When my husband invited me on his business trip to Salt Lake City, Utah I was quite excited. We visited St. George, Utah the year before and loved all of the hiking offered in the national and state parks. ST. GEORGE, UTAH LINK HERE Salt Lake City is at the opposite end of the state, and we were eager to see what new trails we could explore. It definitely did not disappoint. This 5-day itinerary to Salt Lake City, Utah will interest anyone who loves to take in all of the beauty of the great outdoors.
Day 1: Tracy Aviary & Botanical Garden in Liberty Park
Tracy Aviary is the largest and oldest of only two-free standing aviaries in the nation with 19 different exhibits. It’s a beautiful place to spend the day. The snow owl and the toucan were my favorites to admire. The aviary is located in Liberty Park. If you have time to visit the park beforehand or after, I highly recommend it.
Day 2: Hiking Bells Canyon Trail
We did this trip in August and the trees were already turning beautiful shades of fall. Our hike on the Bells Canyon Trail took us about 4 hours. We took many stops to take in the beauty of the scenery. We also took time to explore the waterfall. To get to the waterfall you have to go down a steep area. This made me come to a complete stop. It isn’t a straight down area, but I began questioning the danger I would be in if I slipped. With that being said, I sat on a rock to think about things for a few minutes. I LOVE waterfalls, and the hike to the fall was about 2 hours. I could hear the fall from where I was sitting and could see a tiny bit of it. I began to give myself a pep talk that I didn’t go that far to see a sliver of it. So, I grabbed onto my courage, got up, and walked straight to it. It was all worth it!
Day 3: Hiking Small Cottonwood Canyon
Small Cottonwood Canyon was such a fun trail to hike. As we ascended up the mountain we came upon a lake on top. It was absolutely stunning and I could have stayed there all day in the silence. It was an amazing place to relax and meditate. Coming from the east coast I was on the lookout for some big animals, particularly moose. My husband’s coworker had mentioned seeing a lot of moose on this trail in the past. I unfortunately didn’t see any on this hike or the Bells Canyon trail we took the day before. Perhaps if we take a trip in the future we will get lucky.
Day 4: Hiking Lake Mary at Brighton Ski Resort
We got an early start in the morning for this hike and it was surprisingly cold for August. On our drive to the trail we saw a moose! I was so excited and hoped it was a sign that we would see some on our hike. As we began the ascend up the mountain. We learned the air was much thinner than we were used to, and we were out of breath quite fast. I had done some research on what animals we could see on this hike and have to admit that I was a bit nervous about stumbling upon a bear. I felt eerie for most of the time, despite never seeing one. I know it was all in my head. I also know that they were there, but want nothing to do with us. We did however see several chipmunks, ground hogs, and a squirrel that kept throwing things at us from the tree.
Day 5 Antelope Island
Antelope Island State Park is about an hour away from Salt Lake City, Utah. The park is home to several herds of bison, and it was quite amazing to see these gorgeous creatures roaming about. They look so gentle and calm, but don’t let that fool you. They are large and can charge you if they so choose.
Antelope Island, with an area of 42 square miles, is the largest of ten islands located within the Great Salt Lake, Utah, United States. The island lies in the southeastern portion of the lake, near Salt Lake City and Davis County, and becomes a peninsula when the lake is at extremely low levels. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antelope_Island
Antelope Island has an array of wildlife and is famous for its large bison population, the Antelope Island bison herd. Though the island was named for the pronghorn antelope that John C. Frémont and Kit Carson discovered there when they explored the Great Salt Lake, bison (American buffalo) were later introduced. All of the bison on Antelope Island are plains bison. The Antelope Island bison herd got its start when, “Twelve bison, 4 bulls (males), 4 cows (females) and 4 calves were taken by boat to the island on February 15, 1893 by William Glassman and John Dooly. These twelve animals provided the foundation for what has grown into one of the largest and oldest publicly owned bison herds in the nation.” The herd of bison increased quickly in numbers and by the early 20th century, several hundred of them were present on the island. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antelope_Island
In 5 days my husband and I were only able to explore a small amount of the hiking that is available in the Salt Lake City, Utah area. We hope to go back again some time in the future to explore even more.
Let me know in the comments below if you have ever hiked in the area. What were some of your favorite trails? Also, be sure to let me know if you spotted moose along the way.