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Upper Bells Canyon Trail is a 12.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Sandy, Utah that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

Length 12.3 mi Elevation gain 4,337 ft Route type Out & Back

Backpacking

Camping

Fishing

Hiking

Nature trips

Snowshoeing

Bird watching

Forest

Lake

River

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Rocky

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)

As of May 04, 2020, users have reported that the trail to the lake is impassable due to snow. Please consult the park's website before visiting. Note: Because this trail lies within a protected watershed, dogs and swimming are not permitted in the area. Once past the second falls, the trail follows a series of carins set by the Wasatch Mountain Club in conjunction with the Forest Service. This mapped route is a close estimate of that route. It is not recommended for novice hikers. At the Upper Reservoir one can continue to other high points in the Wasatch back country that will require mountaineering and or good navigation skills.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (264)
Photos (2136)
Recordings (189)
Completed (654)
April Pettit
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jul 06 2020
BackpackingBugsOff trailRockyScramble

HARD!!! But so worth it :) My fiance and I spent 7 hrs and 45 mins to get from the bottom to the top with a break at the lower waterfall and a lot of breaks in between. We backpacked in with sleeping gear, cooking gear, trail mix, and 3 liters water each on our backs so we were definitely slower than most. views were perfect!!! no fish in the upper reservoir, it's too shallow but it was breathtaking. be careful going up and down bc the trail gets lost easily and we ended up off track a total of 5 times which wasnt frightening but it wasnt the easiest route to take Haha

Kevin THeriot
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 04 2020
Hiking

Hiked most of the way today and there is no snow and the trail is in good shape.

Jared Springer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 03 2020
Hiking

I love this hike. It's not easy but so rewarding. It's on my yearly rotation. The snow is gone and the reservoirs, waterfalls, creeks, and rivers are all full.

View Jared's Recording
Ted Striker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 03 2020
Hiking

Today's goal was Lone Peak! However due to the Jacob Ladder access road being closed at Orson Smith Park we decided to be a little extra adventurous. A friend of mine suggested a new route to Lone Peak that started at Upper Bells Canyon. I will admit that I was weary that we would actually attempt this new course but when you're dating an adventurer who is both bold and beautiful, you comply. This review is also for the Texans (Love the Lone Star State!) we met on the trail prior to ascending to the reservoir. At that point we were still questioning if we would take this route but promised a review if we did. After reaching the reservoir we soaked in the view and solitude of this hidden lake that for some might have been the end of the road. Not us. I will admit that after viewing Lone Peak from our current location I questioned our stamina, water, and food resources. My girlfriend however had already made up her mind and I found myself trying keep up while she pushed forward towards the peak to accomplish the goal we'd made that morning. (She's amazing) The journey was unmarked and untouched. We were officially off trail and making our own way towards our final destination. The valley past the reservoir is breathtaking. A massive carpet of white rock was our new trail that featured upper glacier ponds that glowed blue and green. Small streams winding through patches of green fields shimmered in the sunlight and reassured me that turning around at the reservoir would have been a huge mistake. As we hiked closer to our point of accent we carefully chose our sliver of rock between the snow to make our final scramble. At this point fatigue finally set in and we found ourselves taking many breaks on our way up the steep and slippery face to the saddle. We made it. As we peeked over the rock we were greeted with a spectacular view of Utah valley. We took a hard right turn to finish our unorthodox hike to Lone Peak and after a slight miscalculation we eventually found our peak. For anyone wondering if this is possible it is. Be sure to bring PLENTY of water and food. Also don't doubt yourself at any point. You'll regret not accomplishing this hike.

Cecilly Francisco
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jun 25 2020
HikingOff trailRockyScramble

Incredible trail! Started 8:30 am / finished 2:45 pm with rest & lunch at lake. Pay attention to the cairns (rocks piled up) especially around miles 4-7; there were some fallen trees that made keeping on trail a little tricky, but the cairns were super helpful. Hiking poles would have been helpful, if you have them; I didn’t, but wished I’d brought them.

View Cecilly's Recording
Michael Aguilar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 21 2020
Hiking

Great day. Snow is almost completely gone up high. Just a spot here or there. Definitely a few scrambles but well worth it for the serenity at the lake.

View Michael's Recording
Nina Mortensen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jun 19 2020
HikingMuddyRocky
View Nina's Recording
Mallorie Popovich
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jun 19 2020
HikingIcyMuddySnow

Went in April, one of my favorite local hikes.

Jason Blalock
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jun 16 2020
HikingScramble

Nice and challenging. Snow is pretty much all gone now (mid June).

Jake Roper
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jun 11 2020
HikingRockyScrambleSnow

Threw on my spikes for miles 4-6. Wish I would have brought my poles, it would have made it a bit easier. As the day goes on the snow gets slushy with the heat so be careful on the steep inclines. Amazing trail!

View Jake's Recording
Matt Asay
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat May 30 2020
RunningMuddySnow

Trail gets a bit lost in the multiple tributaries from snow melt (at the meadow) but we found it after 5-10 minutes. The boulder field, as mentioned, has snow but it's passable (though caution is advised because it's easy to punch through). I'd recommend giving it a week. Also, if you can help it, never go on a Saturday. At least a billion people heading up as we ran down.

Jeremy Searle
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat May 30 2020
Hiking

Super awesome hike. The creek is raging right now, and the trail stays close to it most of the way. Both upper and lower falls were flowing heavy too - beautiful stuff. The meadow was serene with little tributaries running all over the place - probably my favorite part of the hike. As of today, 5/29/20, snow starts on the trail about 4.5 miles up but it is totally manageable in trail runners. Once you hit the boulder field it gets a little sketchy with deceptively unstable patches of snow - caution here is advised. Pretty much a wet slog through slush once past the boulders to the reservoir. I, for the most part, stayed above the reservoir to the south and had some impeccable views of lone peak and all the surrounding mountains. Fantastic!

Brianna Davis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 24 2020
Hiking

Some things I wish I knew before starting: The waterfall at the end is definitely worth it. The trail to the lower falls is fairly easy. Getting to the upper falls was an adventure. The last mile is just strait up the hill with lots of rocks. Hiking shoes and hiking poles are recommended! Some areas were a little muddy but isn’t a problem if you are wearing hiking shoes. It’s pretty cold at the top so bring a jacket to put on when you get there. There was a little bit of snow but it was melting pretty fast.

Jeremy Jones
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 10 2020
HikingMuddyOff trailSnow

Did the upper res today 5/09/20. The trail was great (crowded) to the first falls. Beyond the falls it turns into a little stream then full snow at the meadow and beyond. If your going for the upper res the trail in the snow takes you pretty far south and you end up dropping down into the res. Above the meadow the trail is all snow and there is some post-holing so be careful as the current “path” takes you above rockfall and river bed that over the next couple weeks will get super sketchy. I only saw two sets of skiers above the upper falls (meadow or lower) but no hikers. I had the res completely to myself! Beautiful. If your not familiar with the upper area of Bells Canyon exercise appropriate caution.

Hanah Morin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun May 10 2020
HikingBugsNo shadeRocky
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