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!
Hiking to Hidden Haven Falls is a popular hike near Parowan, Utah. This short hike is perfect for kids and dogs to hike to, especially when it's hot outside. At only 2 miles round-trip, this hike is somewhat shaded and a perfect hike to do if you are visiting the Brian Head or Cedar Breaks area. The flat trail leads to a beautiful waterfall flowing from Benson Creek. Be sure to wear water shoes, as it is unavoidable to stay dry, especially in Spring when the falls are raging. During summer and fall it becomes a trickle, and is not as impressive, but you can stay dry. There are also several picnic tables 10 minutes from the falls, so plan to have lunch along the creek!
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 Willard Fin (6,579 ft) is a prominent feature along the foothills above Willard, UT. There are so many mines in the area, that the Fin also has the nickname of "lightning rock", for the amount of high metal content under it in the earth. Besides that, the Fin offers a great hike with amazing views all around. Willard Bay to the West, Willard Canyon below, and Grizzly Peak to the East. There is nothing technical about this hike, so it's great to bag a fairly easy peak. The best time of year to hike this is Spring and Fall. Summer is extremely hot with no water or shade. Even in April, Charlie was too hot so make sure you start early to beat the heat and bring plenty of water and sunblock.
Willard Canyon is the main canyon leading up from the town of Willard, Utah. To the West you have a great view of Willard Bay, and to the East, the trail leads up to cascades (and a waterfall if you can make it). The hike is straight-forward - after crossing the creek from the parking area, you will hike up a short yet steep hill, before crossing a bridge and following the creek as far as you can make it. This trail is dog-friendly, but I wouldn't bring little kids due to steepness. The best time to hike here is late Spring, Summer, and Fall.