Salt Lake City leaders worry about popular outdoors spot after state reopens

Apr 30, 2020, 6:32 PM
bonneville shoreline trail Great American Outdoors Act...
A pair of Utah congressmen say they're against the Great American Outdoors Act. (PHOTO: Entrance of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail in City Creek Canyon. Credit, Paul Nelson)
(PHOTO: Entrance of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail in City Creek Canyon. Credit, Paul Nelson)

SALT LAKE CITY – City officials say City Creek Canyon is already crowded, and they expect it to get worse after the state reopens this weekend.  They’re urging people who visit this weekend and going forward, to keep their distance from each other and to have public safety in mind.

If you drive along the road in City Creek Canyon, you’ll see plenty of joggers and people walking along the path.  You’ll also see bikers and hikers heading into the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.  Some people we spoke with on Thursday said they drove from areas like Millcreek and Ogden just to spend time in this popular spot.

“People have to have an outlet.  They’re not doing anything else,” one woman said. 

As state reopens, fairness on the trails

Some people don’t mind the crowds.  One man says it wouldn’t be fair to limit the number of people who can walk the trails.

“I don’t own it.  It’s here for everybody to use,” he said.  “So, if people think it’s too crowded, perhaps they should just find someplace else to go.”

“Look at the number of cars parked around here.  Yeah, it’s obviously crowded.”

No closure as state reopens

To be clear, Salt Lake City officials have no intention nor desire to close the area. 

“We’re really happy, in fact,” said Public Utilities Spokeswoman Holly Mullen, “that people are taking care of their mental and physical health during this crisis and getting out there and enjoying the fresh air and exercise.

We just want people to be extra, extra careful,” Mullen said.

Social distancing and ‘sharing the road’

City workers have noticed some problems in recent weeks.  In a way, one method of maintaining public safety has become a bit of a safety risk.  Mullen says people walking in groups along the road are staying six feet apart from each other, as we’ve been instructed to do.  However, when they walk side-by-side, they can take up the entire road, which increases the chances of pedestrians being hit by bicycles. 

Mullen says people should walk single-file instead of on their companion’s side.

Dogs an issue as state reopens

Dogs are also becoming an issue.  Mullen says they’re getting lots of reports of owners not having their pets on their required leashes. Some are going into areas where dogs are prohibited.  Mullen says the animals can contaminate the watershed in an area already crowded with people.

“Honestly, I’m not exaggerating, I would say maybe a thousand [people] a day on the weekend and several hundred during the week.”

Salt Lake City officials have released a list of “basic rules of the road” for City Creek Canyon, which include…

  •       Pedestrians keep to the stream side of the canyon
  •       Bicyclists always on the right–streamside on the uphill, slope-side going downhill.
  •       Dogs always on a leash, maximum 6-foot length (retractable leashes are highly discouraged)
  •       Observe all posted speed limits 
  •       Bicyclists should dismount and walk through the canyon entrance-exit area
  •       “Go before you go.” Do not relieve yourself in the canyon
  •       No camping in the canyon
  •       Keep It Pure: Pack out what you pack in and leave no trace


As state looks to reopen, SLC Mayor says timeline depends on you

Church youth camps put on hold due to coronavirus pandemic

Hill AFB begins tour of Utah, saluting health care workers and residents

Coronavirus resources

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune system away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A

Utah’s Coronavirus Information

UtahState Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States

Today’s Top Stories

COVID-19-Utah response

BYU study COVID money...
Martha Harris

BYU study says ‘going cashless was useless’ during height of pandemic

Many businesses went to a cash-only model at the start of the pandemic. A recent BYU study found the effort made little impact.
2 months ago
Flags are ordered to be lowered...
Amie Schaeffer

Flags lowered to honor lives lost to COVID-19

In accordance with an order from President Biden, Gov. Cox authorized flags lowered through May 16. The order is meant to honor lives lost to the virus.
2 months ago
Utah national parks no longer have a mask mandate...
Chandler Holt

Masks no longer required in national parks

Since a federal judge struck down the CDC's transportation mask mandate, guests in national parks can choose if they'd like to wear a mask or not.
2 months ago
Photo of two 'mask required' signs...
Associated Press

CDC to extend federal travel mask mandate

CDC to extend travel mask mandate for two weeks to monitor uptick in COVID-19 cases.
3 months ago
Utah begings using wastewater to track components of the COVID-19 virus in communities...
Dan Bammes

Monitoring COVID-19 virus in Utah through wastewater

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah is monitoring levels of the COVID-19 virus components in sewage at wastewater treatment plants across the state. While it’s a useful early warning system, Utah’s state epidemiologist says it’s just one of the tools they have for monitoring COVID-19 infections in the community. Last year, when the Delta variant showed […]
3 months ago
(A testing site operated by Nomi Health across the street from UDOH headquarters.  Photo: Paul Nels...
Paul Nelson

Federal health officials investigating Utah-based company over COVID-19 testing

A Utah-based company is being investigating for claims of substandard conditions at COVID-19 testing sites.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Salt Lake City leaders worry about popular outdoors spot after state reopens