Explore Big Cottonwood Canyon - 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 Canyon Map

Such a fun hike! My friend and I had a blast on this trail and the scenery was amazing! We did have some trouble finding the trailhead as the directions I received were slightly different on my phone than my friend's phone. We decided to park near a couple other cars parked off to the side of the road and after walking down the road a bit, we found a rock trail marker about 20 feet up from the trail. We found this trailhead to be about 200 meters from AJ Motion Sports and its partner shops. Once on the trail we were grateful to have plenty of shade to block out the blazing 2 p.m. sun. We only saw one family coming down the trail when we were heading up and besides that we were the only ones there. There were many trails that forked off from each other but I think they all lead you to the lake. I would only suggest to always take the trail that leads up!

2 hours ago

Fun hike. Wildflowers were still in full bloom. Intermittent shade. We saw 3 bull moose. They were right on the trail but we were able go around them.

7 hours ago

Definitely one of my favorite hikes. Its beautiful and adventurous.

Great trail. Started at 6:00am, saw 3 moose, 3 deer, and the trail loop around the east of Catherine had fresh mountain lion tracks. Bugs were out but with bug spray no issue. (July 15)

As two younger males, it took us 1.5 hrs to do the whole trail. We continued on past Lake Catherine to the Sunset Peak trail, which was steeper. To the top of Sunset Peak took another hour with stops and it was worth the extra climb.

We really enjoyed this hike. Despite Big Cottonwood canyon being overrun on a Sunday, we were the only two people on this trail. It's a steep climb and there is still a lot of snow on the last mile. We had micro spikes which worked great on the steeper sections. The views from the saddle next to the Honey Comb Skis are incredible. Later in the year this would also make a great loop hike by continuing to Lake Mary and then descending into Brighton.
I highly recommend this the, esp on weekends.

This was a great hike, accurately described as moderate use. The wildflowers are starting to explode now.

one of the best

This is a steep hike, averaging 1000 feet of elevation gain per mile. It's a hike to a meadow, not to a peak. You should know the meadow when you get there, it's beautiful. I could have sat up there for hours, but had to come down to get to work. While strenuous, definitely recommend.

Great, easy trail and boardwalk around the lake. Surroundings were beautiful.

Hiked this on 7/14/18. This trail was extremely beautiful and serene. I descended down this trail after hiking up mill d trailhead to desolation lake. There were so many meadows with wildflowers and it was canopy with a lot of shade. I didn’t run into any other hikers.. but did run into a bear about 20-30 feet off the trail. He was aware that we were there and let us pass without any issues but please be aware of this!

I went early in the morning of July 10, 2018. Taking it slow and pausing to enjoy the surroundings, many times along the way with shade, cool breeze, no insects and loads of wildflowers. I only spent 1 1/2 up. When I got to the large meadow before the straight up climb I turned around. The meadow had been reached by the Sun at that point. I had never hiked alone and will never do it again. Praying all the way round trip and being alert and cautious. It was dumb to do alone but for just this once I was in Heaven. I saw one deer on the way up to the right of me and two together to my left on the way back down.

Great Moderate hike though first mile is steep. The first mile is highly trafficked. Past that it gets more sparse with people till the end then your are back in crowds. Fun, beautiful.

The hike was great but long and hard. We got to the trail head at 5:00am and it was still dark. My 5 and 8 year old made it up in about 4 hours. It took us about 2.5 hours to get down. We took almost 4 Liters of water and drank about three liters. Had a great time at the lake but we did t have enough time to explore the other lakes.

Mileage is wrong. Less than 4 miles. Lots of rocks to slow you down if you are running. Amazing vistas at the top and a couple nearby lakes to cool you down.

fun easy hike with and it's fun to play in the water

2 days ago

Left from the trailhead at 8:30 am, and it was cool and shady the whole way. Despite it being Sunday, I only saw a few people on my way up which was nice. It was a strenuous, constant climb for 1:49 so not for the faint of heart. Not a cloud in the sky with a cool 80 degrees which made for the perfect lunch spot. On my way down, which took 1:20, A LOT of people were heading up. It was the perfect day and time for this hike. Loved it! Highly recommend it but start early and bring a lot of water or a filter.

Did this hike on Saturday July 14th. Started at 7:30 am which was perfect since by the time we were coming back down it was getting really crowded. Somehow we ended up going 6.9 miles, not 4.4, but we did take a random trail at the end towards lake Catherine that took us the back way around. Still doesn't seem to add up though. I'm pretty out of shape and we also stopped to take lots of pics of the beautiful wildflowers, so it took us about 2.5 hours to get up (also had a 15-20 minute break at Lake Mary) and an hour to get back down. Dog Lake was first which was more of a swamp, Lake Mary was next and absolutely beautiful. Lake Martha also felt more swamp esque but provided some good scenery as you continue towards Lake Catherine. The flowers were unreal, but so we're the mosquitoes, so definitely pack some bug spray! All in all I would definitely recommend since despite the steep incline right off the bat, the lakes are such a high payoff. We also saw 2 moose on the way back down!

Be aware that the whole thing is uphill. Definitely kicked my butt! The view is very worth it and there are two smaller lakes you can get to at the top. Also, keep a look out for moose by the lakes, we were lucky and saw one!

This hike was the perfect challenge. 9 Miles RT and 2,500 elevation gain. It gradually climbed and was flat in some areas. Beautiful meadows and wildflowers everywhere. We hiked to desolation lake, up on top of the ridge and across.. I believe that’s the crest trail-and there’s beautiful views of park city on one side and desolation lake on the other side. We descended down bear trap fork. If you go early, you will see a ton of wildlife. We came across a bear going down bear trap right off the side of the trail(so be aware). This hike was amazing and we will be back!

We went in the evening and saw a moose! Beautiful hike with incredible views the whole way.

easy hike and super short with beautiful waterfall...

Beautiful wildflowers, streams and forestry make the hike enjoyable and the lake is fun. There were a few ducks we fed and sweet little side trails throughout. I loved It!

Beautiful and a simple short hike you can take your kids on...

3 days ago

One of my favorite quick hikes. We started late afternoon around 7 we got to lake Mary then kept going to Lake Martha and saw 4 Bull Moose!!! It was amazing! Then on the way down we ran into another one walking in front of us on the trail just before Dog lake.

3 days ago

WARNING: I know I was probably the 1 in 1,000, but I ran into a bear smack dab in the middle of this trail. This spooked hiker suggests not hiking this trail alone, and bringing bear spray.

mountain biking
3 days ago

Beautiful trail with awesome views. A bit dusty, but it's been dry.

For a bit longer hike and some great views, start at Silver Lake, up to Twin Lakes, and then over to Lake Mary. From there, out to the trailhead. It’s a quick road walk back to the Silver Lake parking. This provides a nice loop of about 4 miles and adds in some great views between Lake Mary and Twin Lakes.

Fun hike for the family. The walk in has shade and the area near the falls is a great place to sit or walk in the water.

Awesome hike with my kids. Beautiful aspen woods, meadows of wildflowers, and we even sighted a moose right off the trail. A few annoying flies and mosquitoes, but insect repellent worked well. Very peaceful and tranquil up at the lake.
A few slippery sections, so make sure shoes with decent grip (especially for kids) are worn.

The first part was a lot steeper than I expected, even with the tips on these reviews. My 3 year old needed assistance.
The bugs were out in full force and we all got eaten, even with bug spray. The lake was pretty and the wildflowers were amazing, but not sure if I’ll do this one again until the seasons change and it’s a big cooler.

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