Last summer, a local hiking group organized multiple sunset hikes up the same trail here in Davis County and I was really intrigued by it. We made plans to hike the trail before sunset a couple of times but were never able to actually make it happen. Now that we’ve hiked the trail once and marveled at the view from the lookout point, I can’t wait to do it many more times!
Where: 650 East Skycrest Lane, North Salt Lake
Length: The trail to the scenic overlook, in either direction, is about one mile and takes about half an hour to hike.
We planned our hike to start about 45 minutes before sunset so that we’d have time to find our way to the scenic overlook and enjoy the full event from the top. It took us about 30 minutes to hike from the trail head to the bench located on the south overlook. That included a few stops to look at the map and determine if we were hiking in the right direction or not. A group that started just ahead of us reached the sunset overlook point across the canyon to the north, about the same time that we did, so I’m guessing that distance is about the same.
The views we caught glimpses of every time the trail turned west and there was a break in the trees were stunning and I think I said, “Wow….” about a million times on our hike. Once we reached the top, the view was even more extraordinary! We wished we would have hiked to the sunset point instead of the scenic overlook because the view is a little less obscured there than where we were. The bench we were sitting on was tucked back on the hill a bit and surrounded in tall bushes, blocking us from enjoying the full view of the valley and the sunset all at once. It was still gorgeous though and definitely a great place to sit together!
We sat at the top for almost half an hour, watching the sky turn colors as the sun set and the planes took off from the airport in the distance. We decided to start hiking back down before the sun had fully set, so that we still had enough daylight to see the trail. Although I know a lot of people who sit at the top and watch until the sky has turned dark, then hike down with flashlights, it was fun to watch the sun set completely as we made our way back down the mountain and to our car.
The entire Wild Rose Trail is an approximate four mile loop that goes back into the mountains a bit. It’s fairly well covered by trees so it wouldn’t get too hot if you were hiking during the day. I would love to hike the entire trail one day and also hike to the opposite overlook to watch the sunset from a different perspective. It’s a well groomed trail, but only wide enough to walk single file. I was out of breath for the first half, but quickly got used to the speed and incline, and the trail flattened out a bit on the way as well. There were a few stretches with loose rock, but walking to one side helped us avoid that and I never tripped or stumbled hiking in either direction. We went on a Saturday night and didn’t feel like the trail was busy at all. We passed a couple of people headed back down the trail when we were on our way up and saw a few bikers on the bike trail as well. A couple of other groups headed to the other scenic overlook, so our choice to go to the bench with the slightly obscured view was a positive thing because we had the entire place to ourselves.
This is a great, free date night activity, no matter what your hiking abilities are and something that I would suggest everyone try to do at least once!