Explore Big Cottonwood - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Big Cottonwood Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Amazing everything with this one. It's steep at parts but worth every bit.

trail running
7 days ago

Saw 2 moose on trail on way back down from Blanche at 8:45am. One got a little aggressive and charged a hiker coming up the trail, but did not make contact. Whoa! Heads up!

Skinned up to desolations and skied Powder Park. Snow was phenomenal up top. The further down you went the crustier it was. Beautiful trail, quite a bit of snow up there.

hiking
13 days ago

Absolutely amazing hike!! Moose Mania

5 moose 5 deer on the trail

The trail was well marked and accessible

Lake is frozen and so were my hands!!! Blue skies for days

hiked on 11-25. strapped on snow shoes about the dog lake turn off... beautiful this time of year!

trail running
15 days ago

Beautiful day on trail in the snow, handful of hikers. Spotted moose off trail, took nice photo. Hikers I bumped into reported 3 moose on trail and said a bull acted aggressive. Turned around .5 mile from top (not interested in bumping into aggressive bull so turned bag. Wore Salomon Speedcross GTX with gaiters and tights, was enough, brought poles. Did not need Microspikes, no ice, just new snow coming down today. Enjoy!

hiking
28 days ago

Great hike with amazing views! Went today and the trail was snow covered with patches of ice so cleats are recommended. We were fortunate to see a moose as well.. highly recommended hike!

on Lake Blanche Trail

hiking
30 days ago

If anyone sees a leatherman in a case, my sister dropped hers (custom made 18 yrs ago) and would love it back if someone picks it up.

I did this hike on Nov 16th, and chose a day that the weather would be pleasant. I recommend bringing sunglasses or a hat because the trail goes southeast the whole way and the sun was right in our eyes. It was a beautiful day, icy but sunny. It was pretty slick on the way down with the hard packed snow, so be sure to have good treads on your boots. If you are with amateurs like I was, I would definitely go early in the day. It will take over 4 hours to go down and back, especially if you want to sit for a while and enjoy the sunshine on the smooth cool-looking rocks up top, overlooking the lake. Once we were out of the sun, it was quite cold so gloves and a hat were nice. We went later in the season, so we only met a couple other hikers along the way. We did come across some deer up close, darting across the trail.

I hiked this on Tuesday. The trail was quite muddy and slick. The lake is frozen and covered in snow. Beautiful little rainbows reflecting in the snowflakes. I passed 5 people on the trail. It took me 3.25 hours.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike. Started to snow on the way up and was really slick coming back down. Would suggest micro spikes for the downhill. Beautiful trail, Lake was frozen but still worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

Rated at 4 as i lost the trail both up and down and there was a decent amount of bush-whacking/scrambling. Only one area where it was slippery enough to use spikes going up today, about 20 or so feet. 2 hours up.

trail running
1 month ago

Sunny. No material wind. Microspikes not needed today. Only a few brief slick areas on trail. Started at 11:20am, 37 degrees at S curve. Parking lot closed for season. Wore tank, baseball cap, wool gloves and tights. Didn’t use wind breaker, could have gone with shorts, would still suggest gloves for top. Took me 1:15 from trail head to top, if you’re somewhere in that range or faster would highly recommend shorts. Enjoy!

Great hike!! Very beautiful scenery, especially at the top. Took about 2hrs to reach the top, moving at a quicker pace. The trail is a steady incline, and very rarely levels out. May prove difficult to someone unaccustomed to physical activity, but certainly doable. Some small ice patches, but not enough for crampons yet. Would definitely recommend grippy shoes/boots and some trekking poles.

It was a very easy to follow trail with some beautiful views. Basically all uphill to get there and all downhill coming back so I hope you're in better shape than me. The lake is frozen which was a little dissapointing but still beautiful. There were a couple icy spots on the trail but most of it is still clear. The parking lot is closed for the season. I would recommend starting the hike around noon. We started around 9 and were hiking straight into the sun all morning. Up near the lake are some colorful rock formations that are pretty cool and Sundial Peak is breathtaking.

This trail was amazing!
made my legs burn but so worth it!

hiking
1 month ago

I liked this trail a lot. It is pretty rocky in some areas but not any big deal. There’s a lot of snow once you reach 9k feet and not being into postholing and wet socks I turned back. The old mine is pretty cool. Lots of water available all along the route if you filter. I’ll definitely be back to complete this one.

1 month ago

literally best hike ever. I tracked it as 8.3 miles and took 4 hours but would probably take 5 at a more leisurely pace. lots of snow right now! really intense legit a hard hike. climbed 195 flights of stairs. please take a flashlight with you. this trail can take a long time and hiking poles would be smart

hiking
1 month ago

Phenomenal views at the top. The hike itself is challenging but more because of the length than the grade or terrain.

hiking
1 month ago

So gorgeous! Tough climb up if you’re not a regular hiker but so worth it.

Mild incline, great views. Trail starts out muddy and gets snowy towards the end. You shouldn’t need microspikes just yet, hiking shoes/boots with good traction and/or trekking polls should suffice. It’s much colder at the lake, so make sure you bring adequate clothing to layer up when you get there.

Beautiful went in October and nov colors were beautiful keep going around to see smaller lakes there are a couple of water falls that way defiantly worth the hike

Excellent trail! I got an early start on it last weekend (October 27) and it was still in great shape. Some icy spots due to freezing temps overnight, but largely clear all the way up to the lake. I decided to follow the trail to the right in order to come up on to the peaks from the west but there was far too much snow to safely summit without proper tools. The ascent is mostly scree and at this point, it's completely covered in snow so it's incredibly difficult to find the trail. If you plan on hiking this trail to the lake, be sure to bring poles and traction.

No snow until you begin moving up Raymond past the saddle. No spikes or yaks needed at this point, but my poles were quite helpful as snow increased with the climb. It was a gorgeous day and the snow was grainy and easy to hike early on. Things did get slippery and spikes are recommended once you get to the ridgeline at least. Pretty deep but the foot path was packed in some areas. Postholing along some parts, so gaiters are recommended too.

cold today but decent conditions. some muddy spots but not too slippery. packed down snow last half mile. brought spikes but didnt use them.

beautiful hike, worth the trip

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike! Went late in the afternoon so we saw a lot of snow. Once we got about .3 miles away from the lake there were about 4 moose on the trail so we tried to wait it out but they didn’t move and we ended up turning around. I hike occasionally and I’m in decent shape, and this hike was not hard at all!

Favorite hike to get some headspace!

I didn’t find the views really worth the effort on this one. It’s a short punishing hike for sure.

The start was very rocky and not what I was expecting. Once you make the turn towards the creek, it’s beautiful. The elevation gain was slow and steady. Some parts are over grown do your not sure where exactly the trail leads. Would go again in the spring.

hiking
1 month ago

I love this hike! It's beautiful in all seasons and today was no exception. there was some colored leaves left but in the morning, there was frost, snow, and ice on the trail. I saw 7 moose while on the trail and luckily they were more interested in eating than people chasing. The lake was beautiful and has not frozen yet. This is a steep trail and definitely not for the faint of heart, but if you can make it to the end, the view is well worth the struggles.

Load More