Cascade Springs: This short trail is really more of a nature walk than a strenuous hike, meaning that all ages can enjoy the multiple waterfalls, pools, wildlife and tree cover along the way.
Miles: .8 loop
Location: Soldier Hollow in Heber Valley, access from Alpine Loop.
Silver Lake Loop: The wooden boardwalk and graveled trail make this a popular walk for groups of all ages. Rimming Brighton's Silver Lake, the trail offers plenty of stunning mountain scenery at a nice easy pace.
Miles: .9 loop
Location: Big Cottonwood Canyon, Brighton Ski Resort
Dripping Rock Trail: Where there is water, there is greenery and kids throwing rocks. You'll find both on the Dripping Rock Trail, which ends at a large overhanging rock covered with ferns and moss. The paved trail makes this a great walk for anyone pushing strollers or wheelchairs.
Location: Spanish Fork, access from Spanish Fork River Trail
Waterfall Canyon: The name says it all. A misty waterfall and beautiful valley views awaits those who climb the fairly steep but short popular Ogden trail. Kids will especially enjoy climbing the many large boulders along the way.
Location: Ogden Canyon
Mueller Park: It might be hard to find a better summer's day hike, which is also why this is one of Utah's busiest trails. A popular mountain biking trail as well as a favorite with hikers and trail runners, this one has it all: sustained elevation (once you get past the initial climb), plenty of shade and a grand view from Big Rock (locally known as Elephant Rock).
North Canyon loop: If you have the time, the Mueller Park trail is actually a loop that continues up to Rudy's Flats above Bountiful and descends through North Canyon. Hikers who do the loop will need to park two cars, however, as the loop trail concludes a few miles south of Mueller Park Canyon.
Stewart Falls: Stewart Falls has a couple of different trailheads, one inside Sundance Resort (its best to ask at the resort for directions) and the other from Aspen Grove (where you'll have to pay $6 for parking), but either starting point will put hikers on a trail that weaves a lovely path through aspens, dips down into a small valley before climbing up to view a 200-foot waterfall at the trail's end. This is an especially beautiful fall hike.
Location: Sundance Canyon
Mount Olympus: If its good enough for the gods, it's good enough for Utah's hikers. Mount Olympus may not hold Zeus' throne, but the views from the top of this steep and strenuous hike will make the faithful feel that they are close to the divine. Pack plenty of water, strap on good hiking shoes and make sure you take a hat: The summer's sun spares no one on this exposed ascent.
Location: Salt Lake City
North Skyline Trail: This moderately trafficked trail features an almost 6,000-foot elevation gain, accompanied by a great forest setting. It is only recommended for very serious hikers, but the elevation gains are gradual, and after enduring a few miles of switchbacks, you'll stay level for the remainder of the trail. There are excellent views of the valley, and dogs, horses, mountain bikers and trail runners are all welcome. Make sure to pack plenty of water.
Miles: 21.8 out and back
Squaw Peak: At the mouth of Rock Canyon, just above the Provo Temple and the Missionary Training Center, every local can identify the sharp drop off Squaw Peak. The trail to the top starts out paved, crosses several bridges and has some beautiful views of Mount Timpanogos before getting steeper and steeper. Once you reach the summit, you can see where you started 3,000 feet below. There's a good amount of tree cover along the way, and you can expect to be out for three or four hours.
Easy, moderate and difficult in one trail
Bonneville Shoreline Trail: With more than 100 miles of trail to explore (and plans to add another 180 miles, according to bonnevilleshoretrail.org), the Bonneville Shoreline Trail runs in fits and spurts from the Utah/Idaho border to Santaquin. Hikers will find all levels of difficulty along this trail, from gentle walking — like the first half mile between Bountiful and Salt Lake — to steep climbs along the north end of Salt Lake City that make this trail worth exploring over time.