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Around the Valley

Road Cycling Loop

Salt Lake City Metro Area, Utah

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Around the Valley

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  • Around the Valley runs through the University of Utah. The famous "U" on the mountain above the university.- Around the Valley
  • University of Utah.- Around the Valley
  • A lot of people around the University of Utah area of the route are just trying to get to and from class.- Around the Valley
  • Cyclists will pass along Rice-Eccles stadium, home of the Utes.- Around the Valley
  • Looking down onto Foothill Drive at sunset.- Around the Valley
  • Looking up from the north end of Wasatch Boulevard to the south end of Foothill Drive.- Around the Valley
  • Over the freeway path connecting Wasatch Boulevard to Foothill Drive.- Around the Valley
  • Cyclist heading down Wasatch Boulevard near Olympus Cove.- Around the Valley
  • Wasatch Boulevard.- Around the Valley
  • Great Mount Olympus views along the ride.- Around the Valley
  • Dramatic Wasatch views heading south toward Big Cottonwood Canyon.- Around the Valley
  • Cyclists pass the Mount Olympus Trailhead along the way.- Around the Valley
  • The Old Mill Golf Course near the foot of Mount Olympus is along the route.- Around the Valley
  • The view from Wasatch Boulevard down onto the town of Holladay.- Around the Valley
  • More incredible views south along the Wasatch Mountains.- Around the Valley
  • Looking up Little Cottonwood Canyon.- Around the Valley
  • Nice views along the way through the towns of Sandy and Draper.- Around the Valley
  • Looking north from Draper.- Around the Valley
  • Looking west where Foothill Drive becomes University Boulevard/500 South.- Around the Valley
  • - Around the Valley
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Very long. Great sightseeing.
Cons: 
Congested.
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Region:
Salt Lake City Metro Area, UT
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
2,600.00 ft (792.48 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Trail difficulty: 
Blue
Total Distance: 
50.00 mi (80.47 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
4,200.00 ft (1,280.16 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Pro Contributor

One of the longest rides available in Salt Lake City, Around the Valley is a 50-mile road biking route that gives you a terrific overview of the sprawling metropolis as well as its beautiful Wasatch mountain frontage. The route is a giant loop with 700 East acting as the western north-south corridor and Wasatch Boulevard in the east. Cyclists make the northern turn in the University of Utah area and the southern turn in the city of Draper near point of the mountain. The route can be done in either direction, but heading south on Wasatch Boulevard offers the most dramatic views.

The western end of this ride is nothing special in terms of sightseeing, but 700 East does provide an 18-mile long stretch of road that will allow cyclists to get into a serious rhythm. Doing this section south to north allows one to tee up the incredibly scenic Wasatch front portion of the ride, north to south, and get the most of the views from this dynamic and beautiful section on the eastern end of the journey. Solid climbs and descents, stunning canyons, and gorgeous neighborhoods make this end of the route much more scenic and desirable.

At the northeastern edge of the route, cyclists will ride through the University of Utah where you can see downtown in the distance. Continuing south one passes along many iconic areas while biking along Wasatch Boulevard such as Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons, homes to four of Utah's world-famous ski resorts and Mount Olympus. Further south, the city of Draper has some impressive fall colors for the Salt Lake City area.

This is a long road cycling ride with some solid elevation changes and some incredibly busy and sometimes slightly hectic roads along the way, so keep your head on a swivel. Some riders may opt for just the Wasatch Boulevard section down and back and/or arrange for a shuttle. If you are in need of a lunch stop and energy refuel along the way, Porcupine Grill at the mouth of Big Cottonwood is highly recommended.

Some tips for the changes and transitions in the route:

  • At the northern section of the route, cyclists can take University Boulevard east from 700 East towards University of Utah. University Boulevard becomes Foothill Drive. 
  • When transitioning from Foothill Drive to Wasatch Boulevard (south of University of Utah), you will be taking pedestrian bridges over the freeways, so keep an eye out for those.
  • There is a route that goes to Parleys Park, which is further west than you'll likely want to go, so avoid that direction; you will want to stay east and north.
  • At the southern end of the Around the Valley route you will need to navigate from Wasatch Boulevard back to 700 East in Draper. The easiest way to do this is to continue on Wasatch Boulevard until it becomes Hidden Valley Road. From Hidden Valley Road turn left onto Draper Parkway (12300 S), which intersects with 700 East.
  • There is a spot around 4700 South where 700 East transitions to 900 East and then comes back to 700 East after about 30 blocks.
  • Cyclists will spend most of this ride on three roads that all run north and south: 700 East, Foothill Drive, and Wasatch Boulevard.
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Nearby Camping + Lodging

(20 within a 30 mile radius)

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(166 within a 30 mile radius)

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