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Why you should hike Ensign Peak to start off your summer

Faith Heaton Jolley/KSL

Why you should hike Ensign Peak to start off your summer

By Faith Heaton Jolley | Posted - May 11, 2015 at 12:15 p.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY — Ensign Peak offers beautiful views but is a fairly short and easy hike, making it a great outing for families.

Located five minutes from downtown Salt Lake City, the trailhead begins at the foothills of the north end of the Salt Lake Valley. Hikers can park along Ensign Vista Drive and can easily locate the trailhead in the Ensign Peak Nature Park.

Dedicated in 1996 by former LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley, the park includes several small plaques about the history of the peak. The peak was named in 1847 by former LDS Church President Brigham Young and a group of early Mormon pioneers who settled the Salt Lake Valley, according to the monument plaque.

The trail is paved for the first part and then turns into a hard-packed dirt path. There are several trails that jut off of the main hiking trail, but there are markers that direct hikers to the summit.

The hike is only a half-mile one-way, but it is a fairly steep climb. The hike takes about 20 minutes to reach the summit and about 10 minutes to hike back down to the trailhead. The trail doesn’t offer a lot of shade, so it’s recommended not to do this hike during the heat of the day.

The top of Ensign Peak offers a rewarding view that includes an overlook of the entire Salt Lake Valley. From the summit, hikers can see the Capitol Building, the Great Salt Lake, the downtown area, the Wasatch Mountains and the Oquirrh Mountains.

Directions: Drive north on State Street in Salt Lake City and take the right fork, past the Capitol. Continue driving northeast where the road becomes East Capitol Boulevard. Turn left onto Edgecomb Drive and follow it north until it turns into Ensign Vista Drive. Then park along that street when you find the trailhead sign and Ensign Peak Nature Park.

Difficulty: Easy

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Faith Heaton Jolley

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