Mt. Wire (commonly referred to as “Big Beacon” by locals) is one of the prominent foothill peaks due east of downtown Salt Lake City. The peak is easily recognized by the two large reflector panels just south of the summit, used for transmitting telephone signals between Salt Lake and Park City. Atop Mt. Wire is an old airway beacon, which you can climb should you desire an extra 25 feet of elevation.
While Mt. Wire is a relatively low elevation peak, it is an outstanding spring hike of over 2,000 vertical feet with incredible views in every direction, rampant wildflowers, and wildlife that includes the occasional rattlesnake or mountain lion. In most years the peak can be hiked free of snow in April, and is an excellent “tune up” for the bigger mountains.
The two most popular routes up Mt. Wire are via Georges Hollow, and via Pioneer Park.
To get to the Georges Hollow trailhead:
Take I-15 4th south exit and continue east through downtown, up past the University of Utah, and turn left (east) on Wakara Avenue. Follow this up past several buildings to the end of the road. Turn right on Coldrow Avenue and go south. There is almost immediately a trailhead that accesses the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, but the better trailhead is a little further down the road (marked with a sign), just before the Huntsman building. Park along either side of the road.
To get to the Pioneer Park trailhead:
Take I-15 4th south exit and continue east through downtown, up past the University of Utah, and turn left (east) on Sunnyside Avenue. Continue past Hogle Zoo and Pioneer Park, and park at the trailhead immediately east of Pioneer Park, there is a large trail sign here, and parking for about 10-15 cars.
There are no permit requirements for either route. Be careful not to trespass at Pioneer Park. As with most foothill peaks in the Wasatch, and Salt Lake City in particular, trails are rampant, and you can expect to do some back-tracking the first time you do these hikes.
When To Climb
Spring and Fall are best, as the low elevation and southern/western exposure makes a summer hike very hot.
Camping is allowed, no reservations, but the hikes are short and overnighting is not particularly desirable here.
Because of the close proximity to Salt Lake City, refer to www.ksl.com for weather conditions.