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Lifestyles in Salt Lake Area


James Spruell, Ph.D.

Lifestyle Basics

Healthy living, community involvement, and an active lifestyle are important choices that we make on a daily and weekly basis

The Salt Lake City area has a number of wonderful locations that provide hiking, backpacking, stream fishing, and camping. Big Cottonwood Canyon is a popular destination with easy access from 215, and includes Donut Falls, Ledgemere Picnic area, and many others.

Little Cottonwood Canyon is another popular destination for biking, hiking, etc. in the summer with winter activities that include snowshoeing, snowboarding....


Around the Area

Temple Quarry Trail

The Temple Quarry Trail is a family friendly trail with well marked paths. The trail is paved, less than ½ mile long, with convenient access and parking. Restrooms are available, but are best described as ‘primitive.’

Temple Quarry Trail


Photos of the Temple Quarry Trail.

The trail includes natural and historic points of interest from mountain scenery to any number of historical tidbits. On the historic side, Mormon pioneers once used the granite from the quarry in their temple construction beginning in 1862.


Temple Quarry Hike Entrance

From I15, take the 90th South exit going east. Eventually, the road turns into 94th South and will take you up to the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Just before the stop sign where you would turn right to go up the canyon on 210 is a paved turnoff to the Temple Quarry Parking Area. You can park in the Park-And-Ride across the street or in the Temple Quarry Parking area.



Little Cottonwood Canyon Trail


The trail follows along Little Cottonwood creek parallel to 210, and is approximately 6-7 miles up and back. The slope is a fairly gentle 1300 feet in elevation gain, and wide enough to accommodate bikers and hikers at most points. Although not paved, the trail is well relatively tame compared to the more rugged and adventuresome paths found in the area.

Little Cottonwood Canyon


The trail begins at the Temple Quarry Trailhead, and continues along the creek to the old ruins. An old rock building constructed of granite stones still exists with parts of 4 walls still standing.

A boulder along the trail

Much of the trail was formed from an old mining road that follows the river/stream bed along the granite mountains. Trees are numerous with granite boulders occasionally strewn along the path that provide convenient resting stops. The area can be warm in the summer, and sections of the trail aren't as shady as others -- so dress appropriately .

Wildlife in the area include mountain goats, moose, deer, and numerous bird species. Wildlife activity will vary with the seasons, and you may/may not catch glimpes of the local fauna. A good pair of binoculars can be useful for viewing both wildlife and the wonderful granite faces and mountain side that the trail runs along.

Little Cottonwood Canyon Trail


A convenient turning around point for the more novice hiker is where the trail meets up with Wasatch Resort Road. If you look carefully you will find some old wooden ‘boardwalks’ along the creek.

Old wooden steps along the trail

The history of the planked steps is a bit of a mystery (to me), but a small area strewn with wooden steps lays just off the intersection of the trail & Wasatch Resort Road. I can only conjecture that the 'boardwalk' now buckled with time was a bygone attempt to provide a somewhat level path for material flow along their length.

One of the sections of the planked steps (shown below) drifted off into a now pretty heavily covered forest area. The shading and planks look almost mystical as they fade into the forest. The planks are a gentle reminder of days now past, and one of many points of interest found along the Little Cottonwood Trail.

Old wooden steps along Little Cottonwood Canyon Trail


Signs at the entrance to the Wasatch resort area (close to the bridge) remind all that no hunting or tresspassing is allowed, so pay attention and stick to the trail!


Nights can be pretty cool, so dress appropriately. Actually the early part of May can not only be cool, but included a bit of surprise snow this past May 1, 2013.

For the adventuresome, lots of interesting formations and historical relics are found along the Little Cottonwood Canyon Trail. A few more examples:

The Path
Relics of another day
An early 'roadgrader'

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