Grove Creek Canyon is located to the east of Pleasant Grove, Utah. It leads you through a somewhat narrow canyon, that eventually connects with the Great Western Trail. Along the way you'll have an amazing view of South Mt. Timpanogos, and pass two waterfalls - the first which is inaccessible, and the 2nd you could probably find a way down to yet wouldn't be easy.
Battle Creek Falls is another family friendly, dog friendly, and child friendly waterfall hikes that is enjoyable as more of a stroll rather than a "hike". It's short distance and elevation gain make this hike do-able for family visiting from out of town that want to see something pretty, yet not have to work hard to get there.
Icebox Canyon is a 5 mile loop hike that starts at Wheeler Creek, cuts through Icebox Canyon itself, the Art Nord meadow near Snowbasin, then back through Wheeler Creek.
This is a popular trail for mountain bikers, families, dogs playing in the stream, and those looking to take visitors on a nice, scenic, easy hike.
Saratoga Hot Springs is a local warm spring, located in Saratoga Springs, Utah right on the NW edge of Utah Lake. It's is about 20 x 30 ft in size, and very shallow around 1-2 feet deep, surrounding by tall lakeside grass. This spring is on the lukewarm side, but I've been told that if you dig your feet deeper into the mud it's hotter.
Meridian Peak (5,978ft) is small peak in North Salt Lake along the Bonneville Shoreline Trail and just north of Ensign Peak. The main trail also takes you past Matt's Arch (aka "Industrial Arch") - a tiny natural arch made of limestone. There are trails all over, making this a "choose your own route" hike. I decided to turn my route into a 5 mile loop, and since there was barely any snow on the trail the day I hiked it, it was a perfect Winter hike. Safe from avalanches, only a few bikers, a handful of other hikers, and not hot like it normally is in summer.
"How do you sleep in your car, and what gear do you have?" I get these questions all the time about my car camping (a.k.a. boondocking) set up so I thought it would be easiest to post a video on my YouTube channel to share exactly what I have. Check it out and sleep cozy!
Lake Hardy is a high alpine lake located within the Lone Peak Wilderness. The lake itself sits at just above 10,000 ft so it's a great escape from the heat, however, it takes quite a bit of effort to reach it. There are two trails to get there, so I decided to turn into a clockwise loop, and it ended up being perfect.
Shelly Baldy Peak (11, 321 ft) is one of the many prominent peaks located in the Tushar Mountains within Fishlake National Forest. This one is for the peak baggers however, while Shelly Baldy Peak (SBP) isn't even in the top 5 for the tallest peaks in the Tushars, the easy North ridge approach at only 2 miles one way offers amazing 360 degree views. Follow the Mud Lake trail for 1 mile, then veer off trail and catch the ridge all the way for the last mile over unbalanced loose rock.
Blue Lake is located in the Tushar Mountains at the base of Mt.Belknap and Mt.Baldy. This turquoise blue lake has a flood control structure on the outlet, and is rimmed with downed trees. Most people haven't seen the lake full, yet the hike down it it offers amazing views of both peaks, as well as takes you through a variety of terrain - from forested sections to obvious avalanche paths, all while crossing streams.
Salt Creek Canyon Falls is a family-friendly hike in the Mt.Nebo Wilderness that even dogs can hike to! It's great for all ages, making this a popular hike in summer. You won't find solitude here, however, playing in the water is very refreshing! The trail is only 1.5 miles to reach the falls so it's a great quick hike if you're short on time; if you have all or half a day, then bring your backpacking chair, drinks, sunblock, and hang out for awhile! Be aware that ranchers do run their cattle up here randomly and therefore cow patties are often present. This trail does get hot, but if you plan to play in the water it's not that bad. Just bring plenty of water to drink.
Deuel Creek (pronounced like do-ell) is located along the East bench in Centerville, UT just south of Parrish Creek and north of Holbrook Canyon. Deuel Creek is sometimes shown as Centerville Creek on older maps - whatever you prefer to call it, this trail is great for the whole family. It follows the creek the entire way, crosses several bridges, passes by a fun rope swing, and leads to a waterfall. What's great about this trail is that it is shaded for most of the hike. Dogs will appreciate the water and shade in summer, and kids will find that this hike isn't too hard for their little legs either. There is an option to follow the North of South Deuel Creek Trail - this guide will be for the South trail.
Red Pine Lake & Gloria Falls is a popular trail in Little Cottonwood Canyon (LCC) that leads you to a beautiful alpine lake that sits at 9,600 ft. The trail is very easy to follow, and can become very crowded on weekends, so mid-week is better for less people. Along the way be sure to stop at Gloria Falls, a 75 ft waterfall that flows down White Pine Fork. This trail is popular for runners, backpackers looking to spend a night at the lake, and hikers aiming for the Pfeifferhorn summit. This trail gradually gains 2,000 ft elevation in just 4 miles one way so your legs better be ready for a work out! Kids can do this trail if they have experience with this kind of mileage/gain, however, dogs are NOT allowed on this trail since they are not allowed in LCC at all.
Hiking to Mt.Belknap (12,137 ft) is located in the Tushar Mountains, about 4 hours south of SLC, and is one of the taller mountains in the range. The most popular peak in the Tushars is Delano Peak (12,169 ft) because it is the County High Point for both Beaver and Paiute Counties, and is also a much easier trail compared to Belknap. Mt.Belknap is a challenging peak - steep, loose scree is the name of the game here. Another challenging part can be the winter gates - if they are closed then you have a much longer day. If all gates are open, then this is about a 3-4 mile RT hike. However, the gates don't typically open until mid-July, even though a bulk of the snow may be melted. Forest Rangers told me this is because they need time to get up there and still grate the road as well as clear debris.
Hiking to Desolation Lake & Peak in Utah is situated in the Mount Olympus Wilderness, and can be hiked to within 2 hours. Desolation Lake is a beautiful blueish-green alpine lake. The long, gradual incline, and few switchbacks make this a very doable hike for any skill level. Hiking to Desolation Peak requires a little more stamina and comfort with ridges. Be sure to bring plenty of water and a snack to enjoy at the lake. This trail can be hiked year round. This trail is located in Big Cottonwood Canyon, and therefore dogs are not allowed due to the watershed. Please respect this rule. This is a very popular TH and on weekends, parking typically gets full by 7am in the summer.
Summer is here, and it's patio season! After doing a hike with the dogs I love to grab a burger or beer and soak up the sun on the patio. Often times its too hot to leave your bestie in the car panting, so what could be better than being able to take him or her on the patio with you in the shade to cool off? A dog's gotta eat and drink too! Check out these city-approved Dog Friendly Restaurant Patios in Salt Lake City - bone appetit!
Bullion Falls is a 75 ft waterfall in Fishlake National Forest, just outside Marysvale, Utah. The waterfall is fed by year-round melting snowdrifts part of Bullion Canyon and the Tushar Mountains. The hike is only 1 mile from the trailhead, and is great for dogs and kids. Summer months are bustling with ATVs, so hiking during the week or off-season is best to avoid the noise and crowds.
The Deer Ridge Off Leash Area is a fun area for hikers & bikers to explore above Point of the Mountain with their dogs and kids. From the ridge you can see into Utah and Salt Lake County. Sections of this area are both on and off leash, so pay attention to the signs and don't forget a leash. Kids are also able to walk this area, as the elevation gain is very gradual. You can also choose the distance of your hike, as there are many trails and nice lookouts to stop at. Most people enjoy hiking to the "alien tower", which has one of the best views of both Mt.Timpanogos and Lone Peak! This trail has zero water and very little shade, so its great for a sunrise or sunset hike with the pups. Bring plenty of water.
Lookout Peak sits at an elevation of 8,954 ft up Killyons Canyon in Salt Lake County. The summit is not the most spectacular, but the ridge on the hike up offers amazing views of Parley's Canyon, Emigration Canyon, and City Creek Canyon. Although it is considerably lower in elevation compared to the more famous peaks of the Wasatch Front, Lookout Peak still rises over 4,000 ft above SLC. Though there is a well defined trail, Lookout Peak gets much less traffic compared to other peaks. Many people just do not know about it. This peak would not be good to hike in spring or after a big rain/snow, since it gets very muddy.
Thaynes Canyon Peak (8,656 ft) is a high point in Millcreek Canyon - not many people summit this peak, as it is not well known and fairly steep. The trail follows a south facing canyon the entire way, so it is very well shaded. Thaynes Canyon Peak is also lower in elevation compared to some of the surrounding peaks such as Mt. Raymond & Gobblers Knob, therefore it is typically not high on a Peak Baggers "to do" list. However, don't let these things stop you from hiking the trail - the solitude and views you'll get on this peak are still worth at least one trip to the summit.
Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area is located in both Utah & Wyoming is home to 360 miles of shoreline, 43 campgrounds, 91 miles along the Green River, and endless trails to explore. The Flaming Gorge Dam was completed in 1964, and produces hydroelectric power. The most popular reason people visit the Flaming Gorge is for both rafting and fly fishing. Because it's a National Rec Area, dogs area allowed but must be leashed on all trails and at campgrounds. This area is very kid friendly - as many of the trails are out and back and you can choose your distance. For weekend trip we explore the Little Hole Trail, several overlooks, the Ute Fire Tower, and drove the Sheep Creek scenic loop drive. Read below to learn about each location!
Frisco Peak (9,660 ft) is the peak above Frisco, UT and can be seen from Milford, UT. It's on the list of Utah Peaks with 25 miles of Isolation, so not many people seek out this area for hiking. In fact, it's more popular for ATVs & dirt bikes. However, if you are a peak bagger, then this one is a great hike in Spring to knock off the list. While the "hike" is along an old mining road, the views on the top are amazing! There is also a launch pad for hang gliders that is really neat to see. This trail is dog friendly, but definitely not for kids. There is nothing technically about this hike, but there is very little shade and only a spring for the first 1/2 mile for dogs to drink from.
West Mountain (6,904 ft) is the large summit right at the south end of Utah Lake. There are several routes you can take but the easiest is to simply follow the ridge from the radio towers. You can drive all the way to the towers, then hike 2.8 miles to the true summit of the range. This mountain offers amazing views of Utah Lake, and the Wasatch 7 Peaks! But be careful - there is target shooting all around the base of this mountain so wear bright colors, and make sure you dog also wears a hunting vest, such as the Ruffwear Track Jacket (this is what Charlie wears).
Silver Lake in American Fork Canyon is a beautiful high alpine lake that sits just below the Little Cottonwood Canyon ridgeline on the south side. This moderate trail slowly gains elevation, so it's not super hard to reach this awesome destination. The trail passes by some boulders, crosses a stream, climbs up 3-4 long switchbacks, and finally reaches the lake after only 2.2 miles (one way).
The Grotto Waterfall & trail is more of a stroll, rather than a hike. At only 0.25 miles one way, this trail is very kid friendly. Not only is the distance short, but at the end is a rewarding waterfall that is a popular hang out on hot weekends throughout summer. Be ready to pass anywhere from 50-100 people on this trail - you won't find solitude unless you get there really early in the morning. This trail is great for dogs to cool off as well, as they are allowed off leash. From November 15 until May 15 (winter), there is a gate making the walk 1.6 miles one way to the falls.
The Spanish Fork Cross, as known by locals, is a very short yet rewarding hike that leads to a giant white cross on a hill that overlooks the town of Spanish Fork, Utah to the North, and has amazing views of the mountains and Spanish Fork Peak to the East and South. The Spanish Fork Cross trail is near the Spanish Fork Reservoir and Campground, and is perfect for kids and dogs.
Parley's Canyon Overlook (marked as Peak 6,299 ft on maps) is a short & steep yet rewarding hike. The overlook looks East into Parley's Canyon, and you have an amazing view of the West Ridge of Grandeur Peak. Looking West, you get a great view of the SLC Valley, making this a perfect sunset hike as well. There are several trails you can take, making it fun to create a loop or just explore a slightly different area each time you hike here. This is a brand new trail head and parking area in a new development, so let's keep it clean so that hikers continue to have access even after the houses are built.
The South Ridge to Mt.Wire can be hiked year round, and overlooks the University of Utah, Emigration Canyon, and Red Butte Canyon Unfortunately, Mt.Wire isn't much to look at. But what this little hill lacks in prestige, it more than makes up for with steep trails, nice views of the valley, and a spacious top to stretch out and enjoy the scenery. Plus, if you are brave enough, you can climb up the old radio tower! There are two main routes to get to the summit - this way up past The Living Room, or up the South Ridge, the route I will be describing.
Frary Peak on Antelope Island State Park is not only the highest point on the island, but also the most beautiful trail that offers 360 degree views of the Great Salt Lake, the Wasatch Mountains, and views of the cities. This hike is best to hike between November-March when the horseflies are gone for winter. After March, it is recommended to wear head nets to protect your face against the flies. Along this trail you may see Buffalo, Antelope, and other small animals.
Hiking to Ensign Peak offers unparalleled views of the Great Salt Lake as well as the Wasatch Mountains, and Salt Lake County. If you are looking for the easiest, kid friendly, or a fun date night sunset spot in Salt Lake, this is the trail for you. The city lights at night offer a beautiful panorama of the valley, with minimal effort of hiking to the top. Regardless of age or hiking experience, you will find this short but sweet trail and overlook enjoyable.
The Wild Rose Trail is located in North Salt Lake along the foothills and is a popular trail for hiking, running, and mountain bike riders. It sees way less people in Winter, so it's a perfect time to take your dogs. Dogs are allowed off-leash year round but it's best to take them in Winter so you don't have to worry about bikes flying down the trail, and it's a much cooler hike. This trail can get pretty hot in warm months, and there's no water available for your pup.
The Living Room Trail is one of SLC's most popular hike. At only 2 miles round-trip, this overlook provides one of the best views looking down to the city. There are several routes to reach The Living Room, which is home to several rock "lazy boys" and "couches". If you hike up here on a Friday night or during the day on the weekends, The Living Room can get really crowded. I've been up there when 40-50 people are all trying to see the sun set, or just relax and drink a beer. The Living Room sits behind the Natural History Museum along the Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST). This is a popular hike to bring along dogs, kids, and the whole family and it can be done in under 2 hours.
The Ogden Canyon Overlook starts from Snowbasin Ski Resort, and for little effort, leads to an amazing view down to Ogden, Utah and surrounding canyons. Winter is an amazing time to hike or snowshoe here, as there are no bikes riding this route and no campers at the Maples Campground to worry about with your dogs. As you hike this route, you'll see this backcountry area blanketed in white, beautiful snow-capped trees, and after two switchbacks, you'll reach the most rewarding part - the overlook. Grab your pups and get out in the snow!
Mountain Dell Recreation Area is a cross country (xc) skiing area and sledding area in the Winter, and converts to a golf course in Summer. During Winter, Mountain Dell is maintained by TUNA.
Flag Rock sits along the West facing bench just East of Lagoon, along the rocky mountain side. It's an easy hike that leads to amazing views of Davis County and Farmington, UT that the whole family can do. Short on time? Hike to Patsy Mine and call it good. This trail has little shade, but if you hike the way I went, you'll cross Steed Creek, which is a great place for the dogs to drink from and cool off, and have the kids play in the creek. During Spring all the run off will create a fun obstacle, trying to cross the creek while staying dry.
Millcreek Canyon is one of Salt Lake City's most popular canyons due to the unlimited hiking options, which also happens to be the only dog-friendly canyon in the area. The nearby Little & Big Cottonwood Canyons are apart of a watershed, and therefor do not allow pets in the canyon. Because Millcreek gets a lot of attention with hikers they have their own rules relating to dogs - they can only hike off-leash on odd numbered days; even numbered days dogs are allowed but must be kept on-leash. This allows non-dog owners to access the trails (mainly mountain bikers and runners) without worry about running them over, while still enjoying the trails themselves.
Clayton Peak (10,721 ft) is one of my favorite, after work peaks to summit. Not only is the trail a mere 1.5 miles (one way), but you get amazing 360 degree views of the surrounding canyons. On a clear day you can see the Uinta Mountains, Jordanelle State Park, Heber, and the Strawberry Reservoir. There are two ways to summit Clayton Peak - Guardsmans Pass or Brighton Ski Resort.
Hiking the Pine Hollow Trail in American Fork Canyon is a great hike year-round for the whole family. Plus, you can bring your dog along! AF Canyon is home to several scenic trails, including the famous Timpoonekee Trail, Stewart Falls, and First Falls, but one of the lesser known trails is Pine Hollow. In Winter this trail offers beautiful snowy views of the nearby Mt. Timpanogos to the Southwest, and a view of Heber, Utah to the East. In Summer, Pine Hollow offers a well-shaded path for those needing some cool relief, and in Fall the mix of reds, oranges, and yellows offer amazing photography. To reach the Pine Hollow Overlook in summer, use this trail guide.
The Pine Hollow Overlook is in American Fork Canyon, and provides an amazing view of the North side of the Timpanogos basin. It's a perfect hike in Fall because you pass several meadows and Aspen groves that showcase their Fall colors, plus the temperatues are cooler. There are several access points for the overlook - the official Pine Hollow Trailhead, Tibble Fork Reservoir (the longest route), the Salamander Flat Campground, the Summit Trailhead, or how I did this, was via the Alpine Loop Road.
Soldier Hollow is a small resort located in Midway, Utah and attracts locals for not only the groomed classic & skate ski trails, but also for its snow tubing hill. It was also the site of the 2002 Winter Olympics, for Biathlon & Nordic events. The Nordic Center lodge sits at an elevation of 5,645 ft, so man-made snow in winter is a must when open for the short three months (December to March). The low elevation just doesn't get the same volume or type of snow as the rest of the Wasatch Mountains. Despite this, Soldier Hollow still offers 31 km (20 miles) of ski trails.
Stewart Falls is a two tier waterfall located near Sundance Ski Resort in Provo Canyon. The best time to hike here is in late spring, when the snow has melted from the trail and the waterfall is raging. This is a great hike for all levels of hikers since it's not too long, not too steep, and mostly shaded. Because of this, the trail gets very crowded on weekends. Arrive early to beat the crowds. This 200 ft waterfall is surrounded by a large rock face, and if you look closely, in Spring you'll see other small waterfalls near it.
Summit Park Peak is a local's hike for those living near Summit Park, Utah and Park City, Utah. Look on any map, and you will see the official name as "Point 8,618". Because Summit Park Peak looks down on Summit Park, UT, the name is fitting. From the summit you will have beautiful 360 degree views of the Wasatch; on a clear day you can see as far West as Antelope Island and Stansbury Island.
Waterfall Canyon is located in Ogden, UT and is a gorgeous 200 ft waterfall. This short but sweet hike will definitely get your heart pumping - the trail climbs just over 1,000 ft in 1.25 miles. Waterfall Canyon is accessible year-round, but I find it prettiest in the winter when the waterfall is frozen. I can't help but sing to myself, "Let it go! Let it go!" from the movie Frozen.There was a large incident of vandalism in Waterfall Canyon in 2015, which is on private property. The owner tried to combat this by requiring the public to hike with their ID (read the article), but nobody was asking for an ID when I hiked it in December 2016.
Flat Top Mountain (10,620 ft) is the highest peak in the Oquirrh Mountains (pronounced like "oaker") in Utah, which lies to the southwest of Salt Lake City. Most of the Oquirrhs are private property and mining land for the Rio Tinto Kennecott Mine, however the two areas you are allowed to hike are in Butterfield Canyon, and the Flat Top Mountain trail (update: 2019 land access below). Flat Top Mountain has a prominence of 5,370 ft, making it Utah's 6th highest prominent peak.
Run-a-Muk Dog Park & Trail was introduced as an off-leash dog area in November 2014 in Kimball Junction, Utah. The trail is just under 2 miles round trip, yet dogs have the freedom of roaming the full 43 acre fenced-in field. It is located along the drive to the Utah Olympic Park, so it's a neat to experience to be able to hike and see where the winter Olympians train.
Mt.Elliott (7,142 ft) is located along the Book Cliff Mountains, in between Price, Utah and I-70. Ever driven to Moab from SLC? Then you've passed this peak and know exactly where it is! Near the town of Woodside, UT there is an abandoned gas station with people sometimes selling jerky. Look directly up and SW, and you'll see this pointy peak clearly. You can't miss it, it sticks out because of it's jagged yet isolated summit. This obscure peak ranks #24 out of 29 on the Utah Country Prominence Peak list, and because of it's low popularity, only a handful of people will make it to the summit each year.
Iron Canyon in Park City, Utah is the "local's secret" for a beautiful, secluded trail that overlooks the Park City valley and the ski resorts. On a clear day you can see all the way out to the Uinta Mountains. The trail is more popular in winter as a fun sledding spot, but my favorite time to go is in early Summer when everything is turning green again. Most of the mountain is on private land, but the Iron Canyon trail allows for public access.
Fish Lake Hightop (11,633 ft) is the Sevier County High Point, and popular among those completing the Utah County High Points (CoHPs) list. Fish Lake Hightop was my very last one and I was sooo excited to finish the list! My very first CoHP was actually Deseret Peak back in 2014, so this list took me years to complete. When I first started bagging peaks I didn't know the CoHP list even existed I just wanted to hike to cool places. Fish Lake Hightop was no different - it took me to a new part of the state I had never been, Fish Lake, which is about an hour southeast of Salina, UT.
Boulder Top (aka Bluebell Knoll) sits at 11,322 ft high on the Aquarius Plateau, in-between Loa, Utah and Boulder, Utah. Most people come to this "peak" to mark it off their list on the Utah County High Points (CoHPs), for Wayne County. On that list, it is one of the easiest. It's not a hike, but rather a scenic drive with about a 10 minute walk to the summit, which sits in a grove of forested trees, yet also has a view of the nearby Raft Lake just below the summit.
Hiking to Adam's Canyon Waterfall is one of Utah's most beautiful and popular waterfalls. Nestled into the end of the canyon, and surrounded by trees and rock, sits this 40 ft waterfall. It's a very scenic trail, as it weaves its way along the stream, where dogs can play and you can dip your feet in when its hot outside. This is a great hike year-round, and gets crowded by mid-morning. Set your alarm clock so you can get up early early to enjoy the falls alone. In Summer expect to pass literally 100 people or more.
Log Haven is a popular restaurant located in Millcreek Canyon, Utah. Built in 1920, this log cabin hideaway was built as an anniversary gift for L.F. Rains' wife. Logs were shipped from San Francisco to SLC and hauled up the four miles by horse-drawn wagon. It was built at the base of cliffs and two small waterfalls. It was then used as a summer home for the family but when the Great Depression hit, an insurance executive named Gleed Miller bought the home and made additions to the home, also adding in an ice skating pond and stable. During the late 1980s it fell to despair - flash forward to the mid-90s and Margo Provost purchased the home and renovated it into a historic retreat and restaurant.
Clayton Peak (10,721 ft) is a fun local peak located at the top of Brighton Ski Resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon. It's right on the ridge of the watershed, so if hiking this route, dogs are not allowed. However, dogs can make the summit from Bloods Lake Trailhead, and going that way is allowed for them. This time, however, my friend and I decided to hike to Clayton Peak via Brighton Ski Resort. I hadn't hiked this route in over four years so it was time to revisit this trail.
Desolation Overlook is a popular trail located in Millcreek Canyon that can be hiked year round. I love taking the dogs up here for a great view of the canyon and valley in the distance. The trail is on the north slope, so it is very shaded, and in winter, can be very icy. Be sure to wear microspikes in Winter to keep from falling. The trail makes its way up the side of the mountain using long switchbacks. This trail is accessible year-round, with my favorite being Fall.
Scout Falls is a waterfall located along the popular Timpooneke Trail in American Fork Canyon, which eventually leads to Mt.Timpanogos. Many people chose to only hike 1.5 miles to Scout Falls then return to their car for a short yet scenic hike. This hike is very gradual and is great for dogs off leash as well as kids.
Monument Peak (10, 452 ft) is the the Carbon County High Point, and for those working on the Utah County High Points (CoHPs), this one is the easiest since you can drive to the summit. It's located along the Wasatch Plateau, and because its simply a drive, it should be combined with other CoHPs such as East Mountain and South Tent Mountain. There is nothing special about this peak except for the fact that you can see three CoHPs from the summit. The best time to drive here is in late Summer to Fall when the road is completely dry.
East Mountain (10,743 ft) is the Emery County High Point, and is one of several peaks along the Wasatch Plateau. The hike itself is straight forward, following a well-worn trail used by horses, hunters, and hikers. The main reason why people hike to this peak is for checking off the Utah County High Points (CoHPs) list. It's one of the easier CoHPs, and is often combined with Monument Peak, South Tent Mountain, or all three in one day. For our trip, we only did East & Monument on the same day since I had hiked South Tent Mountain a month earlier. From the summit you can see three CoHPs. Camping is plentiful and the drive is scenic. Both dogs and older kids can hike this route.
The South Ridge of Mt.Superior is a popular class 5 scramble to reach the summit. You can hike this on an actual trail this route, however the appeal of taking the South Ridge is that is offers a more challenging & technical approach. The South Ridge of Superior is considered a "Wasatch Classic" scramble with a lot of exposure and big views. It is highly recommended that if this is your first time taking this route, to go with someone who knows the way and can also help coach you through tough and exposed spots.
Mount Superior (11,040ft) & Monte Cristo Peak (11,132 ft) are two classic and iconic Wasatch Peaks that every peak bagger should summit. Both peaks dominate the Little Cottonwood Canyon Ridge, and are focal points to the north when skiing at Alta or Snowbird. Both Mt. Superior and Monte Cristo are summited year round - in the winter by backcountry skiers, and in the summer by hikers looking for a fun little scramble.
South Tent Mountain (11,285 ft) is the Sanpete County High Point, and an amazing hike along a ridge with wide, open views the entire hike. Most people chose to hike South to North (on the South end of the mountain) and just aim for the South Tent saddle. However, we hiked the entire ridge to also bag North Tent Mountain (11,230 ft). The ridge is a very easy hike, and no technical gear or scrambling is required. This route is only 5 miles RT - only a little longer than the traditional saddle route, yet you'll bag two peaks.
Mine Camp Peak (10, 222ft) is the Millard County High Point (CoHP), and one of the easiest to summit out of all the CoHPs at only 1 mile round trip. The drive will take much longer than the actual hike, so be prepared to spend close to half a day at least to summit this peak, and make the drive in and out. Mine Camp Peak should be combined with other peaks in the area since it's so short. In one weekend, we knocked out Brian Head Peak (Iron County High Point), Andy Nelson Peak & the Kane County High Point, Cascade Falls, and South Tent Mountain (Sanpete County High Point). Camping is available right at the trailhead, but only 2-3 tents can fit and one car can park there. This trail is both dog and kid-friendly!
Smith Creek Lakes is located along the Skyline Drive, near Farmington, Utah. The hike starts from Francis Peak, then follows a jeep/ATV road as it drops into the basin where a chain of three lakes sits. All three lakes are fairly big for a high alpine lake, and each lake had at least one campsite. The hike itself is really easy, and you can't get lost. Plan on taking a half day to explore all three lakes, and to let the dogs swim and cool off. Smith Creek Lakes is only available when the Farmington Canyon Road is open, typically June through October. There is only a little shade, so plan to start hiking early to beat the heat on the hike back up to the car.
Murdock Peak (9,600 ft) is a peak located in the Central Wasatch mountains and can be access three ways: 1) Millcreek Canyon 2) Guardsmans Pass or 3) The Canyons Ski Resort in Park City, UT. In summer months you'll hardly see anyone on the summit, but winter is a different story. Taking the lift up from The Canyons resort will shorten the hike, oh, about 3.5 miles!
Hiking to Mt. Aire (8,621 ft) may not be the highest peak in Millcreek Canyon nor the surrounding area, but it does offer a fantastic view in all directions. This short but steep trail is great to do as an after work hike with your dogs or friends, since it only takes about 2-3 hours round trip. The most popular route to summit Mt. Aire is via Elbow Fork in Millcreek Canyon, and it is only 2 miles to the top. This trail is nicely shaded and there is a year round stream up until the ridge; after that, you will hike through scrub oak to the summit. Keep your eyes out for moose - they like to hang out in the lower meadow.
Check out the Top 6 Steepest Hikes in the Wasatch! The Wasatch Mountains are known for the amazing scenery, wildlife, easy access to wilderness, and #beUtahful trails. Included in that list are peaks - with over hundreds of peaks to hike, you're sure to find something for everyone. But what if you like a big challenge, and like hiking where most people don't go? Do you like pushing your legs until they turn to jelly? Breathing so hard you feel like you're about to pass out? If that sounds like fun to you (it is for me haha!) then keep reading.
Grandeur Peak (8,299 ft and pronounced like "grand-er") is the one of the high points in Millcreek Canyon, and offers fantastic views of the SLC Valley and into Parley's Canyon. Grandeur Peak is also a perfect intro to Peak Bagging - the fairly short trail with a moderate elevation gain makes it one of the easier peaks to summit with little effort (compared to some of the other peaks in the area). For beginner hikers, this may be considered a tough hike due to the same reason Peak Baggers consider it easy - it is only 6 miles round trip and gains 2,900 ft elevation.
Mahogany Mountain (9,001 ft) is located in Utah County, and considered one of the steepest hikes in the Wasatch. In just 3.5 miles to the summit the trail gains 4400 ft! Mahogany Mountain often gets overlooked for Mt.Timpanogos, which towers over it to the East. Because of this, not many people don't know this mountain even has a name. Except for peak baggers that is. This is one of those hikes every peak bagger must do, and even with a lot of peak experience, this one is daunting due to the steepness.
South Willow Lake is a high alpine lake in the Deseret Peak Wilderness, West of Salt Lake City, Utah. It is a fairly steep trail but only 3.5 miles to the lake. The best time to backpack here is mid-June - October, when the winter gate is open and the trail is mostly free of snow. There are two routes to get to South Willow Lake via the Deseret Peak TH or the Medina Flat TH (aka Stansbury Front Trail).
Memory Grove Park is located just north of downtown SLC, and offers an escape from cement, skyscrapers, and traffic into a secluded park with a year-round stream. The 9 acre park includes an off leash area, remnants of old buildings, fountains, restrooms, picnic tables, and the Memorial House. Memory Grove features several memorials to Utah's veterans as well as a replica of the Liberty Bell. If you decide to hike further than the park area, to the North you will enter City Creek Canyon.
Big Springs Trail is an easy hike for the whole family. It's not really a "spring" to check out, it's just a closed off and well-fed spring now. You can keep hiking all the way up the trail, and it eventually connects with the Cascade Ridge. Most people hike up about 2-3 miles then turn around, to get the best views. This hike is best in Spring when the fields are green and vibrant, and the stream is rushing from the snow melt.
The Bowman Fork Trail is located in Millcreek Canyon, and is popular for summiting Gobbler's Knob. I usually do this hike after work during the week and don't have time (or sometimes the energy!) to hike to the summit, so my goal is always White Fir Pass. I really like this trail in the summer months because it's really well shaded, cooler, and it follows a stream that the dogs and drink from and play in. In Winter, it's nice snowshoeing because you will hardly see anyone up here.
The Kenny Creek Trail in Bountiful, Utah is not a trail you hear of often. In fact, when we hiked it we literally ran into only three other hikers the entire time. Though you will mainly see people crossing the bridge to hike Mueller Park Trail, Kenny Creek will offer you solitude, beautiful views across the canyon to Mueller Park Trail, and views of Antelope Island to the west. Even on weekends this trail will be less populated compared to Mueller. Along the trail you will cross two creeks; and at the end of the trail you will encounter an old miners cabin from the late 1800s. Though this trail offers fantastic views, it has it's own challenges: 1) the low brush will tear up your legs if you wear shorts, 2) the steepness makes it feel like you've hiked longer.
The Terraces Trail in Millcreek Canyon follows the Elbow Fork Ridgeline, starting from the Terraces Picnic Area, and ending at Elbow Fork along the Millcreek road. There are several options for hiking this route 1) loop, 2) point-to-point, or 3) out-n-back. This route is NOT safe in winter, due to how this trail is situated on a steep North slope, with higher elevations above you that can potentially slide.
Jack's Mailbox Peak (6,475 ft) is short but sweet - not only will you get great views of the SLC valley to the West, the Wasatch mountains to the East and South, but also get a great leg workout in, and is a safe peak to summit during Winter when avalanche danger is high. Though this trail is very short, the elevation gain and time spent hiking will make you think it's longer.
The Top 10 Peaks to bag in Salt Lake City, UT are right out our back door - no more than a 30-45 minute drive, these peaks are some of my favorites I've hiked over the years! Whether you are a newbie to peak bagging, or have years of experience, the Wasatch Front offers something for everyone. Start with the easy ones, then work your way up to some of the hardest and longest in the area. Of course there are several more peaks that some would argue should have made my list, but those are for you to decide which are your favorite. Set some goals, and start peak bagging this summer!
Holbrook Canyon in Bountiful, UT is one of my favorite trails in Davis County for a few reasons. Dogs are allowed off leash on Davis County trails, it follows a stream, its really well shaded, not too steep, and you can choose your mileage. If you follow Holbrook Canyon all the way, you can reach the ridgeline, which is about 5 miles one way. Since we started at 6:30pm, we hiked 4 miles round trip. I was surprised at how high the stream was flowing - I've never seen it that high. Be prepared to wear water hiking shoes, such as Chacos or Keens.
Lake Blanche is one of the most picturesque lakes in the Wasatch Mountains. With Sundial Peak over looking the three lakes (Blanche, Florence. & Lilian) and with the surrounding mountains creating a bowl of amazing views, it's hard to leave the trail to head back to your car. Lake Blanche is a perfect place to have a picnic, spend the day relaxing, it would be great for a quick over night backpacking trip, or if you are feeling motivated to keep going, you can hike up to the ridge or above the Sundial.
Rob's Trail in Park City, UT is a fun & easy trail that climbs a mere 1,000 ft over 2.5 miles to a beautiful overlook of The Canyons Ski Resort, Park City, and surrounding mountains. The trail works its way through evergreen forest, aspen trees, with great views along the way. This is a very popular trail, and therefore gets packed on weekends. In summer it's a popular trail with mountain bikers connecting from the Mid-Mountain Trail so be careful of bikes flying through in warm months. This trail is dog friendly as well, but the best time to hike here with your furry friend is in early in the morning to avoid the bikers.
The Bayliss Fork Trail is located in Emigration Canyon, not quite a mile past Ruth's Diner. The trail follows one of the many drainages from the ridge line that connects Mt. Wire over to Lookout Peak. Eventually the trail turns into an old jeep road, and follows the ridge to reach the top. Don't forget to look back as you hike higher in elevation - the best views are when you turn around. On the main ridge/saddle, you can see down into Red Butte Canyon Research Natural Area, and several other local peaks such as Grandview Peak.
The Miner's Trail in Emigration Canyon is a nice, quiet hike to do with your dogs. The trail leads to a great overlook of Red Butte Canyon, and along the way you'll follow the old jeep trail the miners used to access mines, now gated off. The trail is pretty exposed to the sun, so if you are looking for shade, this isn't the trail for you. The Miner's Trail follows the contour of the hillside, and passes by rocky outcroppings, crosses a stream, cuts by a meadow, and towards the end, offers the hardest part of the hike up a few hundred feet to the ridgeline. This hike is safe to do year round, but my favorite time of year is Fall.
Hiking Mt. Van Cott (6,351 ft) is the knoll behind, and above in the foothills of the University of Utah. It's low elevation makes is a safe and fun hike to do year-round. My favorite time to hike this trail is in late Spring and late Fall when the trail is dry. Hike here in early spring or a warm day during winter, and this trail is sure to be a mud slide. This trail is short but sweet, but short and steep, which makes for a great quick, post-work hike. There are several routes to get to Mt. Van Cott, my favorite being the SW ridge (maps below). Fun Fact: Mt. Van Cott is named after Lucy May Van Cott, the first dean of women (1907-1931) at the University of Utah.
Hiking to the Ferguson Canyon Overlook is just to the south of Big Cottonwood Canyon, and is not apart of the SLC Watershed so dogs are allowed to hike here. It's a great canyon to hike, especially after work if you are short on time. The canyon is well shaded, and as you make your way to the overlook you get an amazing view of the SLC valley. Ferguson Canyon gets really busy on weekends because both hikers and rock climbers fill the canyon. Plan on hiking here either early in the morning or during the week to have a quieter hike.
The Grotto, located in Hornet Canyon in Farmington, Utah is the local's hidden spot for cooling off in hot temperatures for both humans and dogs. This well shaded trail leads to a small, but deep pool perfect for two people sitting in to cool off on hot summer days. Prefer standing under a shower of cold water? Then stand under the overhand where 30 ft water weep drips constantly, creating a fun "shower" of fresh mountain spring water. Don't forget your swimsuit for this trail - it's quite the refreshing experience!
Horsetail Falls is one of my favorite hikes to do with the dogs. I always do this hike in the spring time because I love seeing the spring run off gushing over the falls. This time, I wanted to see it frozen and in snowy conditions. To be honest, I love seeing these falls year round - the views never fail to amaze me. Horsetail Falls is roughly 100 ft high.
I've complied all of them into one post - no more researching, asking around, or spending hours looking at AllTrails. All of these listed are dog-friendly (off leash) of course, and are separated by location. There are not ranked in any order. Click the link for each hike to learn more, to see all the trail stats (distance, elevation gain, etc), and to view a trail map. Directions are also provided for each hike.
Rattlesnake Gulch in Millcreek Canyon is one of my go-to after work hikes. You don't have to drive very far up the canyon to have great access to this moderate trail, which leads to a beautiful overlook of the Salt Lake valley. I highly recommend this as sunset hike - bring a thermos of hot chocolate or tea and sit at the overlook to enjoy the view. This trail works steadily up the mountain for the first mile, then is level for the second mile, making this a great trail run. There is plenty of shade, but no water.
The Farmington Canyon Trail and waterfall is one of my new favorite trails in Davis County. I was surprised at how big this canyon felt, how green it is in Spring, and I loved the 40 ft waterfall. Our dogs had a blast on this trail since there were plenty of stream crossings for them to drink from and play in.
The Woods Trail & Dog Park is one of Kimball Junction, Utah's dog park. It is located in a neighborhood to the north of I-80, this small dog park is fenced in for your furry pal to run around and get his energy out. After playing ball, grab your leash and take your choice of two trails starting from the dog park - the easy 0.5 mile loop that wraps around the pond, or the longer 1.3 mile loop that weaves its way through the neighborhood with view of Summit Park Peak.
Chair Peak (6,194 ft, aka "Chair Hill") is a small peak located at Deer Creek Reservoir. It's only 1.2 miles to the summit, but be prepared for a great calf workout. There is no trail to the top, making this a fun route with no "right way". This is a great hike to do year round, or especially when avalanche danger is too high in winter for other major peaks.
Bells Canyon Waterfall is in the canyon just south of Little Cottonwood Canyon, and apart of the watershed, so dogs are banned from this trail. The trail passes Bells Canyon Reservoir, passes the waterfall, and actually leads to an upper pond, 4.5 miles one way. This was our goal on Saturday, but as we quickly got soaked from the downpour of rain at 7am, we knew that wasn't going to happen for us.
Squaw Peak (7,859 ft) up Rock Canyon is in Provo, Utah overlooking BYU, Utah County, and Utah Lake. Geology is also a focal point of this canyon, hence the name, Rock Canyon. The trail is not for the weak, as it steeply gains close to 3,000 ft in just 3.5 miles. Rock climbing is also popular in the canyon as climbers flock to the limestone and quartzite walls. Hiking and climbing in Rock Canyon and up to Squaw Peak area accessible year-round.
Meadow Hot Springs in Central Utah is a great family-friendly spot to hang out and soak in warm water. It's conveniently located right of I-15 and there's no hiking involved, so it makes for a great, quick soak when you are on a road trip. Meadow Hot Springs is located on private property in the middle of a cow pasture, but they do allow public access. There are a total of three pools to soak in, all around 100F degrees. The most popular pool is one of the smallest and closest to the parking area, and it is also the warmest. Each of the pools have algae in them, so its wise to wear water shoes to keep from slipping on the rocks under water.
Malan's Peak is a popular high point for Ogden locals to hike to on a regular basis. It's not the highest peak by any means at 6,916 ft, but it does provide great views of Ben Lomond Peak to the north, as well as the Ogden/Layton valley. It's a tough 5 mile hike that can be completed within 3 hours, making it an excellent choice for a "quick" early morning jaunt to get the dogs out, and get some exercise in. Be ready for a great leg workout!
Baker Hot Springs is a small, natural hot springs located in Central Utah, not too far from Delta, Utah. The source of the hot springs is around 180F, but a trench helps the water flow down to three large tubs and cools off the further you are away from the source. The tub closest to the source is the hottest, the middle tub is, well in the middle for temperatures, and the furtherest is the coolest. However, you can "regulate" the temperature by using one of the provided rags to block out the hot water and let cold water from a pipe in.
The Sundance Nordic Center is located right next to the Sundance Ski Resort, in American Fork Canyon. There are 15 k (9.3 miles) of groomed ski trails, and 10 k (6 miles) of snowshoe trails. I had all day to explore, so my goal was to try and ski all 9.3 miles of trail! I was pretty close, coming in at 7 miles for the day, only because one of the trails was closed due to recent avalanches. Sundance Nordic offers trails for all skill levels, and all trails wind through pristine backcountry. Sundance Nordic sits at 7,000 ft, and the surrounding views can't be beat. Grab your skis (or rent!) and a trail map, and let's go!
The Tibble Fork Loop Trail (trail #041 & #040) is located in American Fork Canyon, and starts at the Tibble Fork Reservoir, hence the appropriate name. This hike can be done year round, but I find it to be the prettiest during Winter when the trees are laden with snow, the reservoir is frozen over, and the trail offers a certain quietness. The trail steadily gains elevation for the first 2 miles, cuts through an amazing aspen grove and open meadow, then connects back to the Tibble Fork stream and main parking lot.
Have you always wanted to go into the back country, sleep next to a pristine lake, on a mountain side, off the beaten path, in the middle of a dense forest, next to a campfire? Have you looked at your girlfriends photos or social media and been jealous of these places? Backpacking is fun and takes you to some of the most beautiful places in the world. It doesn't have to be tough - check out my tips on 8 Backpacking Tips for Women so your first trip is as enjoyable as possible.
Here are my top 7 Reasons Why Winter is the best season to hike in Utah! Ever considered winter hiking? Summer trails are full with people hiking, but winter? You'll see half the people. Yes, it's cold. You'll get a little wet from snow. But so what - that's what layers are for!
Scout Falls is a popular waterfall located right off the Timpooneke Trail on the way to Mt. Timpanogos. In summer, it's a fun spot to cool off on your hike or filter your water for the long trek to the summit. Normally it is only 1.5 miles to reach the falls but in winter it is 4 miles one way since the road is closed at the winter gate. It's been a goal of mine to see the fall in winter, with long icicles, frozen over.
Elbow Fork in Millcreek Canyon is a popular trailhead for Mt. Aire, the Pipeline, and for accessing Lambs Canyon Pass, the dog-friendly way. Many people chose to hike up to Lamb's Canyon Pass via Lamb's Canyon, however that section of trail is part of the SLC Watershed, and dogs are not allowed. Going from Millcreek Canyon allows you to bring your dog, still access the ridge, and get great views. My favorite time of year to hike here is Fall, but it's accessible year-round. In Winter the hike will add on an additional 1.5 miles one way, since the winter gate is closed. There is one stream crossing over a bridge, and the dogs love to stop here for a drink. Otherwise the trail is dry and steep, but well-shaded.
The Best 8 Trails in Salt Lake City for Visitors are right out the backdoor, within a 30 minute drive, and range in difficulty for all levels of hikers. Whether you are visiting for a day, or a week, each of these hikes will provide amazing views of the Salt Lake Valley. I've ranked 8 hikes from easy to hard, with a mix of kid- and dog- friendly. Do you have visitors coming into town, but not sure what to recommend? Link them to this list for an easy, one page post, on some of the best local hikes. Click on the link for each hike to learn more!
The "Wasatch 7" Peaks are the seven major peaks that line Utah Valley. They are all challenging peaks that require a full day of hiking - some with route finding, some with a perfect trail. Most of these peaks also have a lot of elevation gain, and therefore are not for the beginner hiker. Because the Wasatch 7 Peaks are all over 10,000 ft, they are typically only accessible in summer months, when the dirt roads are open, and the trails are free of snow - this only leaves a few months to summit all 7 peaks. Most people take a few years to complete all summits - others have completed them in one summer. No matter how much time you have to dedicate to completing all of them, they surely live up to Utah's motto - "Life Elevated!"
Cascade Mountain (10,908 ft) is the large mountain located directly above Orem, Utah and is one of the "Wasatch 7" Peaks. Not many people hike to summit, as it requires a full day and all routes are difficult. However, for Peak Baggers it's a must. It's crazy how just to the north of Provo Canyon is one of the most popular summits - Mt. Timpanogos. It's also interesting how different the terrain is compared to each other, and how much more difficult Cascade is.
Deseret Peak (11,031 ft) is one of Utah's Ultra Prominent Peaks, is the tallest mountain in the Stansbury Mountain range, and the Tooele County highpoint. Therefore, this 9 mile loop is popular among peak baggers and those looking for an "easy" summit. This trail gains 3,700 ft in just 4 miles, is dog friendly, and offers amazing views of the surrounding area.
Church Fork Peak (8,306 ft) is located along the Millcreek Canyon ridge, in-between Mt. Aire and Grandeur Peak. To get to the summit, you follow the Pipeline Trail, then turn off on the actual Birch Hollow trail, reach the ridge, then bushwhack your away to the false summit and true peak. This trail is very steep, and requires some route finding along the ridge. If you aren't comfortable hiking off trail, bushwhacking, and route finding, this isn't the trail for you.
The Kamas Overlook Trail is, and as the name implies, is near Kamas, Utah and offers a great view of the valleys nearby. It is a very mellow trail, only gaining 215 ft per mile! You will likely see few people here, but be advised this trail has zero shade. This trail is open to hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders, and more and therefore the trail can get rutted out in early Spring. The best seasons to hike this trail are late Spring when the trail dries, and Fall after the temperatures have cooled off. Winter is doable, but the trail may be muddy, as its on a south facing hill. Summer could be miserably hot, unless you start really early in the morning.
The Indian Trail, located in Ogden, Utah is a beautiful trail that offers views of Ogden Canyon and surrounding areas. It's best done as a point-to-point route, starting at the Coldwater Canyon TH, and ending at the 22nd Street TH. The hike is really well shaded, and offers a creek for the first mile for the dogs to drink from. Past that, the trails curves around the mountain side, passes an old cabin, several overlooks, and eventually connects to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST). This hikes is best from April-October, or when the trail is snow-free.
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Hiking with your significant other, best friend, or just a last minute person can be so great. But it can also be a drag if you don't plan things right or if you don't know what the other person wants to do. Here are some tips to make sure you get the most out of enjoying your hike with your adventure partner!
Are you ready to take the leap from car camping to backpacking?! Most people are intimidated to go on their first trip, not confident on their backcountry skills and maybe don't really know what they need to buy. Learning how to use the most important skills will make you a more efficient backpacker, make you feel more confident, and help make your adventure more streamlined.
Maple Canyon is located near Fountain Green, Utah, and the canyon offers several dog-friendly trails and routes for climbers. Maple Canyon is made of conglomerate rock with embedded, rounded clasts, ranging in size from pebbles to boulders, hence the nickname "cobble climbing". Maple Canyon also gets its name from the hundreds of Maple trees lining the trails and road. Fall is the best time to visit, as the leaves burst with orange and red. My friend and I missed the best of the leaves, but this canyon is often dry making it a good hiking area year-round. Camping is also available, but pets must stay on leash in the campsites (reserve here).
The Sardine Peak Loop starts from Snowbasin Ski Resort, and for little effort, leads to an amazing view at the Ogden Canyon Overlook and surrounding canyons, all while create a nice 9 mile loop. This trail is always very gradual, and while I wasn't able to find a route to the actual peak, the trails crosses the base of it. If you really wanted to bushwack to the summit you can, and it reaches an elevation of 7,485 ft. This loop is available year-round, but Summer months are the hottest since there's no water source for the dogs and little shade. Winter is an amazing time to hike or snowshoe here, as there are no bikes riding this route and no campers at the Maples Campground to worry about with your dogs. As you hike this route, you'll see this backcountry area blanketed in white, beautiful snow-capped trees, and after a few switchbacks, you'll reach the most rewarding part - the overlook.
Neff's Canyon is located just south of Millcreek Canyon near Mt. Olympus, which starts in the White Hill Estates neighborhood. The trail works steeply up the ravine until it reaches a popular turnaround point, the meadow, and continues on to the ridge. Neff's Canyon gains a steady elevation of 1,000 ft per mile, so you'll definitely get a great workout in. Hike up as far as you feel like it, or make it all the way to the ridge where you'll have an amazing view looking down into Big Cottonwood Canyon.
Mount Baldy (11,068ft) is the summit that divides Snowbird from Alta Ski Resorts, and is a short and easy summit, especially for newbie peak baggers. There's nothing technical about this hike, which also makes is great for kids looking to bag a few easy peaks. Advanced peak baggers often combine Mount Baldy with either a section or entire ridgeline of Little Cottonwood Canyon. But, if you are looking for something short you can take the Snowbird Tram up and hike 1 mile to this summit. Looking for something longer? Hike up from the base of Snowbird.
Grandview Peak (9,410 ft) sits at the Salt Lake/Davis County line and is one of the seldom visited peaks along the Wasatch Front. It's a long hike in from all directions, there's no water source, very little shade, and a little bushwhacking required. No matter which route you choose (described below), be prepared for a full 10-12 hour day. However, I've been staring at this peak for 4 years now, and I just HAD to knock it off my peak list. Wednesday night I was looking at the weather for the week, and it was supposed to have perfect blue skies, comfortable temperatures, and the Fall colors were also almost at their peak.
Ant Knolls (9.852 ft) is a nice peak on the backside of the Wasatch Mountains, near Midway, Utah. The summit offers amazing views into American Fork Canyon, and into the Heber Valley. There are several starting points to reach the summit. The most popular is via Pole Line Pass along the Snake Creek Road, and is a mere 2 miles to the summit. We had all day to explore the area, so we started from Big Flat also along the Snake Creek Road. This extends the hike to 6 miles RT and also creates a small loop.
The Horse Flat Trail in American Fork Canyon starts from the Summit Trailhead, and passes through several meadows, large Aspen groves, and shaded areas before finally reaching the overlook. This trail is really well shaded, and is perfect during Fall when all the Aspen trees are changing colors. Temperatures are also cooler in Fall - when the valley can be in the 60s, the top of the Alpine Loop Road can be in the 40s. Keep in mind that the Alpine Loop Road is only open during from late June to the end of October, or whenever the first snow arrives. This trail is great for dogs off leash, and even kids can hike this route.
Cascade Springs is a large artesian spring with naturally-terraced cascades and pools, located in American Fork Canyon. Over 7 million gallons of water flow through the springs each day. Cascade Springs isn't a hike, but more of a really easy, casual stroll. It's perfect for families with strollers since boardwalks and paved paths lead the way, and children will enjoy a walk suitable for little legs. There are several interpretive signs, so you can also learn about the flowers and vegetation.
Mill Canyon Peak (10,349 ft) sits on the backside of the Wasatch Mountains and offers amazing 360 degree views. For a 10,000 ft peak this is a relatively easy summit - there's a trail most of the way and no scrambling. You will likely not see another hiker which is great, but the biggest downside to this route is the amount of dirt bikes. We passed seven of them by 9am, and the noise and dirt they kicked up wasn't the best, and I had to make sure I moved Charlie far enough off the trail. However, if you can get past that you will get a huge reward in scenery and views on Mill Canyon Peak.
Provo Peak (11,068 ft) is one of the higher peaks in the Wasatch and also one of the shortest but steepest in the area. The trail to the summit is only 1.5 miles but gains 2,700 ft! The views from the summit are amazing, as you get 360 degree views of Utah County, and on a clear day into SLC County and major peaks north. Provo Peak is one of the "Wasatch Seven" peaks many peak baggers like to summit, as its one of the more prominent looking peaks. It's rare that such a massive peak gets less attention that its popular neighbor hikes like Squaw Peak and The Y Trail, but it's the case here. While there is a well defined trail to the summit, Provo Peak sees way less traffic compared to neighboring trails/summits.
Kelsey Peak (10,373 ft) is located along the Oquirrh Mountains, the large mountain range just West of SLC. It's not the highest summit in the range (Flat Top Mountain is the high point), yet hiking to the peak is very rewarding. You can knock out three peaks in one morning - Butterfield Peaks, White Pine Peak (aka Wans Peak on some older maps), and Kelsey Peak. If you had enough time and energy you could make it all the way to Lowe Peak, or if you set your goals really high you could even complete the Oquirrh Ridgeline Ascension Trail (the whole ridge line point to point)!
Fool Creek Peak (9,712 ft) is the highest summit in the Canyon Mountain Range in central Utah, and ranks #20 on the Utah Prominence List with 3,712 ft. I bet everyone has seen this peak, but nobody knows the name as you drive by it heading south on I-15 in Scipio, UT. This is one of the reasons I just had to hike this peak - every time I would drive on I-15 I said to myself "One day I'll hike to that peak!" So I did.
Grandeur Peak (8,299 ft and pronounced like "grand-er") is the one of the high points in Millcreek Canyon, and offers fantastic views of the SLC Valley and into Parley's Canyon. Most people hike from to the summit from Millcreek at the Church Fork Trailhead, since it's considered the "easiest" way to the summit. From Church Fork the trail is 6 miles RT with 2,900 ft. Want a challenge and a better workout? Hike the West Ridge to Grandeur Peak! Taking this route gains 3,300 ft in 4.4 miles RT. This route is not for the beginner hiker due to the steepness.
Hiking at night offers a much different experience of your favorite trail compared to hiking in daylight. You start to hear sounds, see shadows, the trail might look different, and you may feel like someone, or something, is following you. Getting use to hiking at night takes some practice, and also requires a little preparedness. Whether you planned on hiking at night, or perhaps your 3 mile hike turned into a 10 mile hike, use these 10 Tips to Hike Safely at Night!
White Pine Touring in Park City, UT offers 20 Km of groomed cross country ski tracks for both skate and classic skiers. Nestled in the heart of Park City, this track allows you to glide your way below Park City Mountain Resort, through trees, past a pond, and depending on your route, by the historic homestead of the McPolin Farm. White Pine Touring is great for both beginners and advanced skiers, as there is terrain for every level. Since 1972, White Pine has been Park City's ticket to the outdoors, specializing in cross country skiing, snowshoeing, backcountry skiing, and avalanche courses in the Winter, and in summer, mountain biking, and rock climbing.
Mt. Olympus (9,030 ft) is the prominent peak above Murray/Millcreek, Utah and is recognizable from anywhere in the SLC valley due to its two long, rocky spines on the West face. Though it's not the tallest summit in the area, hiking Mt. Olympus is sure to give your legs a workout. Gaining 4,100 ft in just 3.3 miles (one way), your legs will feel like jelly quickly. The rise of this peak from the valley floor to summit impresses locals as well as visitors alike. The trail also quickly changes from city to backcountry, as you enter the Mt. Olympus Wilderness in just 30 minutes of hiking.
The Moose Hollow Trail near Jeremy Ranch/Kimball Junction is a lesser known hike that is perfect year-round - no worries about avalanche danger, great views of the area, dogs are allowed, it's never too steep, and it leads to a scenic overlook. This trail is very popular in summer with mountain bikers, so the best time to hike with dogs is winter to avoid having them get trampled on and prevents hikers from having to move out of the way less often.
Wasatch Mountain State Park is located in Midway, Utah and offers activities year-round such as hiking, biking, riding horses, riding ATVs, playing at the 18-hole Golf Course, as well as snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and cross country skiing. You can also camp at the Pine Creek Campground in the summer months. Wasatch Mountain State Park (WMSP) is a 23,000 acre preserve, which was set aside by the state in 1961 and the park elevation is at 5,900 ft.
The 24/7 Connector Trail in Kimball Junction, Utah is a very popular mountain biking trail, but is accessible year-round. The trail wraps around the elite Jeremy Ranch neighborhood, but is open to the public. Because this trail is so popular with bikes in warm months, Charlie and I hiked it in the middle of winter on New Year's Day so that we didn't have to worry about bikes flying down the trail. You may still see the occasional fat tire bike in Winter. Because this trail is in low-elevation terrain, it's totally safe from avalanche danger as well. In fact, this trail would make for a perfect trail run - not too steep, not too long. If you do plan on hiking with your dog in warm months, keep a leash handy and always move out of the way for mountain bikes.
Diamond Fork Hot Springs is one of Utah's must-see places! Offering four pools ranging in hot temperatures, it's a great place to soak away your worries, take in nature, and relax. Hiking to Diamond Fork requires a 2 mile hike in Summer, and in Winter it's 6 miles one way. These hot springs are extremely popular so don't count on getting any alone time. However, the hike in and soak is well worth it - you might even make some new friends depending which pool you sit in! Hiking to Diamond Fork Hot Springs in Winter does require more effort and planning, but in my opinion it's much more enjoyable in Winter and you get to see the canyon covered in snow. Pack your swimsuit, a thermos of hot tea or cocoa, and get ready to soak!
The Emigration Canyon Ridge sits directly in the middle of Parley's Canyon and Emigration Canyon, on the East side of SLC. The trail starts from the Little Mountain Summit, which is a popular spot for road cyclists and runners to end their day. This ridge is a rarely hiked and very few know the peaks, yet anyone who drives through Parley's Canyon has been just below the trail. The Emigration Canyon Ridge provides access to Dale Peak (7,367 ft) and Perkins Peak (7,491 ft). Hiking the ridge is very easy - no scrambling or technical skills are needed and it provides amazing views of the surrounding mountains and other ridges.
Lone Peak (11,251 ft) is one of the tallest peaks along the Wasatch Front, and hovers over Draper, Utah. You can't miss this peak - it is clearly visible from both Salt Lake & Utah Counties. On a clear day, you can see this magnificent summit from 100 miles away. Hiking Lone Peak is almost a rite of passage for many hikers and especially Peak Baggers. Although Lone Peak is not one of Utah's 8 Ultra Prominence Peaks, it does rank 98th on a list of Utah Peaks with 500 ft of prominence and is on the list of the Wastach 11ers (peaks over 11,000 ft). This intense hike is not for everyone - you must be very prepared for any kind of weather, and most importantly, prepared for a super intense hike that will literally take you all day. The hard work will be worth it though, as Lone Peak offers one of the best 360 degree views around.
Today's blog post is from our guest, High Elevation Mountaineering. Nick Carnahan and Alex Lawhun recently completed an 18 mile day hike along the Oquirrh Ridgeline - a rarely hiked and unknown route to many. What they encountered was more than they bargained for. Here is their story.
Little Water Peak (9,606 ft) sits at the upper, East ridge, dividing Millcreek Canyon from Big Cottonwood Canyon. Little Water Peak is seldom visited, yet it offers great views of the surrounding peaks and a good look down into Millcreek Canyon. The summit is just above Dog Lake to the North, and while Dog Lake will have tons of people in the Summer months, Little Water Peak will offer a bit of solitude. This summit is safe to access year round. It only takes roughly 30 minutes from Dog Lake to the summit, so put it on your list!
Thurston Peak (9,706 ft) straddles the Davis-Morgan county line, making it the tallest peak for both counties. Many people think that Francis Peak, with the big white golf ball domes on the summit, is the highest peak along the ridge, but it is Thurston Peak that claims the high point. This is a relatively easy peak for Peak Baggers to summit, since it only gains 1,700 ft over 4.2 miles. The high alpine setting has expansive views all around - Antelope Island to the West, Mt. Ogden to the North, and an overview of Morgan, UT to the East.
Kessler Peak (10,403 ft) is located in Big Cottonwood Canyon at the north end of the ridge that separates Cardiff Fork and Mineral Fork basin; it is the peak that connects the jagged ridgeline to Mt. Superior, also known as Cardiac Ridge. Kessler Peak provides an amazing 360 degree view of surrounding peaks, including Mt. Raymond & Gobblers Knob to the North, Broads Fork Twin Peaks to the West, Clayton Peak to the East, and Mt. Superior & Monte Cristo to the south.
Donut Falls, located in Big Cottonwood Canyon, is a classic Wasatch Mountain hike. This hike is suitable for all hikers regardless of age or hiking experience. This is usually the trail I will take family that is visiting from out of state since it hardly gains any elevation, yet it leads to a beautiful destination. It is a very rewarding for those who don't regularly hike but still want to see Utah's varying scenery. Because of these things, Donut Falls is very popular - you will literally see hundreds of people here on weekends, especially in Summer. Hiking the Donut Falls trail is safe and easy to access year-round. Arrive early to beat the crowds.
Hiking Utah's Ultra Prominence Peaks is not for the average hiker - many of these peaks require hiking off trail, very early morning starts (sometimes 3am), route finding, long days, crossing exposed ridge lines, extremely steep and rugged terrain, and sometimes a river crossing. In addition to these "fun" circumstances, I've also dealt with bad sun burns, running out of food, running out of water, reading the map wrong, forgetting socks, starting out too late in the day, ending after dark, getting annoyed by people I'm hiking with, and as the movies say, have experienced blood, sweat, and tears. So why do I keep doing it? What is the draw for people to complete Ultra Prominent Peaks?
Willow Heights Lake is a popular destination year-round in Big Cottonwood Canyon for families looking for a short hike with the kids, for backcountry skiers in Winter, and for me, what I call a "bonus hike". A bonus hike is a super short hike that I will do after another longer hike in the area. In this case I just hiked the Mt. Wolverine Cirque to Brighton Lakes (8 miles), and wanted to see Willow Heights at the height of Fall.
Mt. Wolverine & the Wolverine Cirque above Brighton Ski Resort is a very popular backcountry skiing destination during winter. But hiking this route in Summer, is just as fun and very scenic, and for Peak Baggers, you can knock out up to six peaks in one day. This can be done as a point-to-point hike, but to really see everything, turn it into a loop and take half a day to explore. On this route, I was able to summit four peaks, pass four lakes, and see some of the Wasatch's best 360 degree views.
This weekend, I learned to play Disc Golf for the first time at Solitude Mountain Resort. Disc Golf, aka Frisbee Golf or FOLF, is much like traditional golf except instead of using clubs and a small ball, players use a disc or frisbee. Disc Golf shares the same object as regular golf, where the object of completing each hole is to get the disc in the target in the fewest throws or "stokes". The disc golf is thrown from a tee area to the target hole - an elevated metal basket. I decided to bring my friend (who also happens to be my boss at my regular job) along so I could have a "pro" show me how it was done and so I could learn the right way to play disc golf.
Box Elder Peak (11,101 ft) is the large, well known peak in between Mt. Timpanogos and Lone Peak - it dominates the ridgeline above, and to the North, of American Fork Canyon. Because the summit is over 11K, it is a popular hike among Peak Baggers. There are several routes to chose from, the most popular being the Dry Creek-Deer Creek Trail #043, which starts from the Granite Flats Campground just past Tibble Fork Reservoir.
Cecret Lake (yes, that is the correct spelling) is a beautiful alpine lake that sits in the heart of Alta Ski Resort. This easy 1 mile walk is great for kids, taking photos of the amazing wildflowers in July, and possibly sighting a moose. But why stop at the lake, when you can continue just one more mile and summit Sugarloaf Peak? The elevation of Sugarloaf Peak is 11,051 ft, and can be summited in under an hour and half. Bring a light jacket though - it gets really windy and can be quite cold at the top. Keep in mind that the Albion Basin Road is only open from July 4th until the last week of September (or whenever the first snow hits).
Gorgoza Dog Park is a great place to take your dogs in the summer in Kimball Junction, UT. The reservoir is perfect for throwing your pup water toys. Dogs are allowed off leash here, and as always, dog poop must be picked up. In the Winter time, Gorgoza turns into a Winter sledding hill, and the pond is not available for swimming.
Gobblers Knob (10,246 ft) and Mt. Raymond (10, 241 ft) are two peaks every Peak Bagger wants to summit. Both are on the Big Cottonwood Canyon (BCC) & Millcreek Canyon ridgeline, so they can be accessed via either canyon. The most popular route is up Butler Fork in BCC, and is heavily visited on weekends during summer months.
Shadow Lake is located in Park City Mountain Resort (or PCMR as us locals know it), and can be access from the ski resort, or for a shorter route, via Guardsmans Pass. Shadow Lake sits in a bowl-like area, surrounding by pine trees and mountains. This is a popular area for mountain bikers. Hiking to Shadow Lake via Guardsmans Pass will offer a relief from the heat during summer months, and get you out of the valley smog/haze.
Hiking Mt. Timpanogos (11, 752 ft) is one of the higher peaks in the Wasatch Front, coming in 2nd behind Mt. Nebo. Though Mt. Nebo is the tallest peak in the Wasatch Mountains, it sees less than half the amount of hikers than "Timp" (as us locals call it) does. Hiking Mt. Timpanogos is almost a rite of passage for many Utahans - once completed, many will openly offer up their experience, advice, and how many times they've summited.
Hiking to the American Fork Twin Peaks (11,490 ft), is not for the beginner hiker. Not to be confused with the other twin peaks in the valley, Broads Fork Twin Peaks and The Avenues Twin Peaks, this route leads hikers across a long knife edge with a very faint trail. Do not attempt this hike if you've never cross a very narrow, and rocky ridgeline before - it takes a little route finding, skill, no fear of heights, and requires some light scrambling. Gloves are useful for this hike so they provide extra grip and protection from the sharp rocks.
Breathing fresh air, relaxing in a camp chair, drink in your hand, the dogs and kids are running around getting muddy, and the fire crackles in the distance. Camping is one of my most enjoyable experience during summer, but it doesn't have to cost money. Many people think camping is "too expensive" or "too hard" to get to a "good" campsite. Sure it may cost money to get all your gear, but after that, camping (and backpacking in particular) can be free, especially in Utah! Here's everything you need to know, on How to Camp for FREE in Utah!
Hiking the Red Cloud Trail at Deer Valley Ski Resort is a very scenic hikers-only trail that begins at the Silver Lake Village, at an elevation of 8,100 ft. Many people do not know that anyone can hike at Deer Valley for free! You don't have to be a member or have to have a "friend of a friend" to be able to visit and hike on the mountain during the Summer months. If fact, you can hike to any peak or on any trail, and ride the chair lift down for free. This hike was apart of the free guided monthly Deer Valley History Hike.
Within the last month or so, I was on the search for the best, lightweight, backpacking hammock I could find. Hammocks have become super popular in the last few years, as a lightweight alternative to sleep while backpacking, are used to simply hang out by a lake or river, at picnics, at ballgames, and the outdoors in general. So when I came across the Kroex Double Hammock, I knew it would be the best fit for me.
Julie Andrews Meadow is located in American Fork Canyon, along the Timpooneke-Chris' Flat Trail (#151). Early summer is the best time to hike here, as the field is as alive as Mrs. Julie Andrews was in the movie, The Sound of Music. The grass is green, the wildflowers are blooming, and snow is scattered along the northern end of the Timpanogos ridge. The views are endless - to the North is the Little Cottonwood Ridgeline, to the East is Heber Valley, and to the West is Utah County. Anywhere you turn, it makes you want to spin around with arms wide open to take in the surroundings. Grab the whole family and turn this into a picnic hike, or a quick overnight backpacking adventure.
Mount Ogden (9,579 ft) is home to Snowbasin Ski Resort, where the 2002 Winter Olympic downhill ski races were held. This is a popular summit during the summer when hikers are able to either hike from the base of the mountain, or take the gondola up to the Needles Lodge then traverse to the peak. There are multiple ways you can summit Mt. Ogden - Snowbasin, Taylor's Canyon, Beus Canyon, or Waterfall Canyon. Rock climbing is available on the East facing slabs of Mt. Ogden.
Lambs Canyon is located off I-80 after passing through Parley's Canyon, but before you reach Jeremy Ranch. Lambs Canyon is part of the county Watershed, and therefore, dogs are not allowed. There are multiple signs saying no dogs, and there was even a county sheriff patrolling the area as well, so don't even attempt to bring them up here. This is probably why even though I've lived in Utah for 3 years, but never hiked here, was because I can't bring my dog. But sometimes, you have to leave them at home, and since it was a very hot day, I felt ok to leave Charlie at home.
Santaquin Peak & Loafer Mountain are the peaks above, well, Santaquin, Utah and are in between the famous Mt. Nebo (tallest peak in the Wasatch) and Spanish Fork Peak. Though the trail leads to Santaquin Peak, Loafer mountain is 2 ft taller, yet not many people go off trail to summit it. Santaquin Peak offers better views compared to Loafer Mountain, as you have 360 degree views of Utah lake, Timpanogos and Provo Peak to the North, Mt. Nebo to the southwest, and on a clear day you can even see Deseret Peak to the West. The first half of the trail is mostly forested, and the second half if fully exposed to sun and wind. Santaquin Peak has just under 3,000 ft of prominence.
The Sherwood Hills Maze (or Labyrinth) in the foothills of Orem, Utah offers more of a spiritual destination, rather than say, an overlook. This area is not well know, and my friends who live in the area would like to keep it that way. Plus, I really wouldn't recommend this trail to anyone - there is a lot of overgrowth, bushwhacking is required, you have to be very careful about skirting around the private property in the area.
Most peaks require hours of effort and are typically suited for hikers with a lot of back-country experience, yet Buffalo Peak near Orem, Utah is a peak for the whole family to enjoy (even the dogs!). With the low elevation gain, and short distance, even children will be excited to summit this "peak". You can reach the summit in under 15 minutes at a moderate hiking pace, or closer to 30 minutes with children. Buffalo Peak offers a fantastic view of Utah Valley to the West, and the Cascade ridgeline to the East. Late Spring and Early summer is the best time to hike here while the wildflowers are blooming.
Spanish Fork Peak (10,192 ft) stands out by itself, as you make your way down HWY 6 towards Price, UT, it sits in between two other big peaks (Provo Peak to the North, and Santaquin Peak to the south). With almost 3,000ft of prominence, Spanish Fork Peak ranks #41 on the Utah Prominence Peak list, and is higher than any peak in Weber and Davis counties. This trail is not for the beginner hiker - it climbs 4,600 ft in just 5 miles. Steep is the name of the game, but your hard work will pay off with grand views of surrounding mountains and an alpine lake.
Bridal Veil Falls is located in Provo Canyon - you can't miss if you've ever driven through the canyon. You can clearly see Bridal Veil Falls from HWY 189, but to get a better sense of how big it is, there is a nice, small trail that takes you to the base of the falls. At the top of this 600 ft tiered waterfall, there used to be a restaurant, called the Eagle's Nest Lodge. The restaurant had a fire, and years later, after the cables and been dangling up there, an avalanche finally sealed the fate of it but forever removing all the loose cables. You can still see the loading station at the main parking lot. On weekends this is a very popular waterfall for families to stop and look at, so arrive early if you wish to get photos without other people in your pictures.
First Falls is the, well, the first waterfall along the Aspen Grove Trail, a popular route to the Mt. Timpanogos summit. After we hiked Stewart Falls, we headed over to this trail since it starts from the same parking lot. First Falls is only 1 mile up the Aspen Grove Trail, and is paved for half of it. The first half is rocky, from when the forest service reconstructed the trail due to a wash out from heavy snow melt. The second half is paved from when the trail first went in, in the early 1930s. First Falls is fun for the whole family, and those looking for a short, yet scenic destination.
The Avenues Twin Peaks is another one of my go-to after work hikes. This hike is the most beautiful in Spring during Sunset, when the yellow flowers are blooming, the hills are green, and the temperature is just right; however this trail can be hiked year round. The Avenues Twin Peaks is almost always windy, so a light jacket is recommended. There is no water and no shade, and the trailhead is a popular spot for mountain bikers to depart on their ride.
After hiking to Gordon Creek Waterfalls, we drove to Nine Mile Canyon. From its name, you'd imagine that it would literally be nine miles - in reality, Nine Mile Canyon is actually a 70 mile long Backcountry Byway. The BLM believes it derived its name from, when in 1869, John Wesley Powell was exploring the Green River. The expeditions cartographer used a nine mile transect for mapping and the canyon retained that name.
Gordon Creek Waterfall is a lesser-know falls near Helper & Price, Utah. Most people like to arrive here by ATV, however it's a super easy hike that is great for the whole family. You may also see horseback riders on this trail so be careful when turning a corner. Gordon Creek Waterfall is located in a flash flood area, so it's not recommend to be in this area after a heavy rain.
In June 2015, a group of friends and I summited Broads Fork Twin Peaks in Big Cottonwood Canyon via Robinson's Variation. If you've done any research on this peak, you've seen several routes that will lead you to the top. My friend who lead us on this hike, had done it other the ways, but wanted to try this route out. I was up for anything! He had heard it was do-able, but steep. Robinson's Variation was also appealing to us because it could be done as a loop hike - up Robinson's, summit, then down the traditional Broad's Fork route.
Rocky Mouth Falls is a very easy walk that can be reached in about 10 minutes, and is located just above the east side neighborhood in Draper, Utah. This past week I seemed to be on a waterfall streak, hitting Lisa Falls, Faux Falls, & Mill Creek Falls. Rocky Mouth Falls was my 4th waterfall in five days.
Lisa Falls is another super easy waterfall to reach, and is great for kids. This seemed to be the "week of waterfalls" for me. I also visited the Left Fork of Mill Creek and Faux Falls in Moab which are also both great for dogs and kids. Every time I drive up Little Cottonwood Canyon, I say "there's a waterfall over there - we should check it out!" But I never did...
Hidden Falls is a quick walk off the side of the road up Big Cottonwood Canyon - with only a .07 mile walk up the road, there's no good reason to pass it up! This is perfect in Spring when the waterfall is running full. On the 5 minute walk you will also pass by an old, closed off mine. This walk is perfect for those with little kids or family visiting that aren't big hikers but still want to see pretty scenery.
The Parrish Canyon Trail starts along the Wasatch Mountains in Centerville, Utah. Despite its name, the hike actually takes you up the face of the mountain, over a course of several switchbacks, gaining elevation steeply until you have beautiful views of Davis County. This is a nice hike to do in Winter to get out of the inversion and to get the dogs out. If you hike up the actual creek, about 1/2 mile up you will see the Parrish Creek Pictographs. In Winter they are not usually visible due to snow.
Round Valley is one of my favorite places in Utah to cross country (xc) ski, mainly for two reasons: 1) it's free 2) dogs can be off leash! What's better than that?! Round Valley also has groomed tracks and a wide enough space for skate skiers.
Little Black Mountain sits above the Avenues neighborhood in SLC, and although it seems close, it's looks are deceiving. This trail offers great views of the SLC valley and the BST (Bonneville Shoreline Trails), but get ready to give your hips and calves a work out. Most of the trail is along the BST ridgeline, but gains 900 ft in 1/2 mile!
Sunset Peak (10,648 ft) has been on my hiking to-do list for almost 2 years! Why haven't I done it sooner?! It's a very accessible peak to summit when the ski resorts are closed and hikers are allowed. Sunset peak offers a 360 degree view of the Wasatch Mountains, plus a view of Heber City, Park City, and the Salt Lake Valley. Hiking up via Catherine Pass/Alta contains a great mix of meadow, wooded areas, a fantastic vistas. Hiking this trail provides for a good workout, but getting to the peak doesn't require months of training.
Mt. Nebo (11,929 ft) is the highest peak in the Wasatch Mountains. and Utah County. Mt. Nebo actually has two summits, the north and south, with the North being the higher of the two. This is a popular hike, so the trail is well maintained and easy to follow. Around 9,000 ft a bench trail runs level North to South, as it reaches Wolf Pass. From there, the trail steadily climbs to a false summit, before reaching the ridge that leads to the true summit. This is a strenuous, yet very rewarding hike, as you can see for several miles around.