Upper Bells Canyon Reservoir via Bells Canyon Trail is a 10 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Sandy, Utah that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October.

DISTANCE
10.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4,199 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

rocky

scramble

no dogs

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome hike, but it is certainly not 8.9 miles like other posts state. This is a good preparer for something like Jacobs ladder to lone peak. The last mile is definitely the steepest. Easy to get lost also. I did this one alone and there was no one around after the second waterfall. It’s pretty tough, but rewarding.

hiking
1 month ago

Left this morning later than I had wanted to - around 9. I clocked around 4 hours 45 min round trip with 10.4 miles. That’s with breaks (I didn’t stop much) including a visit to the lower falls. It was a nice day, very sunny and the leaves were changing. I’d say I was in the shade about half the time

The trail starts out with a moderate climb that gets pretty steep up to the waterfall trail fork. Continuing on the main trail it continues its steep pitch for about a mile or so. The trail then levels off for a bit and meanders through a quiet forest - my favorite part of the trail. After passing over a makeshift bridge over the river (running from the drainage you are shooting for), the trail goes south up a steep cliffy section by the river. You top out and you are in the drainage you want to be in. Follow the maintained trail for about a half mile. You’ll run into a boulder field here with almost no indication of where the trail starts up again. This is where I lost the trail. By lost, I mean I really lost the trail up until I got to the reservoir and bushwhacked through high shrubbery (in shorts) with the occasional class 3 section. I was on the wrong ridge and wrong side of the river but it did get me to where I wanted to be. See my GPS track for what not to do. To stay on the trail, stay left in the boulder field but not too left. I hung too left. Also, be smart and backtrack if the trail doesn’t seem right and check your GPS. I assumed the trail was just poorly maintained but ended up finding the real trail (well maintained) on the way down. Anyways, I made it up in about 2 hours 30 min with getting off track.


The reservoir was low but awesome. I will be visiting the reservoir again soon via The Beatout and I’m looking forward to it.

The way down was rough of course with all the elevation gain. If you don’t have poles, get some.

Not an easy hike, but really fun. One of the most scenic areas I’ve ever been to. For the hike up (after the waterfall) I was in complete solitude. I only saw one group when I was on my way down. Not sure if they were planning on hiking up all the way.

Highly recommend

hiking
4 months ago

If you want a very beautiful hike this is the place to go. Try not to go in the middle of summer, as it is very hot. Be prepared with a ton of water, because the intensity of it will require lots of H20. There are lots of streams so if you have a water purifier that would be useful. Most of the hike is all uphill and going back is equally rough. But when you finally get to the reservoir, the hike is worth it. The water is nice and cool and full of fish. Overall a very good but hard hike.

hiking
4 months ago

What an awesome hike! Clocked in at 6 miles when we reached the Reservoir, and with a bit of exploring our trip totaled 13 miles RT! Very challenging and brutal going down. Water is getting lower already, but still so much beauty and amazing views.

5 months ago

Wonderful hike!

hiking
5 months ago

Hard hike today, still lots of snow towards the upper reservoir. Trail was mostly visible until the you reach the deep snow. Had to post hole last bit of the trail with micro spikes. Overall great time and will do it again!

11 months ago

An awesome ass buster trail. those last couple of miles are killer but keep moving. it's worth it!!

trail running
Saturday, October 28, 2017

Great trail to access Lone Peak and South Thunder. Trail to Upper Bells Resevoir is fairly easy then route finding to continue on.

hiking
Monday, October 02, 2017

This hike will push you hard because it totally sneaks up on you. The first couple miles are just kinda meh, but then comes the last mile. That’s where you begin the climb. We did this hike on the end of September so the snow began to be problematic, as the trail is almost non existent from 3000 feet up. Just stick close to the river and you should be able to figure out where the heck you’re going.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Steep, glad I had trekking poles.

hiking
Saturday, July 29, 2017

hiking
Friday, July 28, 2017

Woke up this morning to go on this hike I've been planning on. Start off super easy. See the lake big deal. See the water fall that's on everyone's Instagram. Then after that I found a super dope place that was all green and shady with big rocks. Then I pretty much got lost from there because I kept getting distracted on my way up. Long story short, found my way to where you climb rocks and I had to go back because of time and on the way down I found the trail and it was super easy. Wish I hadn't got lost because I would've made it. Anyways doing it again soon. It was awesome!!!! 7/27/2017

hiking
3 months ago

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5 months ago

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5 months ago

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10 months ago

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11 months ago

hiking
Monday, October 30, 2017

hiking
Wednesday, October 25, 2017

hiking
Saturday, September 02, 2017

hiking
Friday, August 04, 2017

hiking
Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Monday, July 24, 2017

hiking
Monday, June 01, 2015

hiking
Sunday, June 10, 2012

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