While a lot of the Red Bull X-Alps might be walking uphill (so I can fly down the other side, hopefully) there will also be times when I spend a long time pounding the pavement through the valleys. Especially if we get a day of rain or bad weather, I will be looking for the easiest way to hike my way along the course.
Walking along the flats can get monotonous, and can also be really hard on the legs. Luckily for this walk I had the scenery to distract me. I intend to do the whole length of the Jordan River Trail, which runs from Utah Lake up to the Great Salt Lake...it's about 50 miles between the two. For the first leg, I started at Utah Lake, and followed the Jordan River down (yes it flows north into the Salt Lake) for about 15 miles. The trail was delightfully free of traffic sounds, and followed a meandering course along the river. The Jordan itself wasn't much to look at, this time of year it's not flowing much of course. But it was a beautiful sunny day and I had great views of the snow covered Wasatch range. Unfortunately a stretch of the trail was missing, so I had to walk on a busy highway for a couple of miles to reconnect. But trail work continues and eventually I'm sure all of the sections will be finished.
From 14600 S I diverted back to the road to walk the 5 miles back to my house, and was able to connect up to the Porter Rockwell Trail to get me almost back home again. This gave me 20 miles for the day in about 6 hours. I was clicking off each mile like clockwork in about 17 minutes 40 seconds...not back for carrying a 25 pound pack!
There are some pretty good maps for checking out the valley trails. I would suggest trying out the websites listed below.
For an interactive map, check this out even on a smart phone! http://www.myjordanriver.org