With hundreds of miles of singletrack in the Salt Lake Valley and hundreds more in nearby Park City, Salt Lake City is a trail runner’s dream come true. Whether you’re after a quick workout near downtown or a multi-hour epic through pristine wilderness, there’s plenty to choose from.
Just minutes from downtown, the Bonneville Shoreline trail is perfect for a mid-day workout. With very little vegetation on the shoreline, the trail is often dry before others in the valley, despite its 5,100-foot elevation (carry plenty of water for summer runs). The shoreline is relatively flat, making it ideal for getting into a rhythm and churning out the miles; add variety with offshoot trails.
Looking for a run close to town that poses a bit more of a challenge? Check out Ensign Peak, which starts above Memory Grove. Unlike the relatively flat Shoreline, Ensign Peak is strewn with steep, lung-busting hills. The whole loop will take an experienced runner over an hour, so give yourself plenty of time, and bring plenty of water.
About 30 minutes from downtown, the beautifully maintained Desolation Loop features plenty of shade (tough to come by in the summer), creek crossings, buttery-smooth sections, and a knockout view at the top. It’s about 13 miles total, with roughly 2,400 feet of elevation gain, so it’s a pretty challenging run if you complete the loop. It’s a good idea to leave one earbud out on this trail, as you’ll be sharing it with hikers, mountain bikers, and the occasional moose.
Races: The Salt Lake City Marathon
Groups: Slat Lake Running Club
Retailers: Salt Lake Running Co.