Local hikes for all skill levels

IMG_2285Utah is an outdoor enthusiast’s haven. If you’re visiting from out of town and would like a recommendation for a local summer hike, here are a few of our favorites.

Remember, Salt Lake City is more than 4,200 feet above sea level, and many of these hikes begin at a much higher altitude. Utah hikers are tough people, and a “moderate” hike here might be considered strenuous in other parts of the country. Be sure to monitor your abilities so you can enjoy your time in nature viewing the scenery. Happy Trails!


Ensign Peak Trail and Overlook. This is a simple hike of approximately 1 mile round trip that finishes with a spectacular panorama view of the entire valley and the Great Salt Lake. The uphill slope is slightly steep in parts, so beginners should take it slowly and enjoy the scenery along the way. I promise, the amazing view will be your reward. Dogs are allowed on a leash.
Trailhead: 166 Ensign Vista Dr.

Donut Falls. About 1.5 miles round trip. A popular hike, and the small parking lot may be full. Dogs are not allowed.

Cecret Lake. Though it’s pronounced “secret,” the name is ironic because it’s a popular hike. This 1.5-mile round trip is a high-altitude hike, with the trailhead starting at 9,400 feet in elevation, so beginners should take it easy. It’s near the Alta Ski Resort. You might see wildlife, and flowers bloom in the mid-to-late summer. Dogs are not allowed.


IMG_3674Dog Lake. More than 8,700 feet in altitude. Great hike in the autumn when the leaves are changing. Lots of aspens in the area, too. Dogs must be kept on a leash.

Willow Lake. The first half mile is steep, but it levels out. Great meadow and aspen groves. 2.7 miles. The lake’s surface is approximately 8,500 feet altitude.

Catherine’s Pass. Starting from the Brighton Ski Area, this trailhead is between Brighton Lodge and the Crest Express Chairlift.


White Pine Lake. 4.5 miles. You’ll hike switchbacks and meadows before descending to the lake. Be sure to bring lots of water and some food, and enjoy the views

Lake Blanche. 6.9 miles. You’ll need to stop a few times to catch your breath, but the scenery is so worth it—views of waterfalls, streams, the canyon, wildlife, and a mountain-top lake.

—David M. is a physical therapist and a member of the Wasatch Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church.