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: