As an ultrarunner, I spend A LOT of time in the mountains. Like A LOT. People often say to me, “It looks like you are always in the mountains from your Instagram (@kmonkeylover22) posts! But what else do you actually do?” Besides eat, a lot, work, a little, I pretty much am always in the mountains. I also like to pretend I’m a good [cell phone] photographer, so I post of lot of, what I think are, pretty pictures in the mountains. So often I have people tell me, “I wish I could go all the cool places you go. It looks so amazing.” and I think to myself, “Why don’t you!” Because I spend so much time in the mountains, I think many people think that breathtaking views are out of reach for them if they are “not real hikers”. Well here’s a short list to put that myth to rest. Here are three hikes in the Wasatch Front that are attainable even for the “average city slicker” and even pretty kid friendly!
- Brighton Lakes Hike
This is probably the longest hike on the list, but also boasts probably the prettiest lakes. It is a moderate trail and exactly one mile to the first lake, Lake Mary. You will see many families and teenagers, especially in the evening and on weekends. From Lake Mary you can continue up the trail another mile to Lake Martha, Lake Katherine, and with a slight detour, Dog Lake.Roundtrip its about 4 miles. None of the uphills are too steep and the trail is obvious the whole way. I love this hike because it is pretty shaded, and each lake is quite stunning. Right now the wildflowers are out and everything is very green!
To get here drive up Big Cottonwood Canyon all the way to Brighton Ski Resort. Park at the base and take the trail going past the ski lifts and lodge.
- Cecret Lake
This is probably the most popular and busiest of the trails listed. However, the wildflowers here are astounding!
Nowhere beats Albion Basin in the summer for wildflowers. This hike is 1 mile each way to the lake. Many children and older people alike can be seen along the trail. Bring lots of water and sunscreen, for there is not very much shade on this trail! The end gets a little bit steep and rocky, but it is a short section.After hiking up a very short, steep hill, you will suddenly arrive at this beautiful lake. You can see views of the Salt Lake Valley, and sunsets here can’t be rivaled!
To get here drive up Little Cottonwood Canyon to Alta Ski resort. You can start at the ski resort and add 1 mile each way, or you can continue driving up the dirt road (or take the free shuttle) all the way to Albion Basin campground. Here the trail starts near an outhouse and is wide and obvious the whole way. Just follow the crowds of people! Although this is a very popular trail, and you most likely won’t be here alone, it never feels overcrowded or obnoxious. Still plenty of mountain peace to be felt!
- Blood Lake
This is the shortest hike listed. Roundtrip this lake is approximately 1 mile. The only problem with this hike is all the uphill is at the end! However there is a good amount of shade and tons of wildflowers. You also get a great view of Park City and Heber Valley from the top. The lake is the only one listed that you can bring dogs and can swim in.
On the east side of the lake there is a rope swing that is pretty fun for the more adventurous! Just beware of a very large partially submerged boulder in the line of the rope swing. We went as a family with small kids and it was perfect for them, they did great! Our youngest adventurer was 4 years old. They all had a blast and there was very little complaining.To get here drive up Big Cottonwood Canyon and take the turn-off to Guardsman Pass. At the top is a dirt parking lot. The trail starts here and goes down for about .3 miles to the lake.So don’t be afraid of the mountains just because you think you may not be “hardcore” enough. Everyone can enjoy their beauty!