Getting there • The trailhead is across the street from Hogle Zoo, just east of This Is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City. There is parking at the trailhead and along Sunnyside Avenue.
Directions • This is a short, mostly shaded in-town hike perfect for Salt Lake City residents to squeeze in before or after work. Navigation is easy: Just bear right.
Wagner Spring and hilltop
Hiking time » 1 hour
Round-trip miles » 2.6 miles
Elevation gain » 850 feet
Difficulty » Easy
Trail head restrooms » No
Dogs allowed » No* (See note in story)
Bikes allowed » Yes
From the trailhead, take the east (right) branch and go uphill east, north, east and north again. You will see a little homemade bike ramp below. At 0.2 mile, bear right through the trail junction. At a half-mile, the trail will curve north and go between a water tank and a retaining pond. This is Wagner Spring. You’ll see an ambiguous fork north of the pond. Take the left trail (the right just dead-ends after a few yards). You’ll reach another intersection at 0.6 mile; bear right and continue uphill. Where the slope opens up to your left, look for clusters of cacti.
At 1 mile, you will reach the pipeline; turn east (right) and go steeply uphill. In a tenth of a mile, you will reach another intersection. Go south (right) toward the round, grassy hill. The road fades away on the hilltop. Enjoy the view, and return the way you came or explore the other trails on your way back down.
* A note about dogs: You will see signs at the trailhead forbidding dogs. They certainly are not allowed on the Bonneville Shoreline trail (the north fork out of the trailhead) where it passes through This Is the Place park. The reason for banning them from the other trails is not clear to me — or, apparently, to the many hikers I see with dogs at this trailhead almost every day. I am designating this a no-dog Hike of the Week in accordance with the signs. If you bring Rover, also bring the doodie bags and awareness that you may be afoul of the rules.
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