Willow Heights Overview is a 2.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Salt Lake City, Utah that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until September.

Length2.8 miElevation gain698 ftRoute typeOut & back
HikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingForestViews
Description
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Know Before You Go. This trail accesses or travels through potential avalanche terrain. For more information and to read the daily avalanche forecast please visit: https://utahavalanchecenter.org

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Reviews (111)
Photos (164)
Activities (99)
Completed (239)
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Karen Bertolini
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 10, 2021
Hiking
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Darren Bringhurst
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 1, 2021
HikingIcy

Trail was snow packed so yak trax proved their worth , bitter cold in the shade but mild in the sunshine this morning. You can drive to the trail head but it took 10 minutes to walk to it from the main road

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Kevin Jessop
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 29, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful trail. Well maintained. Passable without snowshoes but better with.

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Hannah Andrews
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 15, 2020
Hiking

Lake is frozen over and covered with snow. So pretty though and the trail is easy to follow. Trail is sort of packed down but still nice to snowshoe.

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Mark Lowrance
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 19, 2020
Snowshoeing

snowshoed the majority of this one, not great conditions, no fresh snow. wait until another big snowfall or two

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Christina Lopez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 31, 2020
HikingGreat!

This has been a regular trail for my family. Looks like they reworked the trail quite a bit and it’s nice and flat. Gorgeous views of the canyon, we even saw an ermine at the top.

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David Forsyth
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 17, 2020
Hiking
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IG: @familyonthetrail
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 11, 2020
Hiking

Willow Heights Trail is located in Big Cottonwood Canyon. It is about 2.5 miles round trip. The trail is surrounded by beautiful alpine trees and loops around a nice small lake where we saw ducks. It’s a nice hike with some elevation, but good for families of all ages.

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Natasha Maw
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 29, 2020
Hiking

The majority of the reviews listed on this hike are for the Willow Lake Trail and NOT this trail which is the Willow Heights Overview trail. This trail is accessed by turning onto Old Stage Road which is directly across from entry 2 at Solitude. Right before the road turns from pavement to gravel there is room on the left hand side for 2 to 3 cars. As this was full, I backtracked and parked along the road (no parking though from November 1st to May 15th). After I walked back up the road and onto the gravel road I discovered that had I continued to drive up the gravel road there was a large pullout for more parking directly across from the trailhead. I'd suspect for about 5-6 cars and I doubt that it ever fills. The gravel road was in great condition so this is where I would park next time. All of the elevation gain is at the very beginning of the hike. Even though it was only 60 degrees and I was in a tank and shorts I was sweating bullets up this portion of the hike. Very sunny with no shade. Aspens all around. Once you make it to the top of the hill, the hike levels out and you make your way through a very thick pine. A tremendous amount of pine were down from the recent windstorm but all had been cut and cleared. Eventually the trail forks (not shown on map), continue to the left. The trail as shown here on AllTrails ends at a lovely bench erected from a resident couple in Brighton. Add your name to the register. The view is just lovely but the lake is obscured (can see just the edge of the shoreline). Unfortunately, it is extremely dry so everything was burned up to a crisp. All the aspens skipped the yellowing of leaves staged and are all bare. Either burned up and dropped or lost from the windstorm. I imagine in a nice wet summer the fall colors would be better. But today was meh. I would hike this again but only in the late spring or early summer. Everything was too brown and dry. At the bench, the trail continued down the hill and I imagine connects to the Willow Heights trail. All Trails does not show this connection but I can't imagine where else this trail would go (Edit: have since discovered a trail on alltrails titled "beaver pond from solitude" that shows a recording of this connection). If I had more time and was willing to walk back up the hill on the highway I could make a loop out of it.

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Barbara Christensen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 29, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful fall day. White aspen trunks and bright blue sky - wow. Moose spotted by hikers we passed. Lake a little stinky because of low water level but easy, beautiful hike.

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Rich Warren
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Hiking

Very nice

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Jess Schlotfeldt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 12, 2020
Hiking

Short hike, but beautiful views once you make it to the bench. Lots of Aspen trees and smells like Christmas trees (marked on my map) for a good section where trees have fallen down or been cut to open the trail. Would rate this more of an easy hike. Mostly flat packed dirt for the trail. Branch off to other hikes from this one to really escape. Worth it if you are short on time but want to get out.

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Tyler Howe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 4, 2020
Hiking

This is a pretty walk in the woods. I actually like this more than the hike to Willow Heights Lake. The trail is still steep, but it’s a more steady climb. Also, you’ll find far fewer people here. Uniquely, you don’t see the lake from the overview. But, it’s pretty just the same.

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Jami Hunt
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HikingRocky

This was an absolutely beautiful hike, but unless you are an experienced hiker I would rate it slightly more difficult than moderate. It is a steep incline all the way from the road to the lake, with very few points of leveling off. You also have to cross a couple of small streams. It’s absolutely worth the effort, however. We saw some absolutely beautiful moose, and gorgeous wildflowers. On the plus side, there are plenty of places to stop along the trail and rest for a little while. Hiking poles are extremely helpful on this hike.

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Katelynn Pearson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 25, 2020
Hiking

Great hike! Good coverage most of the way. Beautiful bench at the end :)

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Jessica Garcia
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 18, 2020
HikingBugs

Beautiful trail that is not too rocky. It’s a steady slightly steep climb all the way up. You do have to cross a creek a few times. New to hiking, and we took lots of rest stops. Took us 1 hour to reach the lake. Went on a Friday late afternoon, and it was crowded at the lake, but the trail was not. People were swimming as lake is not deep, and a few camp sites were set up. Hike was mostly shaded along the way until you got to the clearing before the lake. Weather was beautiful. It was 100 in the valley and at the base of the hike was 83. Not sure the actual temp at the lake but it was perfect. Only wildlife we saw was a baby cotton tail bunny. Trail head begins off main road. FYI so many mosquitos and horse flys. We had bug spray on and was still bothered by all the bugs.

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T Red
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 12, 2020
HikingBugs

This trail was filled with different varieties of wildflowers all along the way. So beautiful! We parked in a pullout along Big Cottonwood Canyon Road right next to Old Stage Road. You’ll need to walk up Old Stage Road for about 0.25 miles (a paved road that eventually turns to a dirt road). The trailhead will be on your left—marked but easy to miss if you’re not looking for it. Once on the trail, you’ll hear cars along the trail from the main road below for about 0.75 miles (unfortunately), but then it quiets down into peaceful, bird-song-filled solitude. Once you hit the fork on the trail, the left will take you to the bench mentioned in previous comments. The right will take you to a beautiful meadow of wildflowers that is worthy of your best rendition of “The Hills Are Alive” from the “The Sound of Music”.

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Chris Dadok
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 9, 2020
Hiking

It starts out on a paved road, but then gets nice pretty soon. There are some off trails to explore.

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chelsey pugh
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 8, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful trail, but be prepared for moose. Loved the aspen and pines. The bench with guest book is a beautiful spot to take in the view.

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Cyndi Nordfelt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 5, 2020
Hiking

Love doing this hike. Great to start at the overview, sit in the bench and then go down and walk around the lake. Be careful to not go down through the stream bed. Go down on the wider, more worn trail. We saw an ambulance called to help someone who thought the stream bed was the real trail and had fallen badly.

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Ashik Sartaz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 5, 2020
Hiking

Picked this as my birthday hike on 06/19/2020. Weather was super nice. Started a little early so there was less traffic. Since I am not a regular hiker, my legs kinda gave up halfway but over all nice short 2.5 miles hike. Started to get a little crowded on my way back which was around noon.

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Summer Spence
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 22, 2020
Hiking

Steady, steep climb up to the overlook, where we found an adorable carved bench with a guest register. The trail forked at the top and we weren’t sure which way to go, so we stopped there and will explore further next time! The pines and aspens were gorgeous and there were nice shady spots along the trail.

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Kelly Sharples
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 20, 2020
Hiking

We started on the Willow Heights Overlook Trail but weren’t sure where it actually ended so we continued on down to connect to the Willow Heights loop. Had to walk up the canyon road a bit back to our car at the solitude parking lot but it wasn’t bad. Gorgeous hike, wildflowers just starting to pop. Should be perfect in a few weeks.

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Stephanie Morgan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 15, 2020
Hiking

This was a great trail for my 9 year old. There are a few river crossings and some pretty great views of Solitude. We really liked the open space and Lake at the top. This would make a good picnic spot.

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Sarah Crawford
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 11, 2020
Hiking

Very beautiful! Lots of wildlife to see. I parked on the street near Solitude because the road Google maps asks you to turn onto seems like it’s someone’s house.

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Ashelyn Downs
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 31, 2020
Hiking

Finally no more snow on May 30th! We were treated to a moose very close to the trail that we had to sort around but others were observing it very closely...it seemed quite used to humans being near, but please just let these creatures do their thing and be respectful. One of our family favorites. It's truly one of the most (small) kid-friendly hikes in the canyon while not compromising crowds and paved walkways. There is a small stretch for the incline where you may need to take a couple of breaks or think of distractions but it is all rewarded with the gorgeous aspens and lake at the top.

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Bailey Mitchell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 24, 2020
Hiking

This trail is beautiful. My crew and I go here all the time! It’s definitely not too hard of a hike, as long as there’s no snow. Make sure you check if the trails covered in snow or not because it’s easy to lose it. And the end of the trail there’s a medium sized pond/small “lake” with very friendly ducks! Just make sure to not feed them bread or anything yucky.

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Mark Wilkinson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 18, 2020
Hiking

Our family enjoyed this trail. It gives a good work out on the way up with a beautiful view of Solitude and the surrounding mountains. The lake is small, but serene and peaceful. Quiet trail on a Monday. We encountered a moose about 20 yards off the trail. There was still snow around the lake in the shade of the trees, but no snow on the main trail if you hike up and back without going around the entire lake.

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Miranda Rogers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 6, 2019
Hiking

Great in the fall with the aspens. Not difficult. Encountered several moose. Overly busy on the day we tried it. Have also completed it in the winter with snowshoes and it is generally much quieter in the winter. Easy day hike.

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Patrick Schmitt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 1, 2019
RunningMuddy

Wasatch Trail Series race - Solitude. Good race, blood sugar felt a bit off on the way up. Final felt good about mile 4.

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