Amazing Hikes Just Minutes Away
The Wasatch front is bursting with fantastic trails. and turning. The trails range from easy strolls to strenuous ascents. The factors that determine the level of difficulty can be elevation, distance and terrain.
If you want a view of the breathtaking Utah Valley, the Cascade Saddle trail is for you. This trail is about 11.5 miles round trip and takes about six to eight hours. It’s considered a strenuous climb, and is open July through October.
Cascading waterfalls and grassy meadows welcome hikers to the Grove Creek to Battle Creek Loop. This loop is great for those looking for a short day hike or a longer hike. This 8.5-mile loop is rated as being moderately difficult and can take four to six hours.
The reflection of Mount Timpanogos in the pristine Emerald Lake makes the strenuous 16.6 miles hike worthwhile as do the numerous waterfalls and spectacular view of Utah Valley. Close to Sundance ski resort, the Timpanogos trail is one of the most popular in the Wasatch area because of its splendor no matter the time of year. The Alpine Loop circles above Sundance Resort, over a pass, and down into American Fork Canyon, navigating the backside of Mount Timpanogos. The 8.5-mile Alpine Loop ranks as moderately difficult and can take from three to five hours. This trail is only open December to March. Due to the amount of snow in the winter, the road is closed at the Aspen Grove trailhead, which makes the road from Aspen Grove to Alpine Loop summit great for a cross-country ski excursion.
If hikers are looking for a challenge, then Lake Hardy is a good choice. This hike is 13 miles round trip, takes eight to 12 hours for a day hike and two to three days for a backpack trip. It is considered extremely strenuous. Opened July through October, hikers can stop for a break and take in the waterfalls, meadows and wildflowers that carpet the ground.
Other Regions: Hiking in Utah's National Parks
Utah’s National Parks not only providing diverse hiking trails, but also awe-inspiring views and photo opportunities, for example Zion Park’s Angels Landing hike. Ascending 1,500 feet, this is one of Zion’s highest points. Taking about two to four hours, this hike is strenuous and dangerous for younger children as the final stretch has chains bolted into the rock face to assist in the ascent with sheer cliffs immediately on your side.
Also located in Zion National Park, the Virgin River makes the cave-like Zion Canyon Narrows a sight to behold. Hiking upstream is doable, but only during summer and autumn when the river is relatively low. The flood danger level is posted by the NPS at the start of the trail so hikers can be prepared.
Bryce Canyon National Park features rock formations unique to anywhere else in the world. Boasting over nine trails ranked easy to strenuous, Bryce Canyon provides a wonderful hiking experience for all members of the family.
Utah and the Wasatch front has hundreds of trails not listed in this article but can be found in the book “100 Hikes in Utah” by Steve Mann and Rhett Olson as well as on www.trails.com and www.utah.com/hike.