Salt Lake City

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Hunting in the Protected Watershed


To date, hunting with special restrictions is allowed in City Creek Canyon. Salt Lake City allows hunting on lands that it owns within City Creek Canyon, but continued support of this is up to the future behaviors of hunters. Please read and review these rules first. If this FAQ does not answer your question, feel free to call (801) 483-6705 with any questions during normal business hours.

Do I need a permit from Salt Lake City to hunt in City Creek Canyon?

Salt Lake City only issues access permits for hunting during the general rifle deer season.  Salt Lake City does not issue hunting permits.  All hunters need relevant permits from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. Hunting permits are regulated by the State of Utah. A hunting tag alone, however, does not guarantee vehicular access to the canyon. For hunters who want vehicle access to the canyon, read below.

Salt Lake City regulates access to City-owned property in City Creek Canyon, which is considered private property. All access methods, including cars, bicycles, foot traffic, and any other motorized or wheeled form of transport, are regulated by Salt Lake City. Please make sure you follow all signage. If the road says “closed to private vehicles” and the gate is open, this means that unless you have permission to access the canyon, do not drive your motor vehicle up. 

General Rifle Deer Season Vehicle Permits:

City Creek Canyon will most likely be closed to the public starting sometime in mid-October 2023 for the rebuild of the water treatment plant.  As a result, permits for access for the rifle deer season will not be available. 

If it is during the time of year when private automobiles are not allowed in City Creek Canyon (October – Memorial Day weekend) but I have a tag to hunt in an area far from the gate, can I get special permission to enter the canyon with a vehicle? 

No. City Creek Canyon is heavily used year-round by runners, bicyclists, walkers, etc. These rules are designed to maximize everyone’s safety. Hunters are free to hike or ride their bicycles up to hunting areas in the canyon, however.

 Note that during the time when private vehicles are allowed in City Creek Canyon, which is even days between the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend and September30th, hunters may drive their vehicles up.

Can I camp in City Creek Canyon?

No. Salt Lake City Ordinance 17.08.070 states that “It is unlawful for any person to camp on any land within City Creek Canyon.”  This applies to the entire canyon. The purpose of this rule is to protect water quality in City Creek Canyon. While most of City Creek Canyon is incorporated Salt Lake City, a portion is not. Given Salt Lake City’s extra-territorial jurisdiction, however, the no camping rule applies to the entire canyon.

If I down an animal during a hunt other than the rifle deer in City Creek Canyon, can I get vehicle access to get it out rather than drag it down the canyon.

Yes, but by special permit only. This permit is not guaranteed; hunters are advised to coordinate this in advance. Call the Watershed Division at (801) 483-6705 to arrange.

Hunters may also get these Game Retrieval Permits in Parley’s Canyon on City-owned canyon lands for elk and moose only. This is for select trails and utility corridors only, with the discretion of the Watershed Ranger issuing the permit.

Can I hunt with a firearm in City Creek Canyon?

 Only in certain locations – It depends on what weapon you are using.
Please be advised that this ordinance is strictly enforced within the area that it covers. Those entering from trailheads outside City Creek Canyon fall under the same rules. It is expected that you know these rules before you go hunt; ignorance is not an excuse.

Rifles, Muzzle Loaders and Shotguns (00 buckshot and slugs)

Hunters may use a rifle, muzzle loader, and shotguns with 00 buckshot and slugs above Picnic Site #23.

Given recent incidents with rifle hunters illegally discharging firearms while hunting in no firearm zones witnessed by both Salt Lake City Police and watershed staff; all hunters need to pay special attention to this rule for the safety of all canyon users.

Relevant Salt Lake City Code:


No person shall discharge any firearm, within the City Creek watershed area, except in areas allowed for game hunting under section 11.48.060, or its successor, in this code.


Prohibition; Exceptions: It is unlawful for any person to discharge firearms of any description within the corporate limits of the city, except:

1. At a regularly licensed shooting gallery;At the Salt Lake City police target range;

2.  The Utah state armory;

3. At a regularly conducted school as a part of a supervised course of instruction;

4. At a regularly organized gun club shooting range, where the range and facilities have been approved by the mayor or the mayor’s designated agent;

5. At a mobile range trailer where range and facilities have been approved by the mayor or the mayor’s designee;

6.  In areas authorized by the state of Utah for hunting; provided, that:

No rifle, handgun, muzzle loader or shotgun using slugs or 00 buckshot shall be discharged within one mile of any cabin, house or other building regularly occupied by people, and

No shotgun shall be discharged within six hundred feet (600′) (200 yards) of any cabin, home or building regularly occupied by people;

7. Police officers in performance of their duties.

Note that the City Creek Canyon Water Treatment Plant is staffed 24 hours a day, year round and is considered a habitable structure.

Can I take horses into City Creek Canyon?

 No. Salt Lake City Ordinance 17.04.120 states that “No livestock shall be allowed, such as, but not limited to, cattle, horses, sheep, hogs, or any other domestic animals to run at large within the city’s watershed area, except where such livestock are permitted in writing by the director or health director.”

Regardless of location, if the horse is in the watershed, it is not legal. Avoid trails that dip into the watershed, regardless of where they started or for how short of time you might feel they are in the protected watershed area.

Can I hunt with my dogs in City Creek Canyon?

 Unless you hunt with your dogs on a leash below the protected watershed area, they are not allowed. Please be advised that dogs must be on leash at all times. Leashes cannot be more than 6 feet long.No dogs are allowed in the protected watershed area as per Salt Lake City Ordinance:

 17.04.170 Dogs – Prohibited in designated areas.
It is unlawful for any owner or person keeping, harboring, having charge or control of any dog, to permit such dog to be taken into or allowed to run loose or on a leash within the following described watershed areas:

All of the City Creek Canyon watershed area lying north and/or east of Salt Lake City’s City Creek treatment plant  sludge beds and in other areas of City Creek Canyon above the entrance when a  written permit is required by the director.

Can I take an Off Highway Vehicle onto the ridge between City Creek Canyon and Davis Canyon?

No. The two major landholders (managing them for the public) in the area are Salt Lake City and the U.S. Forest Service, and neither allow for off-road usage in this area. This restriction applies to all passenger cars, trucks, all-terrain vehicles, side-by-sides, snowmobiles, off-highway vehicles, motorcycles, etc., without exceptions.  Violators will be prosecuted.

On U.S. Forest Service lands within the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, the nearest motorized routes are on motorcycles (not ATVs) in North Canyon and Mueller Park. U.S. Forest Service Travel Maps may be found here.

Questions? Call Watershed at 801-483-6705 for more information.

Please visit our Brochures & Digital Resources Page to access our Interactive Online Map, PDF, or KML files to view the hunting boundaries within City Creek.