Fall Creek Falls is located in the Challis National Forest in the Wildhorse Creek area, about 45 minutes from the Mt.Borah Trail head. This is a super easy trail that anyone can do, dogs and kids included. The short 0.7 mile path leads to this beautiful cascading waterfall that has a viewing deck but if you're feeling adventurous, you can easily walk to the base or top of the falls. The best months to visit are June through October.
Hiking to Mt.Borah (12,662 ft), Idaho's state high point, is located in the Lost River Range within Challis National Forest. This peak is not for the faint of heart or weak. The trail gains 5,200 ft in just 4.2 miles and crosses the famous "Chicken Out Ridge" (COR). There is nothing technical along the main trail, but COR is considered a class 3 scramble. It has really good hand holds and while a rope is provided in one spot, you don't really need to use it to get up/down. Always check your that your hand holds are safe and stable before putting your weight on it. This is a super popular trail since it's the tallest mountain in Idaho, so on a Saturday in August we saw closet to 80 other hikers. During the week you will see less people, but it's still a popular spot.
South Erickson Lake is a lake in the High Uintas Wilderness and can actually be accessed from two different trailheads. The first being from the Shingle Creek Trail off Mirror Lake Highway, and what this blog post will describe, from the Ledgefork TH at Smith & Moorehouse Reservoir. This route is 5.5 miles one way and can be hiked/ran in a few hours, or if you want a more relaxing weekend backpacked overnight. The trail only gains close to 900 feet over the first 3 miles, then when you turn at the trail split for North & South Erickson Lakes you will gain another 1500 ft in just 2.5 miles. The second half of the trail is rocky but full of wildflowers in July! This is a great trail for dogs off leash, and older kids who can carry their own backpack.
Hiking to the paper airplane at Powder Mountain Ski Resort is a fun hike for all ages and the pups on-leash! This super easy trail leads you to a giant metal airplane structure, acting as both a sculpture and obstacle for bikers riding the trails. The trail gradually descends roughly 150ft before reaching this 20 ft long "paper" airplane. The surrounding views of the ski resort and Wasatch Mountains are hard to beat - on a clear day you can see all the way to Mt.Timpanogos to the South, and into Idaho to the North! This trail is only accessible in Summer months.
Lewis Peak (8,031 ft) is located in North Ogden, Utah and sits on the mountain between Ben Lomond to the North and Mt. Ogden to the south. This peak is usually forgotten due to its popular neighboring peaks but it is actually a very scenic summit. Lewis Peak was named after Lewis Warren Shurtliff, who was among the first known to summit this prominent peak. At the time, he was only 16, when he climbed what would be named Lewis Peak on June 6, 1852 with some friends. On the summit, he piled up rocks and stuck a large branch in it to mark the high point. Lewis and his friends hiked here to scout out the area and help protect the settlers from the Native Americans. It's unusual for a geographic feature to be titled after a person's first name. In fact, Lewis Peak is only one of a few Ogden Wasatch Front Mountain peaks that is even named after a specific person.
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.
Whiskey Island Lake sits at 10,400 ft in the High Uintas and is a secluded lake great for a day hike and fishing. If you're really feeling like getting a workout, add on the surrounding peak above the lake, Whiskey Island Peak. This 3 mile routes follows a road for the first 2.2 miles, then it's a choose-your-own-adventure kind of day following your GPS to guide you to the lake since there is no trail the last 3/4 mile. There are several routes to reach Whiskey Island Lake, and if you're feeling adventurous you can turn it into a loop like I did.
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.
The Lofty Lakes Loop in the Uintas is a beautiful 4 mile loop that takes you past several high alpine lakes, a few cool overlooks, and is a relatively easy hike for most people. To make this route even better, add on a side trek to Cuberant Lake! It is one of the most popular trails along the Mirror Lake Highway, however don't let that stop you from hiking this loop at least once. This is one of the prettiest day hikes in the area! You can hike this loop in either direction, but counter-clockwise is a bit easier since the elevation gain is done near the beginning of the hike and it's more gradual this way.