Pounding the pavement can be sizzling in the summer heat. Escape the asphalt for Utah’s trails where cooler temperatures and outdoor beauty await. With plenty of options just minutes from downtown, it’s easy to fit in a run before or after your workday. Whether you’re an experienced off-road runner or new to the sport, try these five trails to take your runs into the wild.
Round Valley, Park City
Thanks to Park City’s 6,500’ elevation, you’ll find cooler temperatures here than in Salt Lake City and over 30 miles of trails to explore. Round Valley’s rolling hills and valleys are just northeast of Historic Park City and feature single and doubletrack trails for every skill level. Watch for mountain bikers as these trails are shared use.
Pipeline Trail, Millcreek Canyon, Millcreek
Unlike Millcreek Canyon’s exposed mountain climbs, the Pipeline Trail offers a mostly shady respite from the summer heat. You can run an out-and-back distance of approximately 14 miles here, or take on shorter segments. We love starting at Church Fork, a trailhead 2.3 miles from the fee station that also leads to Grandeur Peak, or Birch Hollow, about 4.3 miles up canyon near Porter Fork.
Both feature creek crossings, spectacular Salt Lake Valley views, and rolling hills for a little challenge. Dogs are always welcome, but must be leashed on even-numbered days and off-leash only on odd-numbered days.
Bonneville Shoreline Trail, Salt Lake City and Orem
Following the shoreline of prehistoric Lake Bonneville, the Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST) is currently 100 miles long, but will eventually stretch 280 miles from Idaho to Nephi. One of Utah’s best-known trail runs, the BST is primarily flat and smooth, making it an easy place for newbies to catch the trail running bug.
Try a few of our favorite starting points when running the BST. In Salt Lake City, start at the Natural History Museum of Utah and run south. In Orem, begin at East Lawn Cemetery to run through the foothills into Provo Canyon.
Memory Grove to City Creek Canyon, Salt Lake City
Tucked right in Salt Lake City, beautiful Memory Grove is a convenient trail run that offers some shade. Head up to where the road is closed to cars and connect onto the unpaved path adjacent to the creek. Run 1.3 miles up to reach City Creek Canyon. Here you’ll pop out onto the main road.
Take the dirt trail paralleling the paved road, and follow the undulating path until you’re ready to return the way you came. A choose-your-own-distance affair, this path offers some climbing without being too brutal.
Corner Canyon, Draper
Popular with mountain bikers, Draper’s Corner Canyon is also a great spot for a summer run. Start at the Andy Ballard Equestrian Park Trailhead to connect onto runnable trails like Rattler, Turkey Road, Anne’s Trail, Canyon Hollow, and the Bonneville Shoreline. The newer Phantom Trail by Ghost Falls is a favorite of runners thanks to its smooth dirt design. Watch for horses and mountain bikers who also share these trails. Dogs are not allowed as the area is a watershed for Draper residents.