Naomie Christensen: Foothill Protection Area (Wallpaper)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Foothill Protection Area (Wallpaper)

The Foothill Protection Area is my favorite hiking area in Salt Lake City. If you want to see the natural, untainted wilderness and hike endlessly it is excellent. It has not been modified with foreign plants or irrigation. With wildflowers and literally miles of hiking paths you could spend all day enjoying the terrain.

One of Utah's best kept secrets, you can not find it on most maps or in hiking guides. The entrance is on Perry's Hallow Road. Since it doesn't have an advertised address, I will explain how to get there.

Foothill Protection Area Images (1024 x 768)

First go east form South Temple and Main Street. Follow South Temple past 1300 East and turn left or north on Virginia Street. It is the first stop sign after 1300 East. Follow Virginia Street to the top. On the way it veers right. There is a large building with and aqua dome. Virginia Street goes above it, so you can see it below the ridge as you pass.

At top of Virginia Street turn left on Chandler Street. Take the first right on Chambridge Way. Follow it up to the end and turn left onto Tomahawk Drive. Tomahawk ends on New Bonneville Place. Turn right and than left on Perry's Hollow Road. There is a small condo on the right. Do not park there. Follow the road down to the park's entrance.

One of my favorite routes is to follow the path down until getting to the foothill. There is a small path about a meter from the main path. It is an entrance to the park. If you are on mountain biker, you can follow it down to a large path that connects several paths. Go East up toward the water tower. Hiking up the west path, it connects to another larger path and meets with another path. Nothing in the protection area is marked, so you just have to keep track of where you are going.

Traveling north up hill about a mile a sign on the left states it is strictly for hikers. That path is otherwise oblivious. It turns into a beautiful meadow and along a ridge of the mountain peak. It is usually secluded, an excellent place for a picnic. Going further east the hiking trail picks up again. Following it down you will find yourself on the east side of City Creek.

Remember it is easy going downhill on a lot of these paths, but difficult coming back up. There are also no modern conveniences. You are on your own.

For the mountain bikers, there is an alternate path that is amazingly fun. Instead of going left go right and follow the path up to the bike path on the right. The exit path is made for fun downhill biking. It is also for exiting the park quickly and comes with tread along the hill so you don't have to slow down. Be careful though, because the occasional hiker likes this path also. It is a quick way down off of the mountain, so it should really only be used for going downhill.

That is only one of many paths in the protection area. You can easily get lost in this place. I have been up there several times and it just keeps going and going.

Watch out for snake and gopher holes. The hills are alive with a large array of insects, spiders, snakes and birds. I have seen deer trails, rarely the deer.

For something special and see the steppe wilderness, this is the place to go. At points you can see the city view framed with sage, wild sunflowers and brush. It is serine seeing the city while hearing the wind softly blowing.