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Hike of the week: Ferguson Canyon
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Getting there • Turn east off Wasatch Drive to Prospector Drive (7535 South). Take an immediate right and head south. Turn left at Timberline Drive (7780 South) and there will be a few dedicated parking spots on the right side of the road. From there, a dirt road leads past a water tank to the trailhead.

Directions • After a shrub oak-lined stroll and an opportunity early into the hike for rock climbing a granite wall, you'll reach a tree that's perfectly arched to form a doorway, where a more rigorous adventure begins. The unforgettable curiosity is portal to a lush world of ferns and forest, steep granite walls and a shaded path that will force you — against common Ghostbusters wisdom — to cross the stream several times. The water level wasn't concerning as of a May 23 hike, and National Weather Service hydrologist Brian McInerney expects runoff will slowly taper off next week.

The creek and its tiny waterfalls are your constant companion along the steep, rugged path. Once you reach the overlook trail, on your left, and leave your babbling friend behind, the hike returns to a simple walk as you wend your way west, then east and west again for a short ways. You'll know you've almost reached the overlook when you see a striking stone formation that looks like a giant bird man in profile, slouching against the canyon wall. You'll sneak behind the massive stone sentry to find your destination — a grand view of the valley, where you can follow bird man's example and take a load off. When you're ready, your hike down is the same way you came in — and be careful descending the steeper areas, especially the slippery dirt sections closer to the bottom.Note: Campfires are forbidden and the trail is closed from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Michael McFall Ferguson Canyon

Hiking time 2 hours

Round-trip miles 3.5 miles

Elevation gain 1,600 feet

Difficulty Moderate

Trailhead restrooms No

Dogs allowed Yes

Bikes allowed Not recommended

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