There are many places to experience nature - from a backyard, to a neighborhood park, to nearby nature spaces. You don’t have to travel far.
Here are some of our favorites that are free and close to Salt Lake City:
*Miller Park Bird Refuge and Nature Park 1708 E 900 S
A shady, historic trail that Red Butte Creek runs through. Bridges, benches and tall trees make it pleasant in the summer heat. The SLC Urban forestry has mapped all the trees so use that as a resource to answer your tree ID questions.
*Red Butte Canyon Road, running along the north side of Red Butte Garden, this wide desert trail is a great place to see wildflowers in the spring. It ends at the creek, about ¾ mile and branches off to different trails if you’re feeling adventurous.
*Tanner Park 2660 Heritage Way. Adjacent to a turf and playground park, on the northside, you can descend into the more natural space to find a creek, various shrubs, wildlife and remnants of Utah pioneer buildings.
*Memory Grove/City Creek Canyon. Sitting just east of the Capitol building, these two parks provide separate but both wondrous experiences. Memory Grove has trails on either side of City Creek, one paved, the other more wild. City Creek has parking at the trailhead, a wide trail and lots of smaller trails that branch off. Bikes are allowed every other day in the summer so plan accordingly.
*Bonneville Shoreline Trail. There are a variety of access points to this trail that follows the shoreline of an ancient lake. The Terrace Hills access point (18th Ave & Hilltop Road) is popular for it’s wide-open views of the valley and broad trails. Our favorite though is right outside the doors of the Natural History Museum where the sunset puts on a glorious show every night.
*Jordan River Parkway. There are many places to access the Jordan River as it flows from Utah Lake to the Great Salt Lake. You can experience the unique plants and animals that make the river home. Popular access areas include Fife Wetland (945 S 1100 W) and Riverside Park (1490 W. 600 N.)
*Sugarhouse Park 1330 2100 S, Though not necessarily a wild space, this park has a creek that runs through it. In the summer, when the water is low, it’s a great place for younger children to spend time wading, looking for rocks and exploring the principles of hydrology.