Surrounded by nature, Salt Lake has one of the liveliest biking and hiking scenes of any city in the country.
Just minutes from downtown, you can find yourself on a hike, riding a road bike or having a mountain bike adventure.
When you’re done, it’s easy to roll back into downtown for lunch or après beers and burgers at one of the many indie watering holes.
It’s no wonder that Salt Lake gets top rankings for being one of the fittest and healthiest cities in the U.S.
1. City Creek Canyon
Think of this as a quick nature fix on a paved trail that allows visitors of all ages to access parkland and gardens from the heart of downtown.
Starting from Memory Grove Park at State Street and Second Avenue, head north along a 1.2-mile path that climbs alongside City Creek, or extend your hike or ride another 5.8 miles up the canyon, all of which is closed to vehicles.
2. Red Butte Ridge
Situated in the foothills above the University of Utah, this trail rises over 1,500 feet in just over a mile, and has several false summits.
Hikers can quickly reach a vantage point known to locals as the Living Room, which features slabs of sandstone arranged as furniture.
It’s a relatively short hike that offers great views.
3. Bonneville Shoreline Trail
This low elevation trail runs along what was once the shoreline of an inland prehistoric sea known as Lake Bonneville.
Reasonably flat and absent of any real technical challenges, it’s ideal for a family ride.
The 17-mile trail offers multiple trail heads and spurs, allowing for shorter or longer rides, hikes or runs.
4. Emigration Canyon
Road cyclists love this eight mile stretch of smooth asphalt from the canyon mouth to Little Mountain summit.
Close to downtown and the University of Utah, the canyon’s road has a slight but steady incline for the first six miles, which is a decent warm up for the final two mile stretch with a much steeper grade.
Most riders turn around at the summit of Little Mountain, but you can continue on toward Parley’s Canyon, passing by Little Dell and East Dell Reservoirs.
5. Downtown Beers & Burgers
Post hike or bike, it’s easy enough to grab a table, brews and burgers at some of the city’s most welcoming spots.
If your stomach is dictating where to go, stop at From Scratch, which has won awards for both its burgers and its pizza.
Or grab a table at Lucky 13 after a big ride and order The Nut Butter Burger, with toppings of house-smoked bacon, peanut butter and cheddar cheese.
Or get an alfresco table at Red Rock Brewing for Belgian Pale Ale and a Cuban sandwich, and park your steed at the Beerhive Pub, with 200 plus brews, great fish and chips and a bird’s eye view of all the downtown action.
Featured image: Adam Barker