Aspen in Big Cottonwood Canyon
I am fortunate enough to live minutes away from wonderful hiking areas in Utah. Utah is a scenic treasure trove, and it would be a shame to live here and never venture outdoors!
I am a very casual, recreational hiker. I have a couple of great guidebooks that have helped me explore a variety of wonderful trails, so if you want a book to help you enjoy some beautiful scenery at a comfortable pace, here are my recommendations.
The first book is called "Best Hikes with Children in Utah," and is a very detailed, wonderful guide featuring hikes from all over the state. Written by Maureen Keilty, this book was first published in 1993, and was revised in 1997. I have taken my children on several of the hikes in this book over the years, and have found that if the hike is rated "easy" to "moderate" for kids, it is a very comfortable hike for me as well! This book is divided into regions, and includes 75 different hikes. I am still working my way through them. It only includes a small sampling of the great hikes around Salt Lake City, which is why I recommend having another book along with it.
The second book I recommend is "Best Easy Day Hikes Salt Lake City." This Falcon Guide by Brian Brinkerhoff is a great reference for convenient, short outings. There are 24 hikes in this guide, and I have done 13 of them, some of them more than once. The driving directions are wonderfully accurate, and the hikes are rated by difficulty so you can work your way up from the easiest if you would like.
These books have offerings appropriate for all ages and abilities. I encourage you to take your kids hiking. Even a toddler can enjoy the sights from a backpack carrier, although my son used to fall asleep in his. Each of my children has surpassed my levels of hiking and camping (one has been to the Himalayas, and one has climbed King's Peak in Utah) Introducing them to this activity while they were young opened many doors for them, and I hope they will continue to enjoy all that the outdoors has to offer.
So, get a guidebook, and get out hiking! There are still several weeks of wildflowers and fall colors left in the hiking season. Take advantage of the cooling temperatures and soak up some scenery before the snow flies. See you on the trail!
Lupine in Bloom - Nebo Bench Trail