Best Hikes Salt Lake City  by Lori J. Lee

Best Hikes Salt Lake City Guide Book

by Lori J. Lee (Falcon Guides)
Best Hikes Salt Lake City  by Lori J. Lee
Each hiking trail near Salt Lake City offers its own treat. Climbing Mount Timpanogos and other 11,000-foot peaks provides 360-degree views across mountain ranges, the vast Salt Lake Valley, the Great Salt Lake, the cities that lie between, and a hundred other scenic details you will never see from your couch. Hiking Albion Basin offers visual candy—such as prolific wildflowers, some found only in the Wasatch. The Lake Blanche area takes you to glacially carved lakes that sit below a sundialshaped formation. The hike to Donut Falls is an easy jaunt to a doughnut-shaped hole in the rock and the waterfall that pours through it. Each hike offers its own reward, and with this book you can begin to discover what each has to offer you: a personal treasure hunt. In this second edition we have added four additional trails that absolutely rank as some of the best hikes near Salt Lake City.

© 2018 Lori J Lee/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Best Hikes Salt Lake City" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 48.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 48.

It’s safe to say that Adams Canyon is Davis County’s most popular trail due to accessibility and the 40-foot waterfall at the end of the canyon. Adams Canyon was named for Elias Adams, an early pioneer, but today the trail is much more developed than it was in his day. The hike begins on a sandy, sun-exposed climb where barriers have been built to keep the trail from dissolving down the hillside. Once in the canyon, the trail is shaded and runs next to the north fork of Holmes Creek. You enjoy the sights, sounds, and coolness of the stream as you climb your way to the fresh and impressive waterfall at the top.
Kaysville, UT - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.0
Frary Peak is the highest point on Antelope Island—a thoroughly original state park that sits in the Great Salt Lake (second saltiest body of water in the world) west of Salt Lake City. The trail rises quickly and is unfettered by trees, so the views around the island and across the lake stretch before you from the beginning of the hike. The hike runs through sparse grass and sage on this desert island as well as fascinating rock that dates back 2.7 billion years. The views across the island and the Great Salt Lake, along with wildlife such as bison, antelope, and deer, propel this highest-peak notch to a must-do status. From the summit you get 360-degree views that open the entire island, even the southern section, where public access is limited. The trail offers very little shade, so hiking in the morning or evening will provide the most comfortable temperatures. Take plenty of water.
Syracuse, UT - Hiking - Trail Length: 6.6
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Lakeside Trail is one of my favorite trails on Antelope Island because the trail is a scenic meander around the northwest tip of the island, and the route affords you views of the Great Salt Lake through the entire hike. The elevation gain is minimal, and bison often wander on the latter section of the trail. It’s a trifecta of scenery, easy strolling, and wildlife. Antelope Island is a desert landscape, but the lake is a sapphire shining in the desert sun. Balm for the desert soul, the view of the lake is certainly the highlight sparkling and stretching out across the west desert. Antelope Island is home to the pronghorn antelope, which contributes to the exotic feel that makes the island seem like a remote getaway, while still being so close to millions of people just across the causeway.
Syracuse, UT - Hiking,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 5.6
Bell Canyon is a steep granite canyon dug out by a glacier that exposed some of the oldest Precambrian rock in the world. The canyon sits just south of Little Cottonwood Canyon and provides a steady, steep climb into a world of waterfalls, granite walls, and lush alpine environs. Along the way the trail affords views into the valley below, and the luscious waterfalls at the end are certainly worth the climb.
Cottonwood Heights, UT - Hiking - Trail Length: 5.1
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Ben Lomond Peak is the best-known peak in the Ogden area. Named after a mountain in the Scottish Highlands, it also holds the distinction of being the logo for Paramount Pictures. It is said that William W. Hodkinson, the founder of Paramount and a native of the Ogden area, drew the image in a likeness of his home mountains. Loved by trail runners, mountain bikers, hikers, and riders on horseback, this 9,712foot peak has four separate trailheads. The incredible views of Ogden, the Wasatch Range, Willard Bay, the Great Salt Lake, and surrounding peaks are just part of the allure.
Eden, UT - Hiking,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 10.4
The Brighton Lakes Trail passes three lakes: Lakes Mary, Martha, and Catherine. Before you come to the first lake, there is also a spur to Dog Lake, which sits only 500 feet off the main trail. Known for its lush summer wildflowers, this area is the home of the Wasatch Wild Flower Festival, and during late July and early August wildflowers typically line the path. This is a popular, family-friendly hike, and you will find people of all ages making the trek to these scenic alpine lakes. This hike often makes the list of Most Family Friendly Hikes near Salt Lake City.
Park City, UT - Hiking,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 4.4
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The hike to Mount Raymond via Butler Fork provides a rich selection of eye candy and experiences: lush aspen forests, open views up Big Cottonwood Canyon, fun rock scrambling, 360-degree summit views, and the challenge of a vertical climb combined with strolling through an aspen grove. It’s a winning combination that takes you to a 10,241-foot peak. In fall the aspens spread gold across the canyon, and during summer’s wildflower season Mount Raymond is dotted with color.
Cottonwood Heights, UT - Hiking - Trail Length: 7.8
This trail climbs the main canyon, parallel to Corner Canyon Creek, up to Ghost Falls. Intermixed with shaded singletrack, gravel road, and riverside travel, there are also a couple trail options that allow you to make the hike a lollipop or to take in the hikersonly Burnham Loop, which was designed as a nature trail for elementary-school-age children. Ghost Falls, so named because no one is certain where the water comes from, is a beautiful cooling station and a highlight of the Corner Canyon trail system. Because the Corner Canyon trails sit at a lower elevation, the snow melts off these trails earlier than most and they are some of the first to be accessed in spring.
Alpine, UT - Hiking,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 3.2
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Little Cottonwood Canyon is a steep canyon that holds fewer hiking trails than Big Cottonwood because of its steepness. But when you head to the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon, into the Albion Basin area where the Alta ski resort is located, you find unique geology, hidden lakes, springs and streams, colorful blankets of wildflowers, and a couple incredible trails with unrivaled views. The hike to Catherine Pass and Sunset Peak is one of these. Moose are often seen in the area, as are deer and mountain goats on occasion. A small stream runs through the basin giving life and the sound of running water. The hike to Catherine Pass travels a weaving trail as it climbs the mountain, wanders through meadows, and travels next to the stream on its way up through this alpine paradise.
Brighton, UT - Hiking,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 4.4
Little Cottonwood Canyon is a steep canyon that holds fewer hiking trails than Big Cottonwood because of its steepness. But when you head to the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon, into the Albion Basin area where the Alta ski resort is located, you find unique geology, hidden lakes, springs and streams, colorful blankets of wildflowers, and a couple incredible trails with unrivaled views. The hike to Catherine Pass and Sunset Peak is one of these. Moose are often seen in the area, as are deer and mountain goats on occasion. A small stream runs through the basin giving life and the sound of running water. The hike to Catherine Pass travels a weaving trail as it climbs the mountain, wanders through meadows, and travels next to the stream on its way up through this alpine paradise.
Brighton, UT - Hiking,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 4.4
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The hike to Cecret Lake is a quick, family-friendly trek that is popular for those very reasons. Sitting in Albion Basin, the lake is surrounded by some of the most prolific wildflower displays in the Wasatch. Because the trailhead is located at the Albion Basin Campground, there is plenty of traffic on this short, but wonderful trail. The signs at the trailhead give inaccurate hike distance, but the interpretive signs along the trail impart interesting details about the flora and fauna that enrich the experience. The lake sits in a rock-rimmed cirque below Devil’s Castle and Sugarloaf Peak.
Park City, UT - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.6
Clark’s Trail is a beautiful hike up the mountain to the Peak View trailhead. Shaded trails occasionally open up to full, rich views of the surrounding Draper neighborhoods and expand to the Wasatch Front, Kennecott Copper across the valley, and down into Corner Canyon. A great combination of a beautiful shaded trail with panoramic views, you’ll love this trail any time of day. It is the longest and prettiest loop in the park. As Clark’s Trail tops out at Peak View trailhead, it cuts across to Brock’s Point Trail and then hooks into Canyon Hollow Trail farther downcanyon for a nice loop around the Corner Canyon area. Just steps from a Draper neighborhood, the trail is easy to access.
Alpine, UT - Hiking,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 4.6
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Deseret Peak, tallest peak in the Stansbury Mountains west of Salt Lake City, affords views over the Skull Valley to the west and Tooele County to the east that you can get from no other location. Besides a tallest-summit notch, the first section of the trail winds through a beautiful forested area to the saddle and then opens to a rocky, bare ascent to the summit. Douglas fir, alpine fir, and aspen are common on the north-facing slopes, while juniper, sagebrush, and grass cover terrain at higher elevations—a mixed bag of desert and alpine trekking. A full-day adventure, the hike to Deseret Peak is not as crowded as trails in the Wasatch Range, making solitude another benefit.
Grantsville, UT - Hiking - Trail Length: 8.0
Long, winding, and shaded, the Desolation Trail makes its way up to an overlook complete with rocks for sitting back to enjoy the view of the Salt Lake Valley or to take in the sunset and have a picnic on an evening foray. The trail sits just minutes from Salt Lake City, and though it seems to wind on indefinitely, the shallow climb (due to long switchbacks) makes it easy for children to tackle the trail. Mostly shady, the trail cuts through a forested mountainside as it winds up and out the top of Thayne’s Canyon. Make it a romantic evening hike or a midday trail run; this hike is great for both.
East Millcreek, UT - Hiking - Trail Length: 5.2
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Diamond Fork Hot Springs has several man-made rock pools in which to enjoy a relaxing soak. The hot springs bubbling from the ground are naturally cooled by the waterfall that runs directly into the pools from the east side. This beautiful waterfall, rich in green moss, provides a stunning backdrop for the pools. The hike is great year-round, and the springs provide a variety of soaking temperatures. The path to the pools follows along the creek the entire way, and the beautiful rolling trail is a joy in itself.
Spanish Fork, UT - Hiking,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 5.0
Dog Lake is a centerpiece in the maze of trails that run between Mill Creek and Big Cottonwood Canyons. Sitting below higher peaks, it is often passed by on the way to other destinations, but well-worn trails from both canyons leading to the aspen-lined respite nestled into the mountain attest to its destination-worthy status. The wide, packed trail from Mill Creek is easy to follow and climbs amidst a lush alpine environment. Well-traveled by dog walkers, bikers, and hikers, the trail is a Mill Creek favorite.
Salt Lake City, UT - Hiking,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 5.0
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Donut Falls is a popular, fun, family-friendly hike. With a destination involving the unusual phenomenon of a waterfall cascading through a round hole in the rock surface, it’s bound to draw the crowds it does. The trail is under 1.0 mile and easy to follow, but once you arrive there is the challenge of carefully making your way up the stack of boulders that make up the mountain below the falls. An original destination, a little challenge—and all on a trail that can be enjoyed in an hour.
Brighton, UT - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.8
The historic Ensign Peak Trail climbs to an overlook used by Brigham Young and other Latter Day Saint church leaders upon settling the valley. The viewpoint from the historical obelisk atop the peak provides a view of the Salt Lake Valley as it sits cradled between the Wasatch Mountains on the east and the Oquirrh Range on the west. This short hike up a barren, grass-lined trail takes you to the point where you can view it all—both mountain ranges, the valley between, the Great Salt Lake, the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, and everything in between. This hike is all about the view and the history.
Salt Lake City, UT - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.0
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The Great Salt Lake Nature Center at Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area is a great place to observe four different types of habitat: upland, emergent marsh, big open water, and riparian. Different birds and animals frequent each type of habitat, including a range of raptors and hundreds of other species. These marshy wetlands are a waterfowl sanctuary, and in 2010 a nature trail was created that circles through sections of these habitats to take birding to the next level. Famous for the numerous bald eagles that winter here, the nature center also sees international visitors, especially during February, the height of the season, when the on-site bald eagle count ranges from 100 to 400. This easy, pleasant trail provides bridges over marshy areas and observation decks with benches for sitting, waiting, and enjoying the birding experience. It is a peaceful foray perfect for families and is wheelchair accessible.
Farmington, UT - Hiking,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 1.3
A 30-foot waterfall near the top, open views of the canyon, tumbled and shot-up early-twentieth-century cars hidden in the trees, a cave, and the wonder of Farmington Creek are the interesting highlights of this easy-access trail located just up Farmington Canyon. The trail begins in a gravel parking lot at the point where the road up Farmington Canyon changes from paved to gravel. ATVs frequent the upper road, but no motorized vehicles are allowed on this lower trail, which cuts quietly up the canyon paralleling Farmington Creek up to Sunset Campground, a primitive forest service campground. The views across the canyon, down to the creek, and out to the Great Salt Lake add to the flavor of the family-friendly trail.
Kaysville, UT - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.8
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