Salt Lake City is full of attractive hobbies during the summer. You can do almost anything in the natural recreational playground that is the Salt Lake Valley and its canyons. Not to mention, we have a lot of unnatural playgrounds such as Lagoon, Seven Peaks, and all of the parks the city provides.
But if you’re looking for something that is man-made, natural, and a bit supernatural, look no further than Shoot-the-Tube ― a highway watershed hideaway. Shoot-the-Tube is a Parley’s Canyon drainage pipeline running from the eastside of I-215 down to the creek that lines Tanner Park. It has been turned into an epic and echoing waterslide by creative Salt Lake samaritans.
The top of the waterslide is accessed through a trail that breaks off from a bike path running over I-215 near Parley’s Canyon. The bike path is accessed just west of the trailhead to Grandeur Peak (another fantastic hike that Salt Lake has to offer). This path eventually leads westward and joins with the Tanner Creek Trail.
If you look just below the bike path bridge crossing I-215 on the east side, you will see a hole in a chain link fence. Following this trail down, you will pass Suicide Rock, a massive natural spire covered in graffiti. Continue west to eventually arrive at the serene upper pool of Shoot-the-Tube, which is also a colorful work of graffiti.
Once you’ve reached the upper pool for Shoot-the-Tube, you’ll see how you can hop in the tube with a float-mat or inner-tube and ride the steady flow. It’s a very dark ride with a tiny ray of light at the end that can be turned into a concert thanks to the tube’s acoustics. It empties into the bottom of Tanner Park, which is accessed by hiking down Tanner Creek.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can walk back up the tube, making sure to stick to the sides and yell while you are coming up to let people know you are there. Once you’re back in the upper pool, find some friends and damming materials to dam the pool from the tube. Typically, there are metal construction signs tied to a rope that are used to dam the pool. When you break the dam, a large flush of water will “shoot” you down the tube and into the creek below.
The water levels are satisfactory for riding the slide from late spring through most of the summer, and sometimes the area might even have a crowd! This is an unsanctioned, exhilarating and creative spot to splash during a hot Utah summer.
Find a friend, go to Shoot-the-Tube, and cool off in a naturally unnatural waterslide.
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