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Salt Lake City Hikes Offering the Best Reward for Little Effort

by Snow Travelista July 28 2014 0 Comments

Whether you’re short on time, or simply want to enjoy nature without a major workout, these hikes deliver big rewards for little effort. This also makes them perfect for visitors arriving from sea level who need to acclimate to our elevation.

The key to enjoying any hike, especially at a higher elevation than you’re used to, is hydration. So pack plenty of water and perhaps a snack for a relaxing walk in the woods.

Here are my suggestions to get you started, all distances are round trip:

Willow Heights

Located near Brighton, this hike has lots of my favorite features, aspen, water, and a relief from the heat in the valley. The beginning is a tad steep, but it levels out opening up into a meadow with a small pond and then Willow Lake shortly thereafter. Afterward enjoy a meal at the nearby Silver Fork Lodge.

Distance: 2.0 Miles

Elevation gain: 660 Feet


Cecret Lake

This hike is smack in the middle of Alta Ski Area’s Albion Basin. After the snow melts, this stunner of a lake reveals itself, nestled at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain. The wildflowers pop along the trail through July and August. If you look closely into the water, you’ll spot swimming salamanders that have lion-like collars around their heads. Also watch for the moose that frequent this area.

Length: 1.5 Miles

Elevation Gain: 300 Feet


Donut Falls

Donut Falls is a classic Salt Lake City area hike. It’s unique in that the water drops through a hole in the rock (like a doughnut hole) into a shallow cavern. Mostly level and with opportunities to explore around the falls, this is an ideal hike for a family.

Length: 1.6 Miles

Elevation Gain: 410 Feet


Snowbird Barrier Free Trail

Located at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, this trail is not only pretty, but it’s accessible to all, including strollers, children and wheelchairs. It ends at a platform overlook with a great view. I had the opportunity to picnic there once and loved it!

Length: 1 Mile

Elevation Gain: 70 Feet


Lake Mary

This pretty lake is a short trek from the Brighton Ski Resort parking area. It’s tucked beneath jagged peaks, adding drama to the already pretty landscape. 

Length: 2 Miles

Elevation Gain: 765 Feet


Hidden Falls

This is more of a short walk rather than a hike, but it’s still worth mentioning because you get to see both a waterfall and an old mine. Pretty cool!  The parking area fills quickly, so you may have to park in the Mill B South lot and walk a little further.

Length: .3 Miles

Elevation Gain: 40 Feet



Snow Travelista

About the Author

Snow Travelista

Erika Wiggins

Erika Wiggins is a freelance writer with a passion for travel and adventure sports. Last winter she visited Utah on assignment to learn to ski. Three months later, she packed up and moved to Utah so she could ski the Greatest Snow on Earth every season. Today she scours Utah’s ski scene looking for creative vacation ideas and tricks to make each visitor’s stay more epic. Planning a girls’ getaway or need a resort with childcare? Ask her for advice. Erika shares tips and inspiration, elevating ski vacations from ordinary to extraordinary. She is Ski Utah’s travel guru. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter as @Active_Explorer.

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