The very first time I ever came to Utah, Mark’s family asked me if I wanted to climb a mountain. Game for anything, I said I definitely would, so we gathered the tribe and climbed up Ensign Peak behind the Salt Lake City capitol. The hike itself wasn’t that difficult (it’s definitely of the “easy” variety), but I remember being blown away by my future sister-in-law who climbed while wearing her two kids in tow and her youngest baby in a sling! Little did I know that just five years later, I’d be in exactly the same position, climbing the same mountain with Dexter and Daniel struggling along as I wore baby Chester in my Moby wrap!
I always love driving out past the capitol building, as it’s such a beautiful piece of architecture.
Ensign Peak (pronounced En-Sine) trailhead is located on a regular everyday road, and if you don’t know where it is, you can easily think you’re in the wrong place. At the bottom is a small stone and cement plaza with many flags and metal signs on display. There are steps and benches, and since it’s already halfway up a mountain, you can see a lot of the city if you sit there.
The trail itself is, as I mentioned, pretty easy. It starts out paved, though this is not the case all the way up. Still, it is a pretty good trail to follow, and while you wouldn’t be able to take a stroller or wheelchair, you would find it pretty accessible to those who have issues. There are also a few places to rest as you go, which makes it easier for the very young or old.
Since it’s the middle of a very mild winter, the trees and shrubs were quite dry and dead. The first time I went was June, so it was a very different experience. However, if you think just because it’s January we didn’t get hot and sweaty, you’d be wrong! As you can see from photos, the kids weren’t even wearing jackets! You will work up a sweat!
That said, the peak is extremely windy, so it may be a good idea to bring a hoodie tied around your waist so you stay warm once you reach it.
As you make your way up, there are tons of places where you can stop and take in breathtaking views of the city, mountains and of course the Great Salt Lake.
But the real treasures are at the top. We went on a day where there was a LOT of fog in the valley, which made for some gorgeous photos.
We were lucky that there were some other hardy explorers out on the mountain, so we were able to get a family photo. Doesn’t happen often! We always try and find someone to take our picture on outings such as this because hiking as a family is so special.
As mentioned, the wind is bitterly cold at the top, so we didn’t get to stay quite as long as we might have wanted to. But it was enough for us to be able to say that on my 33rd birthday, I climbed a mountain with my family. What a great way of showing gratitude for being alive. I am so pleased that they were willing to do this with me.
Once we got back to the bottom, we let the boys play a little, jumping off the steps and climbing the small rock faces. I will remember this day for a long time.