In a state chock full of 4- and 5-star hikes, this is a decidedly 2-star hike. The fully paved trail runs the length of Salt Lake valley for 45 miles from the north end of Salt Lake county to the north end of Utah Lake in Saratoga Springs, paralleling the pea soup green Jordan River—Utah's answer to Joyce's snotgreen sea.
The Jordan river is an important wildlife corridor
. Despite the surrounding and often monotonous development, the land managers, operating as the Jordan River Commission
, did well to complete this trail before it was too late to establish connectivity.
Drawbacks aside, for folks living in the sprawl west of I-15 this is often the closest trail. And it is a winter option for everyone when going into the mountains would mean snowshoes or backcountry skis. Birders may give it a 1-star boost. And on a clear winter day it affords simultaneous views of the snowcapped Wasatch and Oquirrh mountains, and a wetlands experience at your feet.
Hardly anyone will hike this end-to-end, 45 miles of hiking being better invested elsewhere in Utah. Realistically most hikers will do an out-and-back for a few miles near their home or perhaps drive a little and hike a new stretch. One could cycle it from end-to-end though again there are better places for a long ride in Utah.
I only know the several mile stretch around Lehi. Consult the North Segment
and South Segment
maps (big PDFs), split at 9000 S, for more information. The Jordan River Commission website
and the My Jordan River website
provide good background information.
Bufflehead duck, Great Basin spadefoot toad, Bullock's oriole, Fremont Cottonwood tree, bulrushes