Salt Lake City Foothills Trail System
Foothills Natural Area – North Salt Lake to Emigration Canyon
Project Manager: Lewis Kogan
Salt Lake City Foothills Trail System
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 goal of the Foothills Trail System (FTS) Master Plan is to create a world-class, non-motorized recreational mountain trail system at the edge of Salt Lake City with over 100+ miles of sustainably-built, safe, and accessible trails. Phase I of trail construction, which began in summer 2020, includes 5 projects:
- West Popperton Hiking Loops – completed and open as of July 2020
- East Popperton Bike Trails – currently under construction; scheduled to open spring 2021
- South Popperton Bike Loop – scheduled to open spring 2021
- South Popperton Pedestrian Trail – existing trail and open for use
- Spring Gulch – tbd
- Morris Mountain Trail – currently under construction; scheduled to open spring 2021
- Long Way Home Downhill Biking Trail
- Above Morris Meadows – completed but closed for necessary for natural soil stabilization; scheduled to open spring 2021
- Below Morris Meadows – The current Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST) segment from “I Street” Bike Park to City Creek Trailhead will be renovated to become a downhill biking trail in spring 2021. The trail will be closed during renovation. A new uphill bike and foot-traffic trail between Bonneville Blvd and the I Street Bike Park, the Morris Meadows Trail, has already been completed and is open for use.
- Morris Meadows Trail (uphill bikes and foot-traffic allowed; restricted to downhill bikes) – completed and open as of November 2020
- Lower City Creek Loop (foot-traffic only; no bikes) – completed and open as of November 2020
The Foothills Natural Area
The Foothills 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 and consists of open sagebrush grasslands and scrub-oak woodlands. The Foothills are bisected by City Creek Canyon, Red Butte Canyon, and bordered on the south by Emigration Canyon. Many smaller canyons and gullies also exist in the Foothills, including Dry Creek, Perry’s Hollow, and others. The Foothills Natural Area provides important habitat for a variety of birds, small mammals, and other wildlife, and many plants native to the Salt Lake Valley. Big game such as deer and elk also utilize the Foothills, and the upper slopes and ravines are an important winter range for these mammals. In many ways, the Foothills ecosystem is fragile and susceptible to lasting damage. These lands also have tremendous potential to provide a refuge for the public, and an escape into the natural world only minutes from the heart of downtown SLC. In order to minimize our human footprint and ensure that this unique natural area is protected for future generations, it is imperative that recreational trails in the Foothills be carefully planned, designed, and constructed. This Foothills Trail System Plan establishes a vision for a recreational trail system that balances user needs with the needs of the Foothills environment so that the property can be enjoyed by Salt Lake City residents and visitors for decades to come.
Foothills Trail System Project Summary
The primary objectives of the plan are: (1) to provide detailed layout, design and management recommendations for a comprehensive non-motorized recreational trail system that is safe, enjoyable, accessible, connected, and sustainable; (2) to provide information to guide strategic implementation of the trail system over a 10-year time horizon; and (3) to provide and/or incorporate key supplemental information. The public feedback gathered as part of the Foothills Trail System plan will help guide plan development, including trail construction and layout recommendations, and will influence trail development projects for the next 10 years.