We are excited to be sharing on The Salt Project again! For those of you who haven’t heard of us before, we are Utah’s Adventure Family and we love to hike and adventure all over Utah.
We love Big Cottonwood Canyon. It is one of the prettiest spots in Utah, and it has a lot of family friendly hikes. Most people have heard of Donut Falls and Silver Lake, both of which are great family hikes, but today we are sharing 5 hikes in Big Cottonwood that you might not have heard of before. We have hiked all of these with our boys at all ages, so they are family tested and approved.
Hidden Falls is the best secret in Big Cottonwood Canyon. It is a 5 minute walk to a beautiful little waterfall. This hike begins at a little parking lot on the Big S curve where you cross the canyon road. You will already be able to see and hear the waterfall. Depending on the time of year, the waterfall is big or small, but you walk along the little stream for just a few moments before coming to Hidden Falls. This is one of our all time favorite hikes for kids of any age.
At the same Big S curve, you will find another parking lot for Mill B South. Most people start on this paved trail, and then branch off to the steep Lake Blanche trail. If you continue on the paved trail past the turnoff, you will come to a little waterfall on a bridge. We love this hike because you walk along the river the entire way. We also like to walk past the waterfall for just a few minutes and sit on the big rocks in the shade by the river. This trail is only a 0.7 mile roundtrip, and we love pairing it with Hidden Falls.
Near the bottom of Big Cottonwood Canyon is Ledgemere Picnic Area, but very few people know that there is a small cave for exploring. You can park at the picnic area, or across the road if it’s full, and then cross the bridge to the paved trail. Take the trail to the right and follow it almost to the last picnic spot and you will see a little cave on the left-hand side of the trail. This cave always has water, so come prepared with shoes that could get a little wet, and make sure to bring a light.
Stairs Gulch is a unique hike because it slowly climbs up the hillside, and as you hike you will hear the water through the trees and bushes. There are little trails to the water, and little waterfalls all along the trail. They are like stairs as you work your way up the mountain. This hike can be as short or long as you like, but we usually walk a little over a mile roundtrip and see plenty of little cascades.
This trail is a little steeper and longer than the others, but it is only 2.0 miles round trip. The Willow Heights lake at the end of this trail is gorgeous. There are usually ducks swimming in the water, and it is so peaceful that it is the perfect spot for a rest. We even saw a few people camping near the lake. Be careful coming back down this trail, as we slipped a few times because it is pretty steep right at the beginning.
We have other hikes to visit in Big Cottonwood Canyon, and all over Utah, on our blog (utahsadventurefamily.com). If you have any suggestions for hikes, or adventures, please leave us a comment so we can give them a try.
Here's another hiking round-up we did last year with Utah's Adventure Family!