North America

Salt Lake City

Capital of Utah, Salt Lake City is one of only two major urban areas in the Great Basin. To its northwest is the Great Salt Lake, and to its southeast are the Wasatch Mountains, containing  several narrow glacial and stream carved canyons. The highest mountaintop visible from the city is Twin Peaks, reacheing  11,330 feet. Salt Lake City was founded in 1847 by Brigham Young, Isaac Morley, and George Washington Bradley. Originally named “Great Salt Lake City,” the word “great” was dropped from the official name in 1868 by the 17th Territorial Legislature.

Salt Lake City is regarded as a recreational mecca. Some of the best skiing in the world can be found in the mountains only 1/2 hour from the airport. This is a young and outdoorsy city, with some great running opportunities offering lots of variety. There are some wonderful parks and riverside trails right near the city center. But best to get a bit outside the city, and enjoy the unique running along Great Salt Lake, the spectacular canyons, or some great trail running in the mountains nearby.

Public transportation in SLC is decent and getting better. The TRAX light rail has three lines, that run fairly comprehensively downtown, north to the University of Utah, to Draper, the West Valley city, and to the airport. There’s a good bus system. There are also seasonal buses and shuttles to the mountain resorts. SYSTEM MAP

Note: While Salt Lake City itself is flat, it sits at 4200 feet. You’ll feel the altitude and the sunshine. Dress and hydrate accordingly.

Our thanks to Holland Newton, Director of the Virtual Running Club, HQ in SLC, for his help with this guide. See their upcoming races.
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SLC Downtown Tour

Salt Lake City

This is our SLC "Runseeing" Tour. Within a fairly compact area of downtown, near all major hotels and the Convention Center, pass by the Mormon Temple, State Capitol, Public Library, arena, & major shopping venues.
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City Creek Canyon

Salt Lake City

A quick escape to nature right from downtown. Pleasant canyon run alongside a creek. A pretty steady uphill climb. Main paved Canyon Road is closed to cars on odd days May-Oct. Numerous additional trail running options.
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Great Salt Lake

Salt Lake City

The Great Salt Lake sits around several islands, and offers outstanding scenery and recreational opportunities. There are many running options in this area. Antelope Island State Park is among the highlights.
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City Creek Canyon

Salt Lake City

A quick escape to nature right from downtown. Pleasant canyon run alongside a creek. A pretty steady uphill climb. Main paved Canyon Road is closed to cars on odd days May-Oct. Numerous additional trail running options.
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Salt Lake City has hot, dry summers with temperatures frequently exceeding 90F (32C). Rain is rare and comes in summer thunderstorms. Even on hot days, nights cool off quite nicely. Spring and fall are delightful, with warm days and cool nights. Winters are cold but not frigid. It can snow in Salt Lake City, but not to the magnitude of the nearly 500 inches that fall in Little Cottonwood Canyon only 25 miles away. Still, when running in winter, bring the right clothing and Yak-Traks. Just outside the city toward the mountains, the climate gets different, quickly.

Salt Lake City offers a variety of hotels. Most of these hotels are located in the downtown area, east of I-80 and clustered near Temple Square and the Convention Center. There are good running routes near the downtown hotels, such as Liberty Park, Parley’s Creek Trail, and City Creek Canyon. If you’re looking for something a little more quiet, there are a few places to stay on the outskirts of town, over by City Creek Canyon.

Salt Lake Running Company – Downtown area. Group runs every Thursday October-April at 6:00pm.

Park City Running Company – Outside downtown, by Summit Park. Group runs on Sundays at 8:00am. Distances vary.

Wasatch Running Center – Southern Salt Lake City. View calendar for events.

Big 5 Sporting Goods – Downtown area/Sugarhouse.

 

Salt Lake City Running Calendar

Footsteps for Fertility 5K – September. Liberty Park Route.

The Rival Run – 5K. September.

Snowshoe Stomp 5K – January. Kids welcomed.

Winter Running Series – 5K, 10K, and 15K. February.

Sugar House Shamrock Shuffle – 5K. March.

Click here to view run calendar.