By Liz Stanley
Now that it’s definitely cooler around here, hikes in sheltered trees might be too chilly but there are plenty of trails that offer sun—which also means warmth and great views of the Wasatch the entire way. The trek to the Avenues Twin Peaks starts less than five minutes from downtown Salt Lake City, but you feel a world away.
Location: From South Temple, take “I” Street north to 11th Avenue (at the top of Salt Lake Cemetery). Turn right onto Terrace Hills Drive and work your way up the hill about .5 miles until the road ends. The trail begins on the far northeast side of the road. Look for a sign that says “Bonneville Shoreline Trail.” (And don’t let the number of bikers startle you; it’s the same trailhead as the very popular “bobsled” mountain-biking trail.)
Trail Scoop: The Avenues Twin Peaks are the tallest of the foothills facing south, overlooking downtown Salt Lake City. The hike takes a little over two hours round trip and leads to a gorgeous overlook of the valley. The first half mile is shared with the Bobsled mountain bike trail, but once you reach the fork (where bikers head right), you’ll want to stay north on the foot trail—the Twin Peaks are the tallest hills northeast of you. Continue to follow the ridge northeast to the first and then second peak. Plan on 1.5 hours round trip, and plan extra time to take in the view at the top.
More Adventurous: Take a left at the fork immediately before the first peak and stay on the ridge to Little Black Mountain for a longer and more difficult, rugged hike.
Tips: The trail isn’t paved and has many rocks, so hiking shoes with ankle support will fit better than the average sneaker. The last scramble to the top is rugged, so I don’t recommend taking kids under the age of 10 unless they’ll be carried in a pack. Due to the sun exposure, bring sunscreen even if you lost your tan months ago. Also, tote more water than you think you’ll need as well as a snack.