The University District
Image by Scott Catron under Creative Commons License.

Utah, Salt Lake City Guide (A): The University District

The University District of Salt Lake City sits perched just below the Wasach mountains. A zoo, a number of museums, and the University of Utah itself - complete with Olympic Cauldron Park, commemorating the 2002 Winter Olympics - highlight this region of the east side of Salt Lake City.
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Walk Route

Guide Name: The University District
Guide Location: USA » Salt Lake City
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (A))
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 4.0 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.2 km
Sight(s) featured in this guide: Hogle Zoo   This is the Place Heritage Park   Utah Museum of Natural History   Red Butte Garden & Arboretum   Fort Douglas   Utah Museum of Fine Arts   Olympic Cauldron Park  
Author: Jim Reynoldson
Author Bio: Jim Reynoldson is an avid traveler and writer who grew up in Oregon. He enjoys hiking, camping, and sightseeing throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
1
Hogle Zoo

1) Hogle Zoo

Located at the mouth of Emigration Canyon and at the foothills of the Wasach Mountains, Hogle Zoo was opened in 1931. With an area of 42 acres, this is the largest zoo in Utah, and typically hosts about 1 million visitors per year. Exhibits include Asian Highlands, which houses five endangered Asian cat species in a reconstruction of a Himalayan village, and Elephant Encounter. A new exhibit, called Rocky Shores, is due to open in 2012 – and will feature polar bears, brown bears, sea lions and...
Image by Bobjgalindo under Creative Commons License.
2
This is the Place Heritage Park

2) This is the Place Heritage Park

Located across from Hogle Zoo at the mouth of Emigration Canyon, this heritage park commemorates several elements of the region’s history. The centerpiece is Deseret Village, which includes restored and replica buildings – including Brigham Young’s forest farmhouse - to recreate a Utah pioneer town from the mid-1800’s hosting a series of festivals, events and a petting zoo for kids. In addition, several monuments throughout the park memorialize the Mormon Battalion, the end of the Mormon...
Image by Cory Maylett under Creative Commons License.
3
Utah Museum of Natural History

3) Utah Museum of Natural History

The impressive new home of the Utah Museum of Natural History, called the Rio Tinto Center, is being built next to the Red Butte Garden and Arboretum, and is due to be open by late 2011. Originally established in 1959 at the University of Utah, the museum currently contains over 1.2 million objects – including massive archaeological, animal, plant, and mineral collections. The highlight – especially for kids – is likely to be the four giant cast skeletons of dinosaurs from central Utah’s...
Image by Daderot under Creative Commons License.
4
Red Butte Garden & Arboretum

4) Red Butte Garden & Arboretum

Run by the University of Utah, Red Butte Garden and Arboretum occupies over 100 acres of natural gardens, ponds and hiking trails. Facility highlights include the Children’s Garden, Herb Garden, Fragrance Garden, Medicinal Gardens, and Rose Gardens. The garden can be rented as a gorgeous setting for private weddings, parties and other celebrations. A number of public festivals are hosted at Red Butte, as well – including educational opportunities from gardening workshops and classes. An...
Image by Cory Maylett under Creative Commons License.
5
Fort Douglas

5) Fort Douglas

Fort Douglas was established in the east part of Salt Lake City by the federal government in 1862, as a garrison to protect the telegraph lines and mail routes along the Central Overland Route. Named by President Lincoln after Stephan A. Douglas, the fort brought an increased military presence during a time when military personnel from the west were being redeployed eastward to fight the Civil War. Through the years, the fort has also been used as an internment camp for German-Americans and...
6
Utah Museum of Fine Arts

6) Utah Museum of Fine Arts

Located on the campus of the University of Utah, this facility functions as both a state and university art museum. While the museum unofficially began with a small collection of art and artifacts on the top floor of the Park Building in the early 1900’s, its current incarnation began in 1951 – twice relocating the following years. The museum currently contains 74,000 square feet of space and houses over 17,000 works of art. Exhibitions past, present, and future include “Africa: Arts of a...
7
Olympic Cauldron Park

7) Olympic Cauldron Park

Located in front of Rice-Eccles Stadium on the campus of the University of Utah, this showcase commemorates the 2002 Winter Olympics hosted in Salt Lake City. The stadium itself was the site of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, and the park features a number of innovate structures and works of art – including the cauldron and support made to resemble an icicle, standing at 72 feet high and made from 738 pieces of glass. The visitor’s center features an art gallery and multimedia displays...
Image by Scott Catron under Creative Commons License.