Salt Lake City

Public Lands Division

Salt Lake City Foothills Trail System

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. To enhance the safety, sustainability, and investment of our natural areas, we ask you to stay on the trails, stay off the trails when they are muddy, and ALWAYS keep your dogs on leash and on the trails.

Phase I of trail construction, which began in summer 2020, includes 5 projects:

Popperton Park – completed and open as of November 2020

  • West Popperton Hiking Loops
  • East Popperton Bike Trails
  • South Popperton Bike Loop
  • South Popperton Pedestrian Trail

Morris Mountain (new name pending)

  • Morris Mountain Trail (hiking only trail) – partially open as of December 2020
  • 19th Ave (initially named “Long Way Home”) (downhill-directional only biking trail) – partially completed but closed for stabilization; scheduled to open in late spring 2021)
  • BST Terrace Hills realignment – scheduled for spring 2021

City Creek – completed and open as of November 2020

  • East City Creek Trail (currently signed as “Morris Meadows Trail”) (uphill bikes and foot-traffic allowed; restricted to downhill bikes)
  • Lower City Creek Loop (foot-traffic only; no bikes)

Twin Peaks

  • Twin Peaks Trail (foot-traffic only; no bikes) – construction scheduled to begin in spring 2021
  • Dry Creek Alternate (uphill bikes and foot-traffic allowed; restricted to downhill bikes) – construction scheduled to begin in 2021

North Foothills

  • Lakeview Trail – moved to Phase II of Master Plan
  • Lower Towers Trail – construction scheduled to begin in spring 2021
  • New BST North Foothills – construction scheduled to begin in 2021 by Davis County

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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.