Looking for things to do in Salt Lake City? Salt Lake City has some of the best hikes in Utah, and many of them offer incredible views without spending a whole day breaking a sweat. Ensign Peak is one of the easiest and most rewarding hikes in Salt Lake City, and located just above the capitol building. This Utah hike is one of the most rewarding and low cost Salt Lake City attractions, and a must see when you visit Salt Lake.
Ensign Peak is a nice, easy Salt Lake City hike, that hikers of all abilities would find enjoyable. The hike is only 0.86 miles round trip, and can easily be completed in within an hour. The trail is well maintained and easy to navigate. The trail is paved for the first few hundred yards from the trail head, and then proceeds into a wide, distinct path; you will have no trouble finding your way. The hike wraps around the mountain, and then begins a 380 vertical foot ascension to the top of the peak. At the top of the peak you will see a beautiful view of the Salt Lake City Valley including view of: the Utah State Capitol, the LDS Temple, Downtown Salt Lake, and many other Salt Lake City points of interest. The view is especially breathtaking during sunset, or at night, when you can see beautiful city lights.
- Distance: 0.86 miles round trip
- Elevation Gain: 380 vertical feet
- Total Duration: 1 hour
- Difficulty: Easy
- Trail Condition: Somewhat paved, well maintained
- Type: In and out
- Scenery: Overlook of Salt Lake City, Utah State Capitol, and LDS Temple
The Trail Head
The Ensign Peak trail head is located just one mile east of the Utah state capitol at the top of the residential neighborhood. It is very easy to find from US Bus stop #5; just follow East Capitol Boulevard above the capitol and then turn left onto North Sandrun Road. The trail head is in the back of the LDS Church House, and is clearly marked.
Ensign Peak was named by Brigham Young when he and a handful of other early settlers of Utah climbed to the top on July 26, 1847. Young and his company used the peak as a starting point to view the entire valley and gain their first visual understanding of the geography they had planned to settle. The peak was named based on the biblical prophecy: “He will lift up an ensign unto the nations… He lifteth up an ensign on the mountains.” (Isa 5:26; 18:3). George A. Smith stated that Brigham Young “had a vision of Joseph Smith who showed him the mountain we now call Ensign Peak… and there as an ensign [flag] fell upon that peak, and Joseph said ‘build under the point where the colors fall and you will prosper and have peace’.” Utah’s state capitol, Salt Lake City, and Temple Square were settled just south of the peak in respect to this vision. Since then, Ensign peak has become one of the many things to do in Salt Lake City, and is growing in popularity due to increase in Utah tourism.
US Bus and Ensign Peak
When you visit Salt Lake, and are looking for fun things to do in Salt Lake City, be sure to check out Ensign Peak. Just remember to take US Bus stop #5 to get to the Utah State Capitol. From the capitol building, you are just a short walk away from the trail head of one of the best hikes in Salt Lake City. If the opportunity presents itself try to plan this hike during the evening or at night; the sunset and the city lights are amazing from this view.