Mount Van Cott is a small foothill just Northeast of the University of Utah Medical Center Located a few miles east of Downtown Salt Lake. Although short in elevation, Mount Van Cott can be steep depending on what route you take. From the standard route, starting at the old jeep road north of the Medical Center, the hike gains 1140 feet in just 1 mile.
Round Trip hiking time can range from 1 hr 45 min, to over 2 hours.
The Mountain is usually snow free from mid-March to early November, though there may be small patches of snow near the top early in the season. This is also a nice hike to do in the winter without any Avalanche dangers like those posed by the higher peaks
Getting ThereGetting to 800S---
From I-15, comming from either North or South, find exit for I-80 Eastbound. Fallow I-80 eastbound for a few miles. Get off at the 700 East Exit and turn right at the traffic lights, heading north. Continue heading north on 700 East. Turn Right on 800 S.
From 800S to Trail Head---
From 800S (sunnyside avenue) head east-bound until you get to foothill blvd. Turn left on foothill blvd and continue until you get to Wasatch Dr. turn right on Wasatch dr. and continue north-east. Wasatch drive becomes South medical dr, with wastach dr branching out NE-wards, dont fallow wasatch drive, continue on South Medical Dr. Turn right on North Campus Dr. Then turn Left on North Medical Dr. Drive past the buildings and go to the furthest north parking place, just west of the power station. park here, the trail to the shoreline trail starts here.
Finding the Mount VanCott trail---
After crossing the narrow opening in the fence, walk up the jeep road until you get to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. From here find the trail heading East and continue on for a few feet. You will see two other trails branching off to the right, don’t take these, just continue on the “eastward” trail as it eventually turns south and heads up a steep hillside. The trail will then turn sharply east and continue along the ridge crest. About halfway up the ridge crest you will come to a spot where there is a faded jeep road heading east and trail heading north. Take the trail heading north. This trail will then curve eastwards and fallows the ridge all the way to the summit.
Although there are many other routes to the summit, I've found this to be the easiest.
Be careful where you park, parking is limited.
Dogs allowed, but must be on leash all the time.
Share the trail with runners and bikers.
Camping might be allowed, but because of the short duration of the hike, and the popularity of it, camping is not advisable. If you must camp, or you are on a longer route going up and around Cephalopod Gultch, then head east from the summit of mount van cott and find a flat spot to camp.
Another possible camping spot might be on the flat area just north of the main summit.
A bottle or two of Water.
No special equipment necessary.
LinksMount Van Cott Wikipedia Page
Maps and Other External Links
Weather and Mountain Conditions
Because of its close proximity to Salt Lake City, please refer to www.ksl.com for weather/avalanche conditions