Utah Hiking near Salt Lake City

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
Wings5
Posts: 269
Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:17 pm

Utah Hiking near Salt Lake City

Post by Wings5 »

We'll be in Sandy, UT soon and we'd like to do some mid-week hiking. Active family with 8, 12, and 14-year-olds. Can anyone with experience in the area suggest any good hikes? Maybe 2-3 hours?

Thank you!
“Ronald James Read was an American philanthropist, investor, janitor, and gas station attendant.”
Thaddeus
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:35 pm

Re: Utah Hiking near Salt Lake City

Post by Thaddeus »

I grew up in Salt Lake City, and have extensive experience hiking in the area. I love those mountains!
Plenty of info online available about these hikes.
Super-easy hike: Silver Lake at Brighton Ski Resort. More of a walk than a hike, about one mile total loop around the lake on a boardwalk. Beautiful but can be crowded.
Easy hike: Lake Mary at Brighton. Twin Lake also.
Moderate hike: Willow Lake in Big Cottonwood canyon. Small lake, wonderful uncrowded area. Great for families! Not too hard for an 8 year old. No official trailhead, but search online for directions.
Hard hike: Lake Blanche. This is the finest destination hike in Utah! Overwhelmingly gorgeous scenery. Google it. Can be a tough hike for kids because it's fairly long and is a climb. If your family is motivated and fit, this is a bucket list hike for sure. Go early to avoid parking issues.
A final suggestion. Do not go to Donut Falls. It's very over-rated. Crowded. Average scenery by local standards, and the falls are merely kinda cool. You can do better!
Have fun, and safe hiking to you...
stoptothink
Posts: 11548
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Utah Hiking near Salt Lake City

Post by stoptothink »

This is my area and we are big-time hikers. With young(ish) kids, I recommend https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/utah ... ower-falls. Pretty short, not very difficult, and almost impossible to get lost. We've done it a few times with our 10 and 7yr olds. There are countless trails up Big and Little Cottonwood Canyon as well that would fit the bill, but Bells is literally right there in Sandy.

Oh yes, Donut Falls is a total waste of time - insanely crowded, more like a leisurely flat walk than a hike, and the destination is hardly something interesting.
InMyDreams
Posts: 1256
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:35 am

Re: Utah Hiking near Salt Lake City

Post by InMyDreams »

So, the snow is not entirely out of the mountains, but is rapidly departing, so mountain hikes depend on how soon soon is...

Albion Basin is a great place for wild flowers, and might be a good choice for your crew.

The caves at Mount Timpanogos Cave might also be of interest, but a bit further away in American Fork Canyon
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timpanogo ... l_Monument

Silver Lake, Lake Solitude, Twin Lakes in Big Cottonwood Canyon are easy hikes/walks.

If these aren't accessible yet d/t snow, you could try Millcreek Canyon road above the gate. Gate is closed until July 1.

Corner Canyon in Draper if snow keeps you out of the mountains.

Not a hike, but Red Butte Gardens, Utah Natural History Museum and Hogle Zoo are all close to each other in the Northeast part of the valley by the University. The area is also honeycombed with trails. Tracy Aviary is not far from those.

Snow:
https://www.ksl.com/weather/skiReport
https://www.ksl.com/weather/snowpack

Skireport will give you info about some of the hiking areas we're talking about. E.g., Albion is near Alta, Lakes Twin, Mary and Solitude are near Brighton/Solitude.
Last edited by InMyDreams on Thu May 12, 2022 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
financiallycurious
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 4:43 pm

Re: Utah Hiking near Salt Lake City

Post by financiallycurious »

It is still mud season in the Wasatch, so your options are going to be a bit limited unless you have time to go south to any one of the national parks. In the area at this time of year, I'd suggest Millcreek, Corner Canyon in Draper, Mueller Park (to Elephant Rock) in Bountiful, Round Valley or East Canyon in Park City (or maybe even some of Flying Dog will be accessible, although it is snowy today), Dry Creek above the University of Utah, or Antelope Island can be really nice, but be prepared for bugs.
InMyDreams
Posts: 1256
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:35 am

Re: Utah Hiking near Salt Lake City

Post by InMyDreams »

financiallycurious wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 10:48 am Antelope Island can be really nice, but be prepared for bugs.
Yeah, this. And we're not talking about mosquitoes, but rather some little midge thing. They love me, but apparently not everyone. OP, Antelope Island is a ~45" drive from the Salt Lake Valley. Lots of bison to look at, some nice hikes (but little shade). Go early.
User avatar
telemark
Posts: 3094
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:35 am

Re: Utah Hiking near Salt Lake City

Post by telemark »

The snow is still melting, so probably stick to lower elevations and south or west facing slopes. I like Dog Lake from the Big Cottonwood side as an introductory Wasatch hike. There's a steepish section just before you reach the lake, but it's not too long, and it puts you on the Desolation trail which you can follow for as far as you feel like. It's popular with mountain bikes but in the middle of the week that shouldn't be too bad.

Alternatively, from the same trailhead, Mill D North, you can go east at the fork towards Desolation Lake. This is longer, not as steep, and more likely to be muddy, but maybe a good choice if conditions are dry.
Topic Author
Wings5
Posts: 269
Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:17 pm

Re: Utah Hiking near Salt Lake City

Post by Wings5 »

Excellent info. Thank you everyone!
“Ronald James Read was an American philanthropist, investor, janitor, and gas station attendant.”
livesoft
Posts: 80325
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Utah Hiking near Salt Lake City

Post by livesoft »

For folks who do not read bogleheads.org, would there be a book like "50 Best Hikes in ...." that would be worthwhile?
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.
Ladeedaw
Posts: 93
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:16 pm

Re: Utah Hiking near Salt Lake City

Post by Ladeedaw »

Thaddeus wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 1:52 am I grew up in Salt Lake City, and have extensive experience hiking in the area. I love those mountains!
Plenty of info online available about these hikes.
Super-easy hike: Silver Lake at Brighton Ski Resort. More of a walk than a hike, about one mile total loop around the lake on a boardwalk. Beautiful but can be crowded.
Easy hike: Lake Mary at Brighton. Twin Lake also.
Moderate hike: Willow Lake in Big Cottonwood canyon. Small lake, wonderful uncrowded area. Great for families! Not too hard for an 8 year old. No official trailhead, but search online for directions.
Hard hike: Lake Blanche. This is the finest destination hike in Utah! Overwhelmingly gorgeous scenery. Google it. Can be a tough hike for kids because it's fairly long and is a climb. If your family is motivated and fit, this is a bucket list hike for sure. Go early to avoid parking issues.
A final suggestion. Do not go to Donut Falls. It's very over-rated. Crowded. Average scenery by local standards, and the falls are merely kinda cool. You can do better!
Have fun, and safe hiking to you...
These are all excellent suggestions. I believe all of them will have snow on them for another month or so. So if OP will be visiting in the next few weeks, you might look into microspikes if you're set on hiking some of the better hikes in the area. Most of these trails lend themselves to microspikes. Heavily trafficked and any snow will likely be packed down.
User avatar
telemark
Posts: 3094
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:35 am

Re: Utah Hiking near Salt Lake City

Post by telemark »

Having whetted my own interest, I went to Dog Lake today. Once you get away from the road, the trail is mostly covered with snow. It's firm enough to walk on but takes more effort, like walking on slippery sand. Hiking poles would be useful, and definitely footwear with decent grip. Also, near the bottom there are some trees down across the trail that have to be negotiated. All in all, lower Bells Canyon is probably the better choice.

Also, the Lake Blanche trail starts a little lower but ends up much higher and is on a north-facing slope. Good hike but the wrong time of year.

Image

Image

Image

Edit to add pictures, now that I know how to do that.
Post Reply