Emigration Canyon Metro Township

Emigration 2019 Logo GIF (1)Pinecrest_resized copy

Mayor Joe Smolka
Emigration Canyon Website
City Council and Planning Commission Agendas
In 2015, Emigration Canyon officially became a Metro Township. In November 2016, the first election was held to elect the first council members to serve the township, and they were sworn into office in 2017. 

The metro township is governed by an elected council consisting of five council members, one of whom is selected by the others to serve as Mayor.

The canyon is located east of Salt Lake City in the Wasatch Range.   
Known For 
  • Road Cycling - Emigration Canyon is one of the most accessible canyon cycling rides from Salt Lake City. With a length of 7.7 miles and an average grade of 5 percent, there is an elevation gain from the mouth of the canyon to the top of 1,300 feet.  
  • Camp Kostopulos - established in 1967 by the Kostopulos Dream Foundation as a summer camp for disabled children, teens, and adults. 
  • Ruth's Diner - established in 1930,  is a popular dining spot.
  • Hogle Zoo lies at the mouth of the canyon, but is in Salt Lake City limits. 
  • This is the Place Heritage Park - The Mormon Pioneer Company arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. In 1946, to commemorate the centennial of the arrival of the pioneers, a massive memorial, designed by Mahonri M. Young, was constructed on this site, honoring the Mormon Pioneers, American Indians and others who explored the Great Basin. 
  • Mountain Dell Reservoir - the dam was constructed in 1917 and is currently undergoing repair. The dam provides a water equalizing and storage reservoir for Salt Lake City, located 10 miles west. Swimming, wading or bodily contact with water is not allowed. Fishing waders are required in streams and lakes. Boating is allowed without the use of a motor, gas or electric, and much stay 200 years away from the dam.
  • Little Dell Reservoir - The reservoir was built in 1993 for drinking water supply, flood control and wildlife enhancement. Because the reservoir is part of the city's watershed, dogs are not allowed. Swimming is also prohibited, as are open flames, charcoal barbecues and Dutch ovens.
  • Last Campsite Memorial - erected July 23, 1933, marks the last campsite of the first company of Mormon Pioneers, under the leadership of President Brigham Young,  before entering the Salt Lake Valley July 24, 1847.
  • Donner Hill Marker -  erected in 1958, this marks where the Donner Party, on August 22, 1846,  gave up after 4 1/2 miles of fighting boulders and brush and climbed the steep hill to the southwest.  A year later, Mormon Pioneers built a road through to the mount of the canyon.   
  • Emigration Canyon was the original route used by pioneers entering the area. It was part of the Hastings Cutoff route used by the Donner Party in 1846 and  Mormon Pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. As Brighton Young looked over the canyon, he declared, “This is the right place. Drive on.” These words have become famous in Utah's history. The event is commemorated at This is the Place Heritage Park, at the mouth of the canyon. 
  • The first known settlers of Emigration Canyon were the Killians, who built a ranch near the top of Emigration Canyon. The family lived there until 1858. 
  • Emigration Canyon had been a popular passage point for travelers along the Mormon Trail. It became less traveled with the completion of the transcontinental railroad. 
  • The canyon became a location for homesteaders, most of whom squatted for a time without bothering to file claims.
  • In the late 19th and early 20th century, a brewery was located at the mount of the canyon. A mountain resort, the Pinecrest, was accessible to travelers by an electric light rail train service.

  1. Joe Smolka

    Joe Smolka