So this week for Travel Tuesday, I am going to show you a far less known area called Butterfield Canyon nestled in the Oquirrh Mountains, that frame the West side of the Salt Lake Valley.
In fact is so less know, I have come across many who have lived in the Salt Lake Valley their whole lives and have never heard of it or have never been up.
This canyon is adjacent to the famous Kennecott Copper Mines, you may have heard of them even if you don't live in Utah. As its one huge mine with a hole they have dug that can be seen from space. If you ever visit this area, you should visit the mine. Although right now because of a huge landslide in 2013 it is closed. However, you can see a virtual tour HERE.
|This is the sides of the mines, quite visible the first 3 miles up the canyon.|
However, this post isn't really about the mine at all, its about the beautiful canyon on it's South side, called Butterfield Canyon. Which is only open June 1st - November 1st each year.
Whether you are interested in just taking a nice drive to look at scenery, or watch for wildlife as deer, elk and occasionally pronghorn can be seen. Although, I have seen far more pronghorn in the valley just below the canyon:)
However, for those who love to hike. There are actually several beautiful hikes. Like this one from the start at Middle Canyon.
Which is at the end of the paved road of Salt Lake County, before you drop into the dirt road of Tooele County.
Some of the more popular hikes are Kelsey Peak and White Pine Peak. The best part about hiking in these area's because this isn't an overly crowded canyon you might have the trails to yourself, or come across very few people.
Bikers love this canyon too. You could easily park your car at the mouth of the canyon and ride up to the top, yes it is a steep climb, but it would be a killer great workout to do a few times a week. Then coast on down the mountain. 13.5 Miles round trip and 1000 foot elevation climb.
Runners, also a great place to go for a beautiful canyon run. Gives you a great chance to train your body for hills, and downhill as well as work on building your endurance at higher elevations.
The final 3 mils to the top is a bit windy and narrow, so be careful and keep your speed down. Drop the gear in the car/truck down so on the way back you're not riding your breaks.
Beautiful vista's looking out towards the Salt Lake Valley and the Wasatch mountains across the valley.
At some points you can even see Utah lake, like in the picture below.
Or depending on where you're hiking even the peaks and valleys of Tooele County.
This is a little known treasure, and because it's tucked away on the west side of the valley, not as popular as the Wasatch Mountain trails. But just as beautiful in it's own way. If you are a local and you haven't ventured up, I highly recommend it!
The above picture is a view from the top, where the paved road ends. This is the view from the middle canyon pullout. Just beautiful isn't it!