This weekend I had the pleasure of another hike in Salt Lake City’s nearby nature. Once again it was hot, it was rugged and it was dusty.

But this time I went with a friend. Roxanne made a world of difference in my hiking experience as she too is not a fan of nature. And naturally would rather watch TV. Somehow the two of us managed to make the hike in about 30 minutes to the top. They say Ensign Peak is where the Salt Lake City founders stood and laid out the city.

For anyone who hasn’t been here, SL, UT is very, very square. The lines are symmetrical, straight lines neatly dividing the city into packages of neighborhoods with homes and stores. State Street is clearly visible from the peak and splits the valley in two halves as it continues south out of sight. The city continues in this highly organized pattern all over the valley and is mimicked in every Utah city to clone-like standards.

Personally I hold these perfectly neat lines suspect for area residents obsession with cleanliness, organization and perfection. The way we shape a place, shapes us. And Salt Lake occupies a distinct space. The hills, streams and mountains are redirected for homes, condos and shopping centers. It seems the city’s nature is sacrificed to make way for commerce. That is until it goes places too pretty to demolish–then nature is allowed to remain in place.

I suppose as God intended.

In addition to the origin of all this planned suburban sprawl, Ensign Peak is the place for reaching the top of a mountain if that’s not a life goal of yours this peak makes it easy to accomplish. A part of me wants to call it a hill, but the name says peak which implies mountain. So if you want to climb a mountain, but not really, this is probably a good place to start.  There is something awesomely momentous about reaching the top of any peak, even if it is a rather small mountain.

For me it’s the thrill of taking a break after an exhausting hike. That’s the high for me when I reach the top of the peak, break time. Mountain tops excite me, as resting places with vistas. Ensign Peak is a pretty and vigorous little hike for the chronically out of shape. It’s actually the only hike around Salt Lake City, I’ve done more than once. I’ll probably go again, the view is spectacular and not to be missed.

Also it is very close to a park that makes for a lovely resting/reading spot.

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