• Activities:

    Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:


  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:


  • RT Distance:

    2 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    500 Feet


Willow Lake is an easy hike with beautiful colors, scenic views, and an alpine lake located close to Salt Lake City.

The Trail:

Follow the marked trail and you'll hike less than a mile up to the edge of Willow Lake. Moose like to hang out in the thick willows there, so make lots of noise to warn them that you're coming and you won't startle any. Standing on the shoreline, you'll have a great view of Solitude Ski Resort to the south.

Getting There:

The Willow Heights Trail is located in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Driving up the canyon, it's found on the left side of the road shortly after passing both the Silver Fork Lodge on the right and the Canyon Vacation Rentals on the left.

Pack List

  • Hiking shoes
  • Hiking clothes
  • Water
  • Camera
  • Snacks
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Overall rating: 

Leave a Review

I am planning on making this trip all the way from Fremont CA and i would like to know if the fall colors are similar to what we see on this webpage ? if so, i can press my family into driving upto this place. Can't resist to see it. Michelle, i see you have updated the post recently do you have any comments ? you or anyone who knows the current conditions please comment and they all will be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

5 months ago
5 months ago

This hike is perfect when you are short on time but will give you a good workout due to the fact that it's fairly steep! The entire hike is beautiful. After climbing a bit you will hike through an aspen forest and a beautiful meadow before reaching the lake. Sunsets here are amazing and fall colors can't be beat with all of the aspen both on the hike and lining the lake. I almost always see moose on this trail and at the lake so be aware. Sometimes you have to wait for them on the trail. You should always maintain a distance of at least 25 yards.

5 months ago
5 months ago

I loved this Trail for a quick hike after work! It's somewhat steep, but only about a mile up. Parking is weird, the trailhead begins in a neighborhood, I parked at Silver Fork Lodge and went up from there which adds a few more steps to your hike!

7 months ago
7 months ago

I hiked up to Willow Lake twice this year. Once in the summer and then again in the fall. Both were wonderful experiences, and neither day was crowded. The lake was more full in the summer, but the bright yellow aspen leaves in the fall were stunning. It is a little tricky to find off the road, but using the GPS coordinates worked out perfectly.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Probably the best short, colorful hike. The first half is steep, but eventually it flattens out. Definitely worth checking out!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

My favorite short hike in the Wasatch. The distance is short, but it is pretty steep at first, but eventually flattens out. Fall is just getting into full swing and this is one of my go to hikes in the fall. You get to hike through dense aspens and nothing beats aspen leaves in the fall. If you can be at the top when the sun is setting, you'll be in for a treat. The colors are so vibrant during this time of day.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

An easy, quick hike. My friend and I went up there yesterday after work - the aspens are starting to change color, and the fall colors are starting to pop on the mountains surrounding this trail. Stop to look behind you, or look up on your way back down so you don't miss the views!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Just did this hike yesterday (7/3/16) - still very green and nice wild flowers, greenery up to your waist in many areas. This aspen grove is huge and has some of the largest aspens I've ever seen. Any not many people hiking it. I'll definitely do this hike again and again, especially want to see it with fall colors.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

This is a fun place to visit in the fall. The hike is all uphill to the lake so its also a great workout but short enough that families can enjoy it as well.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Just did this hike today for the second time and didn't realize how much snow there would still be in late Spring. Definitely a gorgeous hike but I would recommend good snow shoes/poles. Can't wait to do this hike in the summer!

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Fall is definitely the best time to hit up this hike! I don't think it would be much to look at in the winter although I have never done it. I may be wrong. There just are not any peaks or anything that would be too amazing. It is the aspens reflecting in the water that makes this hike great. I give it 4 stars simply because it is so short and is easy to do!

about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

this is a fun hike year round, but in the fall the leaves will be beautiful.

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Such a fun quick hike

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

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