When I can't sleep, I hike. This was the case on Sunday morning at 7am, so instead of doing another boring dog walk at the dog park, I thought I'd get some exercise in and hike the up to The Living Room. However, because I've done this hike countless times, I like to switch it up and hike up the "fun" way - along the ridge. Plus, I figured on a Sunday morning that it would be empty up there. I was right. If you hike up here on a Friday night or during the day on the weekends, The Living Room can get really crowded. I've been up there when 40-50 people are all trying to see the sun set, or just relax and drink a beer.
The Living Room is a very popular hike that sits behind the Natural History Museum along the BST. It's popular for the views, the easy trail access, it's dog and kid friendly, plus can be done in under 2 hours.
In SLC, head East on I-80 towards Park City. Take exit 129 for Foothill Drive. Drive 3.3 miles, then turn Right on Wakara Way. Drive straight, until you pass the Natural History Museum/Red Butte Garden sign, then turn right into the museum parking lot. Park at the southern-most end, by the stairs.
Distance: 2.6 miles RT (loop)
Elevation gain: 960 ft
Time: 1.5-3 hours
Dog friendly? Yes. There are signs saying dogs must be leashed but nobody does.
Kid friendly? Yes
Here is the entrance for the Natural History Museum & the Red Butte Gardens. Drive past this, then turn right into the parking area. Park at the southern-most end, by the stairs.
Walk up the stairs, then turn right onto the BST.
Take your first left, at this rock, and work your way up the easy switchbacks.
You should now be hiking above and behind the Natural History Museum.
At your next trail split, turn left.
The trail will take a sharp right turn by the fence, then a left turn. Go straight until you see the trail dip down (pictured here). Cross down this over to the other side, and turn right.
The trail will curve to the West, along a rock wall, and you'll have this view of the University of Utah and SLC.
The trail will then turn south, with a great view of the Wasatch Front.
Work your way up to this lone tree. I thought this tree looked absolutely beautiful in the early morning light! From here, turn left.
Work your way up to the ridge - the fun part! It gets steep in this section.
Once on the ridge, you can see where The Living Room sits. Work your way along the ridge to get there.
At The Living Room!
Now you see why it is aptly named The Living Room. People have arranged the large rocks to form "chairs" and "couches", creating a resting spot to take in the view.
Charlie takes a break on the "couch".
Enjoying the view with Charlie. Be sure to bring a jacket and beanie for the top. You'll work up a sweat, then cool off quickly once you sit. This area can be windy since it sticks out slightly from the mountain. I like to bring a thermos of hot tea or cocoa in my pack.
When you are ready to head down, continue East past The Living Room. Follow this trail down, as it curves down the mountain.
The trail will take a left turn, heading down steeply for 20 ft.
As you hike down, you'll get back into the shaded area where snow will still be. You may need microspikes for this section. In spring time, this section can be VERY muddy.
Make your way along the main trail, creating a loop.
Route looking East.
Route looking North.
Route looking South.