6 Spectacular Fall Hikes Near Salt Lake City, Utah

By Travel Tips and Deals Sep 7, 2018
These six hikes around Salt Lake City offer an especially pretty display of honey gold, green and rusty red leaves during autumn in Utah.
6 Spectacular Fall Hikes Near Salt Lake City, Utah

After wicked heat this summer, I'm excited for sweater weather. Splashes of yellow highlighting the mountains. Sunset arrives earlier. All signs that autumn is here. Do you know what that means?? Ski season is around the corner! Woohooo!

Oh and it’s a great time for hiking.

Okay, admittedly I’m preoccupied with dreams of Utah powder, but fall is a stunning time for hiking. There are many lovely hikes in the area, but these six Salt Lake City hikes offer an especially pretty display of honey gold, green, and rusty red leaves during autumn. 

Before you hit the trail, make sure to brush up on your trail etiquette too.

Desolation Lake

Why it’s hike-worthy: Stands of aspen, lovely meadows, a good workout and a pretty lake nestled in a bowl.

Trailhead: Mill D North Fork Trail in Big Cottonwood Canyon

Distance RT: 7.2 Miles


Lake Blanche

Why it’s hike-worthy: Awesome views of the canyon, pretty lake reflecting Sundial Peak, some legit butt toning, great picnic spots, two additional lakes just 200 yards further. This is a classic Salt Lake City hike especially pretty with fall color. Rock hounds will enjoy the interesting geology as well.

Trailhead: Lake Blanche Trail in Big Cottonwood Canyon. This lot fills early. Be prepared to park at the s-curve lot or along the road.

Distance RT: 6.4 Miles


Wasatch Crest Trail

Why it's hike worthy: If you like trail running, THIS is the one for you. Get your miles in with breathtaking views. The views aren't the only thing that will take your breath away...at an elevation of over 9,000 feet, your lungs will get a workout too. But don't let that deter you, most of the trail is gentle, rolling terrain. Except Puke Hill. Early morning is best due to high mountain bike traffic later in the day. 

Trailhead: Wasatch Crest in Big Cottonwood Canyon

Distance RT: This is a long trail, so you can hike/run/ride up to 23.4 miles. Go half as far as you please, then turn around. The view is great in both directions.

Bells Canyon Falls

Why it’s hike-worthy: Beautiful reservoir, wide meadows, lots of trees (therefore color), a waterfall, a moderate hike for most. Even if you don’t hike to the falls, this hike is lovely.

Trailhead: Bells Canyon North if it’s full, head to Bells Canyon South Trailhead.

Distance RT: 4.6 Miles


Mount Olympus

Why it’s hike worthy: Pretty views, plenty of trees, a good hike in cooler weather, epic 360˚ view from the top, bragging rights (it’s one of the steepest hikes in Salt Lake, climbing 4,152’ in just 3.4 miles.) Read more about the hike HERE.

Trailhead: The Mount Olympus Trailhead is located on the east side of Wasatch Boulevard. From 4500 South, head south on Wasatch Boulevard for roughly 1.6 miles and look for a sign marking the parking area. If parking is full, you’ll need to park on the main road.

Distance RT: 6.8 Miles


Red Pine Lake

Why it’s hike worthy: Moderate hike, aspen groves, stunning alpine lake, picnic spots, a second upper lake nearby, sweeping canyon views.

Trailhead: White Pine Trailhead in Little Cottonwood Canyon

Distance RT: 7 miles