MMA Mom Loses It on Bear Canyon Suspension Bridge Loop!

(Spoiler Alert: she only loses it a little bit.) Badass babe Lauren Chidester and I decided to conquer her fear of heights, while not working out too hard, on the Bear Canyon Suspension Bridge Loop trail in Draper.


I met Lauren a few years ago through the Utah Women’s BJJ group. She always impressed me with her flexibility and skill, and perpetual bubbly spirit. She’s the one chit-chatting through the roll, but not being lazy. She’s tying you up while she’s coherently discussing something and giggling, like an anime character come to life and kicking your ass.

Aside from numerous Jiu Jitsu medals, she has stepped in the cage as well with a MMA record of 3-2. Although she ain’t scared of fists in her face, she does not like heights. I didn’t really know this until I had already picked the trail. Whoops.

What’s Good About the Trail?

The trailhead is located in Orson Smith Park, which is totally convenient and has parking, plus some picnic tables, benches, and bathrooms. You can take the short, but pretty, Suspension Bridge Loop, like we did, or hook up to longer trails. It also links in to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.

bridge pic.jpg

There is a bit of elevation in the beginning, but nothing most levels can’t handle. Super fit folks can run this trail, in shape people can clip along fairly quickly and out of shape people and kids can definitely mosey. It never gets too steep. **It should be noted there is no easy accessibility for wheelchairs or for those who use assistive devices.

After the first five or ten ten minutes, all the little houses fade away and you are on the side of a mountain, no longer feeling like you are in a suburban park. The trail is well-trafficked, and easy once you are up the hill.

The suspension bridge is really cool, there are pretty views and it adds neat little touch to the experience. From there on out, it’s all breezy and downhill. Shortly, you are back in the park, but not before an eyeful of the town and half the valley.

The Bear Canyon Loop Vibe

Clear trail markers, although I did try to go down a rock wall at one point on the way back. That’s on me.

Clear trail markers, although I did try to go down a rock wall at one point on the way back. That’s on me.

  • 2.3 miles

  • Good views

  • Most levels, kids & pets

  • Neat bridge

  • Options to hike other trails

  • No shade - go when it’s cool and uncrowded

  • Not accessible for assistive devices

Check out the video of our hike here! I also talk to Lauren about what it’s like balancing fighting with motherhood and a busy church schedule.

Bear Canyon Suspension Bridge Loop

12625 Highland Drive

Draper UT 84020

2.3 Miles, Loop, Easy, 439 ft Elevation gain


Follow Lauren Chidester at @laurenchidestermma