These hikes are great for a quick easy morning hike or an after work adventure. For days when you don’t have much time to spare – get in the car and drive to the canyons! Listed from easiest strolls to more moderate hikes.
Silver Lake – Big Cottonwood Canyon
Ah, Silver Lake. I love this place. I love driving up and having lunch at the picnic tables, or taking a walk around the boardwalk in the snow. Silver Lake is the most accessible way to see some of Utah’s beauty, just at the top of Big Cottonwood in Brighton. With its accessibility comes its popularity. Only two times have I been to Silver Lake and not crossed paths with multiple family photo sessions (visit and you’ll see why every Salt Lake family wants Silver Lake in the background of their Christmas card). Regardless, the boardwalk around Silver Lake makes for a great impromptu stroll when you left your hiking boots at home.
Barrier Free Trail – Little Cottonwood Canyon
One of the first snows of the season this October, my sister and I decided to venture up to Snowbird in Little Cottonwood Canyon. After parking near the Snowbird Center, we took the stairs to the third floor and out the back door. We soon crossed over a bridge to the trail – it is marked with a large overhead sign. This is a ½ mile paved trail, although with the snowfall the pavement was hidden. I imagine this is a great way to get some fresh air in the summer if you’re short on time. You might even see a moose!
Blood Lake – Guardsman Pass
I’ve been to Blood Lake a few times now, and have been lucky to see snow each time (I’m weird: I LOVE snow crunching beneath my feet). This hike does cross over Private Property. Be aware of the posted signs and please: pack it in, pack it out. If you do see litter on this hike, please pick it up! The hike there is simple and should take less than 20 minutes. It is pretty flat the whole way until you descend to the lake. There are plenty of places to hang a hammock while the mist rolls over the lake. Note that Guardsman Pass is not maintained in the winter, so this hike is best enjoyed from June – October. If entering through Big Cottonwood Canyon, you cannot bring your furry friends. However, dogs are allowed if coming from Park City.
Twin Lakes Reservoir – Big Cottonwood Canyon
If you’ve made it to Silver Lake, you can easily access the trail to Twin Lakes. This hike starts by traveling right around the boardwalk of Silver Lake until you reach what is obviously a trailhead. Twin Lakes is a little over a mile from here, all uphill. Some of it is rocky, but totally worth the views. Bring a picnic because there are some great places to sit under the aspens on the reservoir shore. We saw several pikas on our hike, and the views of Silver Lake on the way down are spectacular.
Brighton Lakes– Big Cottonwood Canyon