Best easy day hikes around Salt Lake


Aug 9, 2007
I need help people - what would you say are the very best or even just good easy day hikes within 60-90 minutes or so of Salt Lake or throughout the main Wasatch front (Ogden to Provo)? The Uintas is too far so I'm thinking more of the Wasatch and surrounding areas. I'm looking for the kind of stuff that would be great for people who don't hike a lot, want to bring kids, etc. but want to get a lot of bang for their buck.

Adams canyon above Layton is a nice little hike for families. The mountains East of Layton are pretty with fall colors and this hike has a waterfall at the top. It gets used A LOT so you will never be alone on this hike. I like the short hike to Willow Lake in Big Cottonwood. The hike is really easy, not as crowded and the views across the canyon are really nice especially this time of year. Lake Blanche and Bells canyon are a couple of my local favorites. For spectacular scenery Blanche can't be beat but it is a bit more strenuous IMO. Brighton Lakes is easy and has it all: granite peaks, waterfalls, ponds, streams and lakes...I know these are all pretty obvious but I've taken my family with young kids on all of these hikes and they have loved them all.
Summit park trail on parleys canyon trail map quite mellow and you can add a bit of a ridgeline hike. Doesn't take long to get to either

Red pine road loop in Millcreek canyon

Yellow fork trail in rose canyon near herriman

Corner canyon trails (although there will likely be lots of Mountain bikers)

Mill b north (not the lake Blanche trail) the first section is steeper but once you get past that you have a pretty sweet view about a mile into the hike (with an awesome rest area) the trail continues to mt Raymond.
Most hikes in Millcreek, there are many. City Creek is paved, but probably good for what you need. The Bonneville Shorline Trail is quick and easy as well.
Top of City Creek is pretty cool- but you can only drive up there every other day.
Battle Creek Falls in Utah County is nice
Bonneville Shorelands Preserve in Layton
Antelope Island has some hiking
Cascade Springs near Heber City
"The Living Room" above the U is a nice hike
Killyon's Canyon is another great one
The Brigham's Fork Mine is a nice hike along an old railroad grade
I think Farmington Canyon is open, so driving up to the top you can grab Thurston Peak, the Davis County Highpoint, without too much effort
Little Emigration Canyon- Hike from Big Mountain down to Mormon Flat.

Those are the ones off the top of my head, and I didn't mention the ones up Big/Little Cottonwood or Millcreek Canyons.
Let me know if you need details on any of the ones I mentioned.
Thanks for all the input everyone. What about trails that are good right now, maybe even in the cities themselves? Stuff like Parley's Historic Nature Park. Paved trails, dirt trails, etc. that might be in a slightly more natural park type environment. Speaking of which, I just went and walked Parley's Historic Nature Park today and that is a sweet little trail system! Especially if you like to let your pup run. Looking for similar stuff that I can do right now and still have some leaves on trees. Anywhere along the Wasatch front like Salt Lake, Ogden, Layton, Provo, etc. Suggestions are hugely appreciated. Right now I have these on my radar:

Rock Canyon
Bridal Veil Falls
Lagoon Trail (Farmington)
Jordan River Parkway
Something along Legacy highway??

What else? Think of where you'd take your grandma to walk around a bit and enjoy some scenery.
When we do the Syracuse end, we start at Jensen Park. When we do the West Point end, we start at the north end of Bluff Road at the intersection of 3000 West.
I would throw in trails here in daybreak(around the lake), very family/kids friendly place and although they require dogs to be on leash, I see well behaved dogs running around always with people.
I'd definitely say the Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve in Layton. Do it. You won't be let down.
Davis County Rail Trail
Any of the community fishing ponds.
Bonneville Shoreline Trail.
Miller(?) Bird Refuge Trail off of Sunnyside Dr and 18th East.
I'd definitely say the Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve in Layton. Do it. You won't be let down.

I actually did it today - totally awesome! It was pretty devoid of birds and anything green this time of year, but still really awesome. I've actually hit 4 trails on that caliber over the last 24 hours or so. Going to hit another 3 or 4 tomorrow. And this is work. Ahhh the life of a freelancer. :)

Today's bounty from along the Wasatch Front, the colors are beautiful out there right now:

I'm going to be in the St. George area soon looking to do a couple of easy day hikes. I know this is the SLC thread but rather than start a whole new one, anyone have any favorites? (maybe i'll split the thread if there is a lot of discussion) I'm thinking maybe something in Red Cliffs or Snow Canyon as I've never been to either. I know @blueeyes, @Miss Buffalo or @Seldom Seen Anderson might know a few...
there are tons of hikes you could possibly do.
Do you want to do more cross country hiking or stick to the trails in Snow Canyon?

Some of my favorites:

Red Reef Trail in Red Cliffs area

Red Mountain Trail to Snow Canyon Overlook

Jones Bones Hike

Anaszasi Ridge

combination of developed trails in Snow Canyon into a big loop (3 ponds, West Canyon, Lava Flow, Butterfly, Petrified Dunes, Hidden Pinion)

Awesome Canyon

Camelback and Toilet Bowl

Snow Canyon Traverse and scrambling down Kayenta Crack(shuttle needed)

I have a few GPS cords of some hikes if you are interested.

forget Kayenta Crack, it's a lot of scrambling, not an easy hike. But a beautiful one. If you ever want to do it in the future....
Yvonne covered it. You are welcome to go with the hiking group while you are down here. They usually doing several hikes a week and always very interesting.

see link below.
A few others in the area are:
Fort Pearce
Warner Valley Dinosaur Trackway
Temple Quarry Trail
The Red Cliff hike out of the Campground (Maybe that's the Red Reef Trail?)
The Virgin River Riverwalk Trail

@Nick what exactly is is this for? You mentioned freelanceing, but still interested in what the project is.
Grove Creek Canyon in Pleasant Grove is my local go to hike. Starts out desert like but as you get up the canyon you get steep cliffs with great views. Once you get to the top of the canyon you get the river and pines and it's feels very back countryish for only a 2+ mile investment. Keep going and you get some beautiful, wide open meadows with killer views of Timp.
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
Devin Ashby Best Cedar Mesa/Bears Ears Guide Books? Trip Planning 8
ghsmith76 Looking for best multi-day Backpacking Trips near Livingston, MT Trip Planning 6
Parma The Best Arch in Utah is... General Discussion 20
forest dweller The best / ideal conditions/ criteria to backpack with a stranger / allow a stranger to backpack with you... General Discussion 6
forest dweller What do you think is the best way to meet other SERIOUS backpackers when you only backpack once or twice a year and... General Discussion 52
Nick Best of 2019 General Discussion 48
Perry Exploring above Cataract Basin - One of the Best Seats in the House Hiking & Camping 1
Nick Best of 2018 General Discussion 43
Outdoors24 Best computer for picture/video editing? General Discussion 26
Vegan.Hiker A Personal Best (ascent) - Pemi Loop, WMNF Backpacking 23
T Best practices for upcoming trip General Discussion 4
JDWalters Best time to photograph Zebra Slot? Trip Planning 3
Upgrayedd Best place to live? General Discussion 46
IntrepidXJ Meet the woman who knows Bears Ears best General Discussion 106
B Best Time of Year for Backpacking the Uintas in Utah Trip Planning 15
Perry Leona Spring Trail to UHT - A New Personal Best Day Hike Hiking & Camping 2
B Best Alternatives to the Sierras Backpacking 12
kimbur96 Best lens for backpacking? Photography 14
Kelin Best Route to Alpine Lakes? Trip Planning 4
Jimmy Best Backpacking Near Phoenix/Scottsdale? Trip Planning 1
JoshuaDyal Best San Juans hike Trip Planning 0
LarryBoy Best ranges for off-trail travel General Discussion 11
Langdon Greene 2016 might be your best chance to do Wonderland (Rainier) Trip Planning 2
muir_mountain Best Backpacking in early June Trip Planning 12
Mike Jones Best UL Mountain Hardwear Rain Jacket Gear 2
SwimsWithTrout Best time of year for San Rafael Swell/Cedar Mesa ? Trip Planning 4
Nick Best Packrafting Paddle Gear 8
Mike K Best Backpacking Pillow Gear 16
T Best place to backpack the Bob Marshall? Trip Planning 17
WasatchWill Best Cell Phone Camera: iPhone, G4, S6, or Other? General Discussion 6
Chuck the Mauler Best dual use camera? Photography 6
uintahiker What is the Best 3 day trip in the Uintas? Trip Planning 17
balzaccom Your best shot General Discussion 2
natylka Advice on the best lightweight sleeping bag for backpacking. Gear 27
natylka Advice on the best light backpacking tent Gear 39
Scott Chandler Help with the Best of the CPW Photography 9
jmerkley9 Best Car Camping - Uintas Trip Planning 2
Laura My tent shot is the featured photo for Best of May 2014 Photography 8
Antlerking Gear Review Best Hiking Briefs Gear Reviews 15
DrNed Best Hikes in Canyonlands Trip Planning 8
D Cedar Mesa to Hanksville, best day hike options? Trip Planning 3
Tater Head It was the best of times, It was the worst of times... General Discussion 6
Aldaron Best hike in the Uintas General Discussion 2
Aldaron The best part of BCP General Discussion 6
slc_dan Best Book for Hiking in the Uintas? Trip Planning 11
Nick BCP wins 'Best Adventure Blog'! General Discussion 16
uintahiker Aravaipa Canyon- what end is best? Trip Planning 2
Nick Album Best of 2012 Photography 45
intuitive cat what was your best/most satisfactory new gear this last season? Gear 18
Dan Best Camp Shoe - What's the lightest and most versatile? Gear 51

Similar threads