Salt Lake City

Public Lands Department

publiclands@slcgov.com

SLC BST Restoration

Background & Purpose

In the 1990s, the Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST) was conceived to designate a hiking and biking trail across the Wasatch Front. By connecting existing utility roads and user-made trails with newly constructed trail segments, the first 13 miles of BST created a continuous, natural-surface, non-motorized trail for hikers and bikers across the Salt Lake City Foothills. After 30 years of use and minimal maintenance, the BST has worn down with water erosion, rutting, narrowing in some sections, and widening in others. In 2023, the SLC Trails & Natural Lands Division began its BST Restoration project to return the trail to its intended use: a multi-use, multi-directional trail incorporating best practices for modern trail restoration and design.

Spring 2024: BST Hell Canyon & West City Creek

Project Highlights

  • BST Hell Canyon (the 1-mile BST section traversing Hell Canyon from the Radio Tower Utility Access Road to the western ridgeline of City Creek Canyon) received a complete 4′ wide re-tread and 5′ wide bench (marked in red below) including grade reversals and drain dips to reduce trail tread erosion and increase safer trail experiences for multi-directional travel.
  • BST West City Creek (the 2.1-mile section traveling from the western ridgeline of City Creek Canyon to the City Creek Canyon Road) also received 0.5 miles of re-tread and bench updating (marked in red below).
  • The bottom 500 feet of the BST West City Creek was re-routed to access Bonneville Boulevard by crossing the hiking-only Lower City Creek Loop trail and avoiding the rock steps built in November 2023 at the City Creek Trailhead. (see map below)

Fall 2023: BST West City Creek Access Repaired with Rock Steps

Project Highlights

  • The lowest 200 feet of BST West City Creek just above the trailhead received major trail tread repair. This project mitigated trail damage from decades of water that had drained into the trail corridor, creating a runoff channel.
  • SLC Public Lands contracted with American Conservation Experience (ACE), an experienced, national youth conservation corps with a local Utah chapter, to hand-build 20+ rock steps along this section to disperse water and eliminate trail erosion that runs into Bonneville Boulevard. Bike traffic is rerouted to a new alternate access trail 400 yards further south on Bonneville Boulevard. A project summary was provided by ACE.

Spring 2023: BST West City Creek Trail Restoration

Project Highlights

  • Spring 2023 trail maintenance projects prioritized a 1-mile segment of the BST on the lower west bench of City Creek Canyon. This section was in need of tread and cross-slope re-grading, and the addition of low-grade features like grade reversals, dips, and fans to better shed water from the trail. These enhancements reduced sediment displacement from erosion and will minimize standing water on trails.
  • The project included repairs to 4 trail junctions, adding 3-4 culverts, and adding many low-grade dips for directing water runoff away from the trail. No trail realignments were needed.

BST Restoration and the Foothills Trail System Plan

A Vision for Sustainable Recreation in the Foothills Natural Area

Ongoing restoration of the BST aligns with the 2020 Foothills Plan (“the Plan”). Creating and restoring trails with the goal of making them environmentally sustainable, enjoyable, accessible, safe, and low-maintenance are the goals of The Plan.

The Salt Lake City Department of Public Lands took the lead to initiate and envision the 2020 Foothills Trail System Plan to develop a managed trail system that would be continuously reviewed, revised, and improved upon to balance the environmental needs of the Foothills with the recreational demands of our residents and visitors.

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