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The City Journals

New Bell Canyon trailhead moving along

Oct 03, 2019 12:30PM ● By Justin Adams

One of two current trailheads for the Bell Canyon hike, one that is heavily used on weekends and holidays. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

By Justin Adams | [email protected]

The Bell Canyon hike in Sandy is one of the most popular hikes along the Wasatch Front. On a summer weekend morning, you’re likely to find dozens, if not over a hundred, cars parked along Wasatch Boulevard where one of two trailheads for the hike are located. Luckily for those hikers, there will soon be a more convenient option for parking.

After acquiring 10.6 acres of land at the corner of Wasatch Boulevard and Little Cottonwood Road for $2.3 million last year, Sandy City’s plans for developing a new park that will double as a trailhead are well underway.  

The park won’t have any playgrounds or basketball courts. The property was purchased from a family under the stipulation that it would be more of a natural park dedicated to preservation rather than recreation. 

Initial plans for the space include a short trail loop, restrooms and a designated helicopter landing spot for either life-flight or wildfire operations. A later phase of the project may also include an education center or outdoor classroom where people can learn about water preservation.

As for accommodating the many hikers bound for Bell Canyon, the park is projected to include about 130 parking stalls, divided into an upper and a lower parking lot. Both will connect into the existing trail, which starts from the Granite trailhead along Little Cottonwood Road. 

In October, the city plans to do a final round of public outreach in the form of a neighborhood meeting, as well as come up with a final design. The project will then go out to bid in the winter, with the goal of starting construction in April and opening in August of next year. 

Dan Medina, the deputy director of the city’s parks and recreation department, said the feedback at community meetings has been very positive. 

“Everybody seemed pretty favorable for it,” Medina said of the 15 or so people who attended the first neighborhood meeting about the project.