Salt Lake City's Top 6 Spring Hikes

Go from downtown to the trailhead in minutes.

The mountains around Salt Lake City are primarily known for hosting eight world-class ski resorts, but what’s good for the ski-bum goose is good for the hiking-booted gander. When the snow melts, the Wasatch Mountains surrounding the valley open up to hundreds of incredible hiking trails. From gorgeous mountain lakes and towering granite summits, to cool, shady canyons with babbling creeks, Salt Lake City has an endless supply of awesome hiking. And the best part of all - most of these trailheads are within thirty minutes of downtown. So run up to one of these after work to smell the fresh pine, to watch the deer bound, to hear the birds sing geese honk.

1. White Pine Lake | Little Cottonwood Canyon

Photo: Eric Bennett

Pack a picnic and spend the afternoon lounging beside this intensely blue mountain lake. 10 miles round trip. Learn more.

2. Donut Falls | Big Cottonwood Canyon

Photo: Eric Bennett

Donut Falls is popular for families and makes for a good after-work hike. During the spring, the snowmelt cascades through the namesake hole in the rocks. 3.5 miles round trip. Learn more.

3. The Brighton Lakes - Mary, Martha, and Catherine | Big Cottonwood Canyon

Photo: Rebecca Jones

What's better than a quick hike to a mountain lake? A quick hike to three mountain lakes! 3.5 miles round trip. Learn more.

4. Broads Fork Basin | Big Cottonwood Canyon

Photo: Tyler McFall

If beautiful alpine meadows and wild raspberries sound good to you, make the short hike to Broads Fork Basin. The wildflowers will be going off in the spring. 4.3 miles round trip. Learn more.

5. Willow Lake | Big Cottonwood Canyon

Photo: Lindsay Daniels

With so much beauty in less than two miles round trip, even your toddler will love it. You can also camp at Willow Lake if you want. Learn more.

6. Bell Canyon | Just south of Little Cottonwood Canyon

Photo: Tyler McFall

Lower Bells is another popular local favorite for a quick hike before or after work. 4 miles round trip. (If you have some time and need some solitude, continue up to the Upper Reservoir.) Learn more.

Discover even more awe-inspiring hikes and activities at

Cover photo: Eric Bennett

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Published: April 9, 2015

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More


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