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

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hiking
16 hours ago

Went on a Saturday in August with my family of four, including a four-year-old and seven-year-old. We got there at 6 AM, so we got on the trail before anyone else, but on the way down it was like a conga line going up to the falls. The trail was beautiful and the falls were pretty. We didn’t let the kids do the scramble up to the top off the falls although I did and enjoyed that little challenge at the end of the trail. The rest of the trail was great for both of my kids.

Beautiful trail leading to beautiful falls! This is a good choice for kids and inexperienced hikers.

hiking
18 hours ago

Beautiful lake, easy hike for kids. Flat boardwalk. Neat visitors center.

We started at 5:30 AM on Friday and the parking lot was relatively empty. There are some stunning views as you get farther up the mountain! Keep in mind that the hike is very difficult if you are not an advanced hiker. I found that it was constant gradual uphill with sections of steep uphill hiking and some rock scrambling/steps. I was relieved that I brought Gatorade for the hike. Bring a jacket for the early morning start and the top. It can get pretty chilly. Also, be on the lookout for wildlife. We ran into a massive bull moose on our way up. I personally like the Timpooneke trail better because I feel like it is easier (better for trail running etc.), but I was glad that I ventured to the other side of the mountain. This trail isn't as heavily trafficked as Timpooneke.

I hiked this trail with my brother after doing Mount Olympus as a warmup. We got to the parking lot at 4:30 AM and it was already 3/4 full. The hike up was beautiful including stewart falls. We ran into multiple groups of mountain goats. My brother who wasn't in the best of shape turned around at Emerald Lake while I continued on through the mile long boulder field and then up to the summit. Breathtaking views at the top. I quickly came down. Overall a great hike.

super easy trail, great for older folks and little toddler legs

Beatiful sites along the trail. Difficult, but well worth the effort! Views from the top were unreal. There weren’t many wildflowers along the trail though. Started at 4 am and the parking lot was mostly full.

The other reviews don't lie, this is a non-stop uphill battle from the start all the way to the lake. the trail is very shaded in the early morning but not very shaded in the afternoon. takes lots of water or a purifier to replenish. totally worth all the pain though!

Delightful hike through the aspen trees.

amazing trail, moderately trafficked but not too bad, the landscape and veiws/forests are beautiful, no complaints!

I love this trail! So many great views, wildlife, and scenery.

A fun little nature walk with our 2 year old. We actually didn't walk around the whole thing this time. Instead we decided to do the Lake Solitude hike to test out our little guy. He did wonderful on both this walk and the hike.

We started this hike at 12:30am so we could watch the sunrise and we were finally got back to our car at 11:30am so we were hiking a lot longer than expected! This is the hardest hike I’ve ever done, but it’s definitely possible and very rewarding and BEAUTIFUL at the top! I don’t think I’ll do this hike again for a long time since it’s SO difficult especially the last mile and a half (It took us an hour). But I still highly recommend this hike! It is absolutely FREEZING at the top so wear very very warm clothes! Also all trails says it’s 14 miles, but it’s definitely longer. My Apple Watch says it was 18 miles so keep that in mind!

As others have said, take the dirt road at Orson Park. I almost got tempted to try a different route since I live in Lehi, but looking at google images, doesn’t look like there is a fully thru way yet.
I’m not the biggest fan of the first half of the trail. It has a very dry desert mountain feel to it and gets quite steep. Once it levels out and gets into some pine, I loved it. Traversing across rock reminded me of some hikes I’ve done in southern Utah and the view of the peak is fantastic. Nothing really too tough or scary until you get to the very top. The last five minutes or so to reach the top really made me think twice. Great view though and well worth it. Took me 4 hours and 15 minutes to the top. Started at 8:15am and was at the top at 12:30.

Really crowded which makes sense because it's not too strenuous or long so kids can come.

very very muddy right now. We didn't want to slip so we didn't climb down the rock to see the falls. Really pretty hike and worth it for sure.

My husband and I hiked this trail for the first time two days ago--excellent hike! On the way up it's a slow burn through the trees, with lots of gorgeous flowers. We started at 5 am and were able to enjoy seeing the sun slowly fill Primrose Cirque while ascending. After getting through the trees, the views are spectacular. We also saw many waterfalls, and wound up crossing one at least three times on the way up. We decided to turn back before going up into the trees leading to Emerald Lake, because we'd heard from others coming down that the ice field was too dicey to go through. Again, it being our first time going up, we decided to call it a day and headed back down. We will definitely try this again later in the season when the snow is melted more!

Great Hike go early gets a little warm this time of year.

So lovely. Challenging!

bring water shoes!

Standing on the peak as I type. Going down may be a bit treacherous. That was the steepest 2 miles I have ever hiked up.

I've done this twice, and the first time was perfect. I went alone, and appreciated all the cairns to lead the way. The second time I went with friends, and we somehow got off the path, and went 2000 ft south of the trail. Trudging through scrub oak on steep hills really, REALLY sucks. Don't do that!

This was a good hike! Not too steep not too difficult! Gorgeous views and we saw a moose right next to the trail.

It had been 25 or so years since I'd been up this side, and I'd also forgotten how much easier it is in comparison to the Aspen Grove Trail head. I just love the long climbing switchbacks across the terraces, and how the views in both directions are changing continually throughout the hike. Between the two and three mile marks (approximately) there is also excellent opportunity to see plentiful sea life fossils, if you know what you're looking for. Water sources become more and more limited as the season draws out, so be aware, carry plenty and consider a filter. This mountain is so amazingly majestic, and never disappoints, at least in my opinion. Even if you only plan to hike to the basin, this is one of the easier places to always spot Mountain Goats, which is always entertaining. Excellent hike, I need to knock this one out again before the season is finished!

hiking
4 days ago

beautiful lake, beautiful trail. it is steep and quitr demanding. I was breaking in a new backpacking pack and had a lot of unnecessary weight, so that was a huge factor. I think that if I'd done it with half the weight, it wouldn't have felt so hard. we were stopped by a big bull moose on the trail, and the trail is popular enough our group went from two to almost twenty whole we waited for him to move away. he took his sweet time and we sat around for about 20 to 30 minutes. :) i

It was a good trail and a great workout. I definitely recommend it, but not for kids under 12. we saw lots of kids who pooped out before the end (or less than a mile into the trail) and were riding piggy back. Also, bring plentu of water. it is shaded in the morning, but it was hot with minimal shade in the afternoon. It's "hard" for a reason. don't punish your kids or yourself.

Great hike this time of year, be aware THE LAKE HAS NOT BEEN DRAINED. The water levels can get low this time of year especially with dry conditions, but Red Pine and White Pine do have water in them.

hiking
5 days ago

Magic is the only word.

backpacking
5 days ago

We started at 5pm on a Friday. There were plenty of spaces to park. The incline isn’t bad, it’s the distance that makes this hike difficult. By 9pm, the sun went down and it was amazing! As you look down the valley, you’ll see people starting their hikes for sunrise. We made it to the meadow/basin area in 7 hours (we had large backpacks on requiring multiple stops), slept over, started our summit at 9am. It took us 2hrs to get from the meadow to the saddle. From the saddle on is where it gets tough; if you’re scare of heights, this is where you’ll have to debate if you’ll summit or not. Pass the saddle, you’ll do a bit of scrambling to summit. It took us another hour from the saddle to the shack to summit. I highly recommend bringing a lot of water and a filter. There’s not much water on the trail, all the spring falls are dried up now.
Totaled hours hike (for a slow hiker): 14hrs.

Nice short hike to the falls. Trail is shadded well and not super rocky but it gets over crowded real quick, so go early to avoid the crowd and to have the falls all to your self.

walking
5 days ago

Easy, Fun..great for everyone and great for an easy walk. Saw some cute squirrels and a few deer.

Quick & Stroller friendly. We saw baby squirrels and chipmunks on the trail as well as rainbow trout in the lake.

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