Salt Lake City Hikes | Best Salt Lake City Hiking Trails | 10Adventures (2023)

Right on the doorstep of the Wasatch Mountains, Salt Lake City is the ideal jumping-off point for some truly fantastic hikes. This fascinating, beautiful corner of Utah is known for its impressive craggy peaks, and particularly for the brilliant skiing opportunities in the winter months. However, come to Salt Lake City in summer, when the skies are blue and the mountains call to all avid hikers.

As the locals will tell you, Salt Lake City’s proximity to some beautiful natural spots is what makes it a wonderful place to live and visit. With trails that begin right where the city ends, and stunning wilderness areas just a short drive away, this is a fantastic place to experience the beauty of the great outdoors. With dramatic canyons, picturesque streams and lakes, and imposing mountain peaks, there’s no shortage of wonderful hiking trails, just waiting to be discovered.

The Wasatch Mountains are particularly known for their canyons, and many of the trails listed here will take you close to Big Cottonwood Canyon, Little Cottonwood Canyon, or Mill Creek Canyon. Hiking in this terrain is a thrilling experience, with plenty of diversity to keep you entertained on the trail, and some really epic views.


Salt Lake City offers year-round adventures, with fantastic hiking and backpacking in the summer months, and superior skiing in the winter. To give you a little inspiration for your next trip, we’ve put together a guide to our favorite hikes in the region, together with some top tips on how to enjoy your trip. Sit back, relax, and start dreaming of your next adventure!

Types Of Hiking In Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City offers a whole host of wonderful hiking opportunities, with trails to suit all levels of ability and experience. The Wasatch Mountains offer some satisfying challenges for serious hikers, with trails that rise steeply up to towering summits. You’ll need plenty of energy to tackle some of these longer hikes, but there are rewards in abundance once you reach the top. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something a little easier, or travelling with family, you’ll find plenty of lower elevation trails with lots of interesting sights to keep younger hikers happy. With cascading waterfalls and pristine mountain lakes, there are lots of places to cool off on hot days, and plenty of beautiful picnic areas where you can relax and enjoy the view!

Easy Hikes In Salt Lake City

Cecret Lake Hike: This easy hike makes the most of the Alta ski lift access road to get you high into the alpine without having to expend much energy. Right from the start of the trail you’ll enjoy wonderful views, passing through alpine meadows until you come to a beautiful, serene lake. This is a wonderful place for a picnic and a tranquil moment amidst the magnificent scenery.

(Video) #1 BEST HIKE IN SALT LAKE CITY - Scenic Utah Travel

Family Hikes In Salt Lake City

Donut Falls Hike: The route to Donut Falls, deep in the heart of Big Cottonwood Canyon, is a classic family hike in Salt Lake City. It’s a short climb with spectacular views, and kids will love the sights and sounds of the huge cascading waterfall. Don’t forget to bring a change of socks as you may get wet feet on this fun, family hike!

Day Hikes In Salt Lake City

Red Pine Lake and Pfeifferhorn Ridge Hike: The route up to Red Pine Lake and further on to the Pfeifferhorn Ridge is one of the best day hikes in Salt Lake City, offering a magnificent panorama over the surrounding peaks. You’ll need to use your hands and there is some scrambling required at different points along the trail, but this is a really fun route for experienced, confident hikers.

Challenging Hikes In Salt Lake City

Box Elder Peak Hike: Hikers beware! This route up to Box Elder Peak is not for the faint of heart, with a steep, long climb all the way to the summit. However, if you’ve got the energy, the views from the top are simply sensational. You’ll see the Pfeifferhorn Ridge, Mount Timpanogos, and all the surrounding peaks, with views down as far as Salt Lake. This is an unmissable adventure if you’re a keen hiker.

(Video) 20 Hikes in 20 Days | Exploring Salt Lake City, Utah

Best Hikes In Salt Lake City

Clayton Peak Hike: The short, steep hike up to Clayton Peak is a surprisingly manageable route that offers some incredible views. As the ascent is relatively short, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the panorama from the summit, taking in the Wasatch Mountains, the Uintas, Mount Timpanogos and Box Elder. This is one of the best hikes in Salt Lake City if you want a short hiker that’s big on views.

Silver Lake Hike: Relatively few hikers make the journey to Silver Lake, but this quiet trail offers many delights. The trail is well maintained and easy to follow and the easy switchbacks mean that you’ll barely notice the elevation gain. This lake itself is beautiful, surrounded by imposing gray cliffs that create an incredible ambience. Cool off in the crisp waters of the lake, or take a picnic and simply admire the view.

Sunset Peak Hike: The route up to Sunset Peak passes by four stunning alpine lakes: Dog Lake, Lake Mary, Lake Martha and Lake Catherine. The views along the way are lovely, with plenty of places to stop and enjoy the water and the scenery. However, once you ascend Sunset Peak things move up a level, with a magnificent outlook into both the Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons, and a wonderful mountain panorama.

(Video) Amazing Hikes Near Salt Lake City - Brighton Lakes Hike - Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah

Mount Raymond Hike: The route up to the summit of Mount Raymond requires some relatively significant elevation gain over a short period, meaning that many hikers don’t include it on their Salt Lake City itinerary. We think this is a huge mistake as the Mount Raymond hike is an incredible trek with unique views into the heart of the Wasatch. Enjoy the solitary summit and the majesty of these grand peaks.

Lake Blanche Hike: Lake Blanche is the destination for an extremely popular hike in Salt Lake City, and it’s not hard to see why. The climb to the lake is steep, and will definitely get your legs working, but the views as you near the top are magnificent. This exceptionally pretty alpine lake is the perfect place for a picnic, where you can get your breath back after the stiff climb.

Mount Aire Hike: This fun trail offers plenty of variation and wonderful scenery, passing through forests and wildflower meadows before finally emerging at the summit. With few switchbacks, this trail is steep and fairly arduous, but if you’re looking for a good workout, it’s a great choice. The views from the top extend into the rolling foothills of the Wasatch, and all the way to Mount Raymond and Gobbler’s Knob.

(Video) 3 Fall Hikes | Salt Lake City

When Is The Best Time To Hike In Salt Lake City?

The hiking season in Salt Lake City runs from May to October, although snow can linger on high ground well into May, and you may see early flurries in October. The summer months can be very hot, with temperatures rising to an average high of 32 degrees Celsius. The spring months are cooler, but you will find the trails very muddy at this time of year, due to the high rainfall and large volume of snowmelt. As a result, we think the best time to hike in Salt Lake City is September, when you can expect cool, comfortable temperatures for hiking, and there are far fewer hikers out on the trails. What’s more, at this time of year the turning leaves create some fabulous photo opportunities! In winter, snows render many trails inaccessible, but you’ll still have the chance to go snowshoeing, skiing or snowboarding.

Other Outdoor Activities In Salt Lake City

Although hiking is undoubtedly popular with visitors and locals alike, there are plenty of other wonderful outdoor activities in Salt Lake City! With endless miles of beautiful hiking trails, this is a great place for a backpacking trip, getting out into the wild for some backcountry camping. What’s more, you can also enjoy rock climbing, mountain biking, horseback riding, and road biking, all in beautiful countryside just a stone’s throw from the city. Salt Lake City also has a stellar reputation as a winter sports destination, and when the snows hit expect to enjoy both downhill and cross country skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing.

How To Plan A Trip To Salt Lake City

If you’re thinking of making Salt Lake City your next hiking destination, we’ve got all the information you’ll need to make your trip a success. Check out our comprehensive guide to planning a trip to Salt Lake City, complete with recommendations for where to stay, what to do, and insider tips to maximize your time in this part of Utah. If you need even more inspiration, or want to go even further afield, take a look at our list of all the top hikes in Utah. Whichever trail you choose, we’re sure you won’t be disappointed!

(Video) Most Popular (& Easiest) Quick Hike in Salt Lake City | For All skill levels


What is the most difficult hike in Utah? ›

Angels Landing in Zion National Park

This one should come as no surprise, but the No. 1 most dangerous hike in Utah is Angels Landing in Zion National Park. It's also one of the most dangerous hikes in the U.S., according to

What is the hardest hike ever? ›

The Everest Base Camp Trek in the Himalayas in Nepal is one of the most famous and also, the hardest hikes in the world. Everest Base Camp at an altitude of 5,364m is where some of the best mountaineers in the world start their attempt to climb the highest mountain on the planet, Mount Everest.

Is Desolation trail Hard? ›

The hike is considered moderate and is 7.8 miles round trip. There are a few steep parts but most of the trail is a gentle uphill. Silver lake is the easiest hike. It's at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon.

What is the best month to hike in Utah? ›

High season, June to August, is the best time for water sports and alpine hiking. Thanks to summer vacation and so much to see, Utah crowds are at their highest in summer, where the days are hot but the nights are cool.

What is the toughest hike in USA? ›

11 of the Most Dangerous Hikes in the U.S.
  1. Angel's Landing, Zion National Park. ...
  2. Capitol Peak via the Knife Edge, Colorado. ...
  3. Mist Trail and Half Dome Cables, Yosemite National Park. ...
  4. Huckleberry Trail, Glacier National Park. ...
  5. Camp Muir, Mount Rainier National Park. ...
  6. Chinitna Bay, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.
7 Oct 2021

What is the golden rule of hiking? ›

The best thing you can do when hiking is to remember the “golden rule”: treat others the way you would want to be treated. Here are some main points of hiking etiquette. Hikers coming uphill have the right of way. If you're descending the trail, step aside and give space to the people climbing up.

Is it better to hike in jeans or leggings? ›

Hiking pants offer much more protection that leggings and they won't tear easily. Also, if you are walking through locations with lots of insects, it is much better to wear pants, as bugs can get you through leggings. Leggings breathe better than hiking pants, and prevent chafing anywhere.

What is the easiest through hike? ›

Four Beginner-Friendly Thru-Hikes
  1. 1) Foothills Trail, South Carolina. 76 miles. Average Elevation ~1,000 feet. ...
  2. 2) Florida Trail, Florida. 1,500 miles. Average Elevation ~500 feet. ...
  3. 3) Greenstone Ridge Trail, Michigan. 41 miles. Average Elevation ~1,000 feet. ...
  4. 4) Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail, New Hampshire. 48 miles.
21 Jun 2021

How long does it take to hike a 100 miles? ›

Here's the top things to consider if you're interested in hiking the Hundred Mile Wilderness. Time: 6-9 days, for most hikers; Our itinerary covers an 8-day trip.

What is the big 4 in hiking? ›

Going Ultralight With The Big Four. The fastest way to lighten your load is to replace one or all of the four largest items most backpackers carry: pack, tent, sleeping bag and pad.

Is Seven Sisters Walk Hard? ›

The 22.5 km (14 miles) Seven Sisters walk is easy technically, though moderate due to the distance and the rolling ascents and descents over the Cliffs.

How hard is the trail to Delicate Arch? ›

Trail Details:

Length: 3.2 miles round trip, 1.5 miles to Delicate Arch. Time: 2-3 hours. Elevation Gain: 550 foot gain. Difficulty: Moderate.

How hard is twin sisters hike? ›

The hike to Twin Sisters Peak is both challenging and rewarding. This hike features a forested trail, the traverse of a landslide, and steep switchbacks leading to a breathtaking view. The final push to the summit requires an exciting rock scramble to the top of Twin Sisters Peak East.

What is the rainiest month in Utah? ›

The driest month in Salt Lake City is July with 0.72 inches of precipitation, and with 2.09 inches May is the wettest month.

How do you physically prepare for hiking in Utah? ›

Getting fit for the trail shouldn't be a chore.
Start With These Basic Hiking Fitness Tips
  1. Run or walk in sand. ...
  2. Build range of motion. ...
  3. Crunches. ...
  4. Squats and lunges. ...
  5. Push-ups. ...
  6. Cardio. ...
  7. Step-ups.
22 Mar 2022

Is Utah or Colorado better for hiking? ›

Both are similar in technical difficulty. Colorado has more 14ers than Utah has 13ers, but Utah's 13ers tend to be a lot farther from the roads. Most Colorado 14ers are climable as day hikes by average hikers. None of Utah's 13ers are (by average hikers).

What is the most famous hike in the world? ›


The Inca Trail has been one of the most famous and most popular hiking routes in the world for many years. It leads to the mysterious and ancient site of Machu Picchu, a 15th century Inca citadel ruin.

What are the 3 basic skills in hiking? ›

We've put together a list of what we believe to be some of the most important basic hiking skills to remember before your next big adventure.
  • Plan your Trip. ...
  • Be Equipped. ...
  • Check the Conditions. ...
  • Pick your Shoes and Socks Wisely. ...
  • Pace Yourself. ...
  • Leave No Trace.

What is hiker code? ›

Similar to the Skier's Responsibility Code endorsed by the National Ski Areas Association, the Hiker Responsibility Code was created to help hikers become more self aware about their responsibility for their own safety every time they are on a hike.

What are the 2 tips for hiking? ›

  • Tip #1 – Get the gear. Reduce the risk of injury by having good gear and being properly prepared for the hike. ...
  • Tip #2 – Map it out. ...
  • Tip #3 – Hydrate. ...
  • Tip #4 – Extra layers. ...
  • Tip #5 – The buddy system. ...
  • Tip #6 – Don't light fires on any mountain. ...
  • Tip #7 – Never underestimate.
9 Feb 2021

At what age should you stop hiking? ›

If you're worried about being “too old” to hike, don't. Many people enjoy hiking well into their 60s, 70s, and even 80s. You don't have to take the steepest, most challenging path. A simple stroll around your neighborhood can be a great way to enjoy a hike.

Should you wear deodorant on a hike? ›

In fact, you should always leave it at home. Why? Because deodorant does more than banish odors; it smells sweet and attracts bugs and other wildlife, including bears. After a few days without deodorant, you'll get accustomed to your new, “natural” odor.

What is the most important thing to remember when hiking? ›

Top 5 Safety Precautions to Remember:
  • Hike with a “buddy” when at all possible. ...
  • Avoid venturing off the beaten path. ...
  • Stay hydrated and bring drinking water. ...
  • Know where you are going ahead of time. ...
  • Keep an eye out for poison oak.
30 Oct 2015

Can you get in shape just by hiking? ›

First, even a moderate one-hour hike can burn around 400 calories, all while strengthening your core and lower body. And as the elevation goes up, so do the benefits of hiking. "The more challenging the hike, the more calories — and stress — you'll melt away," says Chun.

Are sneakers OK to hike in? ›

If it's a paved nature trail, even a pair of city sneakers can handle it. If you expect to hike in cold, wet conditions, you might prefer the warmth and protection of a sturdy boot with a waterproof membrane, but you can find waterproof trail-running shoes as well.

How much water should you drink on a hike? ›

A good general recommendation is about one half-liter of water per hour of moderate activity in moderate temperatures. You may need to increase how much you drink as the temperature and intensity of the activity rise.

How long should I hike as a beginner? ›

If you're just starting out, pick a hike under 5 miles with minimal climbing. If you want to do a longer hike, make a training plan in advance. Do an extra mile or two each week and build up to your target distance.

Is it better to hike in shorts or pants? ›

Shorts give you ultimate freedom and are also cooler than pants, so if you're going on a low-altitude summer hike, you'll most likely be in good shape.

How do you hike for beginners? ›

Hiking for Beginners: 10 Essential Tips
  1. Start small and choose the right trail for your fitness level. ...
  2. Familiarize yourself with the trail. ...
  3. Check the weather. ...
  4. Tell someone where you will be. ...
  5. Pack the 10 essentials. ...
  6. Wear the right shoes and socks. ...
  7. Dress for success. ...
  8. Keep it light.
26 May 2015

How many miles can a hiker walk in a day? ›

How far can the average person hike in a day? Every hiker and trail is different, but on average, you can hike 8-15 miles a day [4]. Even the slowest hikers can cover a considerable distance if they have the time to spare. At a pace of 2 mph (slower than average), you can comfortably hike 10 miles in a day.

How many miles can a human hike in a day? ›

Trained Walkers

That suggests that If a walker is well-trained and takes breaks, they can walk 20 miles in a day. If a walker doesn't take breaks and is going fast, they may be able to cover 30 miles in a day.

How many miles do thru-hikers walk a day? ›

Average hikers travel at roughly 2.5 miles per hour; focused thru-hikers with strong legs might walk upward of 3 miles per hour. With this pace, many AT hikers are able to cover 20 or more miles in an average day. Especially fast thru-hikers might average 25 miles per day and even occasionally hike 30 miles in a day.

How much weight should a hiker carry? ›

Pack Weight for Backpacking and Hiking

A loaded backpacking pack should not weigh more than about 20 percent of your body weight. (If you weigh 150 pounds, your pack should not exceed 30 pounds for backpacking.) A loaded day hiking pack should not weigh more than about 10 percent of your body weight.

Is a grade 4 hike hard? ›

Grade 4 – Recommended for experienced hikers and a reasonable level of fitness. A grade 4 hike is likely to have most days over 15 km, includes rough ground and very steep sections. These trails are suggested for people with experience hiking. They may be any length, but physically more demanding .

What is a Level 5 hike? ›

Level 5: Moderate – Inclines start to get more intense. Gain and distance goes up. No Beginners, No Kids, Some Teens, Dogs, Hiking Footwear Recommended, Water Required. Level 6: Moderate – Simple switchbacks and distance increase. Endurance and Stamina required.

Do you need hiking boots for Seven Sisters? ›

Hiking boots are not necessary, although a pair of sturdy trail runners are preferable to everyday sneakers. You will face two steep climbs out of Seaford and Cuckmere Haven (but both are over quickly) and one steep descent into Eastbourne. Other than that it's all rolling hills spooning you in!

Is Seven Sisters worth? ›

Quite simply, you need to visit the Seven Sisters Cliffs because they are one of London's best day trips. Indeed they are one of England's great natural wonders and essentially form a very impressive, wildly undulating row of 7 towering, chalky, seaside cliffs.

What should I wear for Seven Sisters walk? ›

Hiking the Seven Sisters is a long hike and it is demanding in places so make sure you are fully prepared before you set off: There is a lot of uphill and downhill walking. Some sections are quite steep and can be slippery. Make sure you are wearing comfortable trainers or hiking boots with good grip.

Is the lemon squeeze hike hard? ›

Generally considered a challenging route, it takes an average of 3 h 28 min to complete. This is a very popular area for hiking, so you'll likely encounter other people while exploring. There is a fee per person to start hiking from Mohonk Preserve trailheads.

Is Delicate Arch scary? ›

The final leg of this hike is a bit scary, but manageable if you are careful. The final 200 yards of trail to the Delicate Arch clings to the side of the cliff-face as it gently winds around a corner. There are no handrails and as you climb further up the drop below gets greater and greater.

Is Delicate Arch worth the hike? ›

Delicate Arch was really worth the hike, but this walk is not only about the arch itself. The views along the way are phenomenal and I would recommend this hike to everyone visiting the Arches. If you do one hike in the park, make it this one – it's probably the most beautiful hike of the Arches National Park.

Which of the Three Sisters is the easiest to climb? ›

South Sister is the easiest of the three to climb, and has a trail all the way to the summit. The standard route up the south ridge runs for 12.6 miles (20.3 km) round-trip, rising from 5,446 feet (1,660 m) at the trailhead to 10,363 feet (3,159 m) at its summit.

What is the toughest hike? ›

The Everest Base Camp Trek in the Himalayas in Nepal is one of the most famous and also, the hardest hikes in the world. Everest Base Camp at an altitude of 5,364m is where some of the best mountaineers in the world start their attempt to climb the highest mountain on the planet, Mount Everest.

What is the scariest hike in Zion? ›

Angels Landing has been recorded as one of the most dangerous public hikes in the United States. The top of the trail peaks off at a plateau, which is more than 1,000 feet high. But the most dangerous part of the hike involves a skinny land-bridge with a metal chain for guidance.

Is Zion National Park a difficult hike? ›

Rating: fairly strenuous to very strenuous day hike.

The West Rim Trail is one of the classic backcountry trails in Zion: a 15-mile long trail along the upper west plateau that connects Lava Point (the highest point in Zion) with the Grotto Trailhead in Zion's popular main canyon.

What is the steepest mountain in Utah? ›

Wellsville Mountains, Utah. The Wellsville Mountains in northern Utah are considered the steepest mountains on the continent.

What is the most difficult trail in Moab? ›

The most popular and difficult trail in Moab is Hell's Revenge OHV Trail with a 4.8-star rating from 825 reviews.

How many people fall off Angels Landing a year? ›

As you can see, from 2017 to 2021, an average of one person per year fell and died at Angels Landing.

Can beginners hike Zion? ›

Yes, beginner hikers can absolutely do the Zion Narrows day hike! Even if you don't have much hiking experience, you will be perfectly fine hiking the Narrows.

Do you have to worry about bears in Zion? ›

Seeing an American Black Bear in Zion National Park is rare but not unheard of. Since bear sightings are so rare each one, even a possible siting, should be reported to park officials. It is important to know the procedure for bear encounters on the off chance that you may see one.

Is Zion or Bryce canyon better? ›

Both of these Parks offer great outdoor activities for all ages. For canyoneering and rappelling, Zion beats Bryce. You'll find world-class hiking in either Park, but in Zion you can find yourself hiking through streams or on sandstone ledges, like Angels Landing – one of the scariest hikes in the world!

When should you not go to Zion National Park? ›

The Worst Time to Visit Zion National Park

If you want to avoid the crowds, skip a trip in June or July, which both see over 500,000 monthly visitors. On the other end of the spectrum, you'll find solitude during the winter months but might also experience below-freezing nights, snow, and limited park access.

Is one day in Zion enough? ›

Ideally, you need at least two to three days to visit Zion National Park. This gives you enough time to hike the longer, more popular trails, such as Angels Landing and the Narrows, and you can also add in a few of the shorter, easier trails, such as the Riverside Walk and Canyon Overlook.

What mountain is half under water? ›

Mauna Kea only stands 13,796 feet above seal level, but the mountain extends about 19,700 feet below the Pacific Ocean. Over half of it is submerged. That puts the total height of Mauna Kea at about 33,500 feet — nearly a mile taller than Everest.

What is the steepest city in the US? ›

Canton Avenue is a street in Pittsburgh's Beechview neighborhood which is the steepest officially recorded public street in the United States.

How hard is Hells Gate Moab? ›

While Moab is practically brimming over with incredible treks and trails, Hells Gate in Moab sits in a category all its own with good reason. This trail is rated a 6 out of 10 according to difficulty level and it's highly recommended that visitors enjoy this thrilling route alongside an experienced guide.

Can Arches and Canyonlands be done in one day? ›

If you only want to see a few highlights in each park, then yes, one day in Arches and Canyonlands is enough time. For a better experience, add one more day to your itinerary, so you can spend one full day in Arches and one full day in Canyonlands.

Which is busier Arches or Canyonlands? ›

Arches National Park is the busier of the two but both parks are so different that you can't really compare the two and say which is better. What is this? Arches National Park is all about the arches and rock formations whereas Canyonlands is all about the canyon and the Green and Colorado Rivers.


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