Salt Lake City

Public Lands Department

Foothills Trail Report

Welcome to the SLC Foothills Trail Report!

In 2022, the Salt Lake City Public Lands Department launched its first ever “Recreational Trails Team” with a full-time Recreational Trails Manager and two part-time Trails Specialists to take on trail maintenance throughout the Foothills in addition to their work at the 9-Line Bike Park. Fast forward to 2023, the team added a third part-time Trails Specialist whose focus would be on ecological management (focusing on invasive weed mitigation) and they have been assisted during the summer season by the Trails & Natural Lands seasonal maintenance crew. Looking ahead to 2024, the Mayor’s and City Council’s offices have approved a budget intent to increase the Foothills maintenance team to 2 full-time maintenance crew leads and 4 dedicated Foothills season crew members to actively manage our invaluable Foothills Natural Area.

Our Foothills Trail System Field Notes

Our Foothills Maintenance Team members Chris, Jake, and Zavien are out in the field most weekdays and will be sharing updates on their maintenance projects, trail conditions, and areas to be aware of. Please stop and say hello and thank them for their hard work and protection and care of the Foothills!

February 1, 2024

It’s “repair season” in the Foothills and with the snow melted, the Trails & Natural Lands (TNL) Natural Resource Technicians (NRTs) jumped in today to help the Foothills team with buck & rail fence repairs on Ensign Peak. The TNL team has tripled in size this year to help manage our valuable open spaces. Welcome Arie, Jackie, Janey, and Zack who join the NRT team with Phil. Speaking of Ensign Peak, if the trail is muddy – and expect it to be muddy a lot during the spring! – consider using the west side switchback trail rather than the muddy bog up the gully. Or even better, come back when the ground is try! Let’s Be WILD and Limit Our Impact!

Fencing closing erosion caused by leaving the trial.

January 31, 2024

The 2024 Foothills Crew is getting an early start due to the unseasonable January temperatures and went out to complete some finishing touches on the new rock steps completed in November by the ACE Conservation Corps. These final steps (pun intended) are just as much art as science as the crew works with the soupy mud in the shade and the crumbly dirt in the sun to shape the tread to last through the season. Please give the crew a wide berth for their safety and yours!

January 12, 2024

The Foothills Crew has been busy with miscellaneous tasks (maintaining trailheads, inventorying trail conditions, repairing hazards) through the winter while adjusting to the snow. Trail user safety is one of our top priorities and crew members cleared the ice off of the Popperton Alta St/Fairfax Dr trail access on Friday.

October 5, 2023

The Foothills Crew was out on Lakeline Trail, above the Victory Trailhead.  Corridor clearing was done on the first 3/4 mile of the trail, from the Columbus Court access point to the bottom of the Hell Canyon Trail.  Lakeline offers unique vistas of Great Salt Lake, Downtown, and the entire Salt Lake Valley. 

October 3, 2023

The Foothills Crew diverted a stream that had been leaking onto the Colorow East/Living Room Access Trail. A dense thicket of dead wood had to be removed first in order to make the repairs. The water flow was straightened and widened and the bank was armored with rocks and soil. Hopefully, ice skates will not be required to access this winter!

September 29, 2023

The Foothills Crew was back on the Lower City Creek Loop doing tread and drainage work above the road on the west slope.  The bench was restored where a small slide had fallen onto the trail, and two water crossings were reinforced with rocks to stabilize the tread.

September 21, 2023

The Foothills Crew did some much-needed corridor clearing on the mile-long western segment of the Lower City Creek Loop above Bonneville Boulevard.  The trail was heavily overgrown with cereal rye, ragweed, and sunflowers. Several Siberian Elms, Russian Olives and willows were removed to increase overhead clearance and improve sight lines. The crew will be back on this trail next week to do tread and drainage work. 

September 14, 2023

Today our Trails and Natural Lands team were hard at work clearing out unsafe debris from two different parts of the trail system.  The H Rock trailhead got a much-needed cleanup from overgrown vegetation and rocks that were washed on the trail from recent storm activity. They also removed some tree limbs from BST West City Creek that had broken and had become dangerous to trail users.

September 12, 2023

Today the Foothills crew did corridor-clearing on the BST Dry Creek segment, from the mouth of the canyon up to the hairpin. Since this is the first year of SLC’s dedicated Foothills crew, there’s a TON of deferred maintenance and Dry Creek is no exception. Sightlines were opened up considerably by cutting back Gambel oaks, maples, willows, and desert apricots. Better sightlines will help hikers and bikers prevent collisions and close calls. Let’s Be WILD and keep our trails inclusive to all types of users by looking out for other users and keeping them safe and enjoyable for all.  

September 11, 2023

The Foothills crew run a trail access inventory about once per month to evaluate and today up erosion-prone areas, vegetation, and amenities and Monday was the southern half of the trail system, from Parley’s Pointe to Terrace Hills. Chris and Jake – thanks for your service to the Foothills!!

September 8, 2023

The Foothills Crew started the day on the south end of Parley’s Pointe Trail, below the Cannon Pointe Connector junction. Rocks were carefully hauled off of a particularly rough straight that has a lot of fall-line exposure. About 20 wheelbarrows full were removed. The crew also finished up with overgrowth clearing on the Popperton/Dry Creek connector trail. 

September 6, 2023

Today the Foothills Crew cut back overgrowth on the BST Twin Peaks segment from the City Creek Saddle to the top of Tomahawk Trail. In several places, significant Gambel Oak pruning was required to reestablish proper corridor clearance. This was a long day!

September 5, 2023

After the rainfall this weekend, the Foothills Crew fine-tuned a few of the drainage features on BST West City Creek. Only one puddle was noted which was emptied and filled with more dirt. Up high, an 8-inch culvert under the trail had become clogged and was cleared. Grade adjustments were made below an old spring that resurfaced last month to better clear water off of the trail. Lastly, the Crew did corridor clearing on the west side of the Lower City Creek Loop, below Bonneville Boulevard. 

August 25, 2023

The Foothills Crew completed the mid-summer corridor clearing on the BST Parley’s Point Trail. With these last few sections on the south end completed, the entire 4 miles of trail has been given a haircut.  The crew also met with officials from Salt Lake County to evaluate the efficacy of Myrtle Spurge spraying that was done in spring around the mouth of Parley’s Canyon. 

August 22, 2023

Today the Foothills Crew worked on the east side of the Lower City Creek Loop, from the Salt Dome at Bonneville Boulevard Trailhead down to the Freedom Trail kiosk. A trail washout was repaired below the road and the corridor was cleared of plant overgrowth and loose rocks. Overgrowth was also cleared at the Ensign Peak Trailhead. 

August 15, 2023

Today the Foothills crew did corridor clearing on the lower segment of the 19th Ave Bike Trail, between the Meadow Trail and Bonneville Boulevard. Loose rocks were removed, drains were cleared, and vegetation overgrowth was cut back. The team also trimmed cereal rye at the start of the segment in the Meadow as well as the start area at the I Street Bike Park. Mapping was done on invasive species such as Dalmatian Toadflax, Scotch Thistle, and Russian Thistle. Numerous large braking bumps were noted and will be worked on after the next significant rainfall. 

August 14, 2023

Today the Foothills crew removed a few truckloads of green waste.  Overgrowth was cut back near the Columbus Court access point, making the sidewalk passable again.  And at the South Popperton Bike Loop, dead tree limbs were removed, a large patch of scotch thistle was dug up, and the trail was given another haircut; this time removing ragweed overgrowth. 

August 11, 2023

A week in the life of the Foothills crew!

  • Monday: Parley’s Pointe north half clearing the corridor of overgrowth.
  • Tuesday: Clearing runoff debris at Colorow East.
  • Wednesday: 9Line Bike Park repairs and maintenance
  • Thursday: Pesticide certification testing, admin meetings, trail condition inspections
  • Friday: Trails & Natural Lands and Foothills crew received chainsaw training from Urban Forestry team. 

August 3, 2023

Hey y’all! Let’s try to Be W.I.L.D. and Limit your Impact. The trails crew spent the day cleaning up graffiti rather than working on your trails. Let’s try to leave our Public Lands better than we find them. Thanks to our Public Lands graffiti team for hooking us up with supplies!

August 2, 2023

The team was out on BST West City Creek today mapping invasive species and inspecting the tread for possible restoration work. Several significant Yellow Star Thistle patches were noted on the long straight above the North Cove HOA.  An old spring that has resurfaced on the segment parallel to City Creek Canyon Road was also inspected. The new drainage features that were added this spring are effectively removing the water off of the trail and preventing ponding. 

Water on trail above North Cove not draining off.
Mapping thistle for removal.

July 27, 2023

The Foothills Maintenance Crew continued its system-wide corridor clearing today, focusing on the middle segment of the 19th Ave bike trail. Significant quantities of rocks were removed to restore the full width of the bench. Mapping was done on sunflower overgrowth and a major patch of Yellow Star Thistle was noted to be sprayed with herbicide in the coming weeks. 

July 25, 2023

Today the Crew worked on the south half of the BST Parleys Pointe trail.  The trail corridor was cleared of invasive Russian Thistle and sunflowers.  While sunflowers are not noxious weeds, it is an invasive plant that will narrow and obstruct the corridor significantly so it is best to clear them while still small. The north half of the trail will be cleared next week. 

July 21, 2023

Today the Trail Crew worked on the Hell Canyon segment of the BST, from the radio tower fire road to the overlook above Ensign Peak.   Rocks and debris were cleared off the trail and Gambel Oak overgrowth was cut back.

July 20, 2023

Today our Trail Crew coordinated with the TNL Seasonal Team to rebuild a portion of the Donner Trail above the Rotary Glen Dog Park. A significant landslide completely washed away a section of the trail in the spring. A whole new bench-cut trail was built in two places to repair the damage.  Visitors to the area should still proceed with caution after any rainfall as further instability is possible. 





July 14, 2023

Today our Trail Crew focused its attention on the upper section of the 19th Ave bike trail.  As with other recent trail visits, the majority of the work was removing rocks and debris left after winter and widening the tread. Plant overgrowth was cut back from the sides and mapping was done on invasive species such as Yellow Star Thistle and Dalmatian Toad Flax. A few more substantial repair needs were noted and will be completed after the next significant rainfall. 

July 13, 2023

Our team worked on the south end of Parleys Pointe Trail above I80, up to where our previous volunteer event with the Highland MTB team had worked. We removed what is likely to be several thousand pounds of loose rocks, golf ball sized and larger.  Several big braking bumps were filled in and the tread width was restored to a consistent three feet. Travel in both directions is currently obstacle-free.

July 10, 2023

Today we did corridor clearing with some seasonal TNL staff on Hell Canyon Trail & West Ensign Peak Switchback Trail, from the Lakeline Trail junction up to Ensign Peak. We removed rocks and debris left from the harsh winter and cleared the corridor of Gambel Oak overgrowth.  We also removed a significant amount of sunflowers and identified a large patch of Dyers Woad that will removed at a volunteer event next week with high school mountain bike teams.

July 7, 2023

Today we built a large French drain on an old leak on the west side of the Lower City Creek Loop. An underground utility pipe leak has historically run across the trail and the new drain should diminish the erosion. We will continue to monitor as the water is flowing vigorously right now, but the rocks and trail should now stay dry. This has been a mud and ice issue at this spot for a few years.

February 28, 2023

Foothill Dr. construction update. There are still temporary blockages of the paved section of trail but access is open to BST Parleys Pointe South. Work in the next few weeks will mostly be between the pedestrian bridge and Foothill Dr. Trail users should use extreme caution when passing the area. Construction will be ongoing through mid April 2023.

February 27, 2023

The Foothills above the Avenues have experienced a skier triggered avalance. Avoid steep terrain that’s heavily wind loaded. Utah Avalance Center Foothills Report

February 14, 2023

The Wagner Spring Trail and Emigration Trailhead are both muddy from the melting snow. Please do not use muddy trails. If it’s sticking to your wheels or heels, please turn around! This will help keep our trails nice and usable for spring!

February 13, 2023

Skyline Trail East is currently an ice sheet and will likely turn muddy as the trails thaw out. Use caution when hiking on icy, packed-down trails. Microspikes are recommended for these conditions.

February 13, 2023

Large rocks and debris have been crumbling from above onto the paved section of trail along Foothill Drive. This is due to the recent freezing and thawing of the embankment above the trail. Use extreme caution in areas with rocks and be aware of your surroundings while out on the trails.

February 9, 2023

BST Valleyview between Terrace Hills East and West has turned to a muddy mess. Walking on muddy trails ruins the tread for future use. You can be a trail steward by staying off muddy trails and allowing them to rest. The trail access at Colorow East is very muddy and in bad condition up the trail. This is the trail access to get to the Living Room Trail and the BST. Consider using another access point, Colorow West or Emigration Trailhead, to access the Living Room Trail until the muddy conditions subside.

February 7, 2023

Great snowy conditions on the trail from H Rock South to H Rock North. There is packed down snow and no mud yet. Be cautious of slippery areas and consider wearing micro spikes when hiking on snowy trails.

January 25, 2023

With snowy weather comes changes in the trails! The BST behind the university has multiple sections with large puddles and ice. Bikers be cautious in the beginning of the route as these are harder to avoid than for hikers.

January 23, 2023

Construction is underway along the East Bench around Foothill Drive and I-80 as Public Utilities is working to rehabilitate a water transmission pipeline. This means there are temporary blockages and interruptions on the BST paved section between Foothill Dr. and Parley’s Trail. Users of BST Parley’s Point should also expect interruptions from construction on the south end of the trail. Please stay clear of this area for the next few weeks while construction on this section is underway.

January 13, 2023

The Victory Switchbacks trail from Victory Road trailhead is in bad condition from melting snow and precipitation. Please stay off muddy and wet trails to keep from destroying the tread.

January 12, 2023

Tomahawk to Twin Peaks trail is still covered in snow this morning. Many trails in the foothills are snowy and slushy. Consider staying off the trails when they are slushy and muddy to avoid damaging the tread.

January 10, 2023

A large branch was reported that was obstructing the trail corridor at Wagner Spring Trail. The recreational trails team has removed the branch and cleared the corridor!

January 6, 2023

The Victory Trailhead has become a mud bog from the recent snow melt. The first few switchbacks of the Victory Switchbacks Trail are also very muddy. Please stay off muddy trails to preserve them and choose one of the many other trails in the foothills that are still snow packed.

January 5, 2023

A fallen branch was spotted on the Lower City Creek Loop west section. The Recreational Trails team crew cleared the branch and opened up the trail corridor!

January 4, 2023

The walking trail connecting Popperton Park and Dry Creek Trailhead is a little icy still. Please use caution when walking on ice!

December 27, 2022

Lower Ensign Peak trail has hardened into a sheet of ice and is very treacherous. Please choose a different trail until conditions are safer.

December 21, 2022

The trail is very icy on BST Valleyview to Twin Peaks. Hike with Caution! The Battle Gulch section of the BST behind the University of Utah is very icy and slippery. Our heavily trafficked trails at Ensign Peak are packed with snow and ice. Microspikes are recommended in these areas.

December 9, 2022

The snow on Wagner Spring Trail from Emigration Trailhead is packed to ice. Tread carefully or consider another route until the icy conditions melt. The lower Ensign Peak Trail is very icy around the stair section. Use caution with icy conditions present.

December 6, 2022

The Lower City Creek Loop Trail is very muddy from the melting snow. Consider using another trail in the meantime until this one dries. Find alternative trails on the GIS map before you go!

November 14, 2022

Looking for dry land? Check out the Lakeline Trail in the North Foothills northwest of the Capitol. This trail is NOT yet signed for wayfinding but you can access from De Soto Street, Victory Switchbacks, or Sandhurst Drive. It’s about 4 miles out and back and is relatively flat. The trail dead ends above the Staker Parsons mine so be careful at the west end. Find the Lakeline Trail on GIS map before you go!

November 3, 2022

Caution! The BST West City Creek Trail has some flooding occurring about ¼ mile up from the Bonneville Blvd hairpin turn.  The water has been ponding on the trail creating a large patch of mud.  TNL Crews have diverted the flow to eliminate the puddle, but there is still water on the trail and significant mud.  Icy conditions are possible.  It is suggested that visitors choose another trail for now.  Hiking or biking around the mud only widens the trail, aka “braiding”, and harms the long-term sustainability of the trail.


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