Parley’s Historic Nature Park features historic points of interest, an abundance of beautiful scenery, and plenty of room to run and play, making it a sure hit with kids and dogs alike.
This trail is suitable for children and adults of all skill levels. Be sure to watch young children around the rambunctious off-leash dogs you will likely encounter.
The entrance to Parley’s Historic Nature Park is located at the back of the cul-de-sac at 2740 South 2700 East in Salt Lake.
Parking is available next door at Tanner Park (40.711584,-111.815596). Take the path at the east end of the parking lot to access the path that leads to the Nature Park.
From Tanner Park, follow the trail on the east side of the parking area through the trees to the cul-de-sac entrance. Continue down the paved trail heading north as it descends into the ravine below. Soon the path turns to gravel, and the landscape transforms into a quaint urban wilderness.
About 200 feet down the trail, the off-leash area of the park begins. From here to the east end of the park is a haven for dogs, but pay attention to the posted signs indicating which areas are designated for on and off leash.
Soon the trail arrives at the bottom of the ravine where there is a bridge over Parley’s Creek with access to the stream on the left. While the creek may appear accessible in other areas, please follow posted signs indicating designated access points to help reduce erosion and impact on the stream.
From the bridge, continue east along the north side of the creek. In about 300 yards the trail splits; the trail on the left leads through the historic area of the park while the trail on the right continues to follow the creek. Both trails eventually reconnect on the east end of the park.
The historic area is well worth a visit, but if you are hiking with dogs, you’ll need to leash them up in this area. The trail passes by some fascinating relics from early settlers, including an arched section of a sandstone aqueduct built in the late 1800s and an old wine cellar.
The aqueduct is visible on the left as the trail approaches the next junction. The main trail continues to the right, but you may want to continue walking up the hill to get a better look at the aqueduct. Early settlers used it to distribute water from Parley’s Creek until the Mountain Dell Dam was built in 1915.
Just up the trail from the aqueduct is the site of what used to be Dudler’s Inn. The inn operated here from the late 1800s into the early 1900s. It was destroyed by fire in 1952, but a fascinating underground wine cellar remains at this location. The cellar is barred shut but is still an impressive sight with its nearly three foot thick walls.
About a quarter mile beyond Dudler’s Wine Cellar, the trail reconnects to the creek trail and returns to an off-leash zone. Continue east another 100 yards to the end of the park and a popular area of the creek where water comes rushing out of a culvert that crosses under I-215. This is a favorite spot for dogs to play in the water.
Return by following the creek trail back to the bridge and up the hill to Tanner Park. If you wish to spend more time, there are many other small trails in the area, but be sure to follow the posted rules. Some trails on the south side of the creek are designated for bicycling only and do not allow dogs.
Round trip distance for the route described above is approximately 2 miles. Shorter or longer routes are possible.
Rules and Regulations
Parley’s Historic Nature Park has many rules. Stop by one of the information kiosks in the park to read them all. A few key rules are listed below:
- No more than two dogs per handler allowed at any time.
- Handlers must accompany dogs at all times and be in possession of a leash no longer than six feet.
- Owners must clean up after their dogs and dispose of the waste in designated trashcans.
- All dogs must be visible and under voice control of the handler at all times, in all park areas.
While this is a great hike for kids, use caution around the energetic off-leash dogs.