One great reason for living in the Salt Lake area is the wide variety of healthy hiking to be enjoyed – whether you’re a novice or expert trekker. For your convenience, here is a great list of Salt Lake City Trails from which you may narrow your choices by: easy to strenuous, whether or not fees apply, pet policies, trip distances, access restrictions (if any) while categorizing these by hiking, biking, or both.
Obviously, one of the worst things you can do is injure an ankle or foot, leaving you immobile in a potentially stark, hot and unsheltered environment. Cell phones may not get service; reviews show AT&T is the most robust, then Verizon, while Sprint coverage is scant. Talk to locals as you start out, and get their recommendations for particular cautionary measures they personally take in a given area.
The Right Footwear for Healthy Hiking
- Water shoes are the thing if you’re planning to raft, kayak or canoe down a river. Flip flops aren’t stable enough, with the hot red dirt and muddy banks.
- Choose hiking socks appropriate for your foot type; wide = thin socks, narrow = thick socks, warm = synthetic socks, cool = insulated socks.
- Look for firm support in the arch area of a healthy hiking shoe or hiking boot; it shouldn’t bend at its middle though it can be flexible in the front (where your own foot has movement).
- The upper portion of the footwear should be chosen for the material which is important to you. If you’re looking for breathable and waterproof (Gore-Tex), for durability and support (leather), breathable and lightweight and flexible (fabric and leather or synthetic leather).
- You want an ‘outsole’ that gives you traction and proper support. Ask an experienced sports store employee to show you the difference between these and heavy duty trekker boots; so you don’t end up with too much weight for no good reason.
- See our post on sneaker lacing techniques for extra comfort and safety.
Safety Tips for Healthy Hiking in Utah
- Be prepared: realize that the weather change could go from 92 degrees in the valley to 52 degrees in the mountains after sundown when the clouds roll over. You can check the weather at MyUtahParks.
- Always let someone know your destination and when you expect to get back.
- Remember you’re venturing into the home of wild animals, see WildAwareUtah for everything you need to know, and more.
- If you come across a rattlesnake, just back away and move on; it will only strike if it feels threatened or cornered.
- It’s best to always travel with a companion; if that is your dog, for healthy hiking make sure it stays on a leash.
- Be on the lookout for flashflood signs: changes in level or speed of water, water color changes from clear to murky, debris appears in the water, you hear rushing water or loud noise, it begins raining close by or there’s a build-up of storm clouds. Seek HIGHER ground immediately.
What to Bring in Your Backpack or Car
- Black light flashlight for night time spotting of scorpions.
- A wide-brimmed sun hat rather than a cap; there’s not much shade from the Utah sun.
- Sunscreen for all exposed skin, and don’t forget the back of your neck.
- Sunglasses – polarized are preferred to really enjoy the views! To keep from losing them on a river trip, buy straps!
- Bring a rain jacket (there will be short bursts of rain) to keep you dry and warm.
- First aid kit, maps, a pocket knife, food, matches, extra clothing.
- A very LARGE jug of water; there may be water stations, but then you may not be in their proximity. And, salty snacks will balance the sodium flushed out of your body by drinking water.
If you sustain an ankle or foot injury while hiking in the Salt Lake City area, same day appointments are always available in Dr. Elizabeth E. Auger’s three convenient podiatry locations! As an athlete herself, Dr. Auger is highly experienced with sports injuries and has treated all diseases and afflictions of the feet and ankles for over two decades.