Bordered by the Great Salt Lake to the west and the Wasatch Mountains to the east, Davis County, Utah, is filled with opportunities for outdoor adventure. In fact, the county features more than 500 miles of trails for you to explore. There’s something for everyone—from easy hikes to challenging alpine climbs. Mountain bikers have plenty of singletrack to enjoy, while hikers will experience incredible views of the region. With so much to choose from, it’s tough to narrow it down, but here are our picks for 10 of the best trails in Davis County.
1. Frary Peak on Antelope Island
Frary Peak is the highest point of Antelope Island State Park, and those who make the trek to the top are rewarded with a spectacular bird’s-eye view of the Great Salt Lake, the Wasatch Mountains and all of Davis County. Keep on the lookout for a wide array of wildlife, including antelope, bison, migrating birds, and more. From the trailhead, it’s a 6.5-miles round-trip to the very top of the peak. Be aware, there’s little shade on this path, and in the warmer months the bugs on Antelope Island can be bad. This hike is best done in cooler months.
2. Mueller Park Trail
Located in Bountiful, this is a fun hike that passes through tall pines and oak trees. It’s also a popular place for mountain bikers, especially in the fall when the trail becomes extremely colorful. It’s a 6.8-mile trip to reach the peak (which is known as Elephant Rock), where you will find a bench and sit down to enjoy watching the sunset over the Great Salt Lake. Mueller Park also offers many picnic spots with campfire pits for relaxing or enjoying a meal after you get back down.
3. Flag Rock Trail
If you take the south trailhead in Farmington, Utah, you will get to enjoy two sites: Patsy’s Mine and Flag Rock. Patsy Marley was a local miner a little more than 100 years ago. On your way up to the flag you will see tunnels that were created almost entirely by Marley himself. At the peak of the hike you will get to the flag and a stunning view of the valley all the way out to the Great Salt Lake. The hike is about 1.4-miles round-trip and fairly steep. Local resident Randy West placed the first flag on this trail in remembrance of a beloved friend. After the events of 9/11 he increased the size of the flag as a patriotic statement.
4. Bonneville Shoreline Trail
If you are a regular on Utah trails, you have probably hiked or mountain biked the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, but have you started at Fernwood Recreation Site? Beginning there you will go about 2 miles before connecting with the Adams Canyon trail. You will be shaded by oak and maple trees, creating a luscious green scene in the summer and a colorful trail in the fall. It’s a moderate hike that climbs to the top of a small hill and into a meadow, where it becomes mostly flat. There are spectacular views of Davis County, creek crossings, and wildflowers blooming in the spring.
5. Adams Canyon Trail
Located in Layton, the Adams Canyon trail is one of the most beautiful and popular trails in Davis County. It is easily accessible, with a parking lot just above Highway 89. It starts with a switchback and heads into the canyon in the cool shaded forest. The trail is 3.5-miles round-trip with a few steep areas, but the waterfall is worth the effort. It is gorgeous in the fall with the changing leaves, but also rewarding in the summer to splash in the water after your climb.
6. Baer Canyon Trail to Francis Peak
Baer Canyon trail (also spelled Bair) is a tough trail with rewarding views of Francis Peak. You can enjoy the peaceful sounds of the creek cascading its way down the mountain on this trail. At the top of the mountain it runs along the Great Western trail for about 1-mile and makes a small loop for the final ascent to Francis Peak. It is roughly an 11-mile journey round-trip. The view from the top makes you feel like you are on top of the world. During the summer months the wildflowers fill the area with vibrant color.
7. Deuel Creek Trail
This hike in Centerville allows you to go up one side of the creek and then back down the other side, with an option to begin at the south or north trailhead. The trail is a 2.9-mile fairly flat loop around the creek. While hiking, you will pass a waterfall, waterslide and rope swing. You will cross over the creek many times on quaint and convenient bridges. This is an easy trail and well shaded, so a nice hike in summer months.
8. Parrish Creek Trail
The hike up Parrish Creek in Centerville is a simple hike that only takes about 45 minutes round-trip. From the parking lot, the trail snakes up the mountain and crosses paths with Bonneville Shoreline Trail. To stay on this hike, continue up the mountain through tall grass and sagebrush as it turns toward Parrish Creek. While on the trail you can hear water flowing and may discover a small waterfall. There are great opportunities to view the sunset over the ridge and bird watch as they fly overhead.
9. Wild Rose Trail
This trail is in North Salt Lake, which believe it or not is part of Davis County. It starts inside Wild Rose Trailhead Park, which has paved parking, a nice playground, a small amphitheater and pavilions. This is a perfect hike to take the kids on since it’s only 2-miles round-trip. It is an easy and rewarding path with a viewpoint bench at the top to take in the view over the valley. It is a lovely trail in autumn to enjoy the changing leaves or in spring to see blooms along the mountainside. There is little shade on the trail so be mindful in warmer weather.
10. Mountain View Trail on Antelope Island
The Mountain View Trail is an easy, 22-mile, out-and-back trail on Antelope Island State Park that’s popular among mountain bikers. You’ll ride along the shoreline of the Great Salt Lake, which makes for a unique experience. The area is home to thousands of birds and hundreds of bison, antelope, and other wildlife that you may encounter during your ride. The view of the lake and mountains in the distance are especially stunning during sunrise or sunset. The trail is open all year long, but it’s best to ride in early spring and fall.
Written by Jeff Banowetz for RootsRated in partnership with Utah Office of Tourism.
Featured image provided by Davis County Tourism