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Hiking to escape the heat? It's a thing in Utah

Posted at 5:18 PM, Jun 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-15 19:18:01-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Another day of record-breaking temperatures in Salt Lake City Tuesday had many scrambling to the mountains to cool off.

WATCH: Heat-related police calls increase as temperatures rise

Jennifer Christensen and her three boys spent the morning hiking up to Donut Falls.

"We just came up. It's hot down in the valley, so we came up here to escape that and just to get out and enjoy the cool weather," Christensen said.

She said they would all rather be in nature than spending time at a packed public pool.

"There's less people, I mean there's a decent amount, but there are less people here," she added. "This is free."

WATCH: As heat wave hits Utah, youth sports play on

The Irwin family, visiting from Las Vegas, took to Donut Falls to avoid crowds in the Salt Lake Valley.

"So, Las Vegas is notoriously hot. Did you think you were going to come up to Salt Lake to escape some of those temperatures?" Asked FOX 13 reporter Diego Romo. "We thought so, but no," said Nannette Irwin with a laugh.

The Irwin's weren't the only people from out of state hiking the Donut Falls trail.

"I'm actually from Houston," said Sean Arnett. "I've heard about this for years and it seemed like a great place to take the kids and get some energy out and it was an amazing hike."

WATCH: A/C services in high demand as heat wave hits Utah

A steady flow of hikers were up and down the trail all day, with more expecting in the evening as people head up after work. FOX 13 recently covered a sharp uptick in search and rescue operations in the Cottonwood Canyons. Officials who spoke with FOX 13 during that coverage said they expect more to come as people head up the mountains to escape the heat.

Despite temperatures being much cooler in the canyons, dehydration and heat exhaustion can still set in fast. It's important to pick the right gear, and avoid hiking alone, especially during twilight hours.