We braved the rain today to try a new hike in Draper city. This hike is a short but steep loop to the Bear Canyon Suspension Bridge that spans a small narrow draw along the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. The Bear Canyon Suspension Bridge was designed and constructed by Ralph L. Wadsworth Construction company. The bridge was completed in 2015 and is along the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.
- Distance: 2.3 miles RT
- Elevation Gain: 450 feet
- Rating: Moderate/easy
- Dog Friendly, but must be leashed.
- Bikers ride the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, so watch for bikers, too. We didn’t see any the day we were there.
The trail begins at Orson Smith Park. There is a small parking lot just off Highland Drive at about 12621 Highland Drive in Draper, which has a really nice trailhead. There are restrooms, a small picnic area, and a little grass, which would be great for a picnic. We were most grateful for the restrooms before we started up the trail.
A trail map is located at the beginning of the trail, and you might want to take a picture of it, because there are several junctions. You’ll be crossing the Aqueduct Trail and intersecting the Bonneville Shoreline Trail several times. There are plenty of trail markings, though, and if you follow signs that say “Bridge Loop” in either direction, you’ll easily make it to the suspension bridge. We used the map on Draper City’s website.
The trail starts out pretty steep, and it climbs for about three quarters of a mile. The first climb is .26 miles up to the Aqueduct Trail. The trail then crosses the Aqueduct Trail and climbs another .46 miles up to the Bonneville Trail. Since it is a loop, either direction arrives at the bridge. We chose to climb up the hill to the Bonneville Trail, so we climbed a bit more before coming to the bridge.
You can also take the flat Aqueduct Trail over to another junction for Ralph’s Trail and have a shorter climb to the bridge. This hike keeps you right next to the houses and is less scenic on the way to the bridge. If we had smaller children, we would recommend taking the loop this direction. Then you would be hiking down the steeper section.
Either way that you go, the Bear Canyon Suspension Bridge is amazing. It is quite long at 185 feet, and pretty high above the ravine (we’d guess 75 feet). When we were there in Spring, there was a really nice runoff, so plenty of water was running under the bridge. We even saw a few waterfalls, but the trees are so thick that you hear it better than you see it.
The bridge will sway when you walk on it, but we never felt unsafe or worried. Our boys tried to make the bridge sway even more since we were the only ones walking on the bridge. We were grateful for the fencing guards along the bridge to keep little children safe. We took lots of pictures and admired the view before heading back down the trail.
There is no shade on this trail, so it would get quite hot in the summer. We recommend hiking in Spring or Fall, and definitely morning or evening. We enjoyed our morning hike to Bear Canyon Suspension Bridge.