roughly 6 miles long, this trail runs alongside a river and is great for bird watching or sneaking a peak at some of the best views of the Capitol building.

City Creek Canyon trail can fill up with bicyclists, walkers, hikers, and runners, especially during the summer months, so if you don’t like crowds, try to visit off-peak. The hike is part of the larger Bonneville Shoreline Trail, one of the most expansive recreational trails in the state. Cool!

4.) Little Black Mountain Trail

Randy Judkins / Shutterstock

Randy Judkins / Shutterstock

Location, location, location! Little Black Mountain Trail sits less than 5 minutes from Salt Lake City, making it one of the easiest paths to reach right from downtown. Once you’re done with city sightseeing, throw on your hiking boots and hit this super convenient trail!

Within minutes, you’ll be surrounded by wildflowers, alpine meadows and views across the Salt Lake Valley. With a steep elevation gain, this trail is a bit strenuous, despite it being just over 4 miles long. But we’re sure your sore feet and aching thighs will be worth it when you see the view of Great Salt Lake and the downtown area!

Have you ever gone hiking in Salt Lake City? What are your favorite trails? Let us know in the comments!

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About The Author

Suzy Guese is a travel writer from Denver, Colorado. She caught the travel bug after taking her very first flight at just three months old—she was headed for Disney World—and has been a total travel junkie ever since. From family car trips across North America to stints abroad in Europe, Suzy travels the globe with her redheaded temperament in search of sarcasm, stories, and travel tips to share with anyone willing to listen. She blogs about her travels at