Backpack to Bloods and Lackawaxen Lakes

4 miles 1040 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Michael Johnston

The hike is beautiful with even the trailhead exhibiting a beautiful view over the valley east towards Midway and Park City. The trail can get crowded on the weekend, but there aren’t lots of people on weeknights and during rainstorms.

This trail is just outside of Big Cottonwood Canyon which forbids both dogs and swimming due to the Salt Lake watershed. As a result, dogs and swimming are more than welcome.

Blood Lake and Lackawaxen Lake Trailhead can be reached by driving up Big Cottonwood approximately 15 miles until the turnoff to Park City and Guardsman Pass. Turn left onto this road and continue another three miles to the Guardsman Pass trailhead. The trail starts on the south side of the parking lot.

Parking is free, just make sure to get there early enough as parking is limited. The trail is also dog friendly, so be sure to include a lease if you bring your dog, as there are quite a few dogs on the trail.

Blue Plate Diner at 2041 South 2100 East in Salt Lake is located not far from the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon. Swing by for the best eggs benedict this side of the Mississippi.

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Sunset or Sunrise hike!

The sunrise is beautiful if your willing! It was busy with families and pups everywhere when we went. Would recommend an early or late time to avoid the crowds and have a peaceful hike! We hammock and even next time we’ll swim!

Bloods and Lackawaxen lake

Beautiful wild flowers. The road has recently been paved and guard rails were added. You can’t park at the top anymore. Parking is at the new bloods lake trail entrance. It’s an open dirt area with bathrooms. This hike is dog friendly and fairly moderate up to bloods! It gets more challenging on the way to Lackawaxen. Don’t forget to take a dip!Go during the weekdays. Weekends are nuts. I went on a Monday and I was alone the whole day. There’s some sweet camping spots at Lackawaxen too.


There is NO PARKING at the Guardsman Pass Summit. The old parking area has been removed and will be replaced with a Pick Up Drop off area. Parking is not allowed on the road on either side of the summit. The NEW parking area is located 1 mile east of the summit and the NEW trail head is across the street from the Parking area. DOGS are not allowed in Big Cottonwood Canyon west of the summit. So parking below the summit and walking your dog to the summit, you risk getting a ticket.

It’s A Beautiful And Easy Scenic Hike

It’s a rough road up to guardsman’s pass. The trailhead is at the end of the parking lot. The trail is unmarked but easy to follow. Slightly downhill to Blood’s Lake. A little over a half a mile to the lake. Picturesque mountain lake!

Favorite Local Hike

This is my favorite local hike. It has the best of everything, a beautiful 360 view, wildflowers, lakes surrounded by boulders and grassy meadows. It's not too far of a hike and has a pretty good climb at the beginning, just enough to make you feel like you got a decent workout in. The way back is mostly downhill if you head north east towards Bloods Lake instead of going back up peak 420. I would suggest beginning by going up 420 peak the down to Lackawaxen then Bloods and out. It's around 5 miles total. Dogs are also allowed which is awesome!

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