North Salt Lake provides an extraordinary amount of day hikes along the foot hills and connecting with the Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST) that runs from Ogden to Provo.
Mount Van Cott is a low elevation peak just behind the John Hunstman Cancer Center within the University of Utah campus. The trail begins on the BST where it meets with the parking lot of the cancer center. You follow the trail North and it comes to a Y. You follow the path right and leave the BST.
You are now heading East and you are starting to gain some elevation. If you look up and slightly right, you will see a path sloping upward to your right on the hill in front of you. That is the path you want to take.
You follow the slope upward, and hit the “ridge.” It’s not very drastic, so you can follow the main path that keeps going onto the South face of Van Cott, or you can head up left along the ridge. This way provides some nice views.
We continued up this ridge, through some bushes, until the route turned South East and eventually completely South. The mountain levels out here and you can catch some amazing views of the mountains to the East.
We continued along the flat section until we were heading West where we reached the top of Van Cott.
We hung out on top for a bit, and headed back down as a storm blew in and it began snowing. We reached the car after about 2 hour hike total.
I recommend this hike to anyone who has kids or is looking for a sweet trail run. People were all over on our way up and down.