Salt Lake City to build new foothill trail system

Mountain bikers and hikers rejoice! Salt Lake City is in the planning process to build a new, non-motorized trail system in the foothills above downtown. Called the Foothill Trail System Plan, the idea is to create what the city calls a “world-class recreational mountain trail system at the edge of Salt Lake City.” The new Salt Lake City trail system would feature around 30 miles of singletrack from North Salt Lake stretching south to Emigration Canyon.

new Salt Lake City trail system

Riding bikes on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail in the Salt Lake City foothills. (Rider: Mason Diedrich. Photo: Jared Hargrave –


According to Salt Lake City, the goal of the foothill trail system plan is to create a non-motorized, world-class recreational mountain trail system at the edge of Salt Lake City. The primary objectives of the foothill trail plan are: (1) to provide detailed layout, design and management recommendations for a comprehensive non-motorized foothill recreational trail system that is safe, enjoyable, accessible, connected, and sustainable; (2) to provide information to guide strategic implementation of the trail system over a 10-year time horizon; and (3) to provide and/or incorporate key supplemental information.

The planning process is in the early stages. But surveys taken by Salt Lake City residents, along with stakeholder meetings, have given planners an initial draft to work from. That draft includes a variety of new trails from hiking only trails, multi-directional trails, and even bike-friendly, downhill-only flow trails. The process to completion is expected to take 10 years.

new Salt Lake City trails

A Google Earth view of the Salt Lake City foothills. The shaded area is where planners are looking to build 30- miles of new trails.

In the coming months there will be opportunity to let your voice be heard. As the process continues, more public input will be needed to help guide the trail developments, layout, and construction.

I think new trails in Salt Lake City’s foothills are way overdue. The population living in SLC are active and outdoors oriented and the current trails are at their max. I constantly see user conflicts on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, Dry Creek Canyon and City Creek Canyon. New trails will spread out users, and give more opportunity for mountain biking and hiking. Ultimately, a trail system at the level of Draper’s Corner Canyon should be the model SLC strives for. Hopefully this 10-year plan for 30 miles of trails is only the beginning of a trail building renaissance in Salt Lake City.

For more information, visit the Salt Lake City Trails Plan webpage.

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