Summer Outdoor Recreation in Salt Lake City

Get ready to clear your schedule, grab your gear, hit the trails and enjoy summer outdoor recreation in Salt Lake City. Summer in Salt Lake City is a blast! Here is what you should plan to do…

  • Trail Running
  • Mountain Biking
  • Hiking
  • Climbing
  • Road Biking
  • Paragliding
  • Camping
  • Swimming


Salt Lake City, Utah is an outdoor junkie’s dream in the summertime. There are many different options for summer outdoor recreation in Salt Lake City to enjoy the beautiful weather and the Wasatch mountains. Downtown Salt Lake City is one of few cities that is located at the base of an entire mountain range where endless trails and adventures are at your fingertips.

Trail Running

Salt Lake City is an excellent location for trail running. There are many different options for doing a quick trail run within the city limits or heading up to the Wasatch mountains for a more challenging trail run. Some popular areas for trail running include Bonneville Shoreline Trail, Parley’s Canyon and Sugarhouse Park. Take a quick spin in your local park on some gravel trails or head up Big Cottonwood Canyon or Little Cottonwood Canyon to dive into some epic trail runs to push your limits. Check out the best places for trail running in Salt Lake City to challenge yourself and ascend some peaks. 

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking in Salt Lake City might be one of the most popular summer sports for Utah outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you are looking to do a quick ride in the Wasatch mountains after work or you want to head to the Utah desert for a week of mountain biking in Moab, the options are truly endless. If you are a beginner, there are plenty of beginner mountain biking routes within a close drive to downtown and if you are more experienced, check out five of the best mountain bike areas in the Wasatch. Salt Lake City mountain biking is addicting, fun and a great way to explore the canyons and mountain bike trails of Utah.  With so many options for trails and friends to go mountain biking with in Utah, you won’t want to put your bike down all season. 


Hiking near Salt Lake City is one of the best ways to dive into nature and truly connect with the mountains around you. Slow down, take in the stunning views and enjoy the fresh air and the cottonwood trees. Some of the best hikes in Salt Lake City can be found in Big Cottonwood Canyon and Little Cottonwood Canyon and one of the best resources for hiking trail maps and guides for SLC is checking out the Salt Lake City area trails list on Alltrails. There are options for long challenging hikes in the Wasatch or  quick hikes with less incline closer to the valley. Park City, Ferguson Canyon and Millcreek Canyon are great nearby locations for hiking near Salt Lake City as well. 


When you’re not skiing or snowboarding in the winter, you might be climbing at The Front Climbing Club or ice climbing at Ouray Canyon, but in the summer the outdoor climbing opportunities in SLC are abundant. Climbing in Big Cottonwood Canyon and climbing in Little Cottonwood Canyon are some of the go-to destinations for the most popular climbing routes in Salt Lake City. Some of the other best rock climbing routes in Salt Lake City are the west slabs of Mount Olympus, Dogwood, Ferguson Canyon and Hidden Falls. Make sure you are properly trained, have all the correct equipment and communicate properly with your climbing partner. Have fun climbing this summer and enjoy other nearby crags in Utah as well.

Road Biking

Road biking and cycling around Salt Lake City is another great form of summer outdoor recreation in Salt Lake City. There are plenty of long biking routes with wide shoulders to give cyclists plenty of room from passing cars. Some neighborhoods also have designated bike lanes making it easier and safer to bike around Salt Lake City. Use apps like Strava to check out some established routes in your neighborhood or track and create your own rides in Salt Lake City. Some popular cycling routes near Salt Lake City are the Golden Spoke Trail, Antelope Island and more challenging routes like biking up Big or Little Cottonwood Canyon to get those quads burning and in excellent biking shape.


If you aren’t afraid of heights and are seeking more adventurous ways to get epic views of the Wasatch mountains and Salt Lake City, take a stab at paragliding in Salt Lake City. Draper, Utah is one of the most popular flying destinations in Utah for both paragliding and hang gliding. Make sure to take a lesson with White Cloud Adventures to learn from the true paragliding master, Ben White and see if paragliding is for you. Paragliding is one of the most unique varieties of summer outdoor recreation in Salt Lake City and is the best option for adrenaline junkies and fearless souls. 


Get out of the heat and avoid the hustle and bustle of the city for a weekend. Salt Lake City has several camping options less than an hour drive from Temple Square in a handful of different canyons. Getting out for just one night camping in the Wasatch is a great way to recharge and get your nature fix before your next week at work. Head to Spruces Campground in Big Cottonwood Canyon or Tanners Flat Campground right before Snowbird on East highway 210 in Little Cottonwood Canyon. The canyons are beautiful, but the best place to go camping in Salt Lake City is without a doubt, Antelope Island State Park. Enjoy the biodiversity and the views on Antelope Island for a unique camping experience in the Great Salt Lake. The island has an abundance of bison, birds, pronghorn and wildflowers and is a great place for a bike ride or a hike.


Salt Lake City, Utah can get really hot in the summer and one of the best ways to escape the heat is by jumping in a crystal clear lake in the Wasatch mountains or a river running down a canyon. Salt Lake City swimming holes will rejuvenate you on hot summer days and are great places to relax outside with family and friends. Jump in the creeks, lakes and rivers near the mountains of Utah this summer to feel refreshed and energized for your other outdoor recreation activities in Salt Lake City. Some popular swimming holes to cool down around Salt Lake City are Jordanelle, Deer Creek and the Provo River.

Weekend trip to Moab

If you are looking to truly escape the city for the weekend, the best weekend destination for outdoor recreation is Moab. This quaint town in the southern Utah desert is under 4 hours away from Salt Lake City by car. With nearby national parks such as Canyonlands and Arches, the red rocks of southern Utah will leave you speechless. This stunning landscape is a mecca for climbing, mountain biking, off roading and hiking. If you enjoy recreating outside near Salt lake City, heading to Moab for an escape should be on your radar for an upcoming weekend trip. Make sure to not go in the middle of the summer since it will be very hot and crowded. Fall and spring are the best time of year to visit Moab!

Now, get outside in Salt Lake City!

Summer outdoor recreation in Salt Lake City is one of the main reasons people live and vacation in Utah. Not only is SLC an outdoor rec hub, it is also very close to several other mountain ranges and the incredible Utah desert. Take a weekend trip to Moab or Grand Staircase Escalante to enjoy the stunning red rocks of southern Utah or head on over to the Uintas for some more mountain adventures. 

Utah is a unique destination when it comes to adventure activities and the valley is one of the best places to live if you want to enjoy the outdoors. Make sure to get all your gear tuned and ready for the summer and have some free weekends available to get outside and enjoy some outdoor recreation in the mountains and deserts of Utah this summer. 

Check out Utah State Parks and Utah National Parks to plan your outdoor trips this summer and make sure to save more time for yourself by investing in White Cloud Concierge Services to cover your household chores.