Talk to any Utah local about their favorite pastime, and Big Cottonwood Canyon hikes will quickly become the topic of conversation. This hidden gem sits right outside Salt Lake City. It’s home to some of the most spectacular landscapes in the state. Although it is well known for its winter sports, summer in this canyon might just be even better.
We’ve talked about some of the hikes in the canyon, but with so many trails it’s hard to do them justice. Big Cottonwood Canyon is a great spot for family vacations. That’s why we want to discuss the best hikes for families in big cottonwood canyon.
What are the best hikes for families in Big Cottonwood Canyon?
This beautiful hike takes you through a scenic mountain trail to an incredibly unique waterfall that will leave you breathless. The best part about this hike is that it’s only 1.6 miles from the forest service trailhead. It is a great easy hike that will get your whole family excited about the outdoors.
Make sure to be respectful of other hikers because there is often a bit of traffic on the trail on weekends and holidays.
Our favorite Big Cottonwood Canyon hike for families is hidden falls. It’s an extremely easy and short hike that takes you right to the base of the waterfall. There you can enjoy the mist or check out the old mine entrance in the area. The rocky trail takes about five minutes to hike which is perfect to get away from the crowds in the main canyon.
If you have babies or very young children we recommend this hike because of the length and little effort required to make the trip.
We love this hike because it’s very short and has a big payoff in the end! If you start at the parking lot in guardsmans pass, the entire hike is just over a mile round trip. It is a fairly steep trail to make it to the top, so don’t be fooled by the distance.
The trail is a little rocky. Rain or runoff can also make it more difficult, so bring good shoes and be prepared for a little scrambling. As long as you are prepared, this is a great family hike in Big Cottonwood Canyon.
Willow Heights Lake Trail
This is another fairly short steep hike that’s totally worth the work. To begin this hike look for the Willow Heights Conservation Area after passing the Silver Lake Lodge. There you will find the trailhead and you can begin your ascent.
It is about a mile each direction and a little less steep than the last peak trail. After hiking through this incredible trail through the aspens and wildflowers, you will arrive at Willow Heights Lake. There you can enjoy the scenic lake, expansive mountains, and incredible wildlife.
This is a great hike for kids that are a little older because of the distance and time required to make the hike.
Mill B South Interpretive Trail
Our final Big Cottonwood Canyon destination is a beautiful little waterfall that is wheelchair and stroller accessible! This is the perfect hike for any family because it is only three quarters of a mile round trip and everyone can make it.
The trail starts just below the S curve in the canyon and shares a trailhead with the Lake Blanche trail. As you walk along the trail, the Lake Blanche trail heads up to the left and the end of this trail and the waterfall will be off to the right. It is a very easy and fun trail to take on your way up the canyon.
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