Salt Lake City

Public Lands Department

Salt Lake City Foothills Trail System

Salt Lake City Foothills Natural Area & Trail System

Central Foothills Trail Map

Salt Lake City Foothills Natural Area

The Salt Lake City Foothills Natural Area consists of approximately 6,000 acres of canyons and foothills bordering the northern and eastern limits of Salt Lake City. The Foothills consist of open sagebrush grasslands and scrub-oak woodlands and are bordered by Davis County to the north, established neighborhoods to the west and south, and protected Salt Lake City watershed lands to the east. The Foothills are bisected by City Creek Canyon, Red Butte Canyon, Emigration Canyon and bordered on the south by Parley’s Canyon. Many smaller canyons and gullies also exist in the Foothills, including Dry Creek, Perry’s Hollow, and others.

Foothills Vision & Goals

PROJECT VISION: The Foothills Natural Area will provide a variety of recreational trail experiences for diverse ages and abilities while managing the Foothills’ environmental resources for future generations.

The Foothills Trail System Plan outlines five primary goals:

  • Environmentally Sustainable: Trails avoid sensitive habitat, minimize erosion, and make efficient use of available natural lands while protecting the wild and scenic nature of the Foothills landscape. 
  • Enjoyable: Trails cater to a diversity of recreation types and users, and a variety of desired experiences. 
  • Accessible: Trails are accessible to a broad audience of beginner to immediate trail users, including families, seniors, and people with disabilities. 
  • Safe: Trail user conflicts are mitigated and minimized through trail design and use regulations.
  • Low-Maintenance: Trails durian water naturally, follow contours instead of fall-lines, and encourage users to remain on-trail, minimizing maintenance efforts.

The Trails & Trailheads

All of the construction of trails for Phase I between June 2020 – May 2021 occurred in the Central Foothills between City Creek and Dry Creek Canyons. As of May 2021, completion of the Twin Peaks Trail and Dry Creek Alternate Trail has been paused to further investigate cultural and environmental elements of the natural landscape and ensure the goals of trail implementation can be met. While user-created trails exist throughout the North Foothills (Davis County to City Creek), South Foothills (Dry Creek to Emigration Canyon), and East Bench (Emigration to Parley’s Canyons), the trails and trailheads listed here include those developed in Phase I of trail construction and existing trails integrated into the trail system. 

Trailhead infrastructure improvements – additional parking, kiosks, restrooms, shade structures, tables, and benches, as well as increased urban forestry and green landscaping – are also included in the Foothills Trail System Plan. Priority enhancements are scheduled for Bonneville Boulevard, Popperton Park, Emigration Canyon, 18th Avenue, & Victory Road. Other access points to trails in adjacent neighborhoods will remain open for local resident use. 

Questions or comments? Contact Project Manager Tyler Fonarow at or (801) 535-7845.

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