Ferguson Canyon might be the ultimate hike for east Salt Lake residents. You will not find many other places that are so close to town, allow dogs, have good rock climbing, amazing city views, and are steep enough to make it a daily exercise routine. The trail is sheltered by large trees most of the way, keeping exposure to a minimum. During the early summer when the rivers are flowing, dogs and people alike find the various hidden swimming holes just off the trail. Large granite walls hug the trail at several points and give rock climbers lots of great options to get vertical. With several waterfalls along the way to play around in, it's just hard not to have fun here.
The trail begins after walking up a dirt road and passing by a large water tower. As the trees start to create a canopy above, the steady incline of the trail begins, and within a short while the granite walls are popping up from the ground. There are a few flat spots along the way, but also several very steep sections capped by waterfalls. Three-quarters of the way up you'll meet switchbacks that lead up the north side of the canyon and leave the canopy. Many end their hike at a remarkable lookout from a slight plateau on the northern rim of the canyon. The massive 170-degree view of Salt Lake City is especially stunning if you are willing to hike down at night after watching the sunset from here.
There are lots of available parking spots on Timberline Drive starting below the trailhead, but keep your dog on leash until just after the water tower to avoid any fines. One interesting fact to note: while in Ferguson Canyon, you are literally hiking along the Wasatch fault line.