Near the University of Utah, the Red Butte Canyon Research Natural Area is a protected canyon watershed and connected series of mountain ridges set aside for research and some recreational use. The Bonneville Shoreline Trail passes through the foothills here and numerous side trails climb up to the ridge of above the canyon, called Red Butte.
The Red Butte gets its name from the nugget sandstone formation, deposited as sand dunes 150 to 200 million years ago. The Red Butte Canyon sandstone was once quarried for use in construction. The old Salt Lake City Hall, located across the street from the State Capitol building, is constructed of the rock brought down by rail car. Several old houses in the area on Capitol Hill are also constructed of the same material.
In this view, most of Red Butte disappears into the clouds. A small portion of the valley below is visible, including parts of This Is the Place State Park. A nearby Mountain Mohogany tree leans into the wind and awaits the approaching wall of falling snow.