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Snowshoeing in the Wasatch Mountains: Where to go

Published February 24, 2005 12:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2005, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

East of Salt Lake City

Mountain Dell Golf Course Area

Location: Off Parley's Canyon, about 10 miles east of Salt Lake City. Exit 134 on I-80 East.

Length: variable, no designated trails.

Facilities: Restrooms available.

Dogs: No dogs allowed due to SLC Watershed Restrictions.

Notes: Snowshoers are asked to stay off groomed tracks at the golf course for cross country skiing and to use the area around the groomed trails.

Little Mountain

Location: Trailhead 8 miles from mouth of Emigration Canyon. From Parleys Canyon (I-80), take exit 134 to Mt. Dell drive 3 miles north to East Canyon/Emigration Canyon and head to Little Mountain Pass.

Length: 2 miles one way

Facilities: Restroom

Cost: Free

Dogs: No dogs allowed due to SLC Watershed Restrictions.

Mormon Pioneer Trail

Location: Take exit 134 from I-80 Eastbound, drive 5 miles north to East Canyon until you come to the winter gate. Trailhead is at the gate.

Length: Variable

Facilities: none

Cost: none

Dogs: No dogs allowed due to SLC Watershed Restrictions

Notes: This is winter habitat for moose so be cautious. Never approach a wild animal.

Mirror Lake Highway

Location: Mirror Lake Highway (State Road 150) near Kamas, Utah. Access via I-80 and US Hwy 40.

Facilities: Food available in Kamas. Restrooms at all major trailheads.

Dogs: Allowed on trails daily with the exception of Beaver Creek ski trail. See below for details. Owners are asked to clean up after their pets.

Cost: Recreation Fee Demo Pass, $3/day, $6/week or $25 annual pass.

Contact Info: USFS Kamas Ranger District (435) 783-4338.

Beaver Creek

Location: Access to trailheads at several points along State Road 150.

Length: Up to 5 miles one way.

Dogs: Allowed on trail on odd-numbered days,

Notes: Trail provides access to many snowshoeing opportunities. Trail is groomed for cross country skiing. Please stay on the shoulder to keep the grooming in good order. Popular with beginners and crowded on weekends.

Pine Valley

Location: 10.7 miles from Kamas.

Length: 3 miles one way.

Notes: Un-maintained trail, good for beginners. Pine Valley east of the Provo River is private property. Please stay on public lands.

Park City

Location: 35 miles east of Salt Lake City. Take Kimball Junction exit from I-80.

Facilities: Snowshoe rentals available at White Pine Touring Center. Look for signs to center after exiting the interstate. (435) 649-6249

Notes: Many non-designated trails exist in the Park City area such as Red Pine, Daly/Empire Canyon and Iron Mountain (access via mouth of Thaynes Canyon). Free maps of the area are available at White Pine Touring Center in Park City or go to http://www.mountaintrails.org.

Marked Snowshoe Trails

Soldier Hollow

Location: Midway, 55 miles from Salt Lake

Length:26K trails

Cost: $5/day; $3 youth

Contact: (435) 654-2002

Dogs: No dogs allowed

Solitude Nordic Center

Location: 14.2 miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon (SR 190) in the Brighton Loop.

Length: 2-3 miles of marked trail.

Facilities: Restrooms, ski shop. Rentals.

Cost: $10/full day $7/half day.

Contact Info: (801) 536-5774.

Dogs: No dogs allowed due to SLC Watershed Restrictions.

Sundance Nordic Center

Location: Provo Canyon (US Rt 189) , 51 miles from Salt Lake City.

Length: 6 miles of marked trail.

Facilities: Restrooms, rentals, and food.

Cost: $9/day $6/half day.

Contact Info: (801) 223-4170.

Dogs: No dogs allowed.

Wasatch Mountain State Park

Location: Midway, Utah one mile north of Homestead Resort (50 miles

from SLC).

Length: 2.6 miles round trip.

Facilities: Restrooms and rentals.

Cost: $4/adult, $2/child (under 12)

Contact Info: (435) 654-1791

Dogs: No dogs allowed.

Mill Creek Canyon

Location: Access via 3800 South and Wasatch Blvd.

Facilities: Restrooms available at trailheads and picnic areas in the canyon.

Dogs: Allowed every day with dogs off leash on odd numbered days in the canyon. On leash at trailheads, in cabin and parking areas. Owners must clean up after their pets.

Cost: $2.25/car per day; $25.00/car for annual pass.

Contact Info: USFS Salt Lake Ranger District/Public Lands Information Center (801) 466-6411.

Ski Trail at Winter Gate

Location: Trail begins 4.5 miles from mouth of canyon.

Length: 4.5 miles of track groomed for cross country skiing.

Notes: Snowshoers are asked to stay off the groomed ski tracks for cross country skiing. Heavily used area.

Pipeline Trail

Location: Trailheads at Rattlesnake Gulch (1.5 miles from mouth of canyon), Church Fork (4.5 miles) and Elbow Fork (6.2 miles).

Length: Up to 5.5 miles one way.

Notes: Trail is flat and south facing may lack snow at times during the winter. Great for beginners. Dogs allowed; off-leash on odd calendar days. Owners must clean up after pets.

Mt. Aire

Location: Trailhead is located at Elbow Fork, 6.2 miles up the canyon. Access from the Pipeline Trail or walk up the ski trail to the trailhead (on left).

Length: 1.8 miles one way

Notes: Intermediate to advanced. Trail is steep and follows the ridge line until you reach the peak.

Mill Creek Overlook Trail

Location: South Box Elder Picnic area 3.4 miles up canyon. Connects with many trails in Big Cottonwood and Mill Creek canyons.

Length: 1.75 miles one way

Notes: Views of Big Cottonwood and Mill Creek areas.

Big Cottonwood Canyon

Location: Access via 7000 South and Wasatch Blvd.

Facilities: Food available at Solitude and Brighton ski resorts; restrooms located at several trailheads.

Dogs: No dogs allowed due to SLC Watershed Restrictions.

Cost: Free unless noted.

Contact Info: USFS Salt Lake Ranger District/Public Lands Information Center (801) 466-6411.

Reynolds Flat/Jordan Pines area

Location: 8.8 miles up the canyon.

Length: Variable, no designated trails.

Notes: Flat area, good choice for beginners. Area is not groomed. Parking available at Cardiff Fork or Spruces Campgrounds.

Mill D North to Dog or Desolation Lakes

Location: Trailhead is 8.8 miles up canyon across from Cardiff Road.

Length: 2 miles to Dog Lake 3.5 to Desolation Lake.

Notes: Trail forks at 1.5 miles.

Beartrap Fork

Location: Trailhead is 11 miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon on north side of road.

Length: 1.75 miles to upper bowl.

Notes: Parking is limited. Can loop to/from Willow Lake.

Willow Heights:

Location: Trailhead is 12.1 miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon on north side of road.

Length: .75 miles to lake

Notes: Parking on road shoulder outside white line

Little Cottonwood Canyon

Location: Access via 9000 South and Wasatch Blvd.

Facilities: Food available at Snowbird and Alta ski resorts, restrooms located at various trailheads

Dogs: No dogs allowed due to SLC Watershed Restrictions.

Cost: Free unless noted.

Contact Info: USFS Salt Lake Ranger District/Public Lands Information Center (801) 466-6411.

Little Cottonwood Canyon Trail

Location: Trailhead at mouth of canyon. Shared with Temple Quarry Trail.

Notes: Climbs gradually parallel to road. May lack snow at times during the winter.

White Pine Area

Location: 5.3 miles from mouth of canyon. Parking lot located on south side of road. Area suggested does not include the trail.

Length: A 10-acre open area located at the beginning of the trail (just across the bridge) is great for beginners.

American Fork Canyon

Location: 25 miles south of Salt Lake City. Access via 1-15 to State Road 92. Fee booth at mouth of canyon.

Facilities: None

Dogs: Allowed, must be leashed at all times.

Cost: Recreation Fee $3/3 days or $25 annual pass.

Contact Info: US Forest Service Pleasant Grove Ranger District (801) 785-3563.

Little Mill Campground

Location: 1mile from Timpanogos Cave Nat l Monument on State Road 92.

Length: 1.5 miles one way, not maintained.

Notes: Great for beginners. Follows American Fork River on campground road. No restroom facilities.

Silver Lake Flats

Location: Begins at Tibble Fork and travels north to Silver Lake Reservoir.

Length: 3.0 miles

Notes: Upper Silver Lake enters wilderness area

Know before you go!!

Many popular snowshoeing areas are near or in avalanche terrain. YOUR SAFETY IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. Avalanche danger is present along and in all areas and trails described in this brochure. Be sure that you have adequate route finding skills before entering these areas. You can gain these skills by enrolling in an avalanche safety course.

Utah Avalanche Forecast Center provides daily updates: 801-364-1581 or http://www.avalanche.org

Snowshoe with a Naturalist

Beginning in January join a Naturalist for a free snowshoe tour. Track animals in the snow, learn about history and have fun! For details call 801-466-6411. Sponsored by Tubbs Snowshoes and REI.