Red Butte Creek and Canyon

closeup of stream and foliage

Red Butte Creek

The headwaters of Red Butte Creek are in the Red Butte Canyon Research Natural Area, adjacent to the University of Utah campus. Researchers seek to better understand the natural processes of and human impacts on the Red Butte Creek system and to support resilience of the creek ecosystem. The University of Utah recognizes the unique value and opportunity presented by the presence of Red Butte Creek on campus, and encourages faculty and students to creatively utilize the creek and associated riparian corridor to advance research and teaching across disciplines.

Approval for research or teaching activities
  • Creek: The UU Red Butte Creek Steering Committee is responsible for identifying, evaluating, authorizing, and monitoring all research activities associated with the creek from Red Butte Garden, through Research Park, to the University Village.   Any proposed research or creative work that includes any activity within the 100-foot riparian corridor buffer zone on either side of Red Butte Creek must first be approved by the Steering Committee. Read more and apply here.
  • Research and teaching in the Red Butte Canyon Natural Research Area requires permitting. Read about the RBCRNA and the permitting process here.

  • The Red Butte Creek Strategic Vision is an initiative that addresses sustainability, environmental stewardship, and ecological planning. It was produced with input from a diverse group of stakeholders from: the University of Utah; Research Park administrators; neighboring community members and community council representatives; Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County municipal employees; and students and student groups including the 2013 Global Changes and Society class.
  • The Red Butte Creek watershed was an area of study by the iUTAH project. Data from the climate, aquatic, and storm drain stations can be found on this Red Butte Creek Network page.
  • The short video here shows how the creek is already being utilized as a living laboratory.