Planning a family trip to Utah (Park City + more!)

Mar 18, 2014
Hello Backcountry Post! I live in Colorado but am planning to drive out this summer to Park City for a chance to stay at a timeshare near the Canyons resort. We have 2 little ones that will be 5 and 3 this summer. We're hoping to do some easy day hikes and entertain the kids as much as possible. There will also be a chance for my wife and I to do some more strenuous hiking as we'll be having the grandparents fly out from the East Coast. They'll fly into SLC and we'll spend 4-5 nights in Park City. We also have the opportunity to extend the trip at a timeshare in Eden, Utah (if that's worthwhile). Any ideas? After the time in Park City I plan on driving through Vernal, Utah to Dinosaur National Monument, then back through Steamboat Springs and Grand Lake area Colorado on the way back home. No sense in driving I-80 both ways!

So my question is - what are some day hikes with kids and grandparents that would get us to some great spots around this area. We're not afraid to drive an hour or so in any direction to get to it. What would be your top picks? Eden, Utah a worthwhile destination?

Thanks for any help you may offer. The trip reports on this site are great for planning and I plan on putting in some time to do my planning from all of the great reports I've bookmarked.
Start researching the Uintas, specifically the hikes off of Highway 150/Mirror Lake Highway. You can drive right up to 10k+ feet and access a ton of great hikes ranging from short ones the kids will love to longer more strenuous hikes for you and your wife. This should get the inspiration flowing:
What Nick Said! Also, you can shoot up Guardsman Pass road right out of Park City and over the mountain into Big Cottonwood Canyon. As you enter the canyon. Before descending into the canyon, there are some trails leading out to a couple lakes, Bloods Lake and Lackawaxen Lake that seem to be gaining a bit of popularity and should be mellow enough for kids. Down at Brighton Resort, you have the Brighton Lakes: Lake Mary, Martha, and Catherine as well as Sunset Peak just above which offers fantastic views. Your young children could handle Lake Mary & Martha. Catherine is a bit more up, and doable for a 3 year old, but it would take a lot of patience and maybe some piggy back riding along the way at times. Sunset Peak would be too much for a any children that young I think. There's also a small stretch of exposure with it. From the pass between Lake Catherine and Sunset Peak, you can drop down into Little Cottonwood Canyon and visit Secret (aka Cecret) Lake. Back in Big Cottonwood and further down, you have Donut Falls which is really popular for families and kids. Even further down canyon is Lake Blanche (a bit too strenuous for the kids) but otherwise very popular among more older folks. Right across the road from that trailhead on the other side of the S turn in the road is a really easy and mellow walk of a few hundred feet to Hidden Falls. You can drive out to the valley head south a bit and drive back up Little Cottonwood Canyon to catch Secret Lake that way, up above Alta, and doing the hike that way make it very easy for a family with young children. Other hikes out of Little Cottonwood for more seasoned hikers include White Pine and Red Pine Lakes. Mount Timpanogos between Salt Lake and Provo is a local favorite and a great all day hike without the kids. It does get very crowded on weekends and holidays though, so beware there.

Of course, this is just the tip of the ice berg for hikes very close Park City. Look at the maps, search BCP or Google images of any of these areas, and you'll get a good handle on what's available. Good luck with all the decisions you'll have to make!
Thanks guys - I like the idea of checking out the Uintas as a dayhike since I know I want to do a multi-day trip out there at some point. It looks like I have a lot to look in to.

No one wants to throw their 2 cents in about Eden, Utah as a destination?
There are plenty of hiking and biking trails around Eden but they tend to be more woodsy. Snowbasin resort is nearby and I'm pretty sure you can ride their gondola up to the top in the summer and hike/bike up in some pretty epic terrain with big peaks. There are also some nice bodies of water, for man-powered recreation there is Causey, and for motor boats there is Pineview. Pineview would also be pretty nice to just go swim and hang on one of the beaches too. It is a pretty area where you can definitely have a great time, if you have the extra time to spend. That said, if you want backcountry goodness, it wouldn't be my first choice.
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