15a: Herriman

June 20 2022: 8 miles, 3.8 miles official BST, 2.2 miles unofficial BST. Trailforks log

Today we had an oddly chilly Juneteenth holiday, so we decided to head over to Herriman to begin a detour episode to explore the progress on a “west side” Bonneville Shoreline Trail. Herriman and Salt Lake County have big plans to build the BST over here, and while it is a daunting task, there has been some progress.

Fortunately, I had a great chat with the Herriman Parks and Rec staff a week ago, so I had a pretty good idea of their plans. Currently, there is only a 1.5 mile stretch of trail actually called the Bonneville Shoreline Trail in the west end, but there are several other existing official trails that will form part of the BST once it is complete. As in cities such as Draper, Lehi, and Salt Lake City, Herriman has a strong policy of acquiring undevelopable land from property owners hoping to build with higher density in the valley, now totaling over 2,500 acres. It doesn’t look like much on a map, but this city preserve is remarkably wild, a great place to hike or bike, if a little dryer than the other side of the valley.

The southeastern corner of Herriman is still undeveloped private property, so the trail will have to wait here until development expands. Eventually, the BST could extend from here to the Mountain View Highway, following it through Camp Williams to reach Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain (although neither of these cities have plans for a BST yet). Above the Juniper Ridge neighborhood is a good stretch of relatively level trail that is perfectly suited as BST.

However, west of this the residential development goes high into Hidden Canyon, forcing the trail to climb up several switchbacks. The residents of this gated community have complained about the possibility of a trail in their backyards (a common concern), but the city has a plan to build the trail along a high route that is out of their immediate view. We decided to go for an adventure and bushwhack along this planned corridor. Parts of it were an easy hike, but some patches of dense oak were pretty brutal; I would not suggest anyone trying to follow us! However, it is a very promising route for the trail, and I hope they can connect this gap soon.

The western half of our hike was along a complete, well-worn trail. To stay as close to the neighborhoods as possible while remaining on city property, the trail has some significant descents and climbs, but in general it was an enjoyable trail, if rather rocky. Good work Herriman!

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