The defending champion Crew won six of their first seven games last year, but have gone winless (0-1-2) in their first three outings this season.
Findley scored in the second minute off a rebound from Will Johnson's free kick. Columbus tied it 20 minutes later on Jason Garey's first goal of the season.
Findley put Salt Lake in front for good just before halftime and completed his hat trick in the 60th minute.
Salt Lake evened its record at 1-1 in its home opener.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]