Condition Updates in the Foothills Natural Area
What to know before you go…
Welcome to your source for the latest condition updates you need to know before you don those boots or load up your bike and hit the trails for a day of play in the Foothills Natural Area.
We’ll update this post as frequently as there is pertinent information to know regarding Public Lands use in our Foothills Trails System. We’ll update this page regularly for the latest news on route changes, trail closings, new signage, events, weather conditions, and more.
Tuesday, 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.
Monday February 27, 2023
- The Foothills above the Avenues have experienced a skier triggered avalance. Avoid steep terrain thats heavily wind loaded.
- Utah Avalance Center Foothills Report
Tuesday 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!
Monday 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. Micro spikes are recommended for these conditions.
Monday 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.
Monday February 13, 2023
- Access to the south end of BST Parley’s Point is completely blocked right now. There is no safe way around the large hole due to construction. Please stay clear of this area while the public utilities project is underway.
Thursday 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.
Thursday, February 9, 2023
- 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.
Tuesday, 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.
Monday, February 6, 2023
- Attention trail users! We are heading into muddy trail season as the snow melts. Trail etiquette includes staying away from muddy trails. This helps keep the tread smooth and enjoyable for use once they dry.
Tuesday, January 31, 2023
- The section of trail between Parley’s Point south and the pedestrian bridge will be fully closed for the next few days as crews install thousands of feet of pipe for a Public Utilities Project. Please stay off this section and use caution around this area.
Wednesday, 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.
Monday, 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.
Friday, January 13, 2023
- Parley’s Pointe paved section along I80 is icy and slippery. Please use caution when riding or walking on this path!
Friday, 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.
Thursday, 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.
Tuesday, 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!
Friday, 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. Instead choose one of the many other trails in the foothills that are still snow packed.
Thursday, 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!
Wednesday, 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!
Tuesday, 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.
Tuesday, December 27, 2022
- The trail past Popperton Park to Federal Pointe and Dry Creek is a treacherous sheet of ice. Please use caution and stay off this section of trail.
Wednesday, December 21, 2022
- The Battle Gulch section of the BST behind the University of Utah is very icy and slippery. Microspikes are recommended in this area.
Tuesday, December 20, 2022
- Trails are very icy on BST Valleyview to Twin Peaks. Hike with Caution! Micro spikes are recommended for these areas.
Tuesday, December 20, 2022
- Our heavily trafficked trails at Ensign Peak are packed with snow and ice. Tread carefully or choose another trail!
Friday, December 9, 2022
- The lower Ensign Peak Trail is very icy around the stair section. Use caution with icy conditions present.
Friday, 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.
Tuesday, 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 SLCTrails.com GIS map before you go!
Monday, 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 SLCTrails.com GIS map before you go!
Thursday, 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.
Follow our periodic Field Notes as we share observations, plans, updates, and lessons learned from our beautiful Foothills Natural Area.
2022 Field Notes
Tuesday, December 27, 2022
- We found some big rocks on the bike path up to Parley’s Point this morning from the winter storms SLC’s been experiencing. During the winter, rocks and dirt may be present on trails from erosion. Please always take caution in the winter weather.
Monday, November 14, 2022
- Debuting the new Living Room Trail in the Foothills! Just kidding… Despite the recent “re-furnishing” of the Foothills – we have had to remove three couches from the trails in the last two weeks – these fun moments for a few create big (and expensive) headaches for City staff. It takes significant Public Lands resources and dollars to haul these out by foot and take to the dump. Wouldn’t you rather see our staff busy with trail maintenance and community education rather than dump runs?
November 3, 2022
Recreation Trails Team and Foothills Rangers – Please welcome our Public Lands Recreational Trails Team focused on Foothills ecological and trail maintenance: Chris Boudreaux, Ellie Larkin, and Zavien Maestas. We also have two Rangers dedicated to the Foothills: Haley Long and Kyle Webster. In November, Haley and Kyle will be patrolling Monday to Friday 8:30am – 5:00pm. Their primary role will be compliance and etiquette through education and community engagement. Stayed tuned for more updates from our trails team and rangers!
2021 Trails Plan Implementation:
2021 Trails Blog Archive
September 14, 2021
Click here to watch a recording of Mayor Erin Mendenhall’s September 14th Press Conference about the Foothills Trail System Plan.
September 3, 2021
Trail Signage Stolen From Foothills Natural Area
Have you seen any sign of our signs?
Unfortunately, 30 of our new wayfinding and trail designation signs have been stolen from the Foothills Natural Area. These signs are 6 feet tall and 4 inches wide and are driven 1-2 feet into the ground (see the example in the first photo below).
We are actively working with the Salt Lake City Police Department to investigate this theft. If you have any knowledge about who may have taken these signs, or if you happen to find any of the missing signs while you’re out on a hike in the Foothills, please call 801-972-7800.
These signs are extremely important to help users navigate the trail system and protect the surrounding environment. They also inform users which trails are for hikers and/or bikers for a more enjoyable and safe trail experience. We are working on getting the signs replaced as soon as possible. In the meantime, please plan ahead for your next trip to the Foothills by researching the trail designations for your planned outing. Information is available on an interactive map on the homepage of slctrails.com.
We’ve also seen recent vandalism of wooden buck and rail fences in the Foothills (see second photo below). If you have any knowledge about who may have knocked over several hundred feet of fencing in the Foothills, please call the same number listed above to help us with the investigation of this crime.
May 24, 2021
Looking Back On What We’ve Achieved
It has been a busy spring with more trail users in the Foothills than ever before, and several new trails now open for hiking and biking. As the season continues to warm and more people head out to enjoy our public lands, we’ve created an overview of the progress that’s been made to help you decide where to go on your next visit to the Foothills Natural Area.
Here’s a quick review of new trails that opened last fall, as well as new trails that have now opened for use this spring.
- New hiking and biking trails at Popperton Park.
- New hiking trails in Lower City Creek.
- New Bonneville Shoreline Trail between City Creek and 18th Ave (open to hiking and uphill-only biking)
- New Avenues Ridgeline hiking trail
- New 19th Ave directional mountain biking trail
Not only have all of the trails in Lower City Creek, East City Creek, the Upper Avenues, and Popperton been completed, but new and improved wayfinding signage and trail management fencing has also been installed, making for a better trail experience for users both experienced and novice.
The Latest Update on Trails Development
As of right now, SLC is taking a break from the addition of new trails in the Central Foothills, while the City conducts a thorough review of how trail work conducted in 2020/2021 is meeting the objectives of the Foothills Trail System Plan and the needs of Salt Lake City residents. The construction of the Twin Peaks Trail and Dry Creek Alternate Trail specifically have been paused to further investigate cultural and environmental elements of the natural landscape, and to ensure the goals of the Plan can be met. Trail maintenance on the Lower City Creek Trail and a short re-route at the entrance to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail at the Bonneville Boulevard Trailhead will continue as scheduled this spring, along with installation of new trailhead kiosks and wayfinding signage.
Take a Hike!
If you haven’t already experienced the new trails in the Foothills Natural Area, try them out! Take a hike (we mean this in the best and most literal way), go for a walk, a trail run or a bike ride on the trails listed above, then let us know what you think by taking the survey. The feedback we receive will inform present and future trail management decisions, and it will help us improve implementation of the Foothills Trail System Plan.
Why We Need Your Voice
To effectively analyze whether these new trails are meeting our planned objectives, it’s absolutely critical that we hear from as many folks as possible who have used any of these trails. Hopefully that includes YOU! Will you take a brief survey to let us know your thoughts and feedback? You can click the button below to take it now or, while on a ride or a hike, you can also find QR codes that link to the survey posted along all of the new trails listed above.
Public Lands Are Inclusive
Please remember, as more of us turn to the wild to seek thrill and solace, we’re all trying to enjoy this beautiful open space that is so accessible to where we live and work. Like we learned as children, everything’s better when we share. Consider this our invitation to you to share the trails responsibly by being friendly, courteous, and saying hello! A smile and a friendly greeting goes a long way to making recreation on natural lands a positive experience for everyone.
May 17, 2021
Happy Traaaaaails…To You…
Shout em’, Scout em’, Tell All About em’!
All of the new trails in the Central Foothills, between City Creek Canyon and Perry’s Hollow, are now open! You heard that right! Once you’re out there, be sure to get familiar with our wayfinding signs featuring trail names, management designations (hiking, biking, or both), and distances to next junctions and destinations. Visit www.SLCTrails.com to view an interactive map of all the new trails and invite your friends for new adventures! See you out on the trails!
Not so Fast, My Friend
As Marvel titan Stan Lee would say, “with great power there must also come great responsibility.” Alongside building trails for everyone’s enjoyment, we are also building a more inclusive trail culture. And we need YOUR help! With access to beautiful views and terrains comes our personal responsibility to our neighbors and lands. When accessing trails via the Upper Avenues neighborhoods, travel with caution as the speed limit is 25mph and keep in mind you are traveling through a residential area. Parking here can be extremely limited during peak times, so make sure you are parking sensibly, respectfully, and most importantly for you, legally.
While on the topic of trail culture and speed, our new trails are bursting at the seams with eager users! A friendly reminder to you bikers – please remember to ALWAYS yield to foot-traffic on shared-use trials. Slow down, yield, or even stop when exiting 19th Ave downhill bike segments, particularly when merging with the Meadow Trail. Our goal for building trail culture is to ensure each and everyone’s stoke is high, but making sure one person’s stoke doesn’t get in the way of anyone else’s. Striking that balance is just part of being a public lands recreator. We’re in this together!
Cones, & Tools, & Construction, Oh My!
The completion date of the new hiking-only Twin Peaks Trail has been delayed. Please stay off this trail until further notice. In the meantime, embrace a change-up and head over to the Jordan River to check out the newly built boat ramps you can use to more easily embark on a paddle adventure in your floating vessel of choice. And when the completion of the Twin Peaks Trail is ready, you can read about it here!
Additionally, Dry Creek Alternate Trail construction has not yet begun. Final decisions on its alignment management designation are still under discussion and may be a few weeks out. More to come soon!
April 23, 2021
Uphill, Downhill, Red Hill, Blue Hill
It’s Here! It’s Here! It’s Here!
It’s a red-letter day in the Foothills Natural Area, friends. The day is here! The hour is at hand. The moment has arrived, and we are thrilled to announce that the 19th Ave downhill biking trail is complete and open for business. See the map for reference, particularly with regard to uphill biking trails to access the top of the 19th Ave trail.
Oh, That Ol’ Bonneville Shore…
Also now open: The BST – East City Creek trail from Bonneville Blvd (Salt Dome/Lower City Creek) up to Meadow Trail is now open for hikers and uphill biking. Note that says uphill biking. 😉
Out-and-Back on Avenues Ridge
The Avenues Ridge Trail is also now open for hiking from the Meadow Trail up to the summit for an out-and-back hike, or circling back for a loop hike on the BST. Construction should finish on the Avenues Ridge Trail on the east end at the City Creek Saddle between April 26 – May 7. But a word of caution: Trail users should avoid the unofficial, *social trail while the trail builders are working in that area. It is not safe for you or them so doing your part here is also prioritizing the safety of everyone in the area. Please reference the map for this area as well.
Permanent Closure of BST Segment
A new segment of the BST has been constructed above Terrace Hills creating a more sustainable trail at a more manageable grade. The segment of the BST on the ridgeline between the Meadow Trail and Terrace Hills, as well as the old jeep track trail that continues on that ridgeline up to the upper Avenues/South City Creek ridgeline IS NOW CLOSED. Multiple trenches have been dug across the old jeep track to prevent usage. Natural material fencing and signage will be installed soon. Additionally, all of the *social trails heading up to that ridge from the BST will be closing to maintain the integrity of the habitat, vegetation, and natural lands. We appreciate your willingness to adapt to these changes as we make a more vibrant trail system that benefits all of us.
*social trails are informal, unofficial trails that often negatively impact the environment. Here’s a good definition from the Trails and Open Space Coalition: “A social trail is defined as an informal, non-designated trail between two locations. Social trails often result in trampling stresses to sensitive vegetation types. They may also be known as rogue trails. As the definition implies, creating and using a social trail increases the amount of vegetation that is trampled.”
April 10, 2021
Checking in on Key Progress Milestones
Nearly There With 19th Ave Downhill Bike Trail
We know you’re itching to get on this track, but all good things come to those who wait. The good news is, the waiting period is just about over. Most of the lower segment of the 19th Ave Downhill Bike Trail has been rehabbed or rerouted. We have our fingers crossed that the weather holds as we are scheduled to open ALL THREE SEGMENTS of this bike trail on Friday, April 23. Pump up those tires!
Terrace Hills: Signed, Sealed, Delivered
And now for some good accountability. We mentioned that we’d be realigning a 1/3-mile segment of the BST north of Terrace Hills Drive in order to create a more sustainable trail route, and, well, we did. Started. Finished. Re-opened. Ta-da! Active closure of the eroding ridgeline jeep trail has now begun with trenching, fencing, and signage to minimize future erosion and start the rehabilitation of the natural lands. Plans for re-vegetation are also underway. And here’s a fun note: All ridgeline trails now have new, adjacent, sustainably built trails to access the same locations. It’s never a bad idea to recreate more responsibly with respect to the wild land on which we play.
Twin Peaks: And So It Begins
We gave a heads up when construction was looming, but now, as of April 13, the new Twin Peaks hiking trail work will officially begin. This trail will replace some deteriorating and frequently used social trails along various ridges. Look for a hopeful Twin Peaks trail completion by Memorial Day! As we’ve mentioned previously, we don’t anticipate any trail closures, but that means you’ll need to practice sensible awareness and caution along with your best trail etiquette while navigating this area.
March 30, 2021
Popperton Park Update
All Popperton Park Trails are open and ready for use for hikers and bikers. These new trails built in 2020 are easily accessible by car, bus, or bike and are very family friendly, so bring the kids! These trails are also pet friendly and great for a little dirt-path stroll with your furry friends. Note: this park is on-leash only.
For those who may not know, Popperton Park has several different trails areas all with their own emphasis for activity and use. West Popperton is for hiking only. Bikes are welcome in East and South Popperton. Come explore this little trails oasis tucked into the lower foothills of Salt Lake and find a nearby natural escape you’ll want to return to again and again.
March 20, 2021
Important Trail Closures
Listed below are several key trail closures to know about before heading out and finding them inaccessible. Further down you can view a map of these closures as well.
Rehabbing 19th Ave Downhill Biking Trail
The new segment of 19th Ave (downhill bike trail) north of the I-Street Bike Park, west of the Meadow will not open until the rehabbed segment of existing BST below/west of the bike park in late April.
2-Day Closing of “Morris Meadows Trail”
The upper segment of BST – East City Creek (currently signed as “Morris Meadows Trail”) will be closed Monday & Tuesday, March 22-23, during repairs and access to the Meadow will not be available.
Rehabbing Bonneville Shoreline Trail Segment
The existing segment of the BST below/west of the I-Street Bike Park will be closed for rehabilitation beginning on March 24. Hikers & uphill bikers may use East City Creek Trail. Downhill bikers can use city streets until the trail is reopened as 19th Ave trail. This closure should be 2-3 weeks.
March 11, 2021
Upcoming New Enhancements, Routes, and Trails
Hello friends, neighbors, and fellow recreators – Through our dogged pursuit of enhancing and expanding our local trails, we are excited to announce that the completion of Foothills Trail System Phase I construction will be achieved this spring. Here are a few key milestones we anticipate this season that we can all look forward to. Happy trails.
19th Ave Downhill Biking Trail Nearly Complete
The third and final segment of the 19th Ave downhill bike trail between the upper Avenues Meadow Trail and City Creek Canyon will be built along the pre-existing Bonneville Shoreline Trail. Be aware of trail closures at this location for a few weeks in April or May.
A More Sustainable Trail Route North of Terrace Hills
We will be realigning a 1/3-mile segment of the BST north of Terrace Hills Drive in order to create a more sustainable trail route and restore open space that has been degraded due to poor alignment of the original BST. The realigned trail will significantly improve physical sustainability, decrease erosion, and decrease the extent of vegetation trampling by trail users. The existing segment of the BST, along with various other eroding ridgeline trails in the vicinity of the BST, will be closed for re-vegetation.
New Trail to Twin Peaks
A new trail from the BST saddle west of Dry Creek to the summit of Twin Peaks will start construction in April. No trail closures will occur but please be aware of active construction and practice caution along with your best trail etiquette. For more updates, maps and plan information, click the button below.