Safe and Dangerous Places in Salt Lake City

by Kirsten Sparks, an AOL Travel ContributorPosted Aug 30th 2010 01:59 PM

TEXT SIZE:

AAA
Areas to Avoid Salt Lake City

Alamy

Salt Lake City, Utah is known for its wide, clean downtown streets and friendly people, making it a great vacation destination for tourists. However, like all other major cities, there are some areas to avoid in Salt Lake City. Here are some of the safe and dangerous places in the Salt Lake City metropolitan area.


Safe Areas in Salt Lake City

The University of Utah is considered one of the safe areas in Salt Lake City. Located on Salt Lake City's east bench, this beautiful campus is surrounded by the downtown area and affluent neighborhoods. As with all areas of the city, the highest crime statistic for the University of Utah area is auto thefts; there were 72 in 2008.

The University of Utah
201 Presidents Circle
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
(801) 581-7200

The city of Cottonwood Heights is located to the south and east of Salt Lake City. It offers a mix of middle to high income housing. Crime statistics for this area show an annual average of 27 for violent crimes and 605 for all property crimes. This makes Cottonwood Heights one of the safest places to live and visit in the Salt Lake Valley.

Located to the south and west of Salt Lake City, West Jordan has a low crime rate. The city has an ethnically diverse population of 74,470 and a mix of low, middle, and high income areas. For the year 2003, there were 197 car thefts and 415 burglaries reported. A total of 2,620 property crimes were reported, but this includes all thefts and larcenies. Although some of these numbers appear high, given the size of the population, West Jordan is considered one of the safe areas in Salt Lake City.

Located at the far south end of the Salt Lake Valley, Riverton is a small farming community that has benefited from new development in the last 10 years. It is a new, mixed income residential city. The city of Riverton reports its overall crime rate is less than half of the national average with a burglary risk of 7 percent of the national average and motor vehicle theft at 37 percent of the national average, which puts it near the top of any list of safe cities in America.


Areas to Avoid in Salt Lake City

The most frequently committed crimes in the Salt Lake City area are usually related to drugs and domestic violence. Domestic violence, gang activity and drug activity fuel assault rates. The drug rate fuels property crimes, including burglaries, thefts, and vehicle break-ins and thefts. These crimes are widespread throughout the Salt Lake area. Consequently, no area in Salt Lake City should be considered completely safe. However, locations with the highest crime rates are dangerous places and areas to avoid in Salt Lake City.

Located in the heart of downtown's west side, and just blocks from homeless shelters, Pioneer Park has earned a dangerous reputation for drug traffic. Despite heavy police patrols, frequent police sweeps, security cameras, and frequent promises from the city leaders to clean up this park, it is still Utah's one-stop drug shop. Add to that several high profile assaults and a homicide, and Pioneer Park ranks as one of Salt Lake City's highest crime areas.

However, if you are attending public events, such as the Downtown Farmer's Market or the Thursday night Twilight Concert Series, in Pioneer Park, you should feel safe. The drug dealers and the park's homeless leave when the public arrives in the park for legitimate events. This has prompted city leaders to schedule an increasing number of public events there.

Rose Park on Salt Lake's northwest side is a neighborhood dominated by low-income housing, immigrant populations, and drugs. The Salt Lake City Police Department reports 111 aggravated assaults, 430 auto thefts, 445 car prowls, and 193 burglaries. Since most assaults are related to gang activity, domestic violence, or drugs, the crimes most likely to affect visitors are auto theft and car prowls. Visitors are advised to note this as one of the areas to avoid in Salt Lake City.

Glendale, just south of Rose Park, has earned a reputation for frequent gang and drug activity. This area has been considered the center of gang activity in the Salt Lake Valley since the 1970s. Built in the 1940s and 1950s, this neighborhood, as well as Rose Park, once housed blue-collar workers. Now, an ethnically diverse, immigrant population lives in low-income housing. Salt Lake City Police reported 769 auto thefts in 2008, along with 621 car prowls, 211 car strips, 388 burglaries, and 191 gang-related crimes.

South of Salt Lake City and in the heart of the Salt Lake Valley, Midvale is known for low-income housing and drug activity. In 2006, Midvale Police reported 207 burglaries, 234 auto thefts, 25 robberies, and 1,177 thefts.

Running from University Street to Interstate 15 and from South Temple Street to 900 South, Salt Lake's inner city is made up of both housing and commercial districts. Not surprisingly, in 2008, Salt Lake City Police reported 1,564 car prowls. They also reported 440 auto thefts, 491 burglaries, and 195 aggravated assaults.

Like any major city in America, Salt Lake City has both safe areas and areas to avoid. Don't be afraid to visit Pioneer Park for the concert series or the farmer's market. Just remember to stick to the sidewalks on the perimeter. You may want to avoid the restrooms and the people who are hanging out in the park. If you need help, look for the police who patrol the park on bicycles or visit the Salt Lake City Police Department located across the street to the northwest. Avoid leaving your car parked in any of these areas at night. If you do need to park your car in one of these dangerous areas, try to park in a well-lit area, lock the doors and make sure all the windows are rolled up. Don't leave any valuables or shopping bags in the car.

More Salt Lake City Articles From Our Partners
If you are interested in contributing to AOL Travel, join our network of writers and check out travel assignments on Seed.com.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

1 Comment

Filter by:
lindahpi

The description above seems very outdated. Currently I live downtown 2 blocks east of Temple Square on South Temple. I'll define "downtown" as 400 West to 300 East, and North Temple to 300 South. It is a safe, vibrant area with classical and modern music venues, historical and cultural buildings, the new upscale City Creek mall, Temple Square, and people out and about during the daytime and quite a few at night. There is a very wide, well maintained sidewalk on either side of South Temple that runs for a couple of miles and upon which thousands walk everyday. During the Christmas season, downtown is teeming with people at all hours, many who come to shop and see the lights on Temple Square. I have walked without fear at midnight from the Clark Planetarium on 400 West up to East South Temple with absolutely no fear. There are many police on bicycles, many of them not apparent but in case of commotion they are there in seconds. The worst problem downtown is the panhandlers--tweakers and addicts who are harmless but not afraid to ask you for money. Smile, maybe give them a burger, but no money! As for Rose Park, I lived in the Westpoint area of Rose Park for 3 years and had no fears and still go there to visit family. Most of the violence is domestic, so if you mind your own business you'll be fine. Exercise caution in the eastern area of Rose Park. Stay away from the Salt City Inn area, as it's heavily infested with drug dealers, gangs, transients and vagrants. Most of the crime is drug-related or domestic.

June 15 2013 at 2:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Don't Miss

Fotosearch

Take in the sights of autumn across the country.

Hit The Road
Corbis

Tales of learning to expect the unexpected.

Change Your View
Getty Images

Unexpected encounters and wildlife tours.

Cows, Sharks, Monkeys & More

Travel Careers

amtrak train conductor

See the world and interact with people from different cultures.

flight attendant plane interior

It's as crazy as you think.