Willow Heights Trail

MODERATE 252 reviews

Willow Heights Trail is a 3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Salt Lake City, Utah that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
3.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
669 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

hiking
1 day ago

Went around 6:30 pm after a spring rain and the colors were magical! The first bit of trail was rocky and gave a great little workout. Overall short/fast hike with lots of wildlife! I startled some deer on the way down.

hiking
3 days ago

Fun short hike! The trail splits and either direction will take you to the lake. We stayed on the right path, a bit rocky and steep at times but not bad at all. Fun hike with lots of aspen trees.

backpacking
15 days ago

End of April: ran into ice and sparse snow about the point the trail leveled out, ~2 feet of snow around the lake. Snow was hard enough to walk on in some places, but if you don't have snowshoes plan on wearing water resistant boots for post-holing, with good grip for the icy sections. Taking the right hand path upwards, the first half mile or so is pretty steep for out of shape students with backpacking stuff. View across mountains just before lake was gorgeous.

hiking
1 month ago

Mid April, 3ft snow, but trail is fairly packed. I recommend micro spikes to help with the slick inclines near the start. Also, wear boots. If you don't have snowshoes, you'll do a few snow lunges, particularly near the lake. Snowshoes will get in the way at the start, but would help the lake area be more enjoyable.

hiking
1 month ago

Went up it two days ago. Great views for such a short hike. Probably around 3 feet of snow but at the time that we went it was really solid so we we’re able to hike on the top of it though occasionally we would fall through a bit but we had good boots so it wasn’t too bad. Definitely would come back despite the snow.

3 months ago

Snowshoed with the full moon. Wonderful night. So beautiful seeing the moon in the meadow before the lake.

hiking
4 months ago

We loved this hike. It was our first moderate hike, and it was really only bad because it was pretty icy, which made it a little more difficult than we expected, but once we got to the lake, it was amazing. 3 feet of snow that we were able to enjoy, ate a nice sandwich and watched the sun go down. was an awesome hike. definitely recommend.

hiking
4 months ago

Always a good hike, and saw moose every time this year.
27 June 2017- 1 moose
14 Sep. 2017- 9 moose
23 Sep. 2017- 2 moose
30 Sep. 2017-3 moose

For those that don't like the steep part or have bad knees (especially going down), take the west trail. Go up Moose Track Lane by the rental store, right before the "regular" trail head. It will head west a short distance, and then do a 180 back east. The trail head is at the end of the pavement. A little longer than the "regular" way, but much easier.

hiking
6 months ago

We LOVED this hike! Yes, the first .5 are pretty steep, but then it is a nice stroll to the lake. There is something so beautiful about leafless aspens against a light dusting of snow on the surrounding peaks. We had the trail to ourselves but saw quite a few moose prints. The lake was half frozen, and it was hilarious seeing the kids throw rock after rock trying in vain to break the ice. We want to try this one every season of the year. It's just that pretty.

6 months ago

My favorite fall hike!

7 months ago

Beautiful in the fall with all the colors!

7 months ago

It's a nice trail for a quick hike. Went on a Monday and there were plenty of others enjoying the trail. Nice fall colors and great views of the ski resorts. I would recommend for an easy hike.

hiking
7 months ago

Good climb for the first 0.5 miles then nice and flat around the lake. Collared female moose in the lake.

hiking
7 months ago

Had a great time up on the trail today. Many leaves have fallen, some mud along parts of the trail, and we saw a beautiful moose in the water. Some people were lounging in hammocks up near the water. Great idea! Many friendly faces along the trail. There was a bit of snow along the shady sections of the hillsides. We made a snowman! Trail is easy to follow. There is a section near the start of the trail that forks off and isn't marked. Luckily other hikers told us to go right up towards the steep section rather than go left.

hiking
7 months ago

Decent hike to see the Fall colors. I likely wouldn't hike it any other time of year. Super crowded, even at dusk on a Thursday. Took the extra steps up to Dry Lake, which was literally a dry lake this time of year. No moose for me on this one, only 2 whitetails. Easy hike. Very short.

7 months ago

Great trail with beautiful views! I saw two moose today... one by the lake and one by the trailhead. Both times I have been trail (on weekdays) there were a lot of people. From what I have seen, I would not call it lightly trafficked.

hiking
7 months ago

Lovely views of the mountains surrounding Big Cottonwood Canyon. The hike is straight up then level around the lake.

7 months ago

Super easy and quick, great reflections during golden hour.

hiking
7 months ago

This hike gets 5 stars because our primary goal was to see moose and we did! It is NOT a beginner trail, and folks who said little kids hiked it easily must be a family of hikers. It is steep, but not dangerous-climb up rocks steep. Once to the prairie and the lake it's pretty, but not that special when compared to magnificent vistas we see everywhere. We saw moose tracks along the way, and a moose with big antlers sunning by the lake (included in pics). For us, seeing the moose was worth it! We went at 10am on a weekday.

hiking
8 months ago

Fun easy day hike

hiking
8 months ago

My favorite fall hike! The elevation gain is mostly the first half. It is a bit rocky but nothing too difficult. My kids did it easily. The lake is beautiful and the trees are stunning. Even more beautiful at the end of September. Lots of moose

hiking
8 months ago

Solid hike for beginners. Many nice shady areas to hang out up top. Good shade along the trail. We saw a moose too.

8 months ago

A nice trail without too much traffic. A great option if you want to avoid the crowds at Donut Falls.

The steep portion at the head of the trail was tough for my kids to tackle.

hiking
8 months ago

OK for Mom

hiking
8 months ago

I feel like I have kind of become a trail snob because I have gone on so many hikes this year that I am more picky than I normally would be, which is why I only gave it 3 stars. This trail is very steep. Pretty much straight up the hill side. You gain most of the elevation in the first 1/2 mile and it's also really rocky in places. That being said, since the steepness is a short distance it's not that bad. I saw a family with really little ones and they made it to the top. Although I wouldn't recommend taking really little ones as they could trip over the rocks and hurt themselves. I also think coming down is a bit dangerous in spots. I personally had to take fairly small steps and almost slid at one point because of the loose rocks and steep decent. The trail should have been made as switchbacks up the hill so that it was safer. The lake was nice and I bet the wildflowers would have been amazing a few weeks ago. When I got up there (labor day morning at about 9am) there were quite a few people...including yelling and screaming children, so I would recommend going early if you want to avoid the loud family crowds. I did the whole loop around the lake, which gets fairly overgrown. It was about 2.1 miles with that loop. Took me just over an hour.

Short and sweet! We saw a moose and pretty much had the lake to ourselves.

8 months ago

Pretty! Did this last week and tried to out run a fast moving lightning storm!

9 months ago

this trailhead is on Big Cottonwood Road not in the neighborhood above. beware of moose! and bring a trash bag the area has many visitors and things get left behind

backpacking
9 months ago

Nice short hike with a great view

backpacking
9 months ago

Spent the night with the wife and two kids- and a few yipping coyotes! And three moose- two of which were bulls. Busy night in the Cottonwoods I guess. Skeeters are present but not in Alaska proportions- wear deet anyway. Always a fun place. Only wish is that Utah Open Lands would sponsor some volunteer trail builders to put in some switchbacks going up the hill, it's a tough one for little kids. A gem so close to town.

Load More