SLC Paws home page

Mount Van Cott

Salt Lake City·Updated
3.8 mi
Elevation Gain
1,418 ft
Leash laws

Located in the foothills above the University of Utah Medical Center, Mount Van Cott is a popular peak whose summit is short but strenuous, with over 1,400 feet of elevation gain. Its name honors Lucy May Van Cott, the inaugural dean of women (1907-1931) at the University of Utah.

Once at the summit, you'll enjoy views of Salt Lake Valley, Antelope Island, Oquirrh Mountains, and the Wasatch Range. To avoid an out & back, you can take a social trail down to Red Butte Canyon Road, which leads back to the trailhead and forms a loop.

Getting there

Although the trailhead is located next to Red Butte Canyon Rd, which requires either a permit or payment to park, you can park along Colorow Drive for free, adding only 1-mile roundtrip to the route. From Colorow Drive, walk up Wakara Way until you see the paved Bonneville Shoreline Trail on your left. Take this trail to Red Butte Canyon Rd and turn right. Walk up the road, and the trailhead for Mount Van Cott will be on your left.



High: 41° Low: 35°









US Air Quality Index (AQI)

26 AQI


What you'll see

There is free parking along Colorow Dr for the Mount Van Cott route.
Bonneville Shoreline connector trail that leads to the Mount Van Cott trailhead.
Parking sign at the Mount Van Cott trailhead that requires a permit or payment. This can be avoided by parking along Colorow Dr.
Start of Mount Van Cott trail.
Mount Van Cott Trail intersection
Shortly after beginning the trail you will reach an intersection of three trails. Take the middle trail that steeply ascends up to the rocks.
Ascent of the Mount Van Cott trail with Golden Retriever walking up the hill.
After passing the intersection, the trail quickly ascends. This part of the trail is the steepest part of the route.
On top of the first hill of the Mount Van Cott trail looking up the trail.
Looking back after climbing the first hill of the trail to Mount Van Cott.
View of mountains and Salt Lake Valley from the Mount Van Cott trail.
Happy dog running up the Mount Van Cott trail.
Warning: This trail may induce extreme happiness in dogs.
Dog on hill overlooking Salt Lake City on the Mount Van Cott trail.
Near the top of the Mount Van Cott Trail.
Almost to the top.
View from the top of Mount Van Cott.