The Wasatch and Uinta Mountains are known world-wide for their amazing and endless array of trails. Whether you’re a take-it-easy explorer, or an extreme push-the-limits, hardcore hiker, there are so many hiking trails to choose from, you could never hike it all! Listed below are a few of my favorites. Just make sure to bring along plenty of water, bug repelent, a healthy snack like a banana and a protein bar, a compass and your trusty army knife! If you’re planning on really heading out in to the wilderness, make sure you let someone who’s not coming along know where you’re headed and when you expect to return. Hike away!
For an easy, quick hike with pretty views of one of our lovely reservoirs, head over to the Jordanelle Reservoir Rock Creek area. You’ll find flat simple walks through natural wetland and bubbling creeks, and a few more strenuous hikes as well. The Jordanelle offers a shoreline trail that circles the reservoir and offers views of the water, and the mountains from Deer Valley all the way to Mt. Timpanogos! Jordanelle State Park also offers great fishing, water sports, and camping as well. Check out park details at http://stateparks.utah.gov/ .
If adventure is more your style, then take a short drive to the rugged Uinta Mountains for some amazing hiking! The Uinta Mountains stretch for miles and even cross state lines. Each vista is more spectacular than the next, and there are a wide variety of trails to choose from. If you want a more mellow experience, drive up to Mirror Lake on the Mirror Lake Highway ( you’ll catch it in Kamas, just 11 miles out of Park City). The scenery around Mirror Lake is absolutely breathtaking, and the hike takes you around the small lake – appropriate for all levels. Dogs are welcome too, so if you happen to be traveling with Fido, bring him along!
For a more difficult and lengthy hike, one of our favorites is the Shingle Creek Trail. Sections of this trail include rough and rocky climbs, but the scenery is the best you can find anywhere in the Uinta Mountains! The trail alternates between shady, deep woods to open meadows with eye-popping views. Of course, the trail also weaves over and around Shingle Creek. Shingle Creek offers the type of terrain that Utah hikers love, as it meanders through beautiful aspen groves and small seasonal ponds on it’s way to Shingle Creek Lake. This trail is an out-and-back, and the round trip is about 13 miles. You may choose to hike in and camp for the evening – a chilly mountain night of clear starry skies is almost guaranteed!
There are, of course, spectacular hikes at Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley as well. A great hike that will give you all sorts of views of not only Park City itself, but of some of the glamorous homes that dot the mountainsides around you is the Town Loop Trail. About seven miles in length, you’ll encounter mostly intermediate terrain as you ogle at the beautiful scenery around you and peek in to some of Park City’s most beautiful residences. You may even get a glimpse of a moose or two, as they have been known to hike the Town Loop too! Wear your sunscreen, part of this trail is fairly exposed and you’ll reach an altitude of about 8,200 feet. This trail is also popular with mountain bikers, so be aware as you’re enjoying your adventure.
About Jim Bizily
I am an outdoor enthusiast, parent of two awesome boys, and Property Manager in beautiful Park City, Utah. After years in engineering and entrepreneurial projects, I decided to move to Park City Utah to start a business managing lodging and vacation rentals.