One of the classic Salt Lake City hikes is The Living Room. It’s just above the University of Utah, with free parking and is dog-friendly. Many people love this hike as a quick after work hike or a neat place to catch a sunset. It’s short enough that people can take their families. I wouldn’t classify the hike as “easy” as there is some gradual climbing, but it’s attainable for a range of skill levels, if you take your time.
The draw? You climb to a set of living room “furniture” made of rocks, with a stunning view of the Salt Lake Valley. Bonus if you go during sunset! If you’re in the area or a local SLC resident, this is a great short and accessible hike to sneak into your week.
As a suggestion, there isn’t much shade on this hike, so try to go earlier in the morning or late evening during the summer or during spring or fall!
Getting to the Trailhead
If you’re in Salt Lake downtown area, take 400 South/University Drive eastbound to 500 S, which turns into Foothill Drive. Once on Foothill Drive, if you’re heading south, you’ll see the University of Utah on your lefthand side of the road. Turn left on Wakara Way towards the Natural History Museum/Red Butte Gardens. At the end of the road, there will be Red Butte Gardens on the left side, and the Natural History Museum of Utah on the right side. To the right on the museum is overflow parking for the museum. Park in this lot. There is a trail right above this parking lot that heads to the right. This is the trail head.
Distance: Approximately 4 miles, roundtrip
Total Hiking Time: 2 hours
Elevation Gain: 1200 ft (approximately)
Rating: Moderate, but family friendly
Dogs: Yes. We saw many furry friends on our trip to The Living Room.
Fees: None 🙂
This trail starts to the right of the Natural History Museum of Utah (at the University of Utah), on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. From the trail, there will be a split at the beginning. turn left. Continue and at the next junction, turn left again. After this, you will be following the main trail up the canyon. After almost a mile, you will come out of the tree-lined trail into a great view of the Salt Lake Valley.
During the summertime, these foothills are much greener!
Follow the main train and take in the views as you continue climbing up to the Living Room. You’ll be walking with an exposed edge on one side and the mountain on the other. The trail is wide enough that people can safely pass without problem.
When you arrive at “The Living Room,” you’ll see the rock chairs that resembles living room furniture. A popular time to visit the Living Room is during sunset or late on a summer afternoon.
On our hike, our trail guide for the day was Katie and her boyfriend Thatcher.
I know of a Meetup group that frequents the Living Room on Friday nights during the summer to catch the sunset and have a cold beverage.