Utah Hike of the week: Birdsong Trail

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Directions • From Salt Lake City, take Interstate 15 to the 344 exit at 12th Street. Turn right at the exit, continue on 12th Street heading east. The street will turn into Canyon Road. Just before entering the mouth of Ogden Canyon, turn right on Valley Drive. The Greenery parking lot is immediately on the left.

This trail begins in the Greenery/Rainbow Gardens parking lot in the mouth of Ogden Canyon. Park in the southwest corner of the lot, near a banner that reads "Rainbow Trail." Go under the banner, make a left at the bulletin board, then a quick right to find the trailhead. Though this trail is short — only a mile each way — it packs a lot of nature into a small hike. After a short, but mildly strenuous climb, you can take a short cut to the top of the hill, or you can continue on the trail and weave your way through wild flowers and prickly pear cactus before the trail levels out and offers a view of Ogden and the El Monte Golf Course below.

Continue on, where the trail dips down into a heavily forested area, and hikers are met with a stream, a tiny spring, and a bench to rest, if needed. This is a great place to take a drink, take a break, and serve as a possible turn-around if you brought antsy children with you. The trail eases through more forested areas, where trees provide plenty of shade and oftentimes create a canopy overhead. Chirping birds nearly drown out the distant traffic noise from busy 12th Street — a faint reminder that you aren't too far from city life.

Towards the trail's end, the trees open up and you'll find yourself in a sunny, open field. Meander through the field until the trail comes to an abrupt end near a residential area at 20th Street and Fillmore Street. A picnic table marks the end of the trail before you hit the paved roadways.

Though the trail isn't far from civilization, it's the perfect after-work hike to get a quick outdoor fix, or a great trail to get kids in the outdoors. It's also ideal for mountain bikers and trail runners. For GPS data on this hike go to: http://www.trimbleoutdoors.com/ViewTrip.aspx?tripID=2274233