Wasatch Walker Mountain treks near Salt Lake City

We've lived in the Salt Lake Valley now for nearly 15 years and I love the mountains east of us! I've made many trips into these mountains and have taken a lot of photos on my iPhone. Here are a few of the places I've explored. You should go check them out!

Here are the 10 trailhead locations. Just about all of them are within an hour drive of Salt Lake City!

Donut Falls in Big Cottonwood Canyon

This is a great short hike to a beautiful waterfall! It’s just as fun in the winter and if you go in the snow you can bring sleds and hike up and then sled out. Because this is such a popular hike you really don't need snowshoes if you stay on the main trail. There is also a sign now saying not to climb on the falls. Our family does this hike at least once or twice a year. Roughly 3 miles round trip.

Click here for more information.

Donut Falls
climbing around the falls
Donut Falls frozen
near the parking lot
exploring in the winter

Cecret Lake in Little Cottonwood Canyon

Great short hike with a fun lake at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon. If you go in July you can see the wild flowers. We've also seen large moose off the trail and there are some cool salamanders in the lake. There is a little climb near the end, but it isn't that bad. This is another family favorite! In the summer this place can be a zoo so plan accordingly. Roughly 1.5 miles round trip.

Click here for more information.

Cecret Lake in July
playing on a rock
Cecret Lake pano

Lake Blanche in Big Cottonwood Canyon

Beautiful hike up Big Cottonwood Canyon to several lakes. The trail is a little steep but there are great places to explore and even camp once you arrive. This hike is a personal favorite and is a great day hike! Snowshoeing is also a popular winter activity. If you make it up, I bet you won't take just one photo. Roughly 6 miles round trip.

Click here for more information.

Lake Blanche in May
Lake Blanche in June
Lake Blanche pano
moose in July

Red Pine Lake in Little Cottonwood Canyon

A great Little Cottonwood Canyon hike to a lake. This is one of my favorite places to go. The trail can be steep but the view is worth it. There is also a lake or two above this one and if you keep going up you can get to the Pfeifferhorn. You can also camp overnight here. The general rule of thumb is no camping or fires permitted within one half mile of any road. Roughly 6 miles round trip.

Click here for more information.

Red Pine Lake in July
rock near Red Pine Lake
Red Pine Lake

White Pine Lake in Little Cottonwood Canyon

This is a sister hike to Red Pine Lake. The hike is very rocky and somewhat challenging but beautiful. One of the nice things about this hike is that it isn't heavily trafficked. You should have plenty of peace if you make it to the lake. There are also several places to camp. Roughly 10 miles roundtrip.

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White Pine Lake at sunrise
sunrise above the lake

Lake Mary, Martha, and Catherine in Big Cottonwood Canyon

Another great Big Cottonwood Canyon hike to a few lakes. You can probably tell by now that I love lakes. I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona so I always want to hike and camp by water. You can hike up to Lake Catherine from the Brighton parking lot and pass Lake Mary and Lake Martha. You can also get there from Little Cottonwood canyon if you pull over and park before you reach Albion Basin. Roughly 4.6 miles round trip from Brighton.

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Lake Martha in September
Lake Mary, Martha, and Catherine pano
Lake Catherine in June

Mt. Timpanogos in American Fork Canyon

Beautiful hike! It takes about 4.5 hours to reach the summit and it’s challenging. However, this is probably one of the most beautiful hikes in all of Utah. You can go up from the Timpooneke side or the Sundance side. I would recommend going to the trailhead really early, like 2am, and getting to the saddle, summit if you can, so you can watch the sun rise. It's breathtaking. You can also head south after the summit to slide down the glacier. This hike is a must! Roughly 15 miles miles round trip.

Click here for more information.

Mt. Timpanogos
Mt. Timpanogos in July
sunrise on Mt. Timp
mountain goat

Mount Superior and Monte Cristo

I did this hike with a friend recently. It's a climb with 2,800 feet of elevation gain but the views are totally worth it. Once you get to the top you can see into both Little and Big Cottonwood canyons and into the Salt Lake Valley. A few lakes are visible too. It's best to get an early start so you aren't hiking in the heat of the day. Roughly 10 miles round trip.

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Looking up Mount Superior
scrambling up
view from Monte Cristo

Snow Caving in Big Cottonwood Canyon

Guardsman Pass is a good place to dig a snow cave because it has lots of deep snow. The best time to go is February or March when the snow is deep and firm. It's easy to put gear on sleds and hike a quarter mile or so and find a spot to dig. Another good place for snow caving in The Spruces campground in this canyon.

Directions: Head up Big Cottonwood Canyon to Brighton Ski Resort. Before you hit the resort you’ll see a sign for Guardsman Pass. Turn left and follow the road until you can’t go any further and park next to the outhouse.

Guardsman Pass in September
snow caving up Guardsman Pass
above Brighton Ski Resort
snow caving in March

Stairs Gulch in Big Cottonwood Canyon

This is one of the more recent hikes I've done. The thrill of this trail is hiking up stream through piles of snow (May and June are good months). The trailhead isn't hard to find and you basically hike up a narrow canyon. If its a hot day, the dripping snow feels great! Roughly 2.5 miles roundtrip.

Click here for more information.

Stairs Gulch in June
waterfall runoff

Willow Heights in Big Cottonwood Canyon

If you like backpacking with kids then this is the hike for you! The hike is short and the meadow at the top is huge and there is plenty of wood for fires. Fall (October) is a great time because of all the foilage. The aspens turn golden and it's beautiful. We've encountered moose here as well. Roughly 4 miles round trip.

Click here for more information.

Willow Heights in October
kids hiking
camping at Willow Heights

Silver Lake Loop in Big Cottonwood Canyon

I think this is the easiest hike in both Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons. It is just below Brighton Ski Resort and most of it is on a boardwalk. This makes it stroller and wheelchair friendly! It's beautiful anytime but especially in the fall when the leaves turn colors. Roughly 1.5 miles round trip.

Click here for more information.

Silver Lake
on the boardwalk
Silver Lake pano

Bells Canyon

This is a nice hike near Sandy, UT. Once you start you come to a little reservoir which is nice. Keep going and you'll find the lower falls which is a great waterfall with some nice views of the city below. The trial continues if you are up for a bigger challenge. Roughly 6 miles round trip.

Click here for more information.

Bells Canyon

I hope these pictures and trail tips are helpful. If you live in the Salt Lake valley, this is our backyard. If you don't live here, come and experience the wonder of these mountains for yourself. Just remember, great minds think a hike!

If you are looking for other things to do in Utah, check out this page.

Good hiking websites

1. All Trails - https://www.alltrails.com

2. Utah.com hiking - http://www.utah.com/saltlake/hiking.htm

3. WasatchHiker.com - http://www.wasatchhiker.com/

4. Climb-Utah.com - http://climb-utah.com/index.htm

5. Hikes and Lakes.com - http://www.hikesandlakes.com/utsnow.html

If you are looking for a good hiking/backpacking list check out REI's page here.

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