Living Room Trail

excerpted from our book

Salt Lake City's Incredible Hiking and Biking Trails
pages 27-29

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Living Room hike Living Room hike

     High above Fort Douglas and the University of Utah, on a viewpoint below the southwestern side of Red Butte Peak, lies an unlikely assortment of hiker-made sandstone furniture. No one seems to know whose idea it was to build the stone-age appointments, but the notion caught on and over the past decade the whimsical collection has continued to expand. Other hikers have added their own imaginative creations, and the view point has come to be known locally as the “Living Room”. The “room” includes more than a dozen chairs, tables, sofas, foot stools, and other accessories-all made from the flat slabs of peach-colored sandstone that litter the area.
      The Living Room is a work in progress, and the Flintstone furniture is constantly being rearranged and redesigned by the hiker/artisans that visit the area. But one thing remains unchanged: all of the chairs are positioned to face the extraordinary view of the city below. The Living Room is especially popular in the evening, when university students and others climb up the trail to relax in the recliners and take in the sunset while the city lights flicker on below. But unlike other living rooms, this room is not for couch potatoes. The walk there involves a thousand feet of elevation gain, and if you are walking back in the dark you will need a good flashlight to navigate the rocky trail. Also, you will have to bring your own snacks; there is no kitchen on the mountain-only a living room.
      The Living Room trail starts by climbing through a dense thicket of gamble oak on the north side of the road. Soon you will come to a stream crossing where a trickle of water from Georges Hollow crosses the trail, and after 0.2 mile the path exits the grove of oak trees to meet the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. Turn right onto the Shoreline Trail and follow it for 100 yards until you come to another fork where you must bear left. The path now parallels the Shoreline Trail for another 100 yards before coming to another junction where you must again bear left or north away from the Shoreline Trail.
      By now you will notice the presence of a large number of other trails in the area. This proliferation of trails can be confusing the first time you do this hike; the situation is made worse by the fact that the correct trail is mostly unmaintained and there are no signs or trail markers along the way. The trail you want follows the east rim of Georges Hollow in a northerly direction for nearly a mile before turning west for the last 150 yards to the Living Room. You will pass several other secondary trails along the way that branch off to the left and descend into Georges Hollow. Don’t be tempted to take any of those trails.
      100 yards after turning north, away from the trail that parallels the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, you will pass the first junction where a secondary trail departs on the left for the bottom of Georges Hollow. Keep right. 150 yards later, another trail departs of the left for the bottom of the canyon. Again, bear right. The higher you go the fewer confusing secondary trails you will encounter. Just remember, there are no major downhill segments along the route; if you start to go downhill for more than a few yards you are on the wrong trail.
      0.7 mile after leaving the Bonneville Shoreline Trail the Living Room trail leaves the top of the ridge separating Georges Hollow from the next canyon over. From there the trail begins approaching the bottom of Georges Hollow and finally arrives at the streambed 0.2 mile later (all while continuing to gain elevation). When the trail arrives at the bottom of the ravine it turns west and continues along the south side of Red Butte Peak for another 150 yards to the Living Room.

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