Capital of Utah, the young and outdoorsy Salt Lake City is a recreational mecca. To its northwest is the Great Salt Lake, and to its southeast are the Wasatch Mountains, containing several narrow glacial and stream carved canyons, and home to some of the world’s best skiing. There’s an excellent variety of running in Salt Lake City, ranging from nice parks and residential streets in the central city to some wonderful multi-use paths, and trails taking advantage of Great Salt Lake. In the mountains nearby, there are fantastic trail running opportunities.
The best places to run in Salt Lake City are around Temple Square, Liberty Park and Sugar House Park, plus some nice residential neighborhoods. The best multi-use trail in SLC is probably the Jordan River Parkway Trail. The Parleys Creek Trail and City Creek Canyon trails start as gentler multi-use paths in the city, before getting into hillier and more rugged terrain in the foothills. There’s also some scenic (and exposed!) running along Great Salt Lake, and Antelope Island, plus great options in the spectacular canyons and mountains nearby. See also our guide to running in the Provo/Orem area, just to the south.
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.