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10 great hikes to Utah mountain lakes

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Difficulty • Moderate

Directions to trailhead • Take State Road 92 east to the mouth of American Fork Canyon in Utah County. After the fee shack, follow the road for about 5 miles and turn left at junction 144 toward North Fork. Go about 2 miles and pass Tibble Fork Reserve. Stay on the paved road for about another mile until you see a sign on the right for Silver Lake Reservoir. Travel the dirt road for about 4 miles to the parking lot.

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Lake Blanche — Big Cottonwood Canyon

Sitting below Sundial Peak, Lake Blanche is the attraction, but the trail also has the smaller Florence and Lillian lakes.

Round trip • 6.5 miles

Elevation change • 2,650 feet

Difficulty • Moderate

Directions to trailhead • Drive 4.5 miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon and park in the Mill B South Trailhead parking lot. The Lake Blanche Trail starts on the paved road near the restrooms.

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Deer Creek Lake — Boulder Mountain

There’s more than red rocks and desert in southern Utah. The trail to Deer Creek Lake is lined by green grass and aspen trees. Look for deer and elk on the trail and ducks on the lake.

Round trip • 6 miles

Elevation change • 678

Difficulty • Moderate

Directions to trailhead • From Torrey, drive west on Highway 12 for 26 miles. From the town of Boulder, drive east on Highway 12 for 9 miles. The trail head will be on the west side of the road.

South Willow Lake — Tooele County

Yes, even in Utah’s west desert you can find a mountain lake. In that respect, South Willow Lake is truly an oasis, albeit one that requires a 1,630-foot trek off the desert floor.

Round trip • 7 miles

Elevation change • 1,630 feet

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