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Monday, December 7, 2015

Living Room Hike, Salt Lake City

Any hike behind the University along the Bonneville Shoreline Trail is a good bet for an early winter hike.  Low altitude and some warm temperatures this week sent Olive and I to hit the dirt trails behind campus to relax in a sandstone sofa.

The Living Room is a popular Salt Lake City hike, with views of the city below, the valley, and the Oquirrh mountains.  This hike is a great "Intro to SLC" hike, and a popular hike to watch the sunset.  I hiked this in the late spring last year, but never wrote a post on it.  So Olive and I headed to the Living Room one more time for a great quick hike with glorious views and trendy rock furniture.  

Once I finished this post, I Googled "Katie Wanders Living Room Hike" for fun, and guess what came up.  Yep, that one time I hiked the Living Room and posted all about it.  Tis' the season to start losing our minds, right?  The good news is, that post wasn't very thorough, and its always fun to see the same hike in a different season.  

The Basics
Distance: ~ 4 miles RT (2 hours)       Elevation gain: 1,100 feet       Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Trailhead: Head to the University and from Foothill Drive, head east on Wakara Way, heading toward the entrance to Red Butte Gardens. Take a right onto Colorow Drive, just before the garden entrance and park on the street. The trailhead is at the side of the road. There are no restrooms at the TH. 
Dogs: Yes    Bikers: No     Fees: No

Park on the road and head to the trail you will see on the left side of the road (as you drive in).  The dirt trail will take you winding through these crazy trees and up towards the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. Once you get up to the main dirt trail, things get a little tricky in the navigation department. Once you hit the main trail from the stem trail that left the parking lot, take a right.  Walk along this wide path for a bit, and you will pass a wooden CHEVRON fenced area.  Shortly after you pass this, you will see a trail heading left.  Take this trail on the left, and follow the main segment.  For the easiest to navigate route, keep straight along the trail (ignore the first few lefts).  It will look like you are traveling up an old rocky river bed.  Keep following this rocky ditch like trail.

This time of year, the trail can be a little snowy.  However, the trail was snow and ice free UNTIL this shady section above. The conditions can change quick so just be prepared for the possibility of snow, ice and mud this time of year. 

You will reach this pretty clearing with views about a mile in.  Enjoy the view before you keep climbing up the rocky trail.  After about 1.3 miles, you will reach a bend in the trail, and the left you need to hit the living room.  You will now it is "the left" when you see a trail that flattens out, and passes past an area of scree (below). 

After you pass the scree, you will travel a few more minutes and arrive at "The Living Room".  You will see some rocks in the formation of couches and chairs, that are quite trendy, and slightly more comfortable than your average "sit on this rock and take a break at the summit".  

After you test out the "furniture" and enjoy the view, head back down the way you came.  I was told there are several (like 3) ways to get to and from the Living Room.  You can take one of the trails off to the right on your way down, but to make sure I ended exactly where I started, I went back the way I came. 

This is a great hike, that I just have to do one more time as the sunsets.  A quick sweat, and a short drive from my apartment.  

There are actually three Hires Big H's.  The Salt Lake City location, seen here, is just down the hill from the University of Utah and is hugely popular with students.
After the hike, I was starving and decided to continue my quest on the best burgers of Salt Lake City.  Hires Big H right off 400 S was on the list of burgers to try.  The drive in diner feel was quaint and the place was packed at 2pm on a Saturday.  I ordered the classic Big H Single burger to go, with a side of fries and of course, fry sauce, all to go.  Fry Sauce is a weird Utah thing and it is just a blend of ketchup, mayo, and spices but once you go fry sauce its hard to go back to ketchup.  

The soft doughy buns, juicey burgers, and fresh french fries were all the perfect post hike lunch.  This burger didn't leave me feeling heavy and full of regret.   Not the best burger I have had in SLC, but a great burger and fries for less than $10. 


  1. Great write up - I love this hike. Love that your pics captured the blue skies! I will have to try Hires Big H! Alicia @

    1. Thank you! You definitely need to try Hires Big H! Cheap low key and delicious! Thanks for stopping by!


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