Outbound Collective logo

Willow Lake

Salt Lake County, Utah

based on 14 reviews



2.41 miles

Elevation Gain

659 ft

Route Type



Added by Colton Marsala

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.

Read More

Download the Outbound mobile app

Find adventures and camping on the go, share photos, use GPX tracks, and download maps for offline use.

Get the app
Download GPX File



Willow Lake Reviews

This is one of the most stunning hikes around in October when the fall leaves are reflected in the water. This area is known for moose sightings, too. I would highly recommend this short and sweet hike for locals who have visitors in town. Simply magical!

Did this in the winter and had a great time! A little harder to navigate since there was snow everywhere, but we enjoyed ourselves! It would be an awesome and tranquil place to camp!

Fantastic family hike for all seasons. If you catch the aspens in all their golden glory, you will not believe your eyes! Also, watch for moose, they like this lake a lot.

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.

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.

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!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


Camp at Willow Lake

Backcountry Ski Willow Fork

Photograph Wildlife at Willow Lake

Backcountry Ski Beartrap Fork

Backcountry Ski USA Bowl

Backcountry Ski Short Swing, Mill D North