Looking for a good hike that’s close to home? Try heading out to Rudy’s Flat just above Bountiful, Utah. It’s super easy to get to, offers the boys a short hike to work out any kinks with their backpacks and provides a very cool view of the Salt Lake valley after the sun goes down.
Distance: 2.5 or 3.5 miles one-way (depending on where you start)
This outing starts at the end of Canyon Creek Road just off of S. Bountiful Blvd near the Bountiful Ridge Golf Course. You can either park your vehicle where the pavement ends and begin your hike there or, with the proper vehicle, drive up that extra mile to the actual trailhead. Just be aware that this mile-long 4WD jeep trail can have a section or two of big mud puddles and deep ruts that can cause some damage :)
Once you get on the actual trail, your only tough spot is the set of switchbacks a half mile in. After that, it’s really just a nice gradual elevation gain for the last 2 miles before reaching the open meadow near the top know as Rudy’s Flat. At one point along this section, you can see the Bountiful Temple far below with great sunset views looking west.
Rudy’s Flat will be on the right-hand side of the trail as you approach the meadows. It’s a fairly big grassy area with lots of room for scouts. In fact, don’t be surprised if you find a few other troops up there with the same idea during the warmer months. Remember to wander over to the south ridge after sunset to see the city lights across the Salt Lake valley. It’s pretty cool. The night we were up there, we watched a storm roll in from the south that sounded like a freight train. By the time it got to us, it was time for bed and the rain came down hard while we zipped in for the night. By morning, the storm had passed, the sun was out and you would have never known anything had happened.
I love living so close to the mountains. It makes for great scout outings where you can be back home by 10am if need be for sports commitments or other family obligations.
Here’s a Google Earth file of the North Canyon Trail with waypoints to help you navigate to this destination along with an elevation profile below.
NOTE: If you want to extend your hike, consider coupling this 3.5-mile North Canyon Trail with the 6.5-mile Mueller Park Trail that meets at Rudy’s Flat. This is a great route to satisfy one of the five 10-mile hikes required for the Hiking Merit Badge (requirement 5).