Everyone who lives in or around the Salt Lake valley knows that Utah is a very special place. With more and more people moving here every year, apparently the secret is getting out. But there are still a few hidden gems in the area that the locals love. From hikes and drives to delicious meals, these are our favorite best kept secrets in Salt Lake City.
The Secret Living Room Hike
If you want to get an all expansive view of the Salt Lake valley, the Living Room Hike
is for you. The trail-head is close to the University of Utah, and is a fairly quick hike with moderate difficulty, due to the quick elevation gains. Around .85 miles in, the valley views will start to make an appearance. Around the 1.3-mile mark, you’ll see the fabled Living Room, a slab of sandstone rocks that look strikingly like a cozy bench. Take a friend, or enjoy the views alone. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.
Photo use by PilotGirl
Redwood Drive in Theater
There’s nothing more nostalgic than a night at the drive in theater to catch a double feature with friends and family. The secret Redwood Drive In
is located in West Valley, and is a great way to unwind and see the latest flicks. Check their website for show times and screenings.
The Lake Blanche trail
is 6.9 miles out and back, featuring stunning waterfall and peak views that would make a postcard jealous. The secret hike is more on the difficult side, so be prepared to work a little extra to earn those stunning landscape views. The trail is open from June to October, and the blooming wildflowers during the summer months are not to be missed.
Photo use by Owen Xu
Featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Pat’s BBQ
is not to be missed. Their famous dry rub barbeque won Best of State in 2012, and they were named Best Comfort Food by Salt Lake Magazine. Their famous burnt ends are a crowd pleasure, and you can even take home their award winning dry rub so you can relive that tasty barbeque experience. Perfect for families or just a casual meal out with friends, Pat’s BBQ has all the comforting southern flavors you’d expect from a home-town barbeque joint.
Mirror Lake Highway
This is technically not in Salt Lake City, but actually near Kamas, a little town just 40 minutes east of the valley. The Mirror Lake Highway
is a secret outdoor gem in the midst of many growing cities, you might think you’re in rural Canada instead of Utah. The highway follows the Provo River and climbs to over 10,000 feet at Bald Mountain Pass. There’s little to no cell service out there, and that’s one of the reasons it’s so majestic. Connect with nature and drive through the breathtaking surroundings that Utah has to offer. Hiking and overnight camping is also available for a small fee. The highway is typically open June through October depending on snowfall, so check the roads before starting your excursion.
Photo use by Andrey Zharklkh
If you’re looking for a secret outdoor dining this spring and summer, don’t miss Em’s Restaurant. Em’s is located in a restored old brick building, with character and charm to go with the farm-to-table dining they are famous for. This eatery is a local favorite in the Capital Hill neighborhood, with a constantly changing menu depending on what’s in season locally. Listed as one of USA Today’s 10 Best outdoor dining option
s in Salt Lake City, Em’s is perfect for Sunday brunch, a casual family lunch, or a romantic dinner.