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Flinstone Living Room
In the foothills above Salt Lake City, the Living Room is a popular destination for anyone who needs a short, relaxing hike. Erosion in the area has created piles of smooth, flat rocks that people have arranged into stone furniture built on a ledge overlooking the city. Couches, chairs, footrests, and even tables appropriate for The Flintstones have been stacked into the hillside. Although the Salt Lake Valley view spreading out to the south is the motivation to make the hike, The Living Room is the motivation to spend time looking at the scenery in comfort.
The Living Room is a quick hike that can be done in about two hours, round-trip. There are multiple ways to get there, but two routes, in particular, are relatively obvious. The first is to go straight up a ridgeline, scrambling over rock outcrops and ledges. The second is an easier walk up a side gully that makes its way through a scrub oak forest until it switches back to the overlook. The hike is appropriate for people of all ages, plus it's a great hike for dogs, even though the leash law is in effect here.
To hike to The Living Room, park near the entrance of Red Butte Garden on Wakara Way. There are a couple of side trails that begin at the edge of the street. Follow these up to a dirt road where a gas pipeline is buried (several signs warn you of this). Go right and walk the road until there is a trail on the left. Take this trail to a fork. At this point, go right into a thick, scrub oak forest in a gully. The trail is well maintained, aside from a deep crack in the middle carved out by snowmelt.
The trail to The Living Room goes straight up this gully until it ascends above the trees and into the open. Brush, rocks, and wildflowers comprise the landscape where the hike goes over a ridge and along a steep sidewall where a left turn at another fork leads south to The Living Room.
Because of its popularity, you'll be lucky to find any rock furniture to sit on. The Living Room is especially crowded at dusk as hikers and their dogs crowd the seats to watch the Great Salt Lake sunset. But on the off chance that you have the place to yourself, make yourself at home, grab a bite to eat, enjoy a beverage, and take in the view that only a hike in Salt Lake City can provide.
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