Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail In Utah

Here is everything you need to know about the Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Utah
  • Length: 28 miles.
  • Type: Multi-use
  • Surface: gravel
  • Managed By: Utah State Parks
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website: Info not available.

The Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail holds a significant place in the history of transportation and development in the western United States. Originally known as the Echo-Park City Railway, this rail line was constructed in the late 19th century to connect the booming mining towns of Park City and Echo, Utah. The construction of the railway began in 1868 and was completed in 1870, marking a major milestone in the region’s transportation infrastructure.

The rail line played a crucial role in the growth and prosperity of Park City, which was a thriving mining town during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It facilitated the transportation of silver ore from the mines to the smelters, enabling Park City to become one of the most productive mining districts in the country. The railway also facilitated the movement of supplies, equipment, and people, contributing to the overall development and economic success of the region.

In 1889, the Echo-Park City Railway was acquired by the Union Pacific Railroad, which further expanded and improved the rail line. The Union Pacific Railroad played a vital role in the development of the American West, connecting various regions and facilitating trade and commerce. The rail line continued to serve as a crucial transportation route until the decline of mining in Park City in the mid-20th century.

Today, the Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail stands as a testament to the rich history of the region. The rail line has been converted into a recreational trail, offering visitors and locals alike the opportunity to explore the scenic beauty of Utah’s mountains and valleys. As they walk, bike, or ride along the trail, users can imagine the bustling trains that once traveled these tracks, carrying the hopes and dreams of a bygone era.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Park City Trailhead: Located in Park City, Utah, this trailhead is the starting point of the Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail. It offers parking facilities and restrooms.

2. Wanship Trailhead: Situated in Wanship, Utah, this trailhead provides parking, restrooms, and picnic areas. It is approximately 10 miles from the Park City Trailhead.

3. Coalville Trailhead: Found in Coalville, Utah, this trailhead offers parking, restrooms, and picnic areas. It is around 15 miles from the Wanship Trailhead.

4. Echo Trailhead: Located in Echo, Utah, this trailhead provides parking, restrooms, and picnic areas. It is approximately 10 miles from the Coalville Trailhead.

5. Henefer Trailhead: Situated in Henefer, Utah, this trailhead offers parking, restrooms, and picnic areas. It is around 7 miles from the Echo Trailhead.

6. Taggart Trailhead: Found in Taggart, Utah, this trailhead provides parking, restrooms, and picnic areas. It is approximately 6 miles from the Henefer Trailhead.

7. Wanship Road Trailhead: Located on Wanship Road, this trailhead offers parking facilities. It is around 4 miles from the Taggart Trailhead.

8. Wanship Road Trailhead (Weber River Bridge): Situated on Wanship Road near the Weber River Bridge, this trailhead provides parking facilities. It is approximately 2 miles from the previous Wanship Road Trailhead.

9. Wanship Road Trailhead (Wanship Road and I-80): Found on Wanship Road near the intersection with I-80, this trailhead offers parking facilities. It is around 2 miles from the previous Wanship Road Trailhead.

10. Wanship Road Trailhead (Wanship Road and SR-32): Located on Wanship Road near the intersection with SR-32, this trailhead provides parking facilities. It is approximately 2 miles from the previous Wanship Road Trailhead.

These are some of the major access points or trailheads along the Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail.

Transportation Available

1. Park City Transit – Public bus service offering convenient transportation around Park City.
2. Uber – On-demand ride-hailing service providing transportation at the tap of a button.
3. Lyft – Ride-sharing platform connecting passengers with nearby drivers for affordable transportation.
4. Yellow Cab – Traditional taxi service available for quick and reliable transportation.
5. All Resort Express – Shuttle service offering transportation to and from Park City and Salt Lake City.
6. Mountain Transportation Network – Private transportation service specializing in airport transfers and local transportation.
7. Park City Transportation – Local transportation company providing shuttle services and private car services.
8. Park City Taxi – Taxi service offering transportation within Park City and surrounding areas.
9. Summit County Transportation – Public transportation system serving Summit County with bus routes and schedules.
10. Deer Valley Resort Transportation – Shuttle service providing transportation within Deer Valley Resort and surrounding areas.


The amenities available at the Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail include:

1. Restrooms: There are restroom facilities available at various points along the trail for visitors’ convenience.

2. Parking: There are designated parking areas at different trailheads along the Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail. These parking lots provide ample space for visitors to park their vehicles.

3. Camping Sites: The trail offers several camping sites for those who wish to spend the night. These sites are equipped with amenities such as fire pits, picnic tables, and access to restroom facilities.

4. Picnic Areas: There are designated picnic areas along the trail where visitors can stop and enjoy a meal or snack. These areas often have picnic tables and benches for convenience.

5. Water Stations: There are water stations available at various points along the trail, allowing visitors to refill their water bottles and stay hydrated during their journey.

6. Bike Repair Stations: The trail provides bike repair stations equipped with tools and air pumps for cyclists to fix any minor issues with their bikes.

7. Information Kiosks: Information kiosks are placed at different points along the trail, providing visitors with maps, trail information, and historical facts about the area.

8. Trailhead Facilities: At the trailheads, visitors can find additional amenities such as visitor centers, gift shops, and interpretive displays that provide information about the trail’s history and significance.

9. Benches and Rest Areas: There are benches and rest areas along the trail where visitors can take a break, relax, and enjoy the scenic views.

10. Dog-Friendly Areas: The trail has designated areas where visitors can bring their dogs. These areas often have waste disposal stations to ensure cleanliness.

Please note that amenities may vary at different sections of the trail, so it is advisable to check specific trailhead information for more details.

Nearby Services

1. Lodging:
– Holiday Inn Express Park City: Convenient hotel offering comfortable rooms and amenities near the Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail.
– Best Western Plus Landmark Inn: Cozy hotel with a pool and hot tub, located close to the trail for easy access.
– Marriott’s MountainSide: Upscale resort-style lodging with spacious rooms and stunning mountain views, situated near the trail.

2. Food Services:
– Red Rock Junction: Lively brewpub serving American fare and craft beers, perfect for a post-trail meal.
– Windy Ridge Café: Quaint café offering homemade breakfast and lunch options, ideal for a quick bite before hitting the trail.
– Squatters Roadhouse Grill: Vibrant restaurant serving a variety of dishes, including burgers, salads, and local brews.

3. Emergency Services:
– Park City Hospital: Full-service hospital providing emergency medical care and other healthcare services.
– Park City Police Department: Local law enforcement agency ensuring safety and security in the area.
– Park City Fire District: Fire and rescue services available for emergencies and public safety.

Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail Difficulty Notes

The Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail offers a moderate difficulty level, making it suitable for a wide range of outdoor enthusiasts. The trail spans approximately 28 miles, providing a challenging yet manageable experience for hikers, bikers, and horseback riders. With its gradual inclines and well-maintained surface, the trail offers a pleasant and accessible route for individuals of varying fitness levels. While some sections may present steeper climbs or uneven terrain, overall, the Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail offers a rewarding and enjoyable experience for those seeking a moderate outdoor adventure.

Features And Attractions

1. Echo Reservoir: Located near Coalville, Utah, Echo Reservoir offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and a peaceful atmosphere for outdoor activities such as fishing, boating, and picnicking.

2. Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail Park City: This 28-mile trail stretches from Park City to Echo Reservoir, offering scenic views of the surrounding mountains, meadows, and forests. It follows the historic route of the Union Pacific Railroad and is perfect for hiking, biking, and horseback riding.

3. Wanship Station: This historic train station, located in Wanship, Utah, was once a bustling hub for the Union Pacific Railroad. Today, it serves as a museum showcasing the history of the railroad and the local area.

4. Rockport Reservoir: Situated near Peoa, Utah, Rockport Reservoir is a picturesque lake surrounded by rolling hills and forests. It offers opportunities for fishing, boating, camping, and hiking, making it a popular spot for outdoor enthusiasts.

5. Echo Canyon: As the trail passes through Echo Canyon, visitors can marvel at the towering cliffs and rock formations that line the route. The canyon offers breathtaking views and a glimpse into the region’s geological history.

6. Henefer-Echo Wildlife Management Area: This expansive wildlife management area is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. Visitors can spot various bird species, deer, elk, and other wildlife while enjoying the natural beauty of the area.

7. Historic Main Street, Park City: As the trail passes through Park City, visitors can take a detour to explore the historic Main Street. Lined with charming buildings, boutique shops, art galleries, and restaurants, it offers a glimpse into the town’s rich mining history.

8. Summit County Courthouse: Located in Coalville, Utah, the Summit County Courthouse is a historic building that dates back to the late 19th century. Its beautiful architecture and well-preserved interior make it worth a visit.

9. Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail State Park Visitor Center: Situated in Park City, this visitor center provides information about the trail’s history, wildlife, and recreational opportunities. It also offers exhibits and displays related to the Union Pacific Railroad.

10. Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail Bridge: This iconic bridge, located near Wanship, Utah, spans the Weber River and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. It is a popular spot for photography and enjoying the peaceful ambiance of the area.

Usage Guidelines

1. Pets must be kept on a leash at all times.
2. Pet owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets.
3. Bicycles and pedestrians have the right of way on the trail.
4. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the trail, except for authorized maintenance vehicles.
5. Camping or overnight stays are not permitted on the trail.
6. Fires and open flames are strictly prohibited.
7. Littering is not allowed; please dispose of trash in designated bins.
8. Hunting or trapping is not permitted on the trail.
9. Seasonal restrictions may apply during winter months; check for closures or limitations.
10. Respect private property adjacent to the trail and do not trespass.
11. Use caution and be aware of your surroundings, especially at road crossings.
12. Trail users are encouraged to stay on designated paths and not venture off into sensitive areas.
13. Alcohol consumption is prohibited on the trail.
14. Motorized scooters or similar devices are not allowed on the trail.
15. Please be considerate of other trail users and maintain a safe and respectful environment.

Seasonal Information

The Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike. Located in Utah, this 28-mile trail follows the route of the historic Union Pacific Railroad, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, and wildlife. When planning your visit, it’s important to consider the best times of the year to fully enjoy the trail and be aware of any seasonal closures.

One of the best times to visit the Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail is during the spring and fall seasons. In spring, the trail comes alive with vibrant wildflowers and blossoming trees, creating a picturesque backdrop for your hike or bike ride. The temperatures during this time are generally mild, making it comfortable to explore the trail. Fall is equally beautiful, with the changing colors of the leaves providing a stunning display of nature’s beauty. The cooler temperatures in the fall also make it an ideal time for outdoor activities.

During the summer months, the Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail can get quite hot, especially in the middle of the day. It’s advisable to plan your activities early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the heat. Additionally, it’s important to bring plenty of water and sunscreen to stay hydrated and protected from the sun’s rays. Winter brings a different kind of beauty to the trail, with snow-covered landscapes creating a serene and peaceful atmosphere. However, it’s worth noting that the trail may be closed or inaccessible during heavy snowfall or icy conditions.

It’s also important to be aware of any seasonal closures or restrictions on the trail. The Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail is open year-round, but certain sections may be temporarily closed for maintenance or repairs. It’s recommended to check the trail’s official website or contact the local authorities for up-to-date information on closures and conditions before planning your visit. By being well-prepared and choosing the best time to visit, you can fully enjoy the beauty and history of the Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Trailhead: The trailhead is equipped with accessible parking spaces, ramps, and paved pathways for easy wheelchair access.
2. Paved Surface: The trail is mostly paved, providing a smooth and accessible surface for wheelchair users.
3. Accessible Restrooms: ADA-compliant restrooms are available along the trail, ensuring wheelchair users have convenient facilities.
4. Rest Areas with Benches: The trail features rest areas with benches, allowing wheelchair users to take breaks and enjoy the surroundings.
5. Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic areas along the trail are designed to accommodate wheelchair users, providing accessible tables and seating.
6. Accessible Fishing Spots: Designated fishing spots along the trail are accessible, allowing wheelchair users to enjoy fishing activities.
7. Accessible Trail Bridges: The trail includes bridges with accessible ramps or elevators, ensuring wheelchair users can cross waterways or road crossings.
8. Trail Signage: Clear and visible signage along the trail includes Braille and tactile elements for visually impaired individuals.
9. Accessible Trail Maps: Trail maps are available in accessible formats, such as large print or digital versions, for individuals with visual impairments.
10. Accessible Trail Information: Information about the trail, including rules, regulations, and safety guidelines, is provided in accessible formats for individuals with disabilities.

Safety Information

1. Stay on designated trail: Stick to the marked path to avoid potential hazards and ensure your safety.
2. Be aware of wildlife: Keep an eye out for animals and give them space to avoid any unexpected encounters.
3. Use caution at road crossings: Exercise caution when crossing roads along the trail, obey traffic signals, and look both ways for oncoming vehicles.
4. Share the trail: Be considerate of other trail users, including cyclists, pedestrians, and equestrians, and yield the right of way when necessary.
5. Stay hydrated: Bring enough water to stay hydrated during your journey, especially during hot weather.
6. Dress appropriately: Wear comfortable clothing and appropriate footwear for walking, running, or cycling on the trail.
7. Use sunscreen: Protect your skin from harmful UV rays by applying sunscreen before heading out on the trail.
8. Carry a cell phone: Have a cell phone with you in case of emergencies or to report any incidents along the trail.
9. Be prepared for weather changes: Check the weather forecast before your trip and dress accordingly, bringing extra layers or rain gear if needed.
10. Stay alert and aware: Pay attention to your surroundings, watch for trail signage, and be mindful of any potential hazards or changes in trail conditions.
11. Travel in groups: If possible, consider traveling with a companion or in a group for added safety and security.
12. Carry identification: Have your identification and emergency contact information with you in case of any unforeseen circumstances.
13. Follow trail rules and regulations: Familiarize yourself with any specific rules or regulations for the Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail and adhere to them for everyone’s safety.
14. Report any suspicious activity: If you notice any suspicious behavior or witness any incidents, report them to the appropriate authorities.
15. Be mindful of your surroundings: Enjoy the scenic beauty of the trail but remain aware of potential hazards such as uneven surfaces, fallen branches, or loose rocks.

Conservation Notes

The Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail, located in Utah, holds a conservation status that reflects its significance as a protected natural and cultural resource. The trail is recognized as a part of the Utah State Park system and is managed by the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation. Its conservation status ensures the preservation and maintenance of the trail’s unique features, including its historical significance and ecological value.

As a historic rail trail, the conservation status of the Union Pacific Rail Trail emphasizes the protection of its cultural heritage. The trail follows the route of the historic Union Pacific Railroad, which played a crucial role in the development of the American West. The conservation efforts focus on preserving the remnants of the railroad, such as trestles, tunnels, and other structures, which serve as tangible reminders of the region’s past. By safeguarding these historical elements, the conservation status ensures that future generations can appreciate and learn from the area’s rich history.

In addition to its cultural significance, the conservation status of the Union Pacific Rail Trail also emphasizes the preservation of its natural environment. The trail traverses through diverse ecosystems, including wetlands, forests, and meadows, providing habitat for a variety of plant and animal species. Conservation efforts aim to protect and restore these habitats, ensuring the survival of native flora and fauna. By maintaining the trail’s ecological integrity, the conservation status helps to promote biodiversity and preserve the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape.

Overall, the conservation status of the Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail highlights its importance as a protected area that safeguards both its historical and ecological values. Through careful management and preservation efforts, the trail can continue to serve as a valuable resource for recreation, education, and appreciation of the region’s natural and cultural heritage.

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