Bloods Lake is a quick and easy trail located at the top of Guardsman Pass accessed either from Big Cottonwood Canyon or Park City. Dogs are allowed on this hike if they are brought up the Park City side but prohibited in Big Cottonwood due to watershed restrictions. We always drive up BCC because of distance, but I feel that Buddy would LOVE the trail and all of the other doggo friends.
Parking can be a pain on Guardsman Pass. There is a parking lot that is usually always full in the late afternoon and evening due to its proximity to the Wasatch Crest Trail for MTB and the popularity of Bloods Lake. We have driven up plenty of times on a Saturday only to drive back down into BCC for another hike because of lack of parking. If you park on the road, make sure you can park and leave plenty of room for drivers. Guardsman Pass is a narrow mountain road with no guardrails.
The hike is a 1.1 mile out and back starting on the left side of the LNT sign. It's an overall easy hike with great views, wildflowers in the summer, and unfortunately... mosquitos. The descent the actual lake is steep. Keep this in mind when going back up. The first time I did this hike last year I was sucking air for the short uphill section. We recently did this hike with some of my flatlander family (740 ft above sea level) and they were also struggling just for that short section. My sister (who has severe asthma) and I managed just fine this time! The hike is in the 9500-9600 ft above sea level vicinity.
Keep in mind that this hike traverses on private property with access at the property owner's discretion. You will see a No Trespassing sign. Continue at your own risk! You are liable for yourself after that point. If you do continue on to the lake, clean up after yourself! Practice Leave No Trace. Better yet, leave it BETTER than you found it.
Once you descend to the lake, there is a trail that wraps around. We chose a nice hammocking spot to watch a group of dogs playing water fetch. Dog watching is my favorite sport! I also used my Adventure Mat to make my hammock time more enjoyable. Read all about the Adventure Mat here!
There is a trail that continues on to Laxawaxen Lake and Clayton Peak, however we have always enjoyed this as a late evening hike. One day I will continue to complete Clayton!