Salt Lake Ranger District
Counties: Salt Lake, Davis, and Tooele
Other Information Offices: 6944 South 3000 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84109; (801) 733-2660
Click for a complete list of forest orders implemented on the Salt Lake Ranger District
The 216,000 acres comprising the Salt Lake Ranger District are often referred to as an "urban forest" due to their close proximity to Salt Lake City, the Intermountainwest's largest and fastest growing metropolitan area. The mountainous terrain provides recreation opportunities for more than a million people in less than a 30 minute drive. The District manages the section of the Wasatch Front from Farmington Canyon in Davis County to Lone Peak east of Draper, also including the Stansbury Mountain Range near Tooele Utah. Within this acreage are four Wilderness Areas: Mount Olympus, Twin Peaks, Lone Peak, and Deseret Peak Wildernesses (totaling about 62,553 acres).
The Silver Lake Visitor Center hours are 11-4:30, 7 days a week, through the month of August.
Salt Lake Ranger District road opening and status updates.
- UDOT Construction update Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons
- Campground/Picnic Areas/Road/Trails Update
- Cross-Country Ski Trail Grooming
- Cottonwood Canyons Foundation
The Salt Lake District is unique in that the land it manages supplies more than 60% of the drinking water for Salt Lake City residents. The Salt Lake City Watershed includes:
- Little Cottonwood Canyon
- Big Cottonwood Canyon
- Parley's Canyon, north & east of Mountain Dell Reservoir
- Little Dell Canyon (toward East Canyon)
- Lambs Canyon
- Emigration Canyon from Burr Fork and Killian Canyon to the intersection of State Highways 65 and 172.
- City Creek Canyon
Rules and regulations have been put in place to protect this valuable water resource. Some of the restrictions include prohibiting domestic animals allowed in the watershed, no pollution of any kind in the watershed, and no backcountry camping within 200 feet of any water source. While dogs are not permitted within the protected watersheds, there are remaining places to take your beloved four-legged friend.
Very few places so near an urban area are as rich in recreation diversity as the Salt Lake District. During the summer, visitors can hike or backpack in the one of four Wilderness areas. Trails for horses and mountain bikers traverse the district in many places. OHV/ATV enthusiasts can find outstanding trails out in the Stansbury Mountains or Davis CountLittle Cottonwood Canyon is renown world-wide for its crack climbing on 400' granite walls. The onset of winter ushers in yet another set of diverse activities including winter camping, snow shoeing, backcountry skiing, snowmobiling and, of course, alpine resort skiing.
Mill Creek Canyon
Plants and Wildlife
Wildlife and plants thrive surprisingly well on the heavily visited District, largely because of the ongoing efforts of concerned citizens, committed Forest Service workers and their state counterparts, and non-profit partner organizations. The four designated Wilderness Areas also provide a safe-haven for plant and animal communities by prohibiting all but the least intrusive of human activities. The resulting ecosystem is richly diverse but fragile. Albion Basin boasts a dramatic summer long wildflower display. Recently reintroduced mountain goats cavort amidst canyon cliff bands. The Bonneville Cutthroat, a sensitive species, is making a comeback in many of district's lakes and streams. As population grows in the areas surrounding the Salt Lake District, however, it will require committed, collaborative and sustained efforts between the Forest Service, local communities, concerned citizens, and visitors to insure these fragile plants and wildlife are protected.