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Getting Around in Utah

Canyons of the Wasatch Front

    Ever wonder where City Creek Canyon or Rose Canyon were? Salt Lake county has several canyons you might not be aware of. Or even if you have heard of them, maybe you don't really know where they are.

    Disclaimer: The canyons on this map are the major driving canyons in and around the county. There are several smaller, no-vehicles-allowed canyons that are sprinkled all over the area, but are not on this map. Also, this map is meant for a general overview of the canyons, to illustrate and accompany the descriptions. It is not necessarily to scale, and certainly does not contain all roads in the county.

    1. City Creek Canyon
      City Creek Canyon is a recreational route (for walking, jogging, biking, cross country skiing, etc) that extends into the mountains to the northeast of Salt Lake City. Follow SR 89 up past the Capitol Building. At the mouth of this canyon is Memory Grove park, and at the upper end is a water treatment plant.
    2. Emigration Canyon
      Sunnyside Ave (approx 850 South) heads east out of downtown and out past Hogle Zoo and "This is the Place" State park and into Emigration Canyon.
    3. East Canyon
      A beautiful drive any time of the year, there is also a state park with reservoir and boating possibilities.
    4. Parley's Canyon
      The main route out of Salt Lake City to the east. The section of I-80 that goes through the Wasatch mountains is called Parley's. Although most Utahns know this route as part of their commute, the mountains are rich in trails and wildlife.
    5. Mill Creek Canyon
      One of our major local recreation canyons. Several hiking, biking and cross country skiing trails are available.
    6. Big Cottonwood Canyon
      A major recreation area with 2 alpine ski resorts--Solitude and Brighton, and one nordic ski area--Solitude Nordic Center. Besides skiing there is hiking, biking, camping, picnicking, leaf watching and anything else that gets you out into the trees. While Brighton is at the end of the canyon road, a road just before the end cuts over Guardsman's pass and over to Park City. This road is of course, only open during the summer months.
    7. Little Cottonwood Canyon
      A major recreation area, the end of Little Cottonwood Canyon road is Alta Ski Resort. Also along the way is Snowbird Ski Resort. Like the other canyons, there are tons of trails for the outdoor adventurer. A favorite activity in Little Cottonwood is rock climbing with several popular spot throughout. Also, in the late summer, Albion is perhaps the best place in the state to view mountain wildflowers.
    8. American Fork Canyon
      Not technically in Salt Lake City, American Fork is another large, major recreation canyon nearby. With it's numerous lakes and reservoir, American Fork Canyon is a favorite fishing area. Rock climbing, leaf watching, camping, horseback riding and biking are also popular here.
    9. Corner Canyon
      What used to be a no-car zone, and popular biking trail, this canyon was closed to bikes in the mid-nineties due to the desire to preserve the ecologically fragile terrain. Those same people who closed the trail to bikers later allowed the land to be sold to developers and it is now a road that goes up over Traverse Ridge and down into Utah county.
    10. Rose Canyon
      In the last decade, this area in the South-Western portion of Salt Lake County has been transformed from fields of vegetables or livestock into more housing for our growing population. Those who want to escape the city, but still want large lots of affordable land are turning to the Rose Canyon area. But among the big new houses, there are still some small country places with cows, horses, and llamas. And, there are still trails for bike and horse-back riding.
    11. Butterfield Canyon
      A canyon popular for horseback riding, biking, hiking and birding, Butterfield Canyon is reached by driving west on SR 71 to the end.
    12. Bingham Canyon
      This canyon terminates at the Kennicott Copper Mine (world's largest open pit copper mine). The (now) ghost town of Bingham is buried under tons of tailings from the mine.

Backroads of Utah
by Theresa A. Husarik

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