SALT LAKE CITY — There’s something about summer that inspires people to head outdoors. (Well, not everyone — some would rather watch Netflix, which is also an acceptable summer activity.) And when you’re surrounded by tons of gorgeous mountains, hiking seems like the natural choice. The amount of local hikes to choose from, however, can get overwhelming.
Enter the second edition of “Best Hikes Salt Lake City” by Lori J. Lee (Falcon Guides, 234 pages). Not only does it contain a comprehensive list of great hikes, but detailed information such as the average time it takes to hike a trail, the level of difficulty, whether or not there’s a fee, if it’s kid- or canine-friendly and much more. There’s also a simple chart which directs you to nearby waterfalls, views or lakes.
The second edition also includes four new hikes, including one of Lee’s new favorites, Catherine Pass and Sunset Peak. Now the total number of hikes is 46. And you can trust Lee’s recommendations — she’s hiked all of these trails multiple times. A longtime lover of outdoor recreation, Lee has been writing for the outdoor recreation industry since 1995.
“I write best when I write about what I’m passionate about, and I’ve always been passionate about outdoor recreation,” Lee told the Deseret News, adding that for her, hiking is a spiritual, mental and physical experience all at once.
The book's second edition includes National Geographic topographic maps and more full-color photos of the trails. These additions will help readers get a good idea of what a given hike has in store for them.
If choosing between 46 hiking trails is overwhelming, here are seven hikes you definitely shouldn’t miss, according to Lee:
Ogden Overlook (Huntsville, Weber County): Lee rated this hike as “easy” and also noted that it's good for mountain biking. Leashed dogs are also allowed. There are no fees or permits required and Lee estimates the hike takes three hours.
Dog Lake from Mill Creek (Mill Creek Canyon, Millcreek City): As the name suggests, this hike is great for dogs. However, dogs must be leashed on even-numbered days. There is a fee to enter Mill Creek Canyon. Lee labeled this hike "easy" and estimates it takes about two hours.
Brighton Lakes Tour (Big Cottonwood Canyon, Cottonwood Heights): This moderately difficult, two-and-a-half-hour hike is great for both lake lovers and kids. If you're trying to get your kids outside this summer, take them on this hike. However, swimming is not allowed. No fees or permits are required.
Catherine Pass and Sunset Peak (Little Cottonwood Canyon, Cottonwood Heights): Lee said this moderately difficult hike is her new favorite. In the second edition, she wrote you can find “hidden lakes,” “colorful blankets of wildflowers” and “unrivaled views.” She added that this hike is “one of the most beloved and popular hikes in the Wasatch.” There are no fees or permits required. Lee estimates the hike takes about three hours.
Lambs Canyon (Parley's Canyon, Salt Lake City): Lee wrote that this hike is another one of her favorites, and described it as quiet and remote, perfect for a hiker looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life or busier hiking trails. Lee rated this hike as moderately difficult and estimates it takes two and a half hours. There are no fees or permits.1 comment on this story
Mount Timpanogos from Aspen Grove (Provo): No summer hike list is complete without this classic. This hike has unparalleled views, and is great for “peak baggers” (people whose goal is to reach a certain number of mountain summits). However, that also makes it the most strenuous hike on this list at 14.4 miles out and back. Lee estimates the hike takes about nine hours. There is also a fee required to access the trailhead.
Diamond Fork Hot Springs (Spanish Fork Canyon, Spanish Fork): If you prefer your hike to have a physical reward at the end, try this easy, five-mile hike that ends with a natural hot springs and waterfall. Lee estimated two-and-a-half hours for this hike, but feel free to stay longer, as long as you stay hydrated. Also, look out for cows who are allowed to graze in the summer. No fees or permits are required.