I've seen several articles tauting Ferguson Canyon in the South Salt Lake valley as an ideal place for walking dogs. Coco is a dog who is in constant need of walks, so I decided to take the advice. This page shows pictures from two walks. The first set of pictures is a walk I took in mid January with my fancy new Nikon D70 camera.
I took the second set of pictures during the summer of 2005 with my older Kodak DC240 Zoom.
Ferguson Canyon is an extremely popular trail near the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon. The trail brings walkers through a charming dissiduous forest. There is a small area of cliffs that is extremely popular among climbers. I took quite a few pictures of the climbing area. The area is about the size of a football stadium.
Unfortunately, Ferguson Canyon appears to be in the process of an environmental catastrophe. So many people are using the canyon that we are destroying the top soil.
The lower part of the canyon is already trampled. I strongly advise against talking dogs to the upper areas. This area has a rich deep loamy top soil on a steep slope. Dogs running off the trail disturb the soil. This beautiful riparian zone that cannot handle the traffic. I ended up cutting my hike short when I saw that Coco's running off trail was causing little top soil avalanches.
In one of my trips to Ferguson Canyon, I met a lady hiker who was distraught. She had often visited the canyon in her youth, but could not stand seeing so many trees fallen over the soil and plants vanishing. In visiting, I notice the dissiduous trees are giving way to pine. Comparing the pack hard washed out dirt in the lower part of the canyon to the loamy top soil in the upper reaches of the canyon, I think I can see why.
My recommendation to dog walkers is, by all means visit the lower part of the canyon. Please, don't take your dogs all the way up the trail. (Especially dogs like Coco who run off trail!). Turn around just about the climbing area. I realize that the top in the canyon will be washed out in the upcoming years, but lets not hasten the process more than necessary.
Directions to Canyon
From the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon, take Wasatch Boulevard South Bound. Turn left at the stop light at the top of the hill. This is Honeywood Cove Drive. This road winds up a steep hill. Turn left at "Top of the World Drive" this road turns into "Prospector Drive". Turn right on Timberline Drive. The trail head is on the right side of the road. You will park along the side of the street.you will want to take Wasatch Boulevard up the hill to the Prospector Road (The first stop light on top of the hill). Turn left. You will go up a steep hill then turn left again on Top of the World Drive.