Hike to Willow Lake
Utah › Big Cottonwood Canyon
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.
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.
- Hiking shoes
- Hiking clothes
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
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
Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Photography
Are we missing something?Suggest an edit
ReviewsLeave a Review
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.
Gorgeous Fall Colors
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.
Perfect for a quick jaunt after work!
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!
Amazing aspen grove and meadows
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.
Several feet of snow in the spring, still beautiful!
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!
Fall is the best
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!
More Adventures Nearby
Backpack Death Hollow in Grand Staircase-Escalante
Utah / Boulder Mail Trailhead
The most popular route into Death Hollow is from the Boulder airstrip near the town of Boulder, Utah.
Mountain Bike Amasa Back / Cliffhanger Trail
Utah / Amasa Back / Cliffhanger Trailhead
Amasa Back / Cliffhanger is the primary entry point into one of the most fantastic mountain biking trail networks in the Moab area, connecting into Captain Ahab, Rockstacker, HyMasa, and Jacksons Tra.