Originally named Big Canyon Creek by Brigham Young, it was renamed Parley's Creek for Parley P. Pratt, who explored the canyon for the purpose of building a toll road. Today, the canyon is still utilized as a major route into the Salt Lake Valley from the east with the completion of I-80.
Parley's Creek is a protected watershed beginning near Mountain Dell Dam and Reservoir. It extends north and east, encompassing Little Dell Dam and Reservoir, and south and east including the mountainous south wall of the canyon. Below Mountain Dell Dam is the treatment plant for Parley's Canyon Creek water. The dam is adjacent to Mountain Dell Golf Course owned and operated by Salt Lake City.
The Portland Cement Company has operated a quarry in the lower end of the canyon, adjacent to I-80, since the early 20th century.
Summer homes are found on the south side of the canyon in Mount Aire and further east in Lambs Canyon. Both Smith Creek in Mt. Aire and Lambs Creek in Lambs Canyon are tributaries in the Parley's Creek drainage.
Parley's Creek water is used for culinary purposes, however some of the water is diverted for irrigation.
Mount Aire Canyon
Mountain Dell Dam & Reservoir
Old Parley's Canyon Reservoir